Experience Kyoto helps you make the most of your visit to the Ancient Capital of Japan with a curated guide to accommodations, dining and drinking, as well as customized, meaningful tours, events and experiences with expert guidance.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1971.
After a short-lived career as a professional soccer player, (due to the bankruptcy of his team-The Nova Scotia Clippers), he decided to leave his hometown of 22 years and make his way to the other side of the world. It was his mother’s influence (as a folk artist) that persuaded him to try his hand at the arts. He arrived in Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital late in the fall of 1993. He first tried his hand at photography trying to capture the unique beauty of the 1200 years capital in nature and architecture and soon found his niche amongst the geisha in the “Flower and Willow World”. This love for culture continued with the study more of the traditional arts.
Using his unique access to Kyoto’s geisha world thanks to a business who took him under his wing, in 1999 he began working as a fixer/cultural liaison for Television, film and print media whenever they were in Kyoto and needed access behind the closed doors of the secret world. He has worked with dozens of international projects as well as being part of the location scouting team for Hollywood’s Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
These experiences gave him the confidence to write/produce and direct his first full-length feature documentary “Real Geisha Real Women” (2009) and the same year he created and began teaching the course “Geisha-Past Present, Future” for the Japanology section of the International Studies Department at Kansai University(2009-2017)
This was the beginning of the “Real Geisha Real Women” project brand which aims to give an insiders’s perspective into not only Kyoto’s but geisha culture all over Japan.
A Facebook page by the same name is also dedicated to sharing and educating people about Japan’s geisha culture.
Peter is an entrepreneur as well founding in 2002, his leisure and entertainment company Kyoto Sights and Nights offering his knowledge to travellers those traveling to Kyoto who want a unique perspective o Japan’s ancient capital. He is a professional photographer and painter and his works can be seen at his Studio/Gallery “Gallery Kohfu” open in 2016 located in the heart of Kyoto in October 2016.
Traditional Arts Studied
Karate (martial art)
Aikido (martial art)
Sumie (Indian ink painting)
Ikebana (Japanese Flower arrangement)
Nihon Buyou (Japanese traditional dance)
Shorinji Kenpo (martial art)
Haiku-Japanese poetry in English
Kouta (geisha songs accompanied by the shamisen)
2009-2017 Kansai University lecturer—(Original course in geisha cultural studies) (Osaka, Japan)
The Stanford Center (Kyoto,Japan)
Hiroshima Women’s group (Hiroshima, Japan)
Friend’s World College (Kyoto, Japan)
F.E.W. Women’s Group (Osaka, Japan)
Kobe C.H.I.C (Kobe. Japan)
Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto, Japan)
The Asian Art Museum -(San Francisco C.A)
As well and lecturing around MC-ing geisha culture events in Kyoto, he was the first westerner to take the geisha abroad for international events without a Japanese intermediary where the was the lectured as well acted as interpreter and master of ceremonies/lecturer.
2004-“Geisha-Past, Present,” Future”-Yerba Bueana Center (San Francisco USA)
2004-“Twilight of the Flowers”-documentary- debut-(Geneva, Switzerland)
2006-New York Times travel Fair-(New York, USA)
2006/08-Festival of Japan- North Yorkshire, England)
2007– e-Bookers Event- Savoy Theater (Helsinki. Finland)
2008– “Festival of World Cultures” (Dún Laoghaire, Ireland
2018-“Geisha Renaissance”-Brookllyn/NYC, U.S.A
2019–“ Real Geisha Real Stories” Lecture and Performance West Coast series (USA)
Santa Monica, California-Santa Monica /College-Edgemar Center for the Arts
Los Angeles, California
Pasadena, California-Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden
Selected Television Appearances
Chikyu no Heiso-The Navel of the Earth-(Feature Film)-Kyoto Film Festival
KTLA news-“ Real Geisha Real Stories” Lecture and Performance West Coast Series
“Life in Japan”-Indepedent Documentary -Petri Strolopare
“The Secret Lives of the Geisha” A&E/Discovery
“Tokyo Girls” Documentary- (Canadian Film Board)
“Twilight of the Flowers”-documentary- (Swiss Television)
“News Night”-B.B.C. (Great Britain)
“B.N.N. at Work” (The Netherlands)
“Taboo” Series National Geographic Television (U.S.A.
“Kimberly Sheldon’s Design for Living” (USA)
NBC Channel 5 News (USA)
“Hello Nippon” N.H.K (Japan)
Dawn Porter “Geisha Girl” (Channel 4 -Great Britain)
“Getaway (Australian travel show)
“The Great Outdoors” (Australian travel show)
“The Pleasure Zone” CTV traveler (Canada)
Selected Featured Articles (with photo credits)
The New York Times (U.S.A.)
Kategahou International (Japan)
Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong)
San Francisco Chronicle (U.S.A)
G.Q. Magazine (U.S.A.)
The Hirangana Times (Japan)
The Tokyo Weekender (Japan)
Amakara Teccho (Japan)
The Daily Yomiuri (Japan)
The National Post (Canada)
***Peter has and been formally acknowledged by many writers and students for his advice and guidance for their Ph.D dissertations / Maters’s theses and books about Geisha and Japanese culture.
Publications Works (Written)
Persimmon (English Haiku collection-2 poems)-Japan
100 plus Little Joys in Life-(Self help book) Amazon
Private Journeys Magazine (USA)
Kyoto Journal Magazine (Japan)
Kyoto Visitors Guide (Japan)
Hairstyles of the Maiko– 2004
(Explaining the hairstyles/make-up/kimono dressing with regards to the maiko of Kyoto)
The World of Traditional Hairstyles -2004
(Explaining the traditional Japanese hairstyles and hair ornaments)
2009-Real Geisha Real Women (Can now be seen on Youtube)
Nils Ferry is a photographer, videographer and guide. He arrived in Japan from Southern California in the summer of 1994, on the day of the Gion Festival Parade.
He had been working as a newspaper reporter and editor, and when the company was bought by a large chain and most of the staff laid off, he took that as an opportunity to spend a year or two in Japan, as his father had repeatedly encouraged. A solo bicycle trip in his first Golden Week helped him appreciate the fun of seeing Japan on two wheels.