Hokkaido Photo Tours are always breathtaking, especially so on our all-inclusive highly customized winter in Hokkaido Wildlife Photography Workshop. I and my other Blain Harasymiw Photo Tour Leaders have spent decades exploring Japan’s north island and have learned about several locations to highlight during our winter in Hokkaido Photo Tours. Certain trees and low-lying foliage quickly give in to the snow and strong winds and go into hiding for the entire season, but others take a different approach, standing tall in response to the Siberian gales that blow during winter on Hokkaido. It is from these subjects that once in a lifetime photos ops arise.
Hokkaido is home to several unique shutter chances such as the classic inland winter wonderland landscape photography opportunities of a lifetime. Winters rolling hills are mesmerizing in the farmlands of Hokkaido. Frost and snow cover the fields, and the rolling hills are perfectly balanced; clients and I always take advantage of a lone tree or groves of trees adding contrast to our gallery-worthy prints. We love chasing the light from the blue hour to sunset, resting only for lunch; we always set ourselves up at the picture perfect sunset spot, and these locations are close to our lodgings.
Hokkaido is also considered Japan’s Natural Treasure Trove. Hundreds of species of wildlife thrive there, and Hokkaido is also home to unparalleled landscapes. For example, the Kushiro Wetlands have been recognized as a natural asset and then declared a national park, and it was further converted to protective status to support the Japanese Red-Crowned Cranes. The Otowashi Bridge is another famous spot on Hokkaido Photo Tours for photographing the Red-crowned Cranes as they take a moment’s respite every evening at their winters roost. From the blue hour to the golden hour, the cranes can be seen awakening and readying themselves for flight, and once the return, you can capture them again in the evening at dusk.
Birding: The Steller’s Sea Eagles are huge and beautiful and one of the most fierce birds of prey on our planet, and they feed in the rich rich fishing waters among the pack-ice in Japan's north. We board our chartered vessel to photograph the Steller’s Sea Eagle in their natural feeding ground on pack ice, The white-tailed eagle which is smaller and native to Japan also feeds in the pack ice next to the Steller's sea eagle; tensions are high when feeding, and the white-tailed eagle hold there own with the much larger and legendary sea eagles. All our clients have hundreds of spectacular images of eagles clutching fish in their talons in flight, feasting, and confronting fellow would-be predators. During our workshop, we normally get two or three opportunities to film the eagles in pack-ice aboard our chartered vessel. Also, we know several locations close to shore where the eagles feed and roost.
This area is also home to the largest herds of Sika Deer on our planet, and we also photograph the red-tailed fox, white-tailed eagle, Blakiston's fish owl, black kite, golden eagle, long tail marsh tit, pure white Hokkaido marsh tit, and many other subarctic species. Sunrises and sunsets are extraordinarily beautiful on the pacific Hokkaido Coastline.
For the more rugged, Lake Rausu awaits. Because so few people visit and trek its six-kilometer perimeter, the lake has been called the ‘Lake of Illusion’. We at Blain Harasymiw Photography think the nickname has been applied for an entirely different reason. The photos of the Steller’s Sea Eagles and Japanese cranes will be so wondrous that you will think that you have entered a dream realm where you hold sway over nature as you snap picture after picture, every one gallery worthy.
Another casket of treasure resides in the caldera of Akan National Park. Lake Mashuko is considered to be the clearest lake in the world. Gazing wistfully into the reflective waters of Lake Mashuko, you can see the beauty of the natural surroundings and capture it to relive your dreamscape adventure whenever you look upon your photographic record or your Hokkaido Winter Tour. Even if the lake is shrouded in fog, it still represents a conjuration of paradise brought to Hokkaido.
These are only some of the dreamscapes that Hokkaido has to offer, but perhaps you are listening to a different natural calling. Contact us at Blain Harasymiw Photography and share what your Hokkaido Winter Tour dream looks like, and we’ll do our best to make it a reality.