Arrival at any time at our hotel. We will meet with all participants in the hotel bar at 6:00pm with a welcome drink to get to know each other.
We will visit Asakusa area in the morning to discover the most traditional part of Tokyo and later on we will approach to the Sky Tree, the latest and highest tower in Tokyo. After lunch we will take a cruising boat from Asakura to Odaiba, the futuristic island in Tokyo Bay. We will photograph the amazing architecture of the artificial island and at dusk we will capture the twilight Tokyo.
Our second day in Tokyo, after visiting Meiji Jingu, the most important Shinto shrine in Tokyo, will be dedicated to the most modern part of Tokyo. We will stroll around modern Aoyama area with full of fashionable young Japanese people. From there we will go to Shibuya to photograph the famous scramble crossing. Then, we will go up to Roppongi Hills tower to capture the Tokyo sky view at sunset.
Today we will take a bullet train, Shinkansen, to Nagano where we will photograph the snow monkeys while they bathe in hot spring water. In the evening, we will enjoy street photography in narrow old streets at one our favourite hot spring villages where we will stay today. After photographing the snow monkeys in a snowy cold winter day, we will deserve to relax in hot springs and enjoy beautiful and delicious Japanese Kaiseki dinner in our Ryokan, Japanese style inn.
In the morning we will go back to photograph the snow monkeys for a little while just in case we are not satisfied with the pictures or the weather of the day before. Afterwards we will visit the most famous Japanese temple in Nagano. Then we will take Shinkansen to go back to Tokyo.
We will take a Shinkansen to Tohoku region the northernmost prefecture of Honshu, main island of Japan. From today we will move around with our private van for the rest of our trip. In our first day in rural Japan, we will take a bath in a breathtakingly beautiful snow-covered hot spring hidden in the valley. We can take a walk with the camera in the deep snow forest.
We will start the day visiting a snow-covered Shinto shrine on the lake. The view of the crystal water lake surrounded by snow-covered mountains and the red shrine gate, Torii, on the lake offers beautiful photographic opportunities. From the lake we will enter the deep snow country to do some “trainspotting” photography. Local one car train crosses untouched snow landscapes creating amazing postcards. Afterwards we will get on the train to capture beautiful snow country landscape from the one car train. In the evening we will enjoy a traditional igloo festival in another town. Igloos are lighted up with candles all over the town and children invite visitors to come inside the igloos.
In the morning we will attend to a traditional winter festival in a shrine, where locals offer 4-meter-long sacred wooden rod with decorations to pray for a good harvest and good health. In the afternoon, we will head towards a hidden photogenic retro hot springs town along the river, hidden in a deep valley. We will stroll around the tinny village and will take pictures during the blue hour. In the evening we will rest in our ryokan and relax in a hot spring bath.
In the morning, we will visit a local craft shop where they make hand-made Japanese chez and wooden dolls, Kokeshi, and later on we will arrive at a village where hot springs steam is all around creating very mysterious pictures. We will take a ropeway to the top of the mountain where we will be able (if weather conditions permit) to photograph an amazing natural phenomenon similar to hard rime on trees, called “snow monsters” in Japan. The thick hard rime covers the trees completely creating “snow monsters” and a very peculiar landscape. This phenomenon takes place only in a couple of places in Japan and almost nowhere else in the world! After freezing ourselves on the top of the mountain with snow monsters, we will go down to the hot spring village to stroll around and enjoy the tinny wooden baths spread around the village. Just put a coin in the box, enter the little wooden house, bathe, relax and go to the next one. A real treat for the body to finish our tour before heading back to the real and busy world of Tokyo!
In the last day of our tour, we will go back to the mountain in the morning to take pictures of the snow monsters again, just in case the weather was not good enough the day before or to enjoy different weather conditions and light. After lunch we will head to the bullet train station and will go back to Tokyo where our tour will end.
For more information and book your place for the tour, please visit AKASHI TRAVEL.