Japan Photography Tour

The Japan Photography Tour

During the usual Peak of the Cherry Blossom Bloom in Kyoto,

The Cultural Heart of Japan

a premier photographic essay and cultural experience

Future Dates TBA, stay tuned!

Dates:  TBA, 6 days and 5 nights in Japan 

Costs: TBA

Tour Leaders:  Brian and Kazue Merry

This intimate Tour is limited to only 6 guests maximum

How To Book:

          Step 1: $1500+gst (5% CDN tax) non-refundable retainer is due at the time of booking to guarantee your spot on the tour and to remove it from inventory.  This retainer is not refundable.  Contact me using the Contact form or call me toll free to arrange payment with Visa/MC or bank transfer.  You can call toll free in Canada at 1-855-763-1114, or outside of Canada at 403-763-1114.

         Step 2:  Purchase the balance of the tour, ~$3675+gst, on or before March 2, 2017.  You can purchase the entire tour at the time of booking and receive a $250.00 discount.  If the total payment for the tour is not received before March 2, 2017 you’ll forfeit the retainer and your spot will be placed back into the tour inventory and will become available for someone else to purchase.  

** Special note to members of the International Landscape Photographers Association – You will receive a $500 discount on this tour as a benefit to your ILPA membership. **

Click here to contact me with questions and to Register!

or call me toll free in Canada at 1-855-763-1114, or 403-763-1114 international,

to pay with Visa or M/C


Our Intimate tour is limited to 6 guests with Brian and Kazue Merry co-leading the tour = Quality!

All dates and times in Japanese time unless otherwise stated.  

A Giesha on the streets of Kyoto, Japan

A Geisha on the streets of Kyoto, Japan.  Photographed during one of our many trips to Japan ©www.brianmerry.ca


Getting from the Airport in Kyoto to the Westin Miyako Hotel:  

     Please click here to follow these detailed directions to get from the Osaka-Itami airport (airport code ITM) to the hotel on the Westin Miyako’s website.  You can also fly to the Kansai airport and transfer to the Westin Miyako.  This transfer is a little more involved, by still easy with just a couple of transfers involved.  The Westin Miyako is used to helping 1000s of English only speaking tourists each year to get to their Hotel.  They are the experts with this specific logistic and I encourage you to call them to help you to get to their hotel.  After you click through the link above and read the webpage the Westin Miyako has created to help people to travel to their Hotel, you will agree too that they really know how to help English speaking people to find their way to their Hotel.

How to contact Kazue and I in Japan after we arrive there about a week before you do?:

      Kazue and I will have a Japanese cell phone that you can call when you arrive in Japan if you need help.  We will provide the Japanese cell number to you after we arrive in Japan and about a week before the tour.  You can also reach via email but we will only be checking email in Japan but calling us on our cell phone is the best option after you arrive in Japan.  We’ll take complete care of you once you arrive at the Hotel until after you leave at the end of the tour.

     Our all inclusive Japan Photography Tour in the cultural heart of Japan, Kyoto, during the peak tourist season of the year might be something you’ll want to attend.  There is no other English speaking and Japanese lead photography tour like this during the peak of the cherry blossom season in Japan in the cultural heart of Japan.

     Join Kazue and I in our small intimate group tour of 6 guests maximum as we show you the cultural heart of Japan and Kazue’s home country for the first 30 years of her life.  This promises to be a culturally rich Japan travel photography tour as we show you her native land from a photographer’s perspective.  We’ll explain Japan’s unique culture through the eyes of a Japanese citizen, Kazue, while we coach you on how to photograph it in the streets, on our cultural walks, in the gardens of blooming cherry trees and during traditional cultural theatre performances.  Be prepared to walk 4-6 km per day during the tour.

We’re strategically hosting our tour during the usual peak of the cherry blossoms in the cultural capital of Japan.  

     This is PEAK tourist season in Japan, not the shoulder season like you’ll often find on other photography tours of Japan being offered at pretty much the same price.  I believe we offer the best English speaking, Japanese lead, photography tour of Japan available today.  How can we do this?  The Locals and the Pros know how to do it, and Kazue and I are just that.  Together, we have both the intimate local knowledge and the professional travel photography experience to deliver a top notch tour.

     During the tour we’ll be staying in the best Hotel in Kyoto in one of the most popular tourist districts in the city.  From our base we’ll take you and the rest of the group on a diverse set of excursions including:

  • a traditional open riverboat tour
  • a trip on one of Japan’s unique narrow gauge railways
  • a photographic tour of the Japanese golden temple, Kinkaku-Ji.  The temple exterior is covered in solid gold.  
  • to see and photograph traditional Geisha and Miko (apprentice Geishas) dances in a historical theatre
  • tour and photograph the famous “Path of Philosophy”, made famous by National Geographic photographer Bob Allard
  • we’ll lead the numerous daily guided walking tours through the ancient narrow streets of town
  • we’ll photograph Geishas and Mikos performing their traditional dances for us
  • we’ll dine on traditional Japanese food
  • attend a traditional formal Japanese tea ceremony
  • and contrast that with the busy street life in Japan.  
  • Finally, as mentioned previously, we’ll base ourselves at the best Hotel in Kyoto, The Westin Miyako, centrally located in the cultural hub of Kyoto.  You’ll be able to communicate in English easily on the hotel grounds.  The Hotel will be your sanctuary of Western culture and English language if you’re feeling a little culture shock when we’re off of the Hotel grounds during the day, where virtually no one speaks any English.  Having this sanctuary of Western culture in the Hotel is a nice touch at the start and the end of the day.

     It’s very likely that we’ll have numerous chances to photography Geishas in their traditional kimono dress holding traditional umbrellas on the streets rushing between their social appointments.  In the highly unlikely chance you don’t get to capture Geishas and Mikos scurrying around the busy streets in amongst all the locals and tourists as they walk between social appointments, you will definitely get a chance to photograph them during our evening session at the Geisha theatre where they’ll be performing for us. 

     This is Japanese cultural contrast at it’s best.  I sincerely believe that this will be a tour to remember for the rest of your life! 

     Would you like to be kept up to date on this tour?  Let me know on my contact form that you want me to add you to the information email list for the Japan Photography Tour for 7 days and 6 nights during the peak of the cherry blossom festive season in the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto.  I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have as well.  Please call me with your questions toll free in Canada at 855-763-1114 or 011-403-763-1114 internationally.  I encourage you to email via my contact form for a complete answer and to file it in your email folder for your records.  Also, I’ll be able to take my time to write a thorough and thoughtful email back to you via the your submitted contact form.  Thank you for your interest and I hope to see you in Japan next Spring!  

Call me at toll free at  1-855-763-1114 or

email me at brian@bmerryphotography.com

with your questions



Golden Temple

Kinkaku Ji, the golden temple in Koyoto, Japan © www.brianmerry.ca

Here is the detailed itinerary:

Itinerary:   After multiple trips to Japan to scout the tour with Kazue, a Japanese citizen and resident for the first 30 years of her life, we are certain that we are offering the best English speaking and Japanese lead Japan photography tour available.

Day 1 and 2 (April 1/2):  Travel – Leave North America and fly to Kyoto and check into the tour at the luxurious Westin Miyako Hotel on your own schedule.  

Day 2 (April 2):  Check into your room.  Evening Tour meet and greet.  Night time photography of beautifully lit cherry blossoms in Maruyama-Koen.

Day 3 (April 3):  Kyoto.  Path of Philosophy.  We’ll Photograph along the inspirational Path of Philosophy.  During our photo stoll we’ll attended and participant in a traditional tea ceremony along the way.  The ceremony takes place is a beautiful teahouse located in the forest along our walking path.  The ambient lighting inside of the teahouse is spectacular as it filters through the forest canopy and rice paper walls.  We’ll also photograph the busy narrow streets of the bustling shop district leading up to Ginkaku-Ji, directly translated to “The Silver Temple”.

Day 4 (April 4):  Kyoto.  After breakfast we’ll depart to photograph the first rays of sunlight on the path of philosophy and spend the rest of the day exploring photographing the busy streets of Japan and explore the Zen Temple.

Day 5 (April 5):  Kyoto.  Today we’ll leave for a trip on a train across the city and transfer onto an original Japanese narrow gauge railway.  We’ll ride the traditional train up into the mountains and transfer to traditional flat bottom boats for a float trip down the river back to Kyoto.  Upon our return we’ll tour the temple, Tenryu Ji and walk the pathways of the beautiful and famous Bamboo Grove.

Day 6 (April 6):  Kyoto.  Inari Jinja.  We’ll head south to Fushimi-Inari Taisha for a pleasant day hike in the mountains among the thousands of of red Tori gates that line the path.  Along the way we’ll stop at some of the 30,000 shine complexes that line the entire hike for photography.  In the evening we’ll have a tour wrap up dinner and social.  

Day 7 (April 7):  Check out from Hotel. Optional morning photo walk on the Path of Philosophy to say goodbye to the cultural heart of Japan.  Fly back to North America on your own schedule.  You’ll arrive the same day you leave Japan.