In the evening, around 8pm, we will all meet in the lobby at our hotel in Kyoto to make sure everyone has arrived. This will be a free night.
We will start the first day visiting the bamboo forest in the Arashiyama neighborhood. Then we will head to three Kyoto temples where the leaves begin to change their color. In the evening we will walk along the Kamo River and will have dinner at the famous Pontocho street.
We will get up early to visit the Fushimi Inari shrine, thus avoiding the crowds that visit the place. Later we will visit one of the best Zen temples in Kyoto,quite unknown and very quiet. From there we will go to the neighborhood of Gion where we might have a chance to photograph geisha on the street. Then we walk to the neighborhood of Kiyomizu, where we will walk through its cobbled streets and photograph its wooden houses, looking for charming spots. At night we will capture the beauty of the gardens of the temples illuminated at night.
We will leave the city of Kyoto and catch a flight towards Tohoku, to Aomori town, the northern end of the island of Honshu. Once there, we will take a cable car to enjoy the breathtaking views of the landscape covered with a carpet of autumn leaves. In the afternoon we will arrive at our traditional rustic ryokan with centuries-old wooden thermal baths. A balm for the senses.
We will get up at dawn to get to photograph the sunrise in a magical pond. Afterwards, we will visit a mountain river of great beauty to enjoy the impressive landscape. Those who are passionate about nature photography will find themselves in paradise. We will walk along the river to enjoy the smell, colors and sounds of nature. At lunch time, we will go up to the lake where we will eat. In the evening, we will arrive at Hirosaki city.
In the morning we will discover a beautiful forest with autumnal leaves near Hirosaki. Then we will drive a long way to head towards the Shimokita peninsula, the northernmost peninsula of the main island of Japan, where we will find a mountain, a mysterious place that Japanese folklore describes as the boundary between this world and beyond. The mountain is considered one of the three most spiritual mountains in Japan along with Mount Koya (Koyasan) and Mount Hiei. The almost lunar rocky landscape, its blue caldera lake, the sulfur vapor that comes out of the gray soil and hundreds of stone statues of jizos (protectors of children and travelers) create a surreal atmosphere and turn this remote place into a paradise for photographers. Tonight we will sleep in a Buddhist temple in this mountain. We will eat Japanese vegetarian dishes, the same food as the monks of the temple eat. At night we can relax in the temple’s thermal bath.
We will get up early to start the day with the first prayer in the Buddhist temple. After the Japanese vegetarian breakfast, we will take more pictures of the mountain. Then, we will head to Towada, a small city where we will enjoy an impressive museum of modern art, as well as works exhibited in the open air.
In the morning we will take the high speed train to move towards the central area of Tohoku. From there we will approach some gorges full of golden and reddish trees, to photograph the stunning landscape. We will walk through the woods until sunset. We will spend the night in an old thermal town with a pretty retro look.
In the morning, we will visit an impressive temple hanged on a mountain that offers incredible views over the valley and a walking path with many wooden temples over 1000 years old. The path has more than 1000 stone steps that lead to the top of the mountain little by little. It’s easy to walk to the top and perfect for taking pictures along the way. After lunch, we will head to another thermal town famous for its nearby volcano. We will go up to photograph the impressive crater and after sunset we will enjoy the hot spring bath in our hotel.
The last day of the tour we will drive from the small and hidden thermal town to Sendai, stopping at different points of interest along a beautiful mountain road. Waterfalls and valleys, once again with their ocher and reddish colors, will be the objective of our cameras. After lunch we will take the high-speed train to Tokyo, where we will arrive at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon and where our tour will end, at the JR de Ueno station.
For more information and book your place for the tour, please visit AKASHI TRAVEL.