February 3 - 10, 2019 Mt. Fuji, Snow Monkeys & Landscape / Photography Tour Japan
Japan in the winter is paradise for landscape and wildlife photography. Join our experienced guide as he ventures to his favourite locations that he has been exploring for over 20 years within a few hours drive outside of Tokyo.
After meeting at Tokyo Haneda Airport, we travel to Hakone check into our lodgings for 2 nights where John Lennon and Albert Einstein stayed. Before the start of Edo 1603, Hakone has flourished as a favorite destination for healing hot springs, natural beauty and alpine terrace views of Mt. Fuji. Lake Ashinoko we will board a pirate ship and cruise the Lake while filming the breathtaking scenery with Fujisan in the backdrop. After the cruise, we will stroll an original 400-year-old stone road and enjoy tea time at Amazaske Chaya serving traveler for over 350 years, just down the pilgrim's path is a Buddhist shrine and temple dating back to the 13the century.
After two days exploring around Hakone, we drive the scenic pilgrim’s route photographing snow-capped Mount Fuji from the most breathtaking vantage points, dramatic and beautiful; including the fuji five lakes comprising of Yamanakako, Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Shojiko, and Motosu lakes. Over 95% of Japanese have never visited all the fuji five lakes; you will be among the few that have while strolling the shores photographing the picturesque snow-capped Mount Fuji and the mesmerizing mirrored reflections in the fuji five lakes. After our days journey you will enjoy our lodgings fine dinning and spa facilities. After shooting sunrise on mt. fuji and breakfast we depart for Matsumoto Castle where we will enter the world of the Samurai, the castle is local known as crow castle or Kurasu-Jo, due to it’s grandeur point black exterior.
This original Samurai castle built in 1504 is unique, a national treasure with an architectural design that does not exist elsewhere in Japan. Our lodgings in Matsumoto are home to most therapeutically healing hot springs spa facilities and serve fine Japanese cuisine. After an early breakfast and checkout, we drive 90 minutes to the wild snow monkeys where you will have up close and personal encounters with them, while they are bathing in the hot springs, climbing trees and playing around in the snow.
Our team leader visits Jigokudani Yaen-Koen Snow Monkey territory throughout the year and is familiar with individual monkeys in the region including their rank and behaviors. You will be well prepared and get amazing shots of the monkeys in the hot springs the 1st day. The 2nd and 3rd day we will concentrate on action shots of the monkeys and winter alpine landscape photography that rivals Hokkaido.
Our lodgings for 3 nights is the real life hot springs hotel that inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away”, and in real life is one of the grandest Japanese ryokans throughout Japan, serving guests for over 250 years. When we are not out filming, we will be exploring and photographing inside and out the real-life spirited away.
Day 1, 2: Arrival and pick up Tokyo, Haneda Airport, (HND)
Hakone, Lake Ashi, Boat Cruise, Amazaske Chaya, a 13th century Buddhist shrine and temple, a natural hot springs waterfalls, wood mosaic artist, 5 star hotel.
Day 3: Mt. Fuji, the fuji five lakes, 5-star hotel.
Day 4: Matsumoto Castle, Alpine Photography, Shinto Shrine dating back a thousand years, 5-6-star Japanese Ryokan.
Day 5, 6, 7: Snow Monkeys, Winter Landscapes, Spirited Away 6-5 star Japanese Ryokan.
Day 8: Drop off and departure Tokyo, Haneda Airport, (HND). Thank you, and we look forward to the next adventure together.
Why Choose this Photography Tour/Workshop?
Historical Luxury Lodgings 5-6 Star.
Photographers of all levels are welcome.
All Camera formats are welcome, digital, handy camera, scoping with iPhone large format, film, etc.
Rare Japanese Architectural Photography.
Activity level leisurely - moderate.
Transportation Private Sports Utility Vehicles with Business Class Seating.
Small group size equals quality time with participants questions are always welcome and encouraged.
Each evening and morning we discuss our best shooting options with our weather conditions so that you will be well prepared.
2018 will be the tour leaders 21st year leading photo adventures in Japan.
Tour Cost: $9,995 Includes all lodgings based on double room occupancy, all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, all ground transpiration sports utility vehicles with business class seating, all entrance fees, all donations at Buddhist- Shinto temples and shrines, photography guide instruction, detailed itinerary after sign up with closing and gear recommendations.
Single Supplement: $1,200
Not included: Flights to or from Japan, alcohol beverages, travel health insurance, lunches, items of a personal nature.