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 most touristic crowded areas. The mixture of culture, religion, landscape and rural atmospheres far from the big cities gives photographers infinite opportunities to unleash their 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 to photographer.
Discover Japan with the authoers of the photo book “Japan/日本”
Summer is the ideal time to visit Shikoku, as the Awaodori is celebrated here, one of the most famous summer festivals in the country. The interior of Shikoku surrounded by deep forests, with terraced rice fields in intese green, and with one of the most beautiful rivers in all of 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 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 photographs in the best environments. In addition, we will also visit two small islands of Setouchi, Inland Sea of Japan, that practially turned into open air museums from the sleepy depopulated islands where now a modern art festival is celebrated every three years attracting the art lovers from all over the world.
We will visit the all four prefectures of Shikoku. We will stay in some luxury 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. This is not a trip just for photographers, but also for those who want to enjoy good food and wonderful cultural experiences as well!
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, has started in 2010 when they decided to leave everything behinde 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 amateur or semi-professional photographers to create a unique and unforgettable trip with full of top-notch photographic opportunities during the 11 days of 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 day by day of the tour.
DAY 1. The meeting point to start the route will be the city of Takamatsu, where we will meet all in the evening. For those who want to travel with us to Takamatsu by bus, we can meet in Sannomiya, Kobe. The bus fees is not included.
DAY 2. 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 photograph the quiet life of the islands as well as the open air contemporary art works exhibited in the islands. Breakfast-Lunch
DAY 3. We leave Takamatsu by a private minibus to Tokushima, where we visit one of the main temples of the route Ohenro to understand and to capture the essence of this route of Japanese Buddhist pilgrimage. After lunch we will witness a traditional Japanese puppet theater of the area. And from the evening to night, we will spend photographing one of Japan’s most famous summer festivals, the Awaodori of Tokushima. It will be two intense hours of photo shooting at night, with lots of color, music and rhythm. Breakfast-Lunch
DAY 4. 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
DAY 5. From this day we will start the photographic trip by a private minibus. We will get up early to avoid the crowds, and visit the famous Japanese garden in Takamatsu to 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 the own skin the experience of kaiseki dinner, artistic traditional Japanese cuisine. Tonight we will review the photographs of each participant one by one. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
DAY 6. The first stop will be one of the most mystical temples of the route Ohenro, 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 capture the picturesque landscape there at sunset. Breakfast
DAY 7. We will begin the day in Matsuyama where we will photograph its famous public hot springs bath, one of the oldes ones in Japan. In the afternoon we will visit 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 also photograph the fishermen working. We will test the high sensitivities of our cameras to take night shots without a tripod. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
DAY 8. This morning will be dedicated to photographing the surroundings and the ancient streets of Uchiko, with traditional architecture of the Edo period very well preserved (s.XVII-XIX). In the afternoon we will travel to one of the most important rivers of Japan. The beauty of the landscape is overwhelming. We will have a photo review session with each participant one by one. Lunch
DAY 9. We will drive to the town of Kochi. There we will visit an interesting food stands market of the city where we can witness how tataki of bonito is prepared with burning straw. We can photograph the cooks in action and taste the famous bonito of Kochi. In the afternoon we will 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 spend the night in a nice ryokan of the area to enjoy an elaborate kaiseki as well as its outdoor hot springs baths. Breakfast-Dinner
DAY 10. We will continue the adventure through the Iya valley passing through different gorges, we will visit a suspension bridge in the middle of nature and 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 food of the area. This last night we will screen a selection of photographs of each participant. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
DAY 11. In the last morning, on our way to Tokushima, we will stop in the village of Wakimachi to photograph its imposing houses of traders of the Meiji era (s.XIX). We will eat there and return to Takamatsu. 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 and high class, and some of them have thermal baths in their facilities to relax at the end of the day.
Meals are included except for 1 breakfast, 3 lunches, and 6 dinners.
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.
The rooms will be singles room for the first four nights, then will be twin rooms (with two beds) later, so participants who come alone will share a room with another single participant. If you wish to stay in a single room for the 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.
In case of cancellation once the first payment of the deposit has been made, these are the conditions of return of the deposit, €1,000:
In case of cancellation once the full payment has been made, these are the return conditions of the remaining € 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!”
DAYS: 11 DAYS (from the 10th to the 20th of August 2017)
SEATS: 8 to 10 participants
STATE: open to sign up
RESERVATION: send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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