April 8 - 19, 2019 Cherry Blossom Dreamscape - Japan Photography Tour
12 Day Dreamscape to Japan on a Cross-Country Cherry Blossom Photography Tour. On this adventure, you’ll be introduced to several incarnations of Japan's quintessential flower, while pursuing the perfect, elusive cherry blossom. Are you interested in experiencing and photographing perfect cherry blossoms while on a culture-rich, luxurious, cross-country Japan excursion? This tour is for you!
Day 1, 2: Arrival and meet at Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND). We will transfer to Matsumoto Castle, a Japanese National Treasure built in 1504, used officially by the samurai until 1868. Locally, it is known as 'Karasu-Jo' or Crow Castle due to its resplendent black exterior. During cherry blossom season, the castle and cherry trees are masterfully illuminated, and the reflection of the castle in its moat is awe-inspiringly dramatic and singularly beautiful when captured with your camera. You will be able to photograph the castle using Blain's 22 years of experience to guide you. Live musicians will also entertain you inside the castle grounds while you partake in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Day 3, 4: You will have up close and personal encounters with the wild Japanese macaques, better known as snow monkeys. Proud mothers of newborn snow monkeys gather to showcase their new family members while enjoying the healing hot springs. Blain, your photography workshop leader, knows Yaen-Koen Snow Monkey Park inhabitants and behaviors well, allowing you to take photos you will always treasure.
Day 5, 6, 7: By the Sea of Japan, you will be counted among the few experiencing a cherry blossom field of dreams and the crimson beauty of the Kanazawa sunset. The area is renowned for the excellence of the staples of Japanese cuisine, sake and rice. Every dining experience will be a photo opportunity due to its immaculate presentation. Along the Sea of Japan, near the city of Joetsu, stands Takada Castle. Completed in 1614 by commission of Tokugawa Hidetada, the castle retains the essence of samurai spirit even today. The grounds are immaculately maintained and are blessed with cherry blossom trees that surround the castle, created a beautiful pink buffer for the structure from the city beyond.
Areas adjacent to the Sea of Japan have always been a repository of Japanese culture, and in the modern age of Japan, the traditions of Edo period Japan are still preserved in the annual Bunsui Oiran Dochu, or fancy dress parade. The parade showcases several Oiran clad in awe-inspiring kimonos. The Oiran are highly skilled entertainers who practice traditional instruments, dances, and songs to provide diversion for visiting travelers, including samurai lords.
You’ll feel as if you are reaching back to the times when Geisha, Maiko, and Shinto Maidens were a common sight and you will not ask where you are but when you are.
Day 8, 9, 10, 11: Returning to the Pacific Ocean side of Japan, we will take in majestic views of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mt. Fuji from the golden hour to twilight and between. As we explore Fuji-san, we will visit and touch the waters of the Fuji Five Lakes which are comprised of Yamanakako, Kawaguchiko, Saikoko, Shojiko, and Motosuko lakes. At each turn, clients have a once-in-a-lifetime perspective of Japan's perfect cherry blossom with iconic Mt. Fuji in the backdrop.
At Lake Kawaguchiko's Chureito Pagoda, you will have another moment to snap an image of Japan’s flawless cherry blossom. As a finale, clients will be conveyed to Mt. Fuji’s ‘Subaru Line 5th Station', receiving the gift of a bird’s eye view from 2,300 meters up the mountain face. After sunset, we will use the grandeur below our feet to satisfy our photographic cravings casting our gaze skyward for astrophotography.
Day 12: Departure from Tokyo, Haneda Airport, (HND). Please accept our warmest thanks, and we look forward to our next adventure together.
Why Choose this Photography Tour/Workshop?
Any level of photographer is welcome.
All camera formats are welcome: digital, handy-cams, scoping with iPhone large format, film, etc.
Professional photo instruction available when requested [included].
Photograph Japanese cultural and architectural masterpieces.
Activity level varying from leisurely to moderate.
Provided transportation: Sports Utility Vehicles with Business Class Seating.
Small group size means quality, in-depth time with your workshop leader.
All questions are welcome and encouraged throughout your adventure!
Each morning and evening, we will discuss our best shooting options with our weather conditions in hand, so that we will be well prepared.
2019 represents the 22nd year your photo workshop guide has been leading photo tours in Japan.
Tour Cost: $6700 This price includes all lodging based on double room occupancy in 3 - 5 star accommodations with western-style toiletries, all breakfast and dinners, all group ground transportation in sports utility vehicles with business class seating, all entrance fees, all donations at temples and shrines, professional photography guide instruction, and a detailed itinerary with clothing and gear recommendations. Single Supplement:$1290
Not Included: Flight to and from Japan, alcoholic beverages, travel health insurance Workshop/Tour Policies