Winter Japan photography tour, January 30, 2024 – February 6, 2024

Capture the Essence of Japan: A Photography Adventure

We’re thrilled to unveil an extraordinary photography tour that will immerse you in the captivating beauty and culture of Japan like never before. Get ready to embark on a journey that will transform your camera lens into a storyteller’s tool, as you explore iconic landmarks, hidden gems, and breathtaking landscapes.

Dates: January 31, 2024 – February 7, 2024 Duration: 8 Days

Join us as we traverse the diverse landscapes of Japan, from the bustling streets of Tokyo to the tranquil shores of Lake Kawaguchi beneath the awe-inspiring Mount Fuji. Venture into the heart of Kyoto, where ancient temples and vibrant festivals await your lens. Explore the enchanting snowscapes of Shirakawa-go and witness the sunrise in picturesque villages. Get up close and personal with Japan’s native Snow Monkeys in their natural habitat.

Highlights of Your Journey Include:

  • Capturing the mesmerizing sunrise over Mount Fuji
  • Immersing yourself in Kyoto’s Setsubun Festival with Geisha dances
  • Exploring the snowy wonderland of Shirakawa-go
  • Photographing the historic Matsumoto Castle at sunset
  • Witnessing playful Snow Monkeys in their onsen retreat
  • Exploring Togakushi Shrine’s serene forested surroundings
  • Experiencing the vibrant energy of Tokyo’s streets

This meticulously crafted itinerary combines the art of photography with the soul of Japan, allowing you to create a visual narrative that will transport you back in time and evoke the essence of this remarkable nation.

Whether you’re an aspiring photographer or a seasoned pro, this adventure promises an unforgettable opportunity to capture Japan’s beauty through your lens. Our journey begins on January 31, 2024, and concludes on February 7, 2024, offering a rich tapestry of experiences that you’ll treasure forever.

Prepare your camera gear, pack your creativity, and join us on a photographic odyssey through the Land of the Rising Sun. Limited spots available, so reserve yours today and embark on the photography adventure of a lifetime!


Day 1 – Arrival in Tokyo (January 30, 2024)

Welcome to the pulsating heart of Japan, Tokyo. As you touch down in this bustling metropolis, you step into a world where tradition meets innovation. Tokyo’s skyscrapers pierce the sky while its ancient shrines and tranquil gardens offer respite from the urban frenzy.

Photography Tip: Capture Tokyo’s energy by experimenting with slow shutter speeds to create light trails from passing cars amidst the neon glow – in Shibuya or Asakusa. First day is just a meeting day – we meet together at Tokyo hotel for the first dinner. So you can arrive anytime today or even skip the dinner and settle quietly at hotel to rest a night.


Day 2 – Snow Monkey Park  (31 Jan, 2024)

Your first chapter unfolds at the Snow Monkey Park, where the native Japanese macaques find solace in the natural hot springs. Their playful antics amidst the snowy backdrop create a captivating narrative of wildlife in its element. We travel to Yudanaka via Nagano by shinkansen and local train, from Tokyo station around 6:30 am.

Photography Tip: Pay attention to the monkeys’ expressions and interactions to capture their unique personalities.


Day 3 – Journey to Snowy Shirakawa-go, 1 Feb

Morning: Sunrise at Shibu Onsen
– Wake up early to capture the beautiful sunrise at Shibu Onsen, a traditional hot spring town near Yudanaka.
– Explore the charming streets, which are dotted with traditional ryokans and picturesque scenes.

Late Morning: Breakfast and walk to monkeys
– Have a traditional Japanese breakfast at your ryokan or a local cafe.
– Check out of your accommodation and leave your luggage with them.

Mid-Morning: Explore the Snowy Landscape and monkeys repeated
– Take a leisurely walk around Yudanaka to capture the scenic snowy landscapes and charming architecture. This is an excellent opportunity for some winter-themed shots. We will travel through the magical winter forest to be the first at monkeys home porch at 9 am 

Enjoy your time with monkeys – allowing yourself plenty of time!

Lunch: Local Cuisine
– Enjoy a hearty lunch at a local restaurant, savoring regional specialties like soba noodles or tempura.

Afternoon we travel to Shirakawa-go.

Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, emerges as a winter wonderland in the snow. The village’s Gassho-style thatched-roof houses, blanketed in a pristine layer of white, appear as if from a fairy tale.

Photography Tip: To convey the sense of depth in your snowy shots, use a wide-angle lens and emphasize the leading lines formed by the snow-covered roads.


Day 4 – From Alps to Kyoto (February 2, 2024, Friday)

After a beautiful fairy tale sunrise in Ainokura village we move to Kyoto, while you traverse a landscape that shifts from tradition to modernity in the blink of an eye. Kyoto, Japan’s cultural heart, boasts a treasure trove of shrines, temples, and gardens. Every corner seems like a page from a time-worn novel.

Photography Tip: Use a wide-angle lens to capture the intricate details of Kyoto’s historic architecture. Enjoy bean-throwing festival Setsubun next days.


Day 5 – Setsubun Festival in Kyoto and Nara (February 3, 2024, Saturday)

The Setsubun Festival in Kyoto is a spectacle that transports you to a bygone era. Geisha dances, vibrant kimono-clad figures, and lantern-lit streets create a mesmerizing scene that seems frozen in time.

Setsubun is a Japanese spring festival celebrated on February 3rd, known for its “mamemaki” bean-throwing tradition. Capture the energy of people tossing beans and shouting “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!” for dynamic shots. Try to photograph the colorful “ehōmaki” sushi rolls, emphasizing their unique ingredients and textures. Don’t forget to focus on the faces of participants during this festive event, revealing their excitement and joy. Seek out traditional Setsubun ceremonies at temples and shrines for cultural authenticity. Experiment with capturing the essence of the festival in low light conditions, such as twilight, to add a magical touch to your photos.

Photography Tip: Capture the grace of the geisha by shooting at a high shutter speed to freeze their elegant movements.


Day 6 – Exploring Kawaguchiko (February 4, 2024)

Nestled beneath the shadow of Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi in the Fuji Five Lakes region presents a breathtaking sight. The majestic symphony of Mount Fuji’s silhouette mirrored in the serene waters of the lake is a moment that lingers in the heart of every photographer. Today we move from Kyoto to Fuji-San to enjoy the winter snow cap on Fuji-San.

Photography Tip: For the perfect reflection shot, use a polarizing filter to eliminate glare from the water’s surface.


Day 7 – Fujisan and Matsumoto (February 5, 2024, Monday)

Mountain Fuji-San timeless charm is a testament to Japan’s rural heritage. As the first light of day touches the top of Fuji covered in the snow, you capture a scene that evokes a sense of serenity and continuity with the past. Transfer to Matsumoto castle and settle for the night after photography at one of the most amazing castles of Japan.


Day 8 – Sunrise in Narai, back to Edo period (February 6, 2024, Tuesday)

Narai, with its preserved Edo-era architecture, becomes a canvas for your photography during the sunrise. The town’s narrow streets and wooden facades tell stories of centuries gone by.

Photography Tip: In the early morning light, focus on capturing the interplay of shadows and light on Narai’s historic buildings.

Tranfer back to Tokyo. Tour concludes in Tokyo around 4-6 pm.

As you conclude your photographic journey through Japan, each location visited becomes a story etched in pixels, capturing the essence of a land where tradition, nature, and modernity dance in harmony. These images will not only grace your portfolio but will also serve as timeless souvenirs of a voyage that has delved deep into the heart of Japan’s rich tapestry.

Price: USD

Included in the price:

– All transfers ( including drivers’ services, gasoline fees etc)
– Lodging in hotels – twin rooms, shared with another participant (1200 USD supplement for single room)
– Instructions by professional English-speaking guides

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:

Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop:

full refund minus $300 service fee.

75 days or more :75% refund 60 days or more: 50% refund

Less than 60 days: no refund Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.

Not included in the price:

– Airfare
– Meals
– Visas (if applicable)
– Single supplement (1200 USD)


What to bring

– 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
– Waterproof pants
– Warm down-jacket and thermal pants
– Casual clothes for dinners and lunches and photography workshops


Tour leader – Daniel Kordan

Join us today: