2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour | Miyajima and Hiroshima

Jul 15 | Evan | No Comments |

After spending 2 nights in Tokyo, the 2019 cherry blossom photo tour of Japan traveled by bullet train to Miyajima. While tour was without rain so far, colder than normal temperatures had Japan feeling more like Japan in the winter rather than Japan during cherry blossom season. For the most part, the cooler temperatures during cherry blossom season in Japan helped by slowing what started as an early blooming cherry blossom season and the cherry blossoms held their pose for us just a little longer!

Miyajima Island
Miyajima Island

The two photos above are courtesy of and created by one of our group’s photographers, Daniel Leffel. Take a look at Daniel’s website for more excellent photography not only of Japan but all over the word.

Miyajima is one of my favorite places to bring photographers in Japan. Actually, even for my less or non photography oriented tours of Japan, Miyajima and Hiroshima are always a pleasure to visit.

The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour took a small group of photographers to Japan. We started in Tokyo and continued to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji Castle, Kyoto and Mt. Fuji from Shizuoka and from Fuji Five Lakes. Here is the trip report from the 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan and the 2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan. The 2020 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan is already planned and live! Limited spots are available for the 2020 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan, with first booking already reserved!

Below is a gallery of cherry blossom photos from our days in Miyajima.

2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan | Miyajima

May 13 | Evan | No Comments |

The 2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour departed Tokyo to travel to Hiroshima by bullet train, then took a chartered van to Miyajima Port and finally a ferry to reach Miyajima.  It’s a long journey but our small photography group arrived in Miyajima at perfect time to photograph the cherry blossoms.  When one thinks of Miyajima, most people think about the torii gate that floats in the water when the tide is in, but there are many photogenic spots on the island of Miyajima, especially during cherry blossom season. 

For me, it’s really important to stay on the island when visiting Miyajima as it gets overcrowded with tourists during the day, early morning and dusk are much more pleasant not only for obvious lighting reasons but also just to enjoy the atmosphere of the island. Besides the pagodas, torii gate, temples and shrines, the deer always are fun photograph and observe in Miyajima, especially when they pose with cherry blossoms!

And yes, there is the great torii gate which even when the tide is out, provides lot’s of photographic opportunities to create art in Miyajima.  It’s said that Miyajima is one of Japan’s 3 most scenic places in Japan and having traveled and photographed many places in Japan, it’s hard to disagree!

 

The 2018 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour took a small group of photographers to Japan.  We started in Tokyo and continued to Hiroshima, Miyajima, HImeji Castle, Kyoto and Mt. Fuji.  Here is the trip report from the 2018 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan. The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan is already planned and live!  Limited spots are available for the 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan, with first booking already reserved!  Below is a gallery of cherry blossom photos from our days in Miyajima.

2017 Private Summer Tour of Japan | Miyajima and Hiroshima

Aug 13 | Evan | No Comments |

After a few days of exploring Tokyo it was time to move to our next destination, Miyajima and Hiroshima.  We took the bullet train from Shinagawa all the way down to Hiroshima and then a local train to Miyajimaguchi before finally taking a ferry to the island of Miyajima.  As you can see, it’s quite the transfer to get to Miyajima from Tokyo, but Miyajima, considered to be one of Japan’s three most scenic places, is worth the effort to get there during a trip to Japan!

 

Besides the scenery, Miyajima is famous for the semi wild deer that roam free on the island.  I use the word “semi” because the deer are more or less completely adjusted to seeing humans and walking next to or even begging for food.  In some cases, like in the video below, if the deer on Miyajima think you have food, they will chase you!  If you go to Miyajima, hide plastic bags, don’t eat in front of the deer and avoid the baby deer as mom’s can be overprotective!  The baby deer are super cute though!

In addition to spending time on the island of Miyajima, we explored Hiroshima a little before moving on to our next destination, Kyoto.  The morning was spent at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, obviously a very somber experience but a important to learn about the horrors of what happened.  After the museum, thanks to Gluten Free Japan Tours, we went to an okonomiyaki restaurant, Koguma, that can prepare gluten free okonomiyaki before finishing up our day at Shukkeien Garden. 

See more photos below or the full report to see more posts from the custom and private photography tour of Japan.

2017 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Miyajima and Hiroshima

May 19 | Evan | No Comments |

After a short stay in Tokyo, our group of photographers touring Japan headed southwest to Hiroshima and Miyajima for the 2017 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan.  Even though the cherry blossoms started to bloom earlier than normal in many places in Japan, a sudden burst of cold weather put the cherry blossoms on pause, so the sakura while approaching full bloom in Miyajima and Hiroshima, had not caught up yet with our group tour of Japan.

 

We know the average dates cherry blossoms open and bloom in Japan but these dates are just that, averages.  Every year is a little different both in the exact dates the cherry blossoms bloom and how fast they go from opening to full bloom and then from full bloom to finished.  If you look at photos from almost the exact same dates in Miyajima from the year before, you can see quite a difference in the status of cherry blossoms!

This is why when planning a cherry blossom tour of Japan for photographers, it is important to include places on the itinerary that not only have slightly different cherry blossom blooming average dates but also that locations we visit also have photographic opportunities should the cherry blossoms not cooperate with our schedule.  Of course, there are also a variety of different cherry blossoms, like these pink ones in the first photo below from Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima, some blooming earlier in Japan and some later, so this helps as well!

 

Daytime in Miyajima is quite crowded with tourists making a day trip, so if possible, I like to spend the early mornings, late afternoons and evenings in Miyajima and visit neighboring Hiroshima during the day.  Creating a photograph like Tim’s below at Itsukushima Shrine would be impossible as besides the light, there seems to be a never ending flow of tourists in Miyajima.  Besides Shukkeien Garden mentioned above, the Peace Park and Memorial Museum is nice to visit during the day and Hiroshima Castle is nice as well. 

Created by and courtesy of Tim Durham

Created by and courtesy of Tim Durham

The 2017 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan took our small group of photographers to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kyoto, Wazuka and Fuji Five Lakes.  Take a look at the 2017 Cherry Blossom Tour Trip report to see more from our tour of Japan during cherry blossom season. Want to visit Japan during cherry blossom season with Japan Photo Guide?  The 2018 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan for photographers has limited spaces available, book now!

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