Pre-Autumn - Japan Dreamscapes Photography Tour September 17 - 21, 2019
This tour is offered annually in September for 2020 and 2021. Contact JDS to prebook your spot.
Tokyo Street Photography
Tokyo Night Photography
Explore iconic Mt. Fuji
Enter the world of the Samurai at a 16th Century original
Photograph and a close encounter with Japanese Snow
Monkeys in the hot springs
Savor Japanese Cuisine and Sake
Day 1, September 17, 2019, Tuesday
Meet and greet Tokyo-Haneda International Airport (HND) at 12 pm Noon (place inside the airport to be announced when you book your spot). After meeting, you and the group will be immediately begin your Japan Dreamscape Photography adventure journey of a lifetime! The Tokyo Experience begins with the world-renowned Shibuya Pedestrian Crossing. The crossing represents a rare occasion where Chaos Theory is on display, as there will be hundreds and possibly thousands of Japanese making their daily commute home. Your JDS Photography workshop leader will be by your side to help you capture this experience at precisely the right moment so you can relive the experience, witnessing the Bushido-minded Japanese business men and women navigating the narrow capillaries as Japan’s life blood follows its course home. Continuing after the Shibuya Crossing, we will stop at one of the world’s, largest camera shops, possibly the largest in Japan. In spite of the on-line Amazon shopping boom, some camera shops in Tokyo retain, to this day, everything that a professional photographer desires or needs and an unprecedented amount of gadgetry in which to partake. If you forgot something, we will most definitely find it there for you, or have it ordered and shipped to the hotel using next day service. After the camera shop, we will spend the late afternoon into the evening photographing Japan’s skyline, part of a city that never sleeps. Highlights include: The Tokyo Sky Tree, Yokohama Bay Bridge, Tokyo Rainbow Bridge, Sensoji Temple, Odaiba, Tokyo Central Station, and even the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills, the best spot in Japan to see both the Sky Tree and Tokyo Tower. Also included are the lesser known side streets, markets, food vendors, and subways. And if time allows, the Shibuya Robot Bar. Your photography experience continues through your dinner as you enjoy the Japanese aesthetic manifested in your evening repast. As each course of fine cuisine arrives, you will be busy balancing your camera with your chopsticks, and a complimentary shot of saké (Japanese wine), or the drink of your choice as we close our day bringing our glasses together with a ‘Cheers’ and laughter.
Day 2 - September 18, 2019, Wednesday
After breakfast at our lodging in Tokyo, we depart for Mt. Fuji, Japan’s holiest and revered peak where we will photograph and visit all the Fuji Five Lakes. Over 95% of Japanese and 99.9% of foreign visitors have never visited all the Fuji Five Lakes, but you will be introduced to all of them in turn: Yamanakako, Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Shōjiko, and Motosuko lakes. You will begin to understand how Mount Fuji mesmerized and inspired artists such as Koyo Okada and the famous ukiyo-e (woodblock print) artist Katsushika Hokusai. Next up we have “The Sea of Trees.” Aokigahara Jukai was created by the eruption of Mt. Fuji during the Jougan Period in the year 864. The Sea of Trees is spread across the Northwest base of Mt. Fuji, and the trees represent a botanical rarity. Rather than soil in the over 3000 hectares of land the sea of trees occupies, the trees are flourishing in peat moss, volcanic planting pots, a product of the Aokigahara’s volcanic heritage. The forest is composed of Hemlock Firs, Japanese Cypress, and other evergreen trees. There are also broad leafs such as the Longstalk Holly, Fuji Cherry, and Japanese versions of: Andromeda, Oak, and Maple.
Beyond the botanical phenomenon, there are also a multitude of caves, several of which have ice year round. The forest’s popularity has been steadily increasing among nature photographers and fine art photographers with the numerous surreal figures and forms constructed by the tree roots and moss growing in, around, and over the volcanic lava. Japanese school children are also being educated on the forest ecological biodiversity and enjoying Shinrin-yoku, Forest Therapy, the curative power of simply being in the mystical healing forest, while on school field trips. Other Highlights include: Chureito Pagoda, Moss Caves, Subaru Line 5th Station, Shiraito Falls, plus more. During the golden hour, we will be able to photograph this beautiful symbol of Japan, taking advantage of the reflection in one of the Fuji Five Lakes, and we will do the same in the a.m. just prior to breakfast.
Day 3-4 - September 19-20, 2019, Thursday & Friday
Matsumoto Castle or ‘Karas-jo’ represents the JDS Photograph Workshop’s entry point into the world of the samurai at one of Japan’s original premier historical castles dating from the 16th century. Other cultures call it chivalry, but in Japan, the way of the samurai is know as Bushido. Although the Bushido code is unspoken and unwritten, the samurai followed the code of honor and moral principles while using the ideals to shape their way of life. During this phase of your Japanese Dreamscapes Photography Tour, you will tread on the same ancient paths as samurai did before you, where, perhaps, you will be profoundly changed by the Bushido Influence. From the world of the sword and honor, you will enter the domain of Japan’s Snow Monkeys. Japan’s Snow Monkeys are a glamorous species for visiting photographers, and with all the primal energy, you may be overwhelmed by the experience and hesitate to start taking your once in a lifetime photos. Your JDS Photography Workshop Leader has over 21 years experience visiting the Nagano snow monkeys and knows dozens of individual snow monkeys by name, rank in each of the three troops and how individual monkeys relationships evolve over time. This familiarity with the troops and their tribal behavior will aid in positioning and timing to capture the ephemeral moments for which the snow monkeys are renowned. The photos will be unique and an authentic reflection of your time spent among one of Japan’s infamous wild species. People who travel with us know that they’ll take the best photos of their lives on one of our workshops because of the experienced Japan Dreamscapes Photography Tour Leader and support staff always nearby offering advice whenever required.
Day 5 - September 21, 2019, Saturday
If needed, as time and schedule permit, there maybe time for one more brief visit with the snow monkeys before our leisurely drive, returning you to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) International Airport or Domestic Terminal for your connecting flight.
Why Choose This Photography Tour/Workshop?
All levels of photographers are welcome.
Any type of camera is welcome: digital, pocket camera, scoping with an iPhone, large format, and others.
Professional Photo Instruction available when requested (included in tour cost).
Opportunity to photograph cultural and architectural masterpieces.
Activity level varying from leisurely to moderate.
Provided transportation: Sports Utility Vehicle with Business Class Seating.
Small group size (minimum two people; maximum eight) means quality, in-depth time with your workshop leader.
All questions are welcome and encouraged throughout your JDS adventure!
During each morning and evening meal, your JDS photo workshop leader will discuss with you and the group the best shooting options with weather conditions in mind so each tour member will be well prepared to take spectacular photos.
No precious moments are wasted in needless seminars
2018 is the 21st year that your workshop photography instructor has lead workshops & tours throughout Japan.
Tour Cost:$2500 per person (based on double occupancy) in 3 - 5 star accommodations with western style toiletries, and all breakfasts and dinners included. All group ground transportation will be in sports utility vehicles with business class seating. All entrance fees and all donations at temples and shrines are included in tour cost. Also included is professional photography instruction as well as a detailed itinerary with clothing and gear recommendations.