My Family, my team and I wish you Happy New Year, wherever you are on our beautiful planet. This time of year is always one of reflection and my mainland Japan Photo Tour Leaders, my Hokkaido Photo Tour staff, our Kyushu tour leaders take stock of what kind of year we’ve had with our commercial photography projects, our in the field shoots, and working with clients, so they have best possible experience photographing on our many upcoming photography workshop tours. This holiday season, I have chosen to spend at our 100-year+old traditional Japanse beach home in Niigata prefecture by the sea of Japan. At this home studio office, it seldom snows, about one or two times a winter, which is similar to Tokyo. But in the nearby mountains, there are several meters of snow, and just 10km inland, it's a winter wonderland paradise with a breathtaking winter landscape and an abundance of wildlife. A short jaunt from my home, Whopper Swans, winter over at a lake from October to early March, the flock number about 5000. The snow monkeys are 90 minutes drive; my Tokyo residents is 3.5hrs away by SUV. Living on the sea of Japan in a small hamlet has many advantages, such as no pollutants, no smog from traffic, or pollution from industry. Ecologically speaking, we eat locally grown food and cook with and drink spring water. Japanese village life is paradise, in the summer we walk 10min to the Ocean for swimming, in the opposite direction we have mountains for camping, hiking, bike riding, and there are numerous places where you can do just about anything that you want without traveling somewhere else to do it.
I certainly am looking forward to 2020 and the various photography opportuneness and travels with multiple returning photographers who are participants on my Japan workshops and abroad; most participants have become life long friends. And my team and I are open-armed, welcoming new clients marking their first authentic untold stories of Japan photography adventure workshop/tour, which most will become lifelong friends. I often am asked, which is my favorite photography workshop/tour, that a difficult question. I could never choose only one; I would have to pick by the season order they fall Winter Spring Summer Autumn.
Winter: Hokkaido photo tour wildlife highlighting the Steller's Sea Eagle, The Red-Crowned Crane's who mate for life, the largest herd of Sika Deer on our planet, the red-tailed fox and many others. And on this adventure, I always include a visit with the number one symbol of Japan Mt. Fuji, which is near my first home in Japan, and we spend a few days visiting with the Snow Monkey, which I have been visiting for over 20 years, and I worked on the Britsh Broadcast Documentary of them. https://www.blaininjapan.com/feb-2020-hokkaido-snow-monkey-photo-tour
Spring: Essence of Japan Sakura Cherry Blossom Cross Country PHotograpy Adventure. The Untold Storied of the authentic Sakura experience. This year I had to create a third Cherry Blossom tour to meet my friend's' and clients' requests. It sure is going to be a busy spring. https://www.blaininjapan.com/part-2-april-2020
Summer: This summer, due to the Olympics and crazy busy roads and price hikes, I will be avoiding Kanto Japan, sorry. And I will mostly be taking a break and will enjoy the beach with family and friends. But I will be offering a few photography tours into the off the beaten path of the most stunning Oceanscapes on the Sea of Japan in Niigata, Yamagata. Workshop Listings Coming Soon!
Autumn: Fall in Japan lasts from October to December. Here I am able to offer 2 group tours; my other dates in autumn are for my private clients who have been booking years ahead. October: Essence of Autumn Cross country Journey-Japan Photo Expedition. It's a long haul and a blast way-way off the beaten path with so many untold stores of Japan, highlights include, the most mind poping beautiful rice terraces, multitudes of waterfalls, several cultural events, a front-row seat to visit with the snow monkey when they are most active in autumn, and the most iconic symbol of Japan. https://www.blaininjapan.com/oct-2020-essence-of-autumn-japan-photo-tour November: Autumn in Mt. Fuji way off the beaten path, here you will experience the untold stories of this region. Photograph in authentic Japanese Zen Gardens with no crowned getting in your way. Participants will visit all the FujiFive lakes, plus a sixth lake. We will photograph all around the base of Mt. Fuji and visit the most active steam vents in the region, where others do not know to enter. We also visit the sea of trees, and we spend about 5-10% visiting (popular tourist spots) such as Cheruto Pagoda, Fujisan-Hongu Sengen-Taisha Grand Shrine, And Amazake Chaya tea house serving travelers for more than 350 years, plus a couple other when the typical tourist peak it at it lowest in the day. https://www.blaininjapan.com/november-12-19-mt-fuji-copy