Big City, Snow Monkeys, Hot Springs - Japan Photography Tour September 23 - 27, 2021
Tokyo Street Photography and Evening Skyline
Ancient Pilgrim Routes - Samurai Elite, Artisans, and Common folk tread
Delicious Sake and Japanese Cuisine
Astrophotography in the Japanese Alps
Up Close and Personal with Snow Monkeys
Day 1 - September 23, 2021, Wednesday Meet and greet Tokyo-Haneda International Airport (HND) at 9 am (place inside the airport to be announced). After meeting, you and the group will immediately travel to the Imperial Palace where you could possibly catch a glimpse of Emperor Naruhito, during his first year after being crowned after his father abdicated the throne in April. During the lunch hour, we will visit the infamous Shibuya Pedestrian Crossing, the world's busiest criss-cross intersection. After half a day or touring, we will break for dinner near our lodgings; then, after dinner, we will continue capturing the Tokyo Skyline by night. We will ascend to one of the highest observation decks to photograph The Tokyo Sky Tree, The Tokyo Tower, and the city skyline by night. If the visibility is clear, you will view Mt. Fuji as the backdrop of the Tokyo Skyline, and it's beautiful to photograph.
Day 2 - September 24, 2021, Thursday After an early breakfast, our adventure leads away from Tokyo. Our first stop is the Taisha-Suwa Grand Shrine and shrine complexes, an architectural marvel dating back to the 6th century. The Suwa Grand Shrine is head of the over 10,000 Suwa Shrines spread across Japan (and beyond). Ancient Japanese folklore speaks of dragons in Lake Suwa, and this is reflected in the many carvings in the shrines and temples. The shrines and temples, as with all across Japan, are tangible manifestations of the Zen Buddhist mindset, the natural surroundings remain as a testimony to the respect paid to deities that watch over the temples, shrines, and the Japanese people. The century-old trees and the balanced Zen gardens are seamlessly entwined, restablishing equilibrium with a human addition. As we transition from Suwa Shrine to Japan's Snow Monkeys, we will make a brief stop at Matsumoto Castle, a premier original castle dating back to the 16th century. Check into our lodgings in the Yudanaka Shibu Onsen Area Snow Monkey Village.
Day 3 - September 25, 2021, Friday Early rise and breakfast before setting out to meet the Japanese Snow Monkeys. Japanese Macaques are a glamorous species and a must-see for visiting photographers. To capture their significance and importance to Japan’s natural realm, your JDS Photography Workshop Leader is Blain Harasymiw with one, perhaps two staff photographers who all have over 21 years experience visiting the monkeys, and they know dozens of individual monkeys by name. With JDS photography tour leaders by your side, you know you know you'll take the best photos of your life.
Day 4 - September 26, 2021, Saturday The following day, we will depart from our lodgings and head toward Mt. Myoko, the highest mountain in the Hokushin area. Encircled by nature as far as the eye can see, you will have many opportunities to photograph the seclusion and natural beauty that Tsubame and the famous bath Ougon no Yu offer. The photo tour schedule will allow you to give your camera a rest as you enter a meditative state in the milky-white, mineral-rich waters of the respected as healing and regenerating since the age of the samurai and reaching even further back into Japan's Kofun era.
Day 5 - September 27, 2021, Sunday In the am, you may discover the Za-zen healing and refreshing powers in Myoko's alpine hot springs. Za-zen is believed to give access to a higher cognitive state as well as an elevated restorative power for the mind and the body. In Japan, there's always time for one more visit to the mineral-rich hot springs, and they are also in our lodgings to enjoy on both the 4th and 5th day before returning you to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) International Airport.
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
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 means quality, in-depth time with your workshop leader.
All questions are welcome and encouraged throughout your JDS adventure!
Each morning and evening, 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.
2021 is the 24th year that your workshop photography instructor has lead workshops & tours throughout Japan.
Tour Cost: $3600 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.
Single Supplement: Add $600
NOT included: Flight to and from Japan, any alcoholic beverages, and travel health insurance (recommended)