Kyushu is the third largest island in Japan; a region of impressive landscapes with active volcanoes, a cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO, the Mecca of the production of dried bonito in Japan (an essential product of Japanese cuisine) and a destination little known by the foreign visitors. Despite of being connected by bullet train, shinkansen, with the main island of Japan, the distance from the big cities like Tokyo and Kyoto makes it hard for foreign visitors to venture to visit and spend days there during their limited stays in Japan. Akashi Photo Tours will make the way easier and take you there to discover all the charms Kyushu has for photographers who want to capture them.
KYUSHU PHOTO TOUR – from July 14 to 24, 2017, from €3,490
Discover Japan with the authors of photo book “Japan/日本”
Summer is probably the best season for photographers to visit Kyushu. In July, Gion Yamakasa, one of the most important summer festivals in the country, takes place. This festival with more than 700 years of history is registered as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Also the landscapes of the tea fields, the terraced rice fields, and the plains around the Mt. Aso reach their most intense green at this time. The active volcanoes through the year also add a touch of excitement to the journey.
Getting around the extensive island of Kyushu by public transportations is not an easy task, so most of the time we will travel with a private minibus with a professional driver. In that way, we can concentrate on finding the best pictures in the best possible locations. We will also use bullet train, shinkansen, to speed up our journey. We will tour the third biggest island in Japan from top to bottom and from left to right. 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!
MAIN SUBJECTS TO PHOTOGRAPH
- Gion Yamagasa Festival, one of the most popular summer festivals in Kyushu
- Open air food stands, yatai, at evening in Hakata
- Active volcano of Sakurajima
- Sand baths in southern Kyushu
- Processing of dried bonito, katsuobushi
- Volcanic zone of Mt. Aso
- Spectacular Takachiho Gorges
- Giant Stone Buddha
- Picturesque villages of the region
- Spectacular hot springs village
- Fishing with birds on the river, ukai, and dinner on a traditional Japanese boat
TOUR ORGANIZERS AND GUIDES
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.
WHY TRAVEL WITH AKASHI PHOTO TOURS?
- WITH BEST PHOTGRAPHERS: Toru Morimoto and Tina Bagué have traveled together all over Japan for the last 15 years, photographing the Japanese people, cultures, cities, from north to south and from east to west. They know Japan deeply with the point of oview of photographers.
- NO HUSTLE: Participants do not have to worry about anything other than enjoying and photographing. Transportations, foods, accommodations, tickets, and everything is organized.
- HIGH CLASS ACCOMODATIONS: Most of the accommodations are high class and some of them are mid-high class. They are not extremely expensive high-end class hotels , but well-known good hotels that guarantee good meals and good sleep to continue our journey.
- GOOD FOODS: Foods play a very important role in Akashi Photo Tour. Good meals throughout the tour are organized, which does not mean that we eat expensive all the time, but we eat well, sometimes we enjoy luxurious kaiseki and other times authentic local food.
- PRIVATE BUS & CHAUFFEUR: Private bus and driver are hired for most of the days during the tour, so that we do not lose time unnecessarily or any unexpected photo opportunities.
- TWO MENTOR PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR 10(max) PERTICIPANTS: Two professional photographers, one Japanese and another Spanish, for a maximum of 10 people, will resolve doubts and give advice throughout the trip.
- MULTILINGUAGES: We speak Japanese, English, Spanish, and Catalan. Toru Morimoto was born in Japan, and Tina Bagué was born in Spain. The both have lived and worked in the United States, and traveled to photograph all over the world.
- PRIVATE PHOTO REVIEW & SLIDESHOW: During the tour, there will be two sessions of personal photo review per participant. And we will have a “slideshow night” at the end of the trip with the projection of the best photos of each participant
Once the reservation is made the, participants will receive a dossier with the complete information of the tour itinerary. For now this is a small introduction day by day of the tour.
DAY 1. The meeting point to start our photographic journey will be Hakata station in Fukuoka. For those who wish to travel with us to Hakata station, we can meet at Shin-Osaka station, where we will catch the bullet train to Hakata Station. (The fees of bullet train is not included.) We will all meet at Hakata station in Fukuoka at the evening. After chcking in our hotel, we will celebrate with a welcome dinner to get to know each other before starting the adventure of the region of Kyushu for the next ten days. Dinner.
DAY 2. We will photograph the Gion Yamakasa festival in Hakata. The electrifying atmosphere and the speed at which events happen is a first-rate photographic challenge. At dusk we will approach to the riverside, where the picturesque street food stands, yatai, are ready to open. It is a good place to mingle with local people in a casual atmosphere. We will test the good resolution of our cameras in low light situations. Later, if you want you can have dinner at the foods stands with local Japanese. Breakfast.
DAY 3. We will travel to the city of Kagoshima by bullet train, shinkansen. From there we will take a private mini bus to visit Sakurajima, Japan’s most active volcano currently with several ash eruptions weekly. Upon returning to Kagoshima, we will stay at a luxurious hotel overlooking Sakurajima from the the outdoor thermal bath. Good chance to photograph Sakurajima with sunset light. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
DAY 4. Kyushu is also known for its extensive tea plantations. We will approach the plantations to capture the suggestive undulations of their shrubs and visit a distillery of shochu, Kyushu’s famous distilled drink. In the afternoon we will experience the incredible sensation of being buried in very hot sand. Due to the thermal water of the beaches of the area, which naturally heats the sand. We will spend the night in a ryokan, Japanese style inn, by the beach with beautiful views and traditional kaiseki food of the area. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
DAY 5. Another attraction of this region is the elaboration of katsuobushi, dried bonito, a basic and essential element of the Japanese cuisine. We will visit one of the factories that make katsuobushi in an almost artisanal way and photograph part of the process. In the afternoon we will take the bullet train again to move to the city of Kumamoto. We will stay in a hotel with the view of Kumamoto Castle from your room. During the evening we will do personal reviews of the pictures taken until this point. Breakfast-Lunch
DAY 6. We will spend the whole day visiting the Aso National Park. If conditions are good (depending on the volcanic activity of the day and the gases it produces) we will drive to the top of the crater of Mount Naka to capture the incredible beauty of its interior. We will continue our photographic tour through the immense caldera capturing the intense green of its valleys and small hills. We will stay in a hotel with the view of the Aso National Park from your room. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
DAY 7. From pure landscape photography, we will move on to capturing the essence of Japanese mythology in the small town of Takachiho. We will visit the mysterious cave of the Shinto shrine, Amano Iwato. In addition, the gorges of Takachiho make up one of the most beautiful sceneries one can imagine. At night, we will photograph Kagura dance and the gorges lighten up with lights. A good time to practice night photography with tripod. Breakfast-Lunch
DAY 8. Once in the province of Oita we will portray the great faces of Buddha carved in stone in full nature. Later we will head towards the city of Beppu, known for its hot spring village filled with columns of white steam. Its public baths anchored in the past as well as its narrow streets are worth being captured by curious eyes. In the evening we will hold the second session to review photos. Breakfast-Lunch
DAY 9. We will spend the morning strolling the streets of Yufuin, located in a valley surrounded by mountains, farms and rice fields. After lunch we will travel to Kurokawa Onsen, one of the most authentic and well-preserved hot springs villages in Japan. We will stay at a hotel with breathtaking views over the valley. Tonight we will all meet for “slideshow night” to see a projection of the best images of each participant. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
DAY 10. This day we will photograph the summer festival in the city of Hita. In the evening we will have a farewell dinner on a private boat. From the boat we will also photograph the traditional fishing with birds, ukai, in the river. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
DAY 11. From Hita we will travel to the Shinto shrine of Dazaifu. This will be our last stop and from there we will return to Hakata by our private bus. Breakfast
ACCOMODATIONS AND MEALS
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 almost all of them have thermal baths in their facilities to relax at the end of the day.
Most of the meals are included in the price except for some days. In total there will be 1 lunch and 4 dinners are not included.
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 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.
WHO IS THIS TOUR FOR?
- ANYONE INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY WITH ANY KIND OF CAMERA: This is a photographic trip that is suitable for all kinds of audiences. From amateur photographers whose only tool is a smartphone, to amateur photographers with compact cameras and even semi-professional or professional photographers with reflex cameras and multiple lenses in search of good photographic opportunities to unleash their creativity
- COMPANIONS: In spite of being a trip for photographers, it is also suitable for companions, since in the end what we are trying to do is to help the participants discovering a different and personal Japan on their own eyes and perspectives. Our tour is interesting not only for photographers but also for people who loves to travel, eat well, and enjoy life, immersing themselves in Japanese culture away from stereotypes.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR?
- Transportations fees of bullet trains from Hakata to Kagoshima and then from Kagoshima to Kumamoto
- Private minibus, as well as petrol, tolls and professional driver
- All tickets for all activities
- All accommodations of 10 nights
- Most of the meals except those indicated above (1 lunch and 4 dinners)
- Photographic support throughout the trip by the two photographers. Throughout the trip we will be at the disposal of all photographers to resolve any photographic doubts that may arise. We will not do theoretical classes, however we will talk about technique, composition, lenses and any photographic aspect daily. The journey itself becomes a practical workshop on the move. Depending on the needs of the participants, more emphasis will be placed on one theme or another.
- Two personal sessions of photo review.
¿WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR?
- International flights from and to the country of origin of each participant
- Costs of the trip to the meeting point, Hakata Station (Fukuoka)
- Hotels before or after the tour
- 1 lunch and 4 dinners
- Drinks of all meals
- Snacks, souvenirs or any extra purchases
GUIDE OF THE TRIP
- Once the participant has registered and made the deposit of €1,000, the participant will receive a dossier with all the details of the route, maps, names and addresses of all accommodations, as well as a guide of advice as to clothing and photographic equipment.
PRICE AND RESERVATIONS
- The total price of this trip is €3,490€per person in accommodation in a double room. In case that the number of participants is 8 or 7, the price of the trip will be €3,990. In case that the number of participants is 6, the price of the trip will be €4,490. In case you want to stay in a single room during the whole trip, the additional fee will be €500.
- To make the reservation it is necessary to make a payment the deposit of €1.000. Payment can be made by bank transfer, credit card or paypal.
- For the trip to be carried out, there must be a minimum of 6 participants and a maximum of 10. For this reason it is recommended to consult the occupation of the trip before buying the international flight if the flight ticket requires cancellation fees.
- Payment of the total cost of the trip must be made 2 months before the starting date.
CANCELATIONS AND COSTS
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:
- If you wish to cancel the reservation with more than 2 months in advance, the payment will be returned in full as long as the place is filled with another participant. If the cancellation is after 2 months it will not be refunded either partially or fully.
In case of cancellation once the full payment has been made, these are the return conditions of the remaining €2.490 (or €2.990 if 8 or 7 participants, or €3,490 if 6 participants):
- If the cancellation occurs 45 days before the start of the trip, the € 2.490 (or € 2.990 or €3,490) will be refunded in full.
- If the cancellation occurs between 44 and 22 days before the start of the trip, the cancellation will cost 25% of the € 2.490 (or € 2.990 or €3,490) .
- If the cancellation occurs between 21 and 8 days before the start of the trip, the cancellation will cost 50% of the € 2.490 (or € 2.990 or €3,490) .
- If the cancellation occurs between 7 and 4 days before the start of the trip, the cancellation will cost 75% of the € € 2.490 (or € 2.990 or €3,490) .
- If the cancellation occurs less than 3 days before the start of the trip, nothing will be returned.
DETAILS REGARDING TO CANCELL
- All transfer charges related to cancellations will be deducted from the amount to be refunded.
- It is recommended to get a travel insurance before embarking on the trip, in order to have any hospitalization expenses covered if necessary, loss of luggage, etc.
- It is also interesting to assess the need for insurance for the photographic equipment.
- If you have more doubts about any topic related to the tour, send us an email to: email@example.com
[one_half]“Discover Kyushu 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: 3.490€ (if 8 0r 7 participants € 3,990, if 6 participants €4,490)
DAYS: 11 DAYS. from the 14th to the 24th of July 2017
SEATS: from 6 to 10 participants
RESERVATION: send email to firstname.lastname@example.org