July 22 - 29, 2020 Niiko, Mt. Fuji, Hakone - Japan Photography Summer Getaway Tour
The 8-day Nikko Mt. Fuji photography tour is the traditional Japanese getaway, for those of the Kanto region. Hakone has flourished since 1603 as a favorite healing hot springs with majestic views of Fujian, a UNESCO site. Journey the highland route in Japan with its pleasant summer temperatures, while those on the beaten path in Tokyo, Kyoto and other urban areas are dealing with the summer heat.
This unforgettable journey takes place along ancient Buddhist and Shinto pilgrimage routes through Nikko, Mt. Fuji and Hakone. This photography adventure is for those wishing to experience the traditional Japan summer getaway. The art of Japanese dogma has made “Zen” a household word known around the world. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; it will take a thousand pictures to express the one Zen emotion that has overcome you at each spectacular location we explore.
Our photographic journey begins with a toast and the art of fine Japanese cuisine at our lodgings in Nikko. Each evening around dinner we enjoy discussing our next day’s photo ops so that you will be well prepared. Well before sunrise on day 2 we will be on location setting up to photograph UNESCO World Heritage Site Shrines and Temples of Nikko encompassing over 100 Japanese architectural masterpieces, Nikko was founded in the 8th century; and is closely associated with the history of the Tokugawa Shoguns. The Shinkyo bridge is the gateway to the Futarasan Jinja and is best photographed at first light.
The Toshogu Shinto Shrine complex is the most lavishly decorated throughout Japan. The buildings are beautifully lacquered and decorated with vibrant colors, the pillars and other structures are covered in a multitude of carvings. The carvings are expressions of spirituality (Reiji Holly Spiritual Animals) as well as scholarly and philosophical-mystical beings of Buddhist-Shinto folklores, your workshop leader Blain Harasymiw will share some of these folklores with you.
Rinno-ji Buddhist Temple the Shoyo-en Zen meditation garden that covers the grounds are picturesque. High above Nikko, we will visit Kegon Waterfalls the top 3 most stunning waterfalls across Japan, at 319 feet (97 meters) with a beautiful combination of lake Chuzenji photographed from Akechidaira observatory during golden hour.
A few hours scenic drive away we arrive at the best know symbol of Japan Mt. Fuji, World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO. Fujisan has been worshiped over since humans have lived nearby, originally a sacred mountain of the Ainu-The First peoples of Japan.
The fuji five lakes at the base of Mt. Fuji comprises of Yamanaka, Kawaguchi, Saiko, Shoji and Motosu lakes. Over ninety-five percent of Japanese nationals have never visited all the five lakes; and a staggering 99.5% international visitors have either, you will be among the few that have photographed and walked the shores of all the sacred fuji five lakes. Aokigahara - The sea of trees at the base of mt. fuji is the natural therapy forest for Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing) with camera in hand. The trees grow in natural volcanic planting pots in rich peat moss. The forest popularity is growing among fine art photographers with its incalculable mythological forms appearing from tree roots and moss growing in around and over volcanic lava rock.
Hakone is a two-hour drive from Mt. Fuji. Before the start of Edo 1603, Hakone has flourished as a favorite destination for its natural mineral hot spring spas know for their healing properties. We will stroll on the original four hundred-year-old stone pavements along the Tokaido highway through cedar avenue, and drop in for tea time at Amazaske Chaya serving travelers, samurai and visual artists for more than 350 years, and is the last of its kind remaining in Japan.
Day 1, 2, Arrival and meet Tokyo, Haneda Airport, (HND) Nikko, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rinno-Ji Buddhist Temple, The Toshogu and Futarasan-Jinja Shinto Shrines.
Day 3, 4, 5, Kegon waterfalls, Mt. Fuji, fuji five lakes, the sea of trees.
Day 6, 7, Hakone, Lake Ashi, Wood Mosaic Art Work Artisans, Hongu Sengen-Taisa Grand Shrine, healing Hot Springs, Tokaido highway.
Day 8, Drop off and departure from Tokyo, Haneda Airport, (HND). Thank you, and we look forward to the next adventure together.
Why Choose this Photography Tour/Workshop? •Photographers of all levels are welcome. •All Camera formats are welcome, digital, handy camera, scoping with iPhone large format, film, etc. •Photograph Japanese architectural masterpieces. •UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour. •The traditional Japanese summer getaway. •Activity level leisurely - moderate. •Transportation Private Sports Utility Vehicles with Business Class Seating. •Small group size equals quality time with participants questions are always welcome and encouraged. •Each evening and morning we discuss our best shooting options with our weather conditions so that you will be well prepared. •2020 will be the tour leaders 23rd year leading photo adventures in Japan.
Tour Cost: $6200USD Includes all lodging based on double room occupancy 3-5 star, all breakfasts and dinners, all group ground transportation sports utility vehicles with business class seating, all entrance fees, all donations at temples and shrines, professional photography guide instruction, detailed itinerary with clothing and gear recommendations.
Single supplement: $1200
Not included: Flight to JPN and from JPN, alcohol beverages, travel health insurance, lunches, items of a personal nature.