Portraits of Japan

21st Oct 2019 - 1st Nov 2019

12 days

Got your own group together? Choose dates to suit you

Price: from $8100 pp (exc. international flights)

Max group size: 12 people

Join us on an 11 night journey around Western Japan. Portrait photography is our focus as tour leader Everett Kennedy Brown introduces us to memorable individuals from geisha to Zen monks, fishermen to kimono ateliers. Bookended by Kyoto and Osaka, we’ll explore rural communities and fishing villages, as well as the infamous city of Hiroshima and sacred Miyajima Island.

Day 01: Kyoto

Welcome to Japan

Western-style hotel, moderate

Fly into Osaka Kansai Airport and transfer by coach to Kyoto where you’ll meet your hosts, photographer Everett Kennedy Brown and kimono model Junko Okimoto. Over a welcome dinner in Kyoto discuss your photography goals for the trip, and prepare to leave your preconceptions of Japan at the door.

Day 02: Kyoto

Geisha on location

Western-style hotel, moderate

Any opportunist can snap a passing geisha in Gion, but we’ll have two geisha to ourselves to create something truly special. Direct the geisha on location about town and in a private temple space to compose an image that’s all yours. Kyoto's leading geisha expert will be on hand to guide us through the floating world.

Day 03: Kyoto

Kimono atelier

Western-style hotel, moderate

Meet charismatic Mr Genbei Yamaguchi, a 10th generation kimono designer and obi maker at the helm of the 280-year-old Kondaya atelier. His work brings traditional kimono design into the world of avant-garde fashion. Photograph Yamaguchi-san alongside his couture at home in his beautiful Edo era Kyoto residence.

Day 04: Joge

Local people of Joge

Western-style hotel, moderate

You won’t find Joge in the guidebooks, and that’s what makes it so special. We’ll receive an especially warm welcome today, as well as special access to photograph local people of interest: a monk meditating at Zensho-ji Temple, behind the scenes at Katano bakery and kimono-clad fan dancers at Okina-za Theatre.

Day 05: Hiroshima

Peace Memorial Park

Traditional Japanese inn, moderate

No trip to Hiroshima would be complete without taking heed of the events of 6th August 1945. Meet descendants of the hibakusha - literally “explosion-affected people” – to hear the story of that tragic day. We’ll also explore the Peace Memorial Park and Museum.

Day 06: Miyajima

Itsukushima Shrine

Traditional Japanese inn, moderate

Just a short ferry ride from Hiroshima is the sacred island of Miyajima. Capture Junko around the island, and climb to the top of Mount Misen for views of the Inland Sea. Next morning get up early for sunrise at Itsukushima Shrine and find new angles on the much-photographed torii gate.

Day 07: Yunotsu Onsen

Kagura dances

Traditional Japanese inn, moderate

Now for a very special photoshoot, unique to this quiet corner of Shimane Prefecture. Photograph Shinto preists performing anicent kagura dances. Known as “God’s entertainment”, the dances depict myths of deities and demons, a spiritual prayer for a good harvest.

Day 08: Mihonoseki

Kaiseki feast

Traditional Japanese inn, moderate

This evening we'll don yukata robes for a haute cuisine feast of the finest local seafood. At our gorgeous traditional ryokan inn in the tiny village port of Mihonoseki, we'll also be entertained by a master of shakuhachi, the Japanese flute.

Day 09: Matsue

Shrine ceremony

Western-style hotel, moderate

Get up early for a ceremony at Miho Shrine. Capture the priests and shrine maidens dressed in ceremonial robes as they carry out their sacred Shinto rituals. Later we’ll travel on to Matsue City and take part in a traditional tea ceremony.

Day 10: Matsue

Washi paper making

Western-style hotel, moderate

Photograph master washi makers at work today, and have a go at making your own washi paper. Tonight our hosts in Matsue City will throw an exhibition party in our honour; we’ll each choose an image to be printed on washi and displayed at the event.

Day 11: Osaka

Street scenes

Western-style hotel, moderate

A short domestic flight and we arrive in Osaka. Head for the backstreets of Shinsekai, an entertainment district that had it’s heyday in the 1950s. Our challenge is to capture the district’s faded glory and fascinating characters in unstructured, instinctive street photography.

Day 12


We wish you a pleasant flight home from Osaka Kansai Airport.

Tour details

Price: from $8100 per person (excl. international flights)

Maximum group size: 12 people

All tours can be customised as private services

Contact us

You can contact us using the form below. Alternatively, why not give us a call? We’d love to talk to you about your photography travel plans.

Thanks for your message

Many thanks for your enquiry. Whe shall be in touch soon and look forward to assisting you with your trip to Japan and making your Asian travel dreams a reality!

Again thank you for your interest, and we wish you all the best.

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Thanks for your enquiry

Many thanks for your booking enquiry. Whe shall be in touch soon and look forward to assisting you with your trip to Japan and making your Asian travel dreams a reality!

Again thank you for your interest, and we wish you all the best.

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