Shikoku is probably the least known island of the four main islands that make up Japan. However, it is where one can discover the true spirit of the Japanese country away from the touristic crowded areas. The mixture of culture, religion, landscape and rural atmospheres far from the big cities gives us infinite opportunities to unleash our creativities. Akashi Photo Tours will take you to inaccessible corners with public transportation and will take you to discover all the charms that the Shikoku region offers.
Discover Japan with the authoers of the photo book “Japan/日本”
Summer is the ideal time to visit Shikoku, as the Awaodori, one of the most famous summer festivals in the country, takes place. The interior of Shikoku surrounded by deep forests, with terraced rice fields in intese green, and with one of the most beautiful rivers in Japan, offers beautiful images of rural Japan and traditional life. It is here where we find few tourists and even fewer foreigners, and where we can feel and capture the essence of the Japanese country.
Most of the time we will travel with a private minibus with a professional driver, so we can concentrate on finding the best views in the best environments. We will visit all the four prefectures of Shikoku. We will stay in some ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) as well as in western hotels. In ryokan, we will enjoy the famous kaiseki, artistic Japanese cuisine, and soak ourselves in hot springs to relax our bodies and minds.
In addition, we will also visit two small islands of Setouchi, Inland Sea of Japan. The small islands have practially turned into open air museums from the sleepy depopulated islands. Now a modern art festival is celebrated every three years in the small islands attracting the art lovers from all over the world.
This is not a trip just for photographers, but also for those who want to have unique and unforgettable experiences.
Toru Morimoto and Tina Bagué are both professional photographers with more than 20 years of experience behind them. Both have been traveling together in Japan since 2002. Their photo project, The Japan Photo Project, started in 2010 when they decided to leave everything behind in Spain and spend a whole year of their life (365 days) photographing Japan from the northernmost island of Japan (Hokkaido) to the tropical islands of Okinawa, with a motorhome. As a result of this road trip, they published their first co-authored book “Japan/日本“.
The fact that Toru Morimoto is Japanese and has lived half of his life in Japan and the other half abroad, and that Tina Bagué is Spanish and has traveled countless times to Japan makes them the perfect couple to guide and lead a small group of photo lovers and people who want to travel out of the beaten track in Japan. They organize a unique and unforgettable trip full of top-notch photographic opportunities and wonderful experiences during this adventure.
Once the reservation is made, the participants will receive a dossier with the complete information of the tour. For now this is a small introduction of the tour.
The meeting point to start the tour will be Osaka, where we all will meet afternoon. We will take a highway bus to Takamtsu and arrive there in the evening. At night we will have a welcome dinner to know each other before our adventure. Dinner
We will take a small ferry to visit two nearby islands, small treasures in the middle of the Inland Sea of Japan, with narrow alleys and traditional houses on a hill. We will see and photograph the quiet life of the islands as well as the open air contemporary art works exhibited in the islands. Breakfast-Lunch
We leave Takamatsu by a private minibus to Tokushima, where we visit one of the main temples of the Ohenro route to understand and capture the essence of this route of Japanese Buddhist pilgrimage. After lunch we will witness a traditional Japanese puppet show in a theater of the area. For the rest of the evening, we will enjoy and photograph one of Japan’s most famous summer festivals, Awaodori of Tokushima. It will be intense two hours of festival at night with lots of color, music and rhythm. Breakfast-Lunch
We will visit the island of Naoshima, the center of the triennial modern art festival that is celebrated in islands of the Inland Sea of Japan. We will tour the island on foot and on local buses. In the afternoon, we will return to Takamatsu, where we will find another traditional summer festival with the biggest fireworks of Shikoku. Breakfast-Lunch
We will get up early to avoid the crowds, and visit the famous Japanese garden in Takamatsu, where we will also have breakfast and later we will visit a Shintoist temple on top of the mountain from where we will see an incredible landscape. We will spend the night in a ryokan, to live in our own skin the experience of kaiseki dinner, artistic traditional Japanese cuisine, and relax in an outdoor rooftop hot spring bath with the view. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
From this day we will start the tour by a private minibus. The first stop will be one of the most mystical temples of the Ohenro route, lost in a corner of a mountain. In the afternoon we will visit Shimanami Highway, bridges that connects several tiny islands of the Inland Sea of Japan. We will see and capture the picturesque landscape there at sunset. Breakfast – Dinner
We will begin the day in Matsuyama. We will take a look at the main public bath in the center of town, one of the oldest ones in Japan. Later we will visit the castle of Matsuyama to enjoy and captures its architecture. After stopping at a few photogenic places on the way, in the evening we will arrive at a small town famous for ukai, fishing in the river on a boat with birds. We will dine on a private boat from which we will see and be able to photograph the fishermen working. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
This morning will be dedicated to roaming and photographing around the surroundings and the ancient streets of Uchiko, with traditional and very well preserved architecture of the Edo period (XVII-XIX century). In the afternoon we will travel to one of the most important rivers of Japan. The beauty of the landscape is overwhelming. At the evening we will arrive at Kochi and sleep there.
We will visit a beautiful temple of the Route Ohenro in the morning and drive to the Iya valley, in the inner heart of Shikoku, with its forests and mountains of incredible beauty. It is known as one of the three least explored areas of Japan. we will stay in small Japanese rural houses of a remote village hidden in the mountains of the interior of Shikoku. This will be the last night and we will have a farewell dinner in one of the traditional houses, where we will eat typical local food. Breakfast-Dinner
In the last morning, on our way to Tokushima, we will stop in the village of Wakimachi to stroll and photograph its imposing houses of traders of the Meiji era (XIX century). We will eat there and go to Tokushima. Breakfast
Eating and sleeping in Japan is not a mere process, quite the opposite. Traditional food and accommodation is a very important part of the Japanese experience, as well as the photographic work.
We will combine nights in ryokans with nights in western hotels. Ryokan, traditional Japanese style inn, with tatami room, kaiseki food and thermal baths, offers a myriad of photographic opportunities, from the beauty of the dishes to the minimalist aesthetics of the rooms. Whether they are traditional Japanese inns or western hotels, they are all medium-high to high class and some of them have thermal baths in their facilities to relax at the end of the day.
The rooms will be basically twin rooms (with two beds), so participants who come alone will share a room with another single participant. There might be a few nights that everyone sleeps in a single room when there is no twin rooms available. If you wish to stay in a single room for a whole trip, you must pay a supplement. And in the case of this trip, single room might not be available in some of the accommodations.
Restaurants are carefully selected to enjoy the different varieties of Japanese food from sophisticated kaiseki to homemade local foods. Not to be forced to eat the same things together all the time, some of the meals are not included. If breakfast or lunch is not included, since we normally go to a restaurant together for breakfast and lunch, you just choose what you would like to eat and you pay for it. If dinner is not included, each person can choose a restaurant to dine. If you don’t want to look for a restaurant, you can also go to a restaurant where the tour leaders go, and you just pay for what you eat.
If anybody has allergy or food intolerance problems, or is a vegetarian, we will try to make the necessary changes in the menus when it is possible.
Once the first payment of the deposit has been made, these are the conditions of return of the deposit of €1.000:
Once the full payment has been made, these are the return conditions of the remaining of € 2,990:
“Discover Shikoku with Toru Morimoto and Tina Bagué, both professional photographers specializing in Japan. An adventure away from the crowds and tourist areas. Capture the true spirit of Japan!”
PRICE: € 3,990
DATES: from August 10 to August 19, 2018 (10 days)
SEATS: 6 to 10 participants
STATE: open to sign up
RESERVATION: send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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