Japan Winter Photo Tour (Hokkaido)

Ever wanted to shoot snowscapes and wildlife? Driving around will give us the chance to shoot numerous locations at our own pace. This winter wonderland promises to bring out the minimalist photographer in you and also have a great respect for the natural pristine environment of Japan. I will be driving you all around the island at a slow pace. The maximum distance per day will be 3 hours driving.

Hokkaido’s rolling hills around the Biei area are riddled with snowscapes. Majestic trees and steady slopes with the soft winter light make for the prefect fine art print worthy of hanging on your wall at home. Wildlife will be the second half of this epic journey focusing on bird life such as crane birds and sea eagles.

Winter: Feb 16 -  25 (10 Days)

2 min - 6 people maximum, led by Alfonso Calero - fluent in Japanese, pro photographer, tutor and guide. 

Pricing:

USD$ 3999 twin share
USD$ 4599 single room

Price includes:

  • 9 nights Accommodation

  • Domestic Flights to Hokkaido

  • Mini Van Transport

  • All Tuition (6 hours per day), translating, photography, tour-guiding

NOT included:

  • International Flights

  • All Meals

  • Entrance Fees

  • Travel Insurance

  • Optional Tours - Snow Shoeing Tour, Ice Fishing, Sea Eagles Cruise + Owl & Crane Birds Tour & Ice Drift Cruise.

Detailed Itinerary

Japan Photo Tours Winter

Day 1 - Fly into Asahikawa from Haneda (Tokyo) to settle for the next 2 nights in Biei for snowscapes. Biei is known for its minimalist snowscapes. In the afternoon we will go for a snow shoeing walk along the river. This will give us a chance to access landscapes on foot. The experience of walking on the snow and sitting by the river for a cup of tea and cake is a great way to start our winter journey.

Japan Photo Tours Winter
Japan Photo Tours Winter

Days 2 - 4 - Biei Snowscapes & Frozen Waterfall Shoot. Shirogane Blue Pond and Waterfall nearby are usually frozen over this time of the year. If we are lucky we may see wild deer. Some popular snowscapes are Seven stars, Mild Seven and the Christmas Tree. The White silence of this winter wonderland is the perfect backdrop for dreamy snowscape photography.

Japan Photo Tours Winter
Japan Photo Tours Winter

Day 5 & 6 - Morning Drive to Lake Nukabira to explore the winter sport of ice fishing followed by some landscape shots of the frozen lake sunset and sunrise.

 Whooper Swans by Lake Kusharo

Whooper Swans by Lake Kusharo

Day 6 & 7 - Sunrise shoot at Lake Nukabira frozen lake and Mount Horoka. After breakfast a Morning drive to Lake Akan to discover the Indigenous Cultural museum of the Ainu. After lunch a short drive to Tsurui-Mura Bird Sanctuary to shoot the Red Crowned Crane Birds feeding followed by an afternoon searching for the Ural Owls. Ending with a sunset of the crane birds flying home to a nearby river.

 Red Crowned Crane Birds in Tsurui-Mura

Red Crowned Crane Birds in Tsurui-Mura

Japan Photo Tours Winter

Day 7 & 8 - Sunrise shoot of the Red Crowned Crane Birds waking up on the misty/foggy river. Waiting for their mating dance. After breakfast our last chance to capture the crane birds feeding at the sanctuary. 

Japan Photo Tours Winter

Day 8 & 9 - Slow drive to Rausu via Lake Kussharo to photograph Whooper Swans. After lunch continue to explore the Shiretoko Peninsula coastline for some seascape photography in the early afternoon. Editing and critique session at night. Morning Sea Eagle Cruise on the ice off the coast of Rausu port. Afternoon drive to Abashiri for some more exploration of the elusive Deer and Red Fox.

Day 10 -  Morning shoot with Drift Ice Cruise and our last chance to photograph snowy seascapes. Early afternoon flight back to Haneda from Memanbetsu Airport near Abashiri. 

  • Very small group

  • Learn at your own pace one on one

  • Hand-picked BEST locations

  • Led by an experienced photographer/guide/tutor fluent in Japanese

  • Truly authentic travel experience - a trip of lifetime!

Japan Photo Tours Winter

Tour highlights:

  • Snowscapes

  • Abstract Landscapes & Nature

  • Sea Eagles

  • Whooper Swans

  • Ural Owls

  • Red Crowned Crane Birds

Japan Photo Tours Winter

Ever wanted to venture further with your photography and new cultural experiences? Our Japan Photography Tour gives you the chance to capture the colour and movement of a unique country while experiencing the sights with an experienced, Japanese speaker, guide and instructor with professional photographer Alfonso Calero.

We will learn:

  • Master Composition & Manual Settings

  • Advanced Editing Techniques

  • Landscape Photography

  • Wildlife Photography

  • Bird Photography

Japan Photo Tours Winter

What to Bring: Photographic & General Gear

  • DSLR or hybrid mirrorless digital camera

  • Lens 24-70mm range & 70-400mm range

  • Tripod & Cable Release

  • Dependable Portable External Drive

  • Laptop and power supply

  • Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop

  • ND Variable Filter (up to 10 stops)

  • Up to 20 kg luggage and appropriate warm clothing (Ski Pants, Gloves, Binnie, Snow Boots, Long Johns, Down jacket). Average temp -10-15 degrees celsius.

Deposit and Cancellation Policy (per person)

  • A deposit of $US1000 per person is required to secure booking

  • Via Bank Transfer

  • Cancellation More than 120 days before a trip: 100% refund of deposit.

  • Cancellation Between 120 and 30 days: 50% refund

  • Cancellation Less than 30 days: 0% refund

  • Final payment is due 120 days before the workshop/trip starts.