Many people ask, “Why should I join a Japan Photo Workshop to see Japan?” The answer is simple, To experience the true beauty of a country, if you are a photographer or not, having a pro photographer and is the way to do it, because the pro adventure photographer knows the most spectacular views and times of day when to visit. As your Photography Workshop Leader, I will deliver a perspective of Japan like no other.
One location in Japan that offers to visit photographers a different perspective is Sado Island. It is something akin to Niigata’s Siren, mystically calling visitors to her shores to take a closer look at the treasures that one’s true heart desires. There is enough magic to share for all visitors, and that magnetic appeal becomes even more pronounced during the annual Earth Day festivities that begin in August every year. Lodgings and events on the island fill up so quickly, that if you want to spend more than one day on the island before returning on the ferry, you must book at least six months in advance to secure your spot! Sado Island is a distilled version of Niigata’s culture and several of its own compelling cultural and photographic elements to captivate travelers with any interests.
The Kodo Taiko Drumming Group is the most prominent appeal Sado has to offer, and with devoted organizers like Ms. Ami Akimoto helping the Kodo performers connect with their North American audience members as well as encouraging international visitation to Sado, the Kodo Taiko Troupe’s appeal only grows. The troupe’s devotion to preserving and showcasing Japanese culture is part of what makes them both a cultural and photographic treasure. Earth Day also called the ‘Earth Celebration’ is an event unlike any other, and we at BlaininJapan highly recommend that if you’re going to join a Niigata Private Photo Tour, that these are three days that you do.
In 2019, the first day of the celebration featured Kodo’s youngest members, and if you were lucky enough to see their performance first hand, your camera’s memory card would fill up quickly due to the amazing action you were capturing on the stage. The performer’s passion spills into their movements, and as they make art with their music, you can create your own art with your camera, documenting their once in a lifetime concert. The music resonates across the stage into the audience and for some into their hearts as a cherished memory forever. Whether moving or still, the Kodo Troupe members impact can be felt, and you will see the emotion in all the photographs you take.
The second night showcased the spirit of cooperation by co-hosting a musical performance with a Korean musician. One can only expect another amazing multi-cultural performance in 2020. Blain in Japan Tour Leaders recommend documenting as many of the cultural treasures as is possible. Every element of the performance may create a gallery-worthy photo collection. The costumes, the instruments, the movements of the performers, the crowds, and the arena itself are all different photographic treasures that you may document as part of your Niigata Private Photo Tour.
The final night is reserved for the entire retinue. That alone lets you know that you are witnessing something rare and amazing. Every Kodo Troupe member is performing a specific role and has logged more than 1000s of hours to make sure their movements are dynamic yet precise to create the perfect harmony of sound and motion. If Japan is your Photo Tour destination, then you must include this cultural phenomenon as part of your adventure.
Earth Day and its celebration represent the perfection confluence of culture and photography, and we encourage you to join us at BlaininJapan to hear the Siren’s call of Sado Island yourself.