Japan photoworkshop – A country beyond dreams and imagination. We will take you on a trip from the buzzing multi-million city of Tokyo to frozen macaques, cranes swept into mist, whooper swans bathing in hot springs and the giant Stellar eagle at sunrise.
It’s a great experience to visit Japan in the winter, both for its mythical culture to world-class nature photography. Snow-covered landscape, diminutive cranes In morning light, then witness their breathtaking dance, Japanese macaques (snow monkey) or whooper swans that bathe in hot springs. To experience the “land of the rising sun” and to photograph the giant Stellar eagle or sea eagle that poses stubbornly on driftice or dives in full attack to catch fish to survive the day.
Traditional Japanese food is an experience in itself and the presence of Japanese culture that permeates the trip with hospitable Japanese people, shinto temple, onsen (japanese hot springs heated by volcanic activity) and traditional Japanese inns that accommodate us on during the trip.
I was delighted to attend Mästerfoto’s photoworkshop to Japan. Not only did I experience a country with an exciting and completely different culture than our own and with people who offered so much friendliness but also nature experiences of a special kind. Add real “hands-on” help to get images with that extra touch, not to mention the kind attention and helpfulness of our teachers in a small group. If you have the opportunity to go with Mästerfoto to Japan – then do it!
Early in the morning we walk up to the “valley of hell” where Jigokudani is located. We are waiting for groups of Japanese macaques which are coming down from the mountains after spendign the cold night. Some individuals are sitting by the river that flows through the park while those who are frozen crawl down in the hot water to warm themselves up. Here you can have relaxed monkeys that both enjoy and sometimes fall asleep in the warm water. The monkeys are curious and like to pose for the camera. You will be so close that the monkeys can touch the lens. We spend a whole day at Jigokudani so there is plenty of time to try different photo techniques, close-ups and catch them in varying environments.
In the afternoon we are heading towards Tokyo, where we explore the city’s culture. In the evening we have dinner in a pretty special place. The restaurant is built as a small Japanese town where we eat traditional Japanese food. The next day we have a great day in Tokyo to experience this amazing city with crowds of people, we visit markets, temples and other photogenic places. In the evening there will be night photography. Because Tokyo is actually the most beautiful at night with lots of neon signs, illuminated streets, hordes of people and trucks with flashing lights passing by our cameras.
Early morning we fly north to Hokkaido where we land in Kushiro. There is a rich wildlife such as Blackiston’s fishowl (the world’s largest owl), the giant stellar eagle, whooper swans, cranes dancing, fox and sikadeer. We travel in a comfortable minivan or large car, which gives us the opportunity to stay in selected places along the way or change our plans based on weather to get the best shooting conditions.
In the afternoon we go to a location for the evening shoot of cranes. Then when the light slowly disappears we head for the hotel and for dinner and some rest. The next morning we will visit a place that is an experience in itself… morning light, cranes and a misty river which is an iconic image that many associate with Japan. The cranes warm up in front of a long day of posing in front of our cameras. After that, breakfast will be taken to a place where we can catch incoming cranes but also shoot individuals.
Further, the trip goes north through Hokkaido’s amazing landscape. For Lake Kussharo, we stop at various places to get close contact with whooper swans with ice-covered scenery as a backdrop. The swans swim in warm pools that are heated by underground volcanic activity. We spend the night in close proximity so that we get both evening photography and morning photography of the whooper swans. We also visit a mountain pass where we get vast landscapes and get a chance to catch Japan’s landscape from a whole new angle. We also visit the smoking mountain that is an active thermological site.
The trip continues north to the Shiretoko peninsula and the city of Rausu. On the way we photograph iconic Japanese waterfalls with black stones as background and long exposures. From Rausu we make boat trips to the driftice of the Ochotsk sea to photograph the giant stellar eagle and seaeagle at sunrise.
One of the evenings in Rausu we will photograph Blakiston’s fishowl, the world’s largest owl. It usually arrives sometime during the evening to catch fish, and we have good chances of getting it on the picture both during fishing and in flight.
The journey then continues from the northern parts of the island south and towards the city of Nemuro. On the way we explore the Notsuke peninsula, which has a large population of Sikadeer but also fox and eagle. We have lunch at a small restaurant serving locally produced food. We spend the night in Nemuro and after breakfast we visit visit a eagle feeding ground. There is a great action potential when the eagles gather around the prey to decide which eagle wants the prey the most. Put your camera to sequence to not miss anything.
During the trip, it will be time for both image viewing and conversation about how we manage to capture Japan in the best possible way. In the evenings, we enjoy traditional Japanese food, onsen and discuss experiences and photography. It is said that a Sushi is not a sushi if it is eaten outside of Japan.
Read about Masterphoto and our photoworkshop to Japan in Fotosidan magazine.
Deadline for registration is 60 days before departure. The photoworkshop can quickly be full, so don´t wait too long to sign up.
NOTE! When booking the workshop you can pay the registration fee and then pay the rest at least 2 months before departure. This you can decide at a later stage in the application procedure.
Date & application
Japan, Tokyo (Haneda)
4 – 7
4 200 USD
- We will take you to the best locations at the right time
- Unique location where Japanese macaques “Snowmonkey” bath in hot springs
- Dancing cranes in winter landscape
- Songswans bathing in natural warm pools
- Photograph the stellar eagle at sunrise on driftice
- Fox & sikadeer in winter & coastal landscape
- Blakiston’s fishowl – The world’s largest owl
- Explore the mega capital of Tokyo
- Selected traditional guesthouses (Ryokan) with hot spring (Onsen)
- Bathe in natural hot springs “onsen” outdoors
- Delicious Japanese food
- Dramatic volcanic landscape
- Photo workshops to boost your creativity and skills
- and much more…
- Basic stamina (short walk with photoequipment up to 2 km in lightly uphill)
- We recommend that you have good skills with exposure and basic camera skills
- All local transports (no flights)
- Professional photographer / guide
- Activities according to program
- Entrances according to program
- Bathing in hot pools “Onsen”
- Full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner) * except Tokyo ( 1 lunch, 1 dinner)
- 11 nights, share in doubleroom
Most of the times we stay at Ryokan´s which is similar to an Inn but also in hotels. All accommodations have mid standard and upwards for good comfort. In the vast majority, there are also onsen (hot springs) where you can bathe freely whenever you want.
All transports are done in minivan or stationwagon with good comfort for you and your packing.
- Flights t/r Tokyo
- Flights t/r Kushiro
- In Tokyo (lunch, dinner, taxi or other personal expenses)
- Single room (option: 700 USD)
- Personal expenses
- Travel and camera insurance
- Photographic equipment
Galleri från fotoresa till Japan
Masterphoto meets you at 13:00 at Haneda Airport (Tokyo). Transfer to Yamanouchi where we arrive in the evening. We eat a traditional Japanese dinner on arrival followed by a welcome meeting / workshop to prepare for tomorrow’s photography with Japanese maqaques. There is also Onsen (hot springs) for those who want to relax.
After breakfast we hike to Jigokudani which takes about 30 minutes. Photography of Japanese maqaques bathing in hot springs. This place is unique and must be experienced with maqaques that can be completely fatigue in a misty and moody landscape. We stay the whole day so there is plenty of time to play with different photography techniques and motives. In the afternoon we go to Tokyo where we spend the night. Dinner near the hotel.
Breakfast and then we head out on Tokyo’s streets to photograph this massive city. We visit different areas like temples, markets & other pictorial places. We have dinner when it suits and then head out in the evening / night for some nightphotography. We explore Tokyo to capture the magical night with neon signs & people.
Early in the morning we fly north from Tokyo to Kushiro located on Hokkaido. In the afternoon / evening, we photograph the cranes and when the light fades away we go to the hotel. Dinner and then workshop for coming shoots.
Dawn photography with cranes warming up in a misty river. Then off to have breakfast. Next stop is a place where the cranes often fly into and we can capture dancing and individuals. On our way to the next location we stop for lunch. In the afternoon we head north to Lake Kussharo to photograph song swans. Unspoiled countryside where there are special places with open hot springs where the swans can soothe all day long. Here there are opportunities for both close-ups of song swans to landscapes. Dinner near the hotel. There is an Onsen (hot springs) for those who want to relax with a hot bath in the evening.
Morning photography of song swans at hot springs. We eat breakfast when it suits. When the light is right, we go up to a nearby mountain pass to experience Japanese landscapes from higher heights with vast expanses. After lunch we head north to photograph waterfalls and the destination for the evening is the town of Rausu where we have dinner and spend the night. There is an Onsen (hot springs) for those who want to relax with a hot bath in the evening.
Dawn photography of eagles at driftice. We are heading out by boat to capture the Stellar eagle in the morning light. In the afternoon we explore the vicinity of bird life and landscape. Traditional Japanese dinner in the hotel and later there is an Onsen to relax in the evening.
Dawn photography of eagles at driftice. We are heading out by boat to capture the Stellar eagle in the morning light. In the afternoon we explore the vicinity of bird life and landscape. Dinner and then we head to photograph the Blakiston’s fishowl. Prepare for a late night.
Dawn photography of eagles at driftice. We are heading out by boat to capture the Stellar eagle in the morning light. When we are back from the boat trip, we head south to the Notsuke peninsula to photograph sika deer, fox and eagle. Lunch we eat at a local restaurant were the food is taken directly from the farmhouse. In the evening we spend the night in Nemuro. Dinner at local restaurant.
After breakfast at the hotel we go off to photograph a eagle feeding place. If we are lucky, there may be foxes in the area. When the photography is finished we make our way back to Kushiro and our hotel. In the evening it’s dinner and we share experiences from the trip.
Departure to your destination
Photography workshop Japan
10-22 February – 4 100 USD
Last application: 60 days before departure