Hokkaido island has a great combination of abundant wildlife, pristine landscapes, rich culture and delicious cuisine. On this trip you will have opportunity to learn landscape photography and wildlife photography as well as immerse yourself in Japanese culture. The tour is led by 3 photographers – Daniel Kordan, Kenji Yamamura from Tokyo and local Hokkaido wildlife specialist Hiroki Inoue. See the itinerary below and join us on this adventure!
Day 1, 4 March
Arrival to Kushiro airport on recommended flight: ANA 741 from Tokyo Haneda airport to Kushiro airport with arrival at 13:00. You can arrive via Osaka or other cities, but arrival time to Kushiro airport should be no later than 13:00. Upon arrival to Kushiro your guides and drivers will meet you and transfer to our hotel at Tsurui area. Discuss upcoming adventure with your tour leaders at delicious Japanese dinner and soak in traditional and world famous Hokkaido onsen bath.
Days 2, 3
These 2 days we devote for bird photography. We catch in our compositions the graceful dance of cranes in different locations around Tsurui. Images your will take are like traditional Japanese ink paintings! We will have a local photographer with us – animal specialist and good spotter who will bring us to his favorite locations to photograph Sika deer and Hokkaido foxes, cranes, eagles and owls.
We drive to Rausu. From here you can see Kuril islands already! Our main goal in Rausu will be to photograph Steller sea eagle. We take a sea excursion with local bird specialists. Get ready your telephoto lenses to catch magnificent eagle in action! For sunset we plan to visit lake Furen.
At sunrise we photograph wildlife around lake Furen. We check out from our hotel at lake Furen and move towards Teshikaga. Today we switch from wildlife to landscape photography. For sunset we visit Mashu lake. Lake Mashū is a beautiful crater lake formed in the vast caldera. It is located in Akan National Park on the island of Hokkaidō, Japan. The lake has been called the clearest lake in the world. Around lake Mashu we will find lots of minimalistic scenes of single trees.
We photograph lake Kussharo from the best viewpoint – Bihoro pass. After sunrise we have breakfast, check out from our hotel and drive to Biei with several stops on the way. This day we devote to minimal style of photography – single trees in the deep powder of Hokkaido snow hills.
Arriving to Biei in the evening. Settle down in our hotel in Biei for next 3 nights
Days 7, 8
These are the days we spent most of the time with classical minimal style Hokkaido compositions. We visit iconic “Christmas tree”, Blue pond and several other less known spots. Images of Japanese single trees in the snow always remind me of an oriental writing, and they are perfect when printed and framed on the wall.
We continue exploring Hokkaido by driving further south from Biei towards Sapporo. At sunset we photograph torii gates on top of the rock in the water. Get ready your ND filters to make long exposures, timeless images.
Day 10, 13 March
Visit Ebisu Iwa again at sunrise. Learn seascape photography and use of filters for long exposures. After breakfast at hotel, packing and check out we drive to Sapporo airport Chitose (2 hours to drive). We plan to be at the airport around noon. Please arrange your air tickets with departure after 14:00. I recommend the flight ANA 66 departing at 14:30 to Tokyo. You may optionally stay at Sapporo – we can drop you off at Sapporo main train station so you can get to your hotel and explore the city on your own.
Price: 6900 USD
Included in the price:
– All transfers ( including drivers’ services, gasoline fees etc)
– Lodging in hotels – twin rooms, shared with another participant (750 USD supplement for single room)
– Instructions by professional English-speaking guides
Not included in the price:
– Airfare to and from Hokkaido
– Visas (if applicable)
– Single supplement (750 USD)
What to bring
– DSLR camera with tripod and remote shutter release, its better to use spikes for your tripod
– A wide angle lens. For example, Nikkor 14-24 or Canon 17-40. Best lens for use in wide-angle scenes or architecture photography
– A middle-zoom lens such as a 24-70 mm
– A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 mm
– Waterproof and windproof jacket (average is -5 C for March)
– Waterproof pants
– Warm down-jacket and thermal pants
– Casual clothes for dinners and lunches and photography workshops
– Knee protection (skateboard equipment, for example)