I am currently in Kyushu for a few weeks on a private photography workshop/tour with a client who joined my Hokkaido Winter Wonderland Wildlife Landscape Photo Adventure, and he has extended his tour experience to include Kyushu. This is his second time in less than a year to visit Japan, and each time, he visits he spends nearly a month photographing as much of the country as he can. He’s a brilliant landscape photographer, and Hokkaido represents his first wildlife photography experience. Rather than him having to pay tens of thousands of dollars for new super-telephoto lenses and a new tripod and gimbal head, I have enough gear for two or three photographers, and I am more than happy to share my equipment with my clients who would benefit from my inventory or any services I can provide to enrich their photography experience on my photo workshops. Before the tour, my client/friend and I were joking, and he said he was going to use his 14 - 24 mm lens while everyone else in the group would be using super-telephoto lenses up to 1000 mm.
The initial plan was to experience more of winter wonderland Hokkaido and drive back to Tokyo. Our route would have begun in Kushiro, then onto Furano for more winter wonderland Hokkaido landscape photography, then Biei, the Blue Pond Lake, Rumoi, along the coast to Otaru, then Iwanai, the Niseko area to visit with my friends from down under, and finally to Hakodate to catch the car ferry to Aomori. Once we made the main island Honshu, our goal was to take in all of the Sea of Japan all the way to Ishikawa, Kanazawa, then to Tokyo. On the way, we intended to make stops for photo ops in Aomori, Akita, Yamagata, beautiful Niigata, Sado Island, and Toyama.
However, I was more than concerned because a few years back, while on a scouting expedition in the winter, on the Sea of Japan, my crew and I got stuck in a blizzard and were forced to camp out for three days. 2020's winter has been mild, but I don't feel like getting stuck in thundersnow and being forced to make camp with a meter or more of snow falling in 24 hours since the Sea of Japan coast has three of the Top 10 heaviest snowfall locations on earth. Keeping my participants safe is paramount, so even though the chance of having to camp out in a blizzard would have been slim this winter, I didn't want to take an unnecessary risk, plus I would have had to ship sleeping bags, tents, food. Basically, all survival or winter camp gear needed.
Kyushu is sunny and warm with a couple of thousand islands to visit and photograph, but we won't get to a thousand, but we started in Kita-Kyushu, then Fukuoka, Ainoshima, Tsushima, Iki Island, we took a brief layover back on Kyushu main's island in Hirado, the home of some fantastic seascapes, the best of Japan, as you can see attached to this newsletter. Our island campaign resumes in the next few days with time in our schedule for Goto, Amakusa, Nagasaki, the Takachiho Gorge, and then Battleship Island. If all goes as planned, next week, I will have proper internet again, and we will fly out of Kagoshima to Tokyo on Honshu, Japan's main island. Then about a week's rest at my countryside home, then I will begin my annual Cherry Blossom Pilgrimage. This year I will be following the Cherry Blossoms from Southern Japan to Hokkaido talking about for about 2 1/2 months, and I am sure to find the perfect cherry blossoms on the road. This cherry blossom season due to world health concerns and panic, my team and clients will be able to enjoy spots usually filled with tourists and laden seeking the fleeting moments of the perfect Cherry Blossom. There are few natural wonders on our planet and above that rival the perfect Cherry Blossom