Mika + Mike Kyoto Japan Destination Wedding

April 27, 2016 | Destination Wedding

Japan has been on our destination wedding bucket list for a long time so when Mika and Mike ask me to be their Kyoto Japan Destination Wedding Photographer, I literally jumped out of my seat and let out a double fist pump. Mika and Mike scheduled their wedding around the stunning Cherry Blossom bloom which happens early April for only a little over a week every year. When I arrived in Japan, I was amazed by the beautiful scenery, friendly locals and the efficient transit system. Most of the street signs and maps are in Japanese so Google Maps became a great travel companion.

The sun was shining and the weather was warm on the day of Mika and Mike’s Kyoto Japan Shinto Destination wedding. I travelled up from south Kyoto to meet Mika and Mike at their incredible sixth floor apartment that overlooked a famous Kyoto canal littered with cherry blossom trees on either side. Both Mike and Mika decided to wear a traditional Japanese Kimono for their Shinto wedding ceremony. Each Kimono was beautifully hand crafted with embroidered detail and required an assistant to help with getting in and out of each traditional garment. Mika’s Kimono had eleven layers which required meticulous maneuvering by the assistant. Once the bride and groom to be were fully dressed, we headed down to the canal for some cherry blossom filled portraits.

Afterwards a limo service took us to the Kamigamo Shrine for the ceremony. The Kamigamo Shrine is one Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines dating back to 678. Rich with history, the shrine was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. What an incredible location to get married! Once we arrived at the Shrine, we were greeted by several members of Mika’s family then Mika and Mike were given instruction, in native Japanese language, on how the ceremony would unfold. It was amazing to listen to Mika translate the instructions into English for Mike. Shinto ceremonies have many rituals which often prohibit photography however there was some time allotted for a few photos. After the ceremony, the newlyweds and guests gathered in the grand courtyard for some portraits. From there, we headed to the Heihachi Tea House Inn in north east Kyoto, where the newlyweds changed out of their kimonos and into their North American wedding attire. Mika now in her wedding dress and Mike now in his suit, headed back to the reception for drinks, dinner and a few impromptu speeches with close family and friends. We ended the night with a portrait session at the Heian Shrine, which was not far from Mika and Mike’s apartment where the day began.

Thank you for including me as your Japan Destination Wedding Photographer!

Japanese bride and groom standing in front of a cherry blossom tree by a river by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese women getting her makeup done with a girl in the background by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a wedding dress hanging off a building in front of a Japanese garden by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a groom getting help with his Japanese outfit by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese family smiling at a groom by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese women being helped with her kimono by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese women being helped with her kimono by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc an emotional moment for a Japanese bride by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc Japanese bride in kimono in garden by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese bride and groom walking down the street by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese bride and groom by a cherry blossom tree by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese bride and groom getting into a car by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a japanese bride and groom walking in a garden by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese bride and groom in front of a cherry blossom tree by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese bride and groom meeting guests in a garden by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese bride and groom reading a document by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese bride and groom getting ready before thier wedding ceremony by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc water being poured over hands by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc Japanese bride spinning in kimono by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a man wearing traditional Japanese outfit by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese wedding party walking by trees by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese bride and groom walking with umbrellas by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc Japanese bride and groom embracing in front of a Japanese temple by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese women drinking from a cup by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a boy looking out a widow at a ceremony by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a groom drinking from a cup by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese bride and groom at their wedding ceremony by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a Japanese bride and groom opening a gift by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a groom getting ready for a reception by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a special moment between a bride and a groom by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a bride walking into a wedding reception by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a family member giving a speech at a wedding reception by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc an emotional bride wiping a tear from her face by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a bride and groom smiling by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a wedding guest laughing by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a bride and groom raising their glasses to their guests by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc bride and groom hugging by a Japanese lantern by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a large cherry blossom tree by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc a bride and groom in front of a Japanese temple by Japan Destination Wedding Photographer Sean LeBlanc

Leave a comment

Your email will not be publicized

Explore More Stories

Indian bride and groom wearing traditional Indian wedding clothing embracing on top of a mountain for a cascade ballroom banff springs wedding by sean leblanc

Luxurious, colorful and lively is how Banff Wedding Photographer, Sean LeBlanc Photography would describe Raj and Leslie’s incredible Banff Springs Indian wedding.

man and women silhouetted on a bridge with a city downtown skyline in the background for Calgary East Village Engagement Session

Lindsay and Neil love living downtown Calgary so as their Calgary Engagement Photographer we recommended heading just east of downtown to East Village for their connection session.