The True Untold Stories of Japan - The Bliss of an Authentic Cherry Blossom Tour!
Before I tell you what bliss and the Authentic Cherry Blossom Photo Tours of Japan is, allow me to tell you what the majority of visitors will experience when they descend on the cherry blossoms every year in spring. Millions of tourists flock to Japan in anticipation of discovering the perfect cherry blossom and the untold hidden stories of Authentic Japan. However, the information that 95% of the people researching Japan comes filtered through search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, Google, and others. And this is what the common, on the beaten path tourist company wants to corral your money quickly and easily, not valuing you as a client, more as a commodity.
The three main pitfalls on the beaten path tour are accommodations, transportation, and meals. Many visitors studiously research prices for hotels and feel a sense of victory after they have booked a hotel marked down from $500 to $250. However, what the website isn't filling you in on is that the price reduction is due to in part dinner or other amenities being subtly removed. Because of the implicit connection between hotels and common tour companies, clients are told where to eat and which locations to visit to control the amount of tourist foot traffic in places such as Ueno Park, Sumida Park, Tokyo Sky Tree, The Imperial Gardens, Rikugien Gardens. As for transportation, if you are unfamiliar with Tokyo or any other metropolitan hub in Japan, the most common result is throwing your hands in the air and praying for divine intervention, then hiring a taxi and paying through the nose. Mt. Fuji is the most sacred mountain in Japan, and is the symbol of Japan, also being the repository of some of the most amazing sakura in the country. I've talked with visitors in Mt. Fuji exiting a taxi with a Tokyo license plate, and the visitors seem out of place and confused about what to do, so they introduce themselves to me, and after a brief conversation, I found out they paid $750 for their ride to Mt. Fuji. Lucky them, they could actually see Fujisan off the beaten path, away from tourist locations due to their taxi driver feeling sorry for them and being kind enough to take them a decent place without tourists mulling about. But in most cases, they would have been dropped at Kawaguciko Lake with no guidance. The more adventurous travelers catch a train to Kawaguchiko station from Tokyo (the fastest train is 3 hours one way - there is no bullet train to Mt. Fuji). Without accommodations, you'll spend a minimum of six hours or more on a train. Once you arrive at Lake Kawaguchiko, you'll be required to spend upwards of an hour hiring a taxi or riding a bus to get to an advantageous location to capture a decent view of Fujisan with Lake Kawaguchiko in the foreground with 100s of tourists queuing shoulder to shoulder.
Are you prepared for The Authentic Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of a Lifetime? - Read on!
Please note. From the moment my team and I greet you at Haneda Airport to your departure at the Tokyo-Haneda Airport, our photography workshop tour is fully-inclusive with business-class seating for your transportation at every stage of travel, and any level of photographer is welcome. All camera formats are also welcome: digital, handy-cams, scoping with iPhone large format, film, etc.
To experience the true beauty of a country, as a photographer or simply wanting to take in the sites, a professional photographer is the way to do it. The adventurer photographer knows the best locations and times of day to visit, depending on weather. My team and I always deliver a new perspective of Japan on every adventure, the True Untold Stories of Authentic Japan.
** NOTICE **
Tour companies such as Blain Harasymiw Photography, National Geographic, Japan Dreamscapes, and a few others rank high because we all have years of experience pursuing and perfecting our photo adventure itineraries. And we are on the top search results on the web for Cherry Blossom and other photo workshops and tours. Unfortunately, of the record numbers of visitors approaching millions, as we countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, less than 5% will leave feeling satisfied with their cultural experience chasing the evasive sakura or cultural of photo-related endeavors.
THE TOUR DU JAPON COMMENCES-
This is our upcoming spring Essence of Japan Sakura Cherry Blossom Workshop Photo Tour, April 1 - 11, 2020. There are two seats available.
By popular demand, we are happy to provide our clients with a second group for the 2020 Cross Country Cherry Blossom Dreamscape. On this 11 Day Dreamscape to Japan this Cross-Country Cherry Blossom Photography Tour. On this adventure, you’ll be introduced to several incarnations of Japan's quintessential flower, while pursuing the perfect, elusive cherry blossom. Are you interested in experiencing and photographing perfect cherry blossoms while on a culture-rich, luxurious, cross-country Japan excursion?
Day 1, 2: Arrival and meet at Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND). We will transfer to Yamanashi Prefecture home prefecture to the Iconic Mt. Fuji about an hour and a half from Mt. Fuji we will book into our lodgings and ready ourselves to be dazzled by authentic Japanese countryside lifestyle and the perfect cherry blossom festival, at night the cherry blossoms will be illuminated. Throughout this Japan photography workshop/tour, we will have many opportunities for low lighting photography. Blain, our most veteran photography workshop leader, will be by your side to help you with low lighting techniques white balance so your images will be gallery-worthy.
Day 3: Matsumoto Castle is a Japanese National Treasure built in 1504, used officially by the samurai until 1868. Locally, it is known as 'Karasu-Jo' or Crow Castle due to its resplendent black exterior. During cherry blossom season, the castle and cherry trees are masterfully illuminated, and the reflection of the castle in its moat is awe-inspiringly dramatic and singularly beautiful when captured with your camera. You will be able to photograph the castle using Blain's 22 years of experience to guide you. Live musicians will also entertain you inside the castle grounds while you partake in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Day 4, 5: You will have up close and personal encounters with the wild Japanese macaques, better known as snow monkeys. Proud mothers of newborn snow monkeys gather to showcase their new family members while enjoying the healing hot springs. Blain, your photography workshop leader, knows Yaen-Koen Snow Monkey Park inhabitants and behaviors well, allowing you to take photos you will always treasure.
Day 6, 7, 8: By the Sea of Japan, you will be counted among the few experiencing a cherry blossom field of dreams and the crimson beauty of the Takeda Castle Cherry Blossoms and Sunset. The area is renowned for the excellence of the staples of Japanese cuisine, sake, and rice. Every dining experience will be a photo opportunity due to its immaculate presentation. Areas adjacent to the Sea of Japan are a repository of Japanese culture, reaching back to the times when Geisha, Maiko, and Shinto Maidens were a common sight, and you will not ask where you are but when you are.
Day 9, 10, 11: Returning to the Pacific Ocean side of Japan, we will take in majestic views of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mt. Fuji from the golden hour to twilight and between. As we explore Fuji-san, we will visit and touch the waters of the Fuji Five Lakes which are comprised of Yamanakako, Kawaguchiko, Saikoko, Shojiko, and Motosuko lakes. At each turn, clients have a once-in-a-lifetime perspective of Japan's perfect cherry blossom with iconic Mt. Fuji in the backdrop.
At Lake Kawaguchiko's Chureito Pagoda, you will have another moment to snap an image of Japan’s flawless cherry blossom. As a finale, clients will be conveyed to Mt. Fuji’s ‘Subaru Line 5th Station', receiving the gift of a bird’s eye view from 2,300 meters up the mountain face. After sunset, we will use the grandeur below our feet to satisfy our photographic cravings casting our gaze skyward for astrophotography.
Day 11: Departure late afternoon from Tokyo, Haneda Airport, (HND). Please accept our warmest thanks, and we look forward to our next adventure together.
Why Choose this Photography Tour/Workshop? ☞Professional photo instruction available when requested [included]. ☞Photograph Japanese cultural and architectural masterpieces. ☞Activity level varying from leisurely to moderate. ☞Provided transportation: Sports Utility Vehicles with Business Class Seating. ☞Small group size means quality, in-depth time with your workshop leader. ☞All questions are welcome and encouraged throughout your adventure! ☞Each morning and evening, we will discuss our best shooting options with our weather conditions in hand, so that we will be well prepared. ☞2020 represents the 23rd year your photo workshop guide has been leading photo tours in Japan.
Tour Cost: $7000 This price includes all lodging based on double room occupancy in 3 - 5-star accommodations with western-style toiletries, all breakfast and dinners, all group ground transportation in sports utility vehicles with business class seating, all entrance fees, all donations at temples and shrines, professional photography guide instruction, and a detailed itinerary with clothing and gear recommendations.