15-Day Enchanting Japan Adventure Photography Workshop and Tour
Thursday 13th to Thursday 27th April 2024
FINALLY – It’s on!!!
JAPAN in april 2024. This tour was sold out but one space has become available, please e mail Dave if you are interested, but be quick !
Please come and join Australian professional photographers Mark Rayner and David Metcalf on an amazing photography journey through the less travelled parts of the mountainous region of central Japan.
This first Trekabout tour to Japan will take you on an enchanting voyage of discovery on mostly back roads through the beautiful landscapes of the mountainous heart of the country where foreign tourists seldom venture. Spring will be bursting with new green buds and blossoms and the bird and animal life will be coming out after the long winter. We will visit some fascinating cultural sites including Suwa Shrine, one of Japan’s most ancient Shinto shrines and Matsumoto Castle, its best and most attractive black castle. We will stay in one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Japan, Takayama, and witness an amazing ancient festival where young men dressed only in loin cloths, engage in a drumming and acrobatic competition on floats careering through the narrow streets of the town.
We will also visit Shirakawago, with its incredible 4 story steeply thatched roofs to handle the meters and meters of snow that falls there. We have timed this trip so that we will catch somewhere on our journey some beautiful weeping cherry blossoms and visit Takato, the ruins of an ancient castle turned into a park with 1,500 cherry blossoms which when lit up at night is like being inside a pink cloud. We will travel through deep valleys surrounded by snow-capped mountains and see farmers plowing their rice fields. Hopefully, we will get some amazing views of iconic Mt Fuji. We will stay at a lodge inside the Alpine National Park at Kamikochi, arguably one of the most beautiful spots in Japan and go on walks seeking to spot birds and other wildlife, like the unique Japanese serow – an ungulate cross between a goat and an antelope. Moreover, if we are in-luck we could see some Japanese macaques, known as the Snow Monkeys and visit the hot springs where they go to bathe in cold weather. We may also visit Karuizawa, one of the most popular summer resorts, for some more birdwatching or check out a wasabi farm to see how it grows in the cold clear mountain streams.
Our accommodation will be in a range of different types, including western style hotels and lodges to traditional Japanese ryokans, sleeping on futon on a tatami floor and wearing Japanese yukata (night gowns) while eating traditional kaiseki (many beautiful dishes). The food in Japan is first class, and you can expect every meal to be a delight to the eyes and taste buds. On this journey we will experience the best local cuisine of the regions we visit which will include dishes which you can only find in these areas – such as wild boar hot pot and wild mountain herbs tempura. One of the delights of traveling in Japan is being able to relax in natural hot spring baths after a long day, and this trip will be no exception. Indeed, we stay at Lake Suwa which is a famous hot spring resort where you can even have a hot spring foot bath at the station platform while you wait for the train. We start and finish our adventure in Tokyo you can be sure we will find many interesting things to photograph.
We’re not leaving anything to chance and have teamed up with Shumi Stay Japan to ensure you have an amazing photography adventure. Read about Shumi Stay Japan below.
A word from our strategic partner, Shumi Stay Japan
Shumi Stay Japan is focussed on providing any kind of hobby group with a bespoke program to enable them to pursue their “shumi” (hobby) in Japan. Shumi Stay Japan is operated by Phil and Kazuko Ingram, who have over 60 years of combined living and working experience in Japan. Their passion is showing visitors from overseas the ‘real’ and ‘deep’ Japan which is commonly missed by most tourists. They are not a travel agent but travel planners focussed on helping visitors have a meaningful holiday in Japan where they can do what they love most – their ‘shumi’ (hobby). Taking photographs in Japan is a great ‘shumi’ and we look forward to partnering with Mark and Dave from Trekabout to make their first workshop in Japan a truly memorable photographic and cultural experience for everyone joining this tour.
We spend the next 3 days doing tours in a mini-bus to all or some of the following locations:
The cultural highlight of the tour will be watching the amazing Furukawa Festival, one of Japan’s Three Most Famous ‘Naked Festivals’. This festival involves men dressed in cotton loincloths, despite the cold, running around the town in groups carrying large drums. In a ‘battle of the drums’ there are 12 neighbourhood groups jockeying for positions and it becomes quite a spectacle that goes on almost throughout the night. You will be able to stand right in the middle of the action but it can be dangerous so we will have to take care.
This amazing photography tour workshop is designed to suit the beginner or serious enthusiast. A digital SLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera camera is recommended, however, any camera that has manual functions would also be suitable. Best lenses to bring include a longer zoom, a wide angled lens and mid-range zoom. A sturdy travel tripod is essential.
A $1000.00 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your position.
(please note a 2.9% handling fee applies to credit card payments)
Final payment must be paid 60 days prior to the workshop.
You must secure travel insurance.
This workshop is limited at 10 participants to ensure a high student/tutor ratio.
The workshop requires a minimum 4 bookings to proceed
Receive free photography tips, travel stories and info on our upcoming tours!
© Copyright 2023 David Metcalf Photography – PT Damee International | All rights reserved