2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour | Kyoto

Jul 17 | Evan | No Comments |

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!

So far our cherry blossom photography tour of Japan was lucky enough to have nice weather and perfect cherry blossom timing for just about all cities we traveled to in Japan. Kyoto was more of the same with cherry blossoms in full bloom just about everywhere in Kyoto waiting for our group to photograph them.

Sometimes I get asked what my favorite place in Japan is to visit or favorite place in Japan for photography is. This is a really difficult question as Japan has so many wonderful options for tours and photography in Japan. Also, the answer really depends on the time of year for most places in Japan. That being said, Kyoto is my favorite place in Japan to travel to and photograph any time of the year but especially in cherry blossom season, I love spending time and guiding photographers in Kyoto.

Kyoto Japan
Kyoto Japan

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.

Here is a gallery of more photos from our photography tour in Kyoto:

2017 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Kyoto

May 24 | Evan | No Comments |

After visiting Tokyo, Hiroshima, Miyajima and Himeji, the 2017 Cherry Blossom tour of Japan headed north again to Kyoto.  I’ve said it many times before, Kyoto is my favorite city in Japan and perhaps in the world.  The mix of modern and traditional Japan is fantastic and there are always opportunities for photographers visiting Kyoto

For our group of photographers touring Japan in cherry blossom season, the cherry blossoms had momentarily caught up with us and cherry blossoms were in full bloom in Kyoto!  Though cherry blossoms in Kyoto are spectacular, there are many other places that regardless of the cherry blossoms are wonderful for photography.  Kyoto is extremely crowded during this peak season for cherry blossoms, so some of these other place that don’t have cherry blossoms or aren’t famous for their cherry blossoms can be a nice place to take a break from the crowds of tourists visiting Kyoto.


No matter how many days you stay in Kyoto, it would be hard to run out of photography opportunities. No matter what time of year, there are always a few places I love returning to like the Golden Pavilion (photo at top of this post), Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari Shrine.

Before the gallery I also wanted to touch up on one feature of my new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.  There are quite a few things I love about my new mirrorless camera, size and weight is obvious and then there is the amazing image stabilization.  I found that quite a lot of times during my trip I was trying to push the limits of the in body image stabilization (IBIS) which is suppose to have 5.5 stops of stabilization and also combined it with the M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO for an extra stop.  Take a look at a few examples below, first two were hand held with a little body bracing at 1 second.  Yes, a full second!  The cherry blossom one was done with me holding the camera up above my head using flipped screen to compose, not super sharp because there was some wind but still quite amazing for what I was doing.

1 second handheld

1 second handheld

1/10 of a second handheld

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!

Private and Custom Tour of Japan | Kyoto

Aug 02 | Evan | No Comments |

Japan Photo Guide Kyoto 013
After meeting in Tokyo and spending a few days in Kanazawa our private tour of Japan headed to my favorite city in Japan, Kyoto! With it’s mix of modern and tradition, along with what seems like an endless supply of beautiful gardens, shrines and temples, Kyoto is a photographer’s dream. Kyoto is also great for a foodie tour, which this guided tour of Japan was kind of turning into along with the photography aspect!

Japan Photo Guide Kyoto 017

Japan Photo Guide Kyoto 019

Japan Photo Guide Kyoto 047

During the tour of Kyoto we visited as far west as Arashiyama for the bamboo grove and Moss Garden Temple (Kokedera), as far north west as Kamigamo Jinja and north east as Sanzenin and as far south as Fushi Inari Shrine. Of course we visited lots of other places in the center of Kyoto and east side of Kyoto as well! Eating lot’s of delicious food along the way and with a few special experiences arranged for the tour of Kyoto.

Japan Photo Guide Kyoto 193

Japan Photo Guide Kyoto 225

Meeting and making Japanese friends is part of my tours that I always try and encourage. After all, the people of Japan are certainly part of what makes Japan such a great place to visit! I arranged for a ikebana (flower arrangement) demonstration, calligraphy lesson, tea ceremony with an English speaking maiko and also a portrait session with a maiko in Kyoto. More on the portrait session with a maiko in Kyoto coming later as that will get it’s own blog post!

Japan Photo Guide Kyoto 239

Japan Photo Guide Kyoto 246

As with most of my trips to Kyoto, visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine and the bamboo groves of Arashiyama early in the morning provide the best chance of great photographic opportunity. Not only because of the obvious better light earlier in the morning but also because these places just get too crowded during the day, or really even from 8am or perhaps a little earlier!

Japan Photo Guide Kyoto 146

Japan Photo Guide Kyoto 143

Instead of sharing more of my photos, I wanted to share more of Isabelle’s awesome photos from our time touring and exploring Kyoto!  All the photos below were created by and courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography.  Also, be sure to check out her detailed report of our trip to Kyoto from her blog!

Created by and Courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Created by and Courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Created by and Courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Created by and Courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Created by and Courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Created by and Courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Created by and Courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Created by and Courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Created by and Courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

Created by and Courtesy of Isabelle Nazha Photography

2016 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan | Arashiyama and Kenninji

May 27 | Evan | No Comments |

Arashiyama Japan Photo Guide Bamboo 106

Even when visiting the same cities in Japan, every photography tour of Japan has some locations that I’m returning to and some locations that are new.  When visiting Kyoto, Fushimi Inari is always one that photographers want to visit along with the bamboo forest in Arashiyama. One location in Kyoto that isn’t always on my list of places it visit is Kenninji in Gion.

Kenninji and Arashiyama are not close to each other, Kenninji is in Gion and Arashiyama is Western Kyoto, but I’m including them both in this post just go along with the some places I return to and others are visited depending on what mother nature in Japan gives us!

Japan Photo Guide Kenninji 084 Japan Photo Guide Kenninji 082

Kenninji a lovely temple and especially a nice place to visit if it’s raining like it was one of our days touring Kyoto.  Kenninji has covered walkways around the edges so you can still appreciate the gardens but also allows photography inside most areas of the Temple.

Japan Photo Guide Kenninji 083 Japan Photo Guide Kenninji 088

With TokyoHiroshima, Miyajima and Himeji Castle already visited, next up for the 2016 cherry blossom tour was Kyoto, my favorite city in Japan!  After Kyoto we would continue our tour of Japan to photography Mt. Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes, still chasing and photographing the cherry blossoms around Japan!  Interested in joining the 2017 cherry blossom tour?  Please contact me today to start your trip to Japan during cherry blossom season or any other time you’d like!

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