Events

An Ice Covered Grizzly Bear Of The Yukon Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photography Holiday

Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens on a wild Canadian adventure, travelling into the depths of Yukon wilderness to capture unrivalled images of the native grizzly bear as it feeds on spawning salmon in the Fishing Branch River. The specific conditions & sub-zero temperatures in & around this river transforms grizzlies into ice bears, as their fur becomes frozen & frosted; completely changing their appearance as photography subjects.

Only a fortunate few can witness this spectacle annually, & the unique nature of this wildlife photography experience means that we can only offer at most 3 places on this trip, typically only 2, so booking early is essential.

NaturesLens invites wildlife photography enthusiasts on a journey to a national park in the Yukon region, Canada’s wildest & most unspoilt territory, to capture awe-inspiring images of the native grizzly bears as they feed on spawning salmon. This natural wonder only occurs for six weeks of the year, so the lucky few who get to witness this event will take home memories to treasure for years to come.

The location for this wildlife photography holiday lies within a snowball’s throw of the Arctic Circle in the Fishing Branch Protected Area, where the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation & the regional government have joined hands to set aside 2,500 sq. miles of pristine wilderness as Yukon’s largest territorial park.

An Ice Covered Grizzly Bear Of The Yukon Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photographic Holiday

The season to witness this phenomenon is short, just six weeks long, in which the grizzlies gather to feast on the spawning salmon. Their feeding behaviour is intense during this period as they are attempting to put on enough weight to last them through their hibernation in nearby limestone caverns over the winter months & the Fishing Branch River is the key to it all.

Fed by underground springs, it remains unfrozen all year round, & every autumn 35,000 chum salmon make the 1,500-mile odyssey from the Bering Sea to spawn in its pure waters. At times there are so many fish in the river you feel you could walk across it on their backs without getting your feet wet.

The salmon, in turn, attract the grizzlies, as many as 40 every season & as they wade through the river an extraordinary transformation takes place. Within minutes their wet fur freezes in the sub-zero temperatures & they become ice bears to the delight of wildlife photographers.

Being allowed into the park is a rare privilege, as the region is very sacred to the indigenous Vuntut Gwitchin communities who reside in the area, & put great ancestral & cultural value on the land & the environment within the park. The 2500sq miles which make up the park was set aside by the government & local communities as an area for preservation, & the opportunity to capture its rarely disturbed wildlife population on camera is not one to miss out on. A guide with in-depth knowledge of the wildlife & culture of the Yukon national park will lead you throughout the experience to aid you in obtaining editorial-quality images that truly convey the magic of this exceptional wildlife spectacle.

A Pair Of Sparring You Grizzly Bears On The Banks Of The Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photographic Holiday

Our trip includes a two-hour chartered helicopter journey from Dawson City to Fishing Branch River, which takes us across a far-reaching emptiness of deep-frozen rivers & boreal forests bounded by range upon range of white mountains punching to the sky. You will also enjoy seven nights full-board accommodation in a rustic log cabin situated moments from the bank of the river; immersing you in the action yet providing a cosy retreat from the harsh conditions outside.

All internal transfers, accommodation & meals at the camp are all included to make things as straightforward & enjoyable for you as possible.

An Atmospheric Image Of A Bear In The Landscape Of Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photographic Holiday

As well as cabin accommodation, all internal transfers are taken care of for you, to ensure that the whole experience is truly enjoyable & you are able to focus on capturing stunning photographs to add to your wildlife portfolio. Group numbers are strictly limited, so book your place now to avoid missing out!

Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Workshop Availability

3 places available.

Recommended Equipment

Clothing

We recommend that you dress up warmly for early morning starts – it can get quite cold sitting in the hide in the early hours. Wearing layers is advisable so that they may be shed at a later stage where necessary.

For our boat trips, non-slip waterproof boots or wellington boots are recommended. As with most boats water can slosh through the scuppers if the boat rolls so sandals or light pumps can get wet and spoil your enjoyment.

  • Waterproof (and windproof) coat.
  • Warm trousers, preferably waterproof.
  •  Thermal clothing.
  •  Thermal socks.
  •  Non slip waterproof boots or wellington boots (no cleats or studs please).
  • Waterproof cap or hat.
  •  Gloves.
  •  Sunglasses.
  •  Warm fleece for early morning starts and once the sun has set.
  •  Clothing for hide work should be camouflage or neutral browns & greens.
  •  Water bottle or flask for tea & coffee.
  •  Sunscreen.
  •  Travel sickness pills.
Camera Equipment

  • Digital camera body.
  • Lenses in the range 70mm – 500mm.
  • Lenses with f2.8 will give the best light capture and speed of focussing.
  • An alternative to long telephoto lenses is a tele-converter (e.g. 1.4x or 2x).
  •  Monopod or tripod.
  • Remote shutter release.
  • Spare memory cards.
  • Spare battery.
  • Battery charger.
  • Lens cleaning cloth.
  •  Camera and lens waterproof cover.
  • Laptop or another type of storage device – we will be shooting lots of images.

Additional Notes

NaturesLens photography holidays include only the travel stated on the event page, flights of any nature are not included. Flight details, where applicable, are made available to clients in plenty of time to allow for booking at the best prices available.

The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.

NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants, if sufficient photography holiday places are not sold the photography holiday may not be run, this photography holiday has a minimum participant level of 3 plus NaturesLens guide(s).

Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.

Unless stated otherwise, most NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays are suitable for single travellers, we design our holidays so that each participant gets their own room, there is no sharing & no single supplement - if this is unclear for any event, please check the accomodation arrangements prior to making a booking.

Please note the cuisine on many of the NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays is authentic & typical of the region in which you are travelling, international or western cuisine is often NOT available - if this is unclear for any event, please check the cuisine arrangements prior to making a booking.

Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photography Holiday BOOKING FORM

All bookings are made subject to our terms & conditions.

Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Proposed Itinerary

  • 15-Oct-20 – Travel to Whitehorse – overnight Whitehorse
  • 16-Oct-20 – Travel to Dawson City – overnight Dawson City
  • 17-Oct-20 – Travel to Fishing Branch River – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 18-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 19-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 20-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 21-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 22-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 23-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 24-Oct-20 – Travel to Dawson City
  • 25-Oct-20 – Travel to Whitehorse
  • 26-Oct-20 – Travel to UK
steller's sea eagle in flight by .

Japanese Winter Wildlife tour

This photography holiday is priced at $6999 (USD) for US guests wishing to join us.

To secure your place on this photographic tour, we require a 20% deposit – the balance will fall due on 16th November 2018.
Imagine travelling through a winter landscape in a country heavy with tradition, where you can encounter & photograph entrancing snow monkeys, beautiful dancing red-crowned cranes, dreamlike swans on a snow covered frozen lake plus both Steller’s & White Tailed Sea Eagles on drifting pack ice, this is exactly what the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour offers. Our trip also accommodates chance encounters with Ural OwlsRed Foxes & more native wildlife. Commencing in Tokyo & meeting at Haneda Airport, the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour first travels to the Jigokudani Valley, to photograph the monkeys of “Hell’s Valley”, where steam & boiling water bubbles from small crevices in the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs & formidably cold & hostile forests. Whilst we stay in the town of Yudanaka, our target is to photograph the Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata), more commonly referred to as Snow Monkeys, that descend from the steep cliffs & forest to sit in the warm waters of the onsen or hot springs. The monkeys return to the security of the forests in the evenings. We will spend two full days in the valley. You will have the opportunity to photograph the monkeys in the onsen, or at play in the valley below the main area where intimate mother & baby shots are easily achieved. It is without a doubt a harsh environment in the winter months with snow on the ground for a third of the year, but the hot springs make it a paradise for the several of hundred monkeys that live in the valley & the surrounding forests. Whilst at the onsen or the valley, the monkeys simply ignore the photographers & simply get on with whatever it is they want to be doing. Young Snow Monkey in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour From Yudanaka, our Japanese winter wildlife tour returns briefly to Tokyo, then travels onwards to the island of Hokkaido. Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost & least developed of Japan’s four main islands. Its weather is harsh in winter with lots of snowfall, below zero temperatures & frozen seas. Snow Monkey in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Our first main location is Akan National Park which is located in eastern Hokkaido. The park is well known for its three beautiful lakes: Lake Akan, Lake Mashu & Lake Kussharo. Akan National Park is composed of two separate parts. The smaller, western portion contains Lake Akan with the lakeside hot spring resort of Akankohan Onsen. The larger, eastern part contains Lake Mashu, Lake Kussharo, Iozan (Sulfur Mountain) & centrally located Kawayu Onsen. Japanese Cranes in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourWe stay in Akan for at least two full days of photography, at this location the  focus is on photography of the red-crowned cranes; Red-crowned Cranes are the only crane species that have white primary feathers. Adult forehead & crown are covered with bare red skin, & a large white band extends from behind the eyes & meets sharply with the black lower neck. The majority of the body is pure white with the exception of black secondary & tertiary feathers. Eyes are black & legs are slatey to grayish black. Males & females are virtually indistinguishable, although males tend to be slightly larger in size. Red-crowned cranes form flocks in winter but otherwise live in pairs. Once mated the pair will stay together for life. The crane has one of the most beautiful dances in the bird world; these dances help to strengthen the bond between the mated pair. Japanese Red Crowned Crane in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour We will visit a number of crane sites at varying times of the day from sunrise through to sunset, with the intention of watching & photographing the cranes perform their intricate courtship dances; the birds bow to one another, then throw their heads over their backs, then bow again. The pair leaps into the air, at the same time raising their wings. The Red-crowned Cranes’ unison dance is a ritual the pair will perform together many times over the years, to strengthen their lifelong bond. Lake Kussharo is a caldera lake in Akan National Park, eastern Hokkaidō, Japan. As with many geographic names in Hokkaidō, the name derives from the Ainu language. It is the largest caldera lake in Japan in terms of surface area, & sixth largest lake in Japan. It is also the largest lake in Japan to freeze over completely in winter. The lake’s central island, Nakajima, is a composite volcano. Volcanic gases render the lake water acidic, & it supports few fish except in areas where inflowing streams dilute the water. The lake is on the migratory path of the whooper swan. Swan spreads its wings on Lake Kussharo photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourSwan in snow on Lake Kussharo photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourWe spend two days at the various swan locations, undertaking photography of these beautiful birds at the various calderas around which they gather. In addition some amazing opportunities are presented for in flight, taking off & resting on ice shots, all within a dreamlike landscape. The area is rich with other wildlife, much of which we will spend time at leisure attempting to locate & photograph – this includes red squirrels, red fox & a particular favourite in the form of the roosting Ural Owls. Lake Kussharo Swan in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourSwan on Lake Kussahro photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour From Lake Kussharo, the Japanese winter wildlife tour moves onto Rausu; Rausu is a small coastal fishing town, with a small population of approximately 6,500. Located on the Shiretoko Peninsula , it is the most northeasterly town in Japan. During the winter months the population of Steller’s Sea Eagles & White-tailed Sea Eagles hunt for fish on the pack ice, which drifts down from the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia. We will stay in Rausu for several nights, during which we will take advantage of the tour boats that operate from Rausu harbour. These boats are without a doubt the best manner in which to see these stunning birds. White Tailed Sea Eagle sitting on drifting pack ice on Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourWhite Tailed Sea Eagle prparing to land on drifting pack ice photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourSteller's Sea Eagles on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourThe Steller’s Sea Eagle is the heaviest eagle in the world. It breeds in northeastern Russia & winters further south, reaching Hokkaido where it spends its days hunting for fish around the pack ice. Packs or clusters of these immense birds gather in Rausu harbour & out on the pack ice waiting for the fish that the tour boats provide. The White-tailed Sea Eagle is another large eagle, closely related to the North American Bald Eagle. It is more widespread than Steller’s & breeds across northern Europe & Asia, & is a year-round resident of Hokkaido. White Tailed Sea Eagle landing on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourSteller's Sea Eagle preparing to land on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour The NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour includes three days of photographing the impressive sea eagles, with a 5am & 9am cruises each day. The afternoon of each day is free for rest or photo advice & critique; however, one evening at least will be devoted to photographing the Blakiston’s Fish Owl from a local hide. The Blakiston’s Fish Owl is the largest living species of owl, it is in fact a large eagle owl, with a wingspan that can reach up to two metres long. Blakiston’s fish owl is found in Siberia, northeast China & the island of Hokkaido in Japan which is why the photographic opportunity afforded here is to be grasped, that said, the evening photography is harsh & adequate preparation is required. Additionally on the tour, we will include visits to a sea eagle feeding site on a frozen lake, this provides some amazing opportunities for shots of interaction between the sea eagles of both types, plus black-eared kites. The photographic opportunities afforded for bird in flights shots are equally excellent. White Tailed Sea Eagle soars in the sky above a frozen lake in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Upon leaving Hokkaido, our tour to photograph Japan Snow Monkeys And Hokkaido’s wildlife will return to Tokyo airport, have a brief overnight stop in a local hotel near to the airport & from there depart homeward bound.

NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour Outline Itinerary

Available upon booking the tour & placing a deposit.

Single Supplement

No single supplement payable

Workshop Availability

4 places available.

Recommended Equipment

Available upon booking the tour & placing a deposit.

Additional Notes

NaturesLens photography holidays include only the travel stated on the event page, flights of any nature are not included. Flight details, where applicable, are made available to clients in plenty of time to allow for booking at the best prices available.

The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.

NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants, if sufficient photography holiday places are not sold the photography holiday may not be run, this photography holiday has a minimum participant level of 3 plus NaturesLens guide(s).

Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.

Unless stated otherwise, most NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays are suitable for single travellers, we design our holidays so that each participant gets their own room, there is no sharing & no single supplement - if this is unclear for any event, please check the accomodation arrangements prior to making a booking.

Please note the cuisine on many of the NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays is authentic & typical of the region in which you are travelling, international or western cuisine is often NOT available - if this is unclear for any event, please check the cuisine arrangements prior to making a booking. This Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour cost includes accommodation, breakfastentrance fees to parks, feeding stations & nature tour boat trips at Rausu, all transport to & from Japanese airports & within Japan – excluding flights. The NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour cost specifically excludes all flights, both international & domestic, alcohol & other items of a personal nature. A non-refundable deposit of £1000 is required to secure a place on this trip with the balance being due 12 weeks prior to departure (mid-November 2018).

Japanese Winter Wildlife tour BOOKING FORM

All bookings are made subject to our terms & conditions.

An Ice Covered Grizzly Bear Of The Yukon Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

Ice Bears of the Yukon Photography Holiday

Ice Bears of the Yukon Photography Holiday

THIS EVENT FOR 2018 IS SOLD OUT … BUT we have been able to get some dates for a return to the Ice Bears of the Yukon, this is the photography holiday for the Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain; demand for places at Grizzly Bear Photography at Bear Cave Mountain is very high as only around 24 people get to spend time at the location each year!

We have secured dates for the last session of Ice Grizzly Photography of the season in 2020, which should be the coldest and therefore most likely to offer the opportunities of the Grizzly Bears clad in ice when they emerge from the waters of the Fishing Branch river. The dates for this very special wildlife photography holiday are October 15, 2020 – October 26, 2020.


Join NaturesLens on a wild Canadian adventure, travelling into the depths of Yukon wilderness to capture unrivalled images of the native grizzly bear as it feeds on spawning salmon in the Fishing Branch River. The specific conditions & sub-zero temperatures in & around this river transforms grizzlies into ice bears, as their fur becomes frozen & frosted; completely changing their appearance as photography subjects.

Only a fortunate few can witness this spectacle annually, & the unique nature of this wildlife photography experience means that we can only offer at most 3 places on this trip, typically only 2, so booking early is essential.

NaturesLens invites wildlife photography enthusiasts on a journey to a national park in the Yukon region, Canada’s wildest & most unspoilt territory, to capture awe-inspiring images of the native grizzly bears as they feed on spawning salmon. This natural wonder only occurs for six weeks of the year, so the lucky few who get to witness this event will take home memories to treasure for years to come.

The location for this wildlife photography holiday lies within a snowball’s throw of the Arctic Circle in the Fishing Branch Protected Area, where the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation & the regional government have joined hands to set aside 2,500 sq. miles of pristine wilderness as Yukon’s largest territorial park.

An Ice Covered Grizzly Bear Of The Yukon Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

The season to witness this phenomenon is short, just six weeks long, in which the grizzlies gather to feast on the spawning salmon. Their feeding behaviour is intense during this period as they are attempting to put on enough weight to last them through their hibernation in nearby limestone caverns over the winter months & the Fishing Branch River is the key to it all.

Fed by underground springs, it remains unfrozen all year round, & every autumn 35,000 chum salmon make the 1,500-mile odyssey from the Bering Sea to spawn in its pure waters. At times there are so many fish in the river you feel you could walk across it on their backs without getting your feet wet.

The salmon in turn attract the grizzlies, as many as 40 every season & as they wade through the river an extraordinary transformation takes place. Within minutes their wet fur freezes in the sub-zero temperatures & they become ice bears to the delight of wildlife photographers.

Being allowed into the park is a rare privilege, as the region is very sacred to the indigenous Vuntut Gwitchin communities who reside in the area, & put great ancestral & cultural value on the land & the environment within the park. The 2500sq miles which make up the park was set aside by the government & local communities as an area for preservation, & the opportunity to capture its rarely disturbed wildlife population on camera is not one to miss out on. A guide with in depth knowledge of the wildlife & culture of the Yukon national park will lead you throughout the experience to aid you in obtaining editorial-quality images that truly convey the magic of this exceptional wildlife spectacle.

A Pair Of Sparring You Grizzly Bears On The Banks Of The Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

Our trip includes a two hour chartered helicopter journey from Dawson City to Fishing Branch River, which takes us across a far-reaching emptiness of deep-frozen rivers & boreal forests bounded by range upon range of white mountains punching to the sky. You will also enjoy seven nights full-board accommodation in a rustic log cabin situated moments from the bank of the river; immersing you in the action yet providing a cosy retreat from the harsh conditions outside.

All internal transfers, accommodation & meals at the camp are all included to make things as straightforward & enjoyable for you as possible.

An Atmospheric Image Of A Bear In The Landscape Of Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

As well as cabin accommodation, all internal transfers are taken care of for you, to ensure that the whole experience is truly enjoyable & you are able to focus on capturing stunning photographs to add to your wildlife portfolio. Group numbers are strictly limited, so book your place now to avoid missing out!

Ice Bears of the Yukon Workshop Availability

FULLY BOOKED.

Recommended Equipment

Clothing

We recommend that you dress up warmly for early morning starts – it can get quite cold sitting in the hide in the early hours. Wearing layers is advisable so that they may be shed at a later stage where necessary.

For our boat trips, non-slip waterproof boots or wellington boots are recommended. As with most boats water can slosh through the scuppers if the boat rolls so sandals or light pumps can get wet and spoil your enjoyment.

  • Waterproof (and windproof) coat.
  • Warm trousers, preferably waterproof.
  •  Thermal clothing.
  •  Thermal socks.
  •  Non slip waterproof boots or wellington boots (no cleats or studs please).
  • Waterproof cap or hat.
  •  Gloves.
  •  Sunglasses.
  •  Warm fleece for early morning starts and once the sun has set.
  •  Clothing for hide work should be camouflage or neutral browns & greens.
  •  Water bottle or flask for tea & coffee.
  •  Sunscreen.
  •  Travel sickness pills.
Camera Equipment

  • Digital camera body.
  • Lenses in the range 70mm – 500mm.
  • Lenses with f2.8 will give the best light capture and speed of focussing.
  • An alternative to long telephoto lenses is a tele-converter (e.g. 1.4x or 2x).
  •  Monopod or tripod.
  • Remote shutter release.
  • Spare memory cards.
  • Spare battery.
  • Battery charger.
  • Lens cleaning cloth.
  •  Camera and lens waterproof cover.
  • Laptop or another type of storage device – we will be shooting lots of images.

Additional Notes

NaturesLens photography holidays include only the travel stated on the event page, flights of any nature are not included. Flight details, where applicable, are made available to clients in plenty of time to allow for booking at the best prices available.

The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.

NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants, if sufficient photography holiday places are not sold the photography holiday may not be run, this photography holiday has a minimum participant level of 2 plus NaturesLens guide(s).

Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.

Unless stated otherwise, most NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays are suitable for single travellers, we design our holidays so that each participant gets their own room, there is no sharing & no single supplement - if this is unclear for any event, please check the accomodation arrangements prior to making a booking.

Please note the cuisine on many of the NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays is authentic & typical of the region in which you are travelling, international or western cuisine is often NOT available - if this is unclear for any event, please check the cuisine arrangements prior to making a booking.

PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY FULL

THIS EVENT FOR 2018 IS SOLD OUT … BUT We have been able to get some dates for a return to the Ice Bears of the Yukon, this is the photography holiday for the Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain; demand for places at Grizzly Bear Photography at Bear Cave Mountain is very high as only around 24 people get to spend time at the location each year!

We have secured dates for the last session of Ice Grizzly Photography of the season in 2020, which should be the coldest and therefore most likely to offer the opportunities of the Grizzly Bears clad in ice when they emerge from the waters of the Fishing Branch river. The dates for this very special wildlife photography holiday are October 15, 2020 – October 26, 2020.

Ice Bears of the Yukon Proposed Itinerary

  • 15-Oct-2020 – Travel to Whitehorse – overnight Whitehorse
  • 16-Oct-2020 – Travel to Dawson City – overnight Dawson City
  • 17-Oct-2020 – Travel to Fishing Branch River – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 18-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 19-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 20-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 21-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 22-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 23-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 24-Oct-2020 – Travel to Dawson City
  • 25-Oct-2020 – Travel to Whitehorse
  • 26-Nov-2020 – Travel to UK
steller's sea eagle in flight by .

Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour

The 2018 photography tour now has had all places reserved, we have opened bookings for the 2019 Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Tour, if you would like to attend that trip, please view the details on the dedicated event’s page.

To secure your place on this photographic tour, we require a 20% deposit – the balance will fall due on 17th November 2017.
Imagine travelling through a winter landscape in a country heavy with tradition, where you can encounter & photograph entrancing snow monkeys, beautiful dancing red-crowned cranes, dreamlike swans on a snow covered frozen lake plus both Steller’s & White Tailed Sea Eagles on drifting pack ice, this is exactly what the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour offers. Our trip also accommodates chance encounters with Ural OwlsRed Foxes & more native wildlife.
Young Snow Monkey in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour From our meeting point at Tokyo Haneda Airport, immediately travels onwards to the island of Hokkaido. Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost & least developed of Japan’s four main islands. Its weather is harsh in winter with lots of snowfall, below zero temperatures & frozen seas. Snow Monkey in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Our first main location is Akan National Park which is located in eastern Hokkaido. The park is well known for its three beautiful lakes: Lake Akan, Lake Mashu & Lake Kussharo. Akan National Park is composed of two separate parts. The smaller, western portion contains Lake Akan with the lakeside hot spring resort of Akankohan Onsen. The larger, eastern part contains Lake Mashu, Lake Kussharo, Iozan (Sulfur Mountain) & centrally located Kawayu Onsen. Japanese Cranes in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourWe stay in Akan for at least two full days of photography, at this location the  focus is on photography of the red-crowned cranes; Red-crowned Cranes are the only crane species that have white primary feathers. Adult forehead & crown are covered with bare red skin, & a large white band extends from behind the eyes & meets sharply with the black lower neck. The majority of the body is pure white with the exception of black secondary & tertiary feathers. Eyes are black & legs are slatey to grayish black. Males & females are virtually indistinguishable, although males tend to be slightly larger in size. Red-crowned cranes form flocks in winter but otherwise live in pairs. Once mated the pair will stay together for life. The crane has one of the most beautiful dances in the bird world; these dances help to strengthen the bond between the mated pair. Japanese Red Crowned Crane in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour We will visit a number of crane sites at varying times of the day from sunrise through to sunset, with the intention of watching & photographing the cranes perform their intricate courtship dances; the birds bow to one another, then throw their heads over their backs, then bow again. The pair leaps into the air, at the same time raising their wings. The Red-crowned Cranes’ unison dance is a ritual the pair will perform together many times over the years, to strengthen their lifelong bond. Lake Kussharo is a caldera lake in Akan National Park, eastern Hokkaidō, Japan. As with many geographic names in Hokkaidō, the name derives from the Ainu language. It is the largest caldera lake in Japan in terms of surface area, & sixth largest lake in Japan. It is also the largest lake in Japan to freeze over completely in winter. The lake’s central island, Nakajima, is a composite volcano. Volcanic gases render the lake water acidic, & it supports few fish except in areas where inflowing streams dilute the water. The lake is on the migratory path of the whooper swan. Swan spreads its wings on Lake Kussharo photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourSwan in snow on Lake Kussharo photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourWe spend two days at the various swan locations, undertaking photography of these beautiful birds at the various calderas around which they gather. In addition some amazing opportunities are presented for in flight, taking off & resting on ice shots, all within a dreamlike landscape. The area is rich with other wildlife, much of which we will spend time at leisure attempting to locate & photograph – this includes red squirrels, red fox & a particular favourite in the form of the roosting Ural Owls. Lake Kussharo Swan in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourSwan on Lake Kussahro photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour From Lake Kussharo, the Japanese winter wildlife tour moves onto Rausu; Rausu is a small coastal fishing town, with a small population of approximately 6,500. Located on the Shiretoko Peninsula , it is the most northeasterly town in Japan. During the winter months the population of Steller’s Sea Eagles & White-tailed Sea Eagles hunt for fish on the pack ice, which drifts down from the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia. We will stay in Rausu for several nights, during which we will take advantage of the tour boats that operate from Rausu harbour. These boats are without a doubt the best manner in which to see these stunning birds. White Tailed Sea Eagle sitting on drifting pack ice on Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourWhite Tailed Sea Eagle prparing to land on drifting pack ice photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourSteller's Sea Eagles on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourThe Steller’s Sea Eagle is the heaviest eagle in the world. It breeds in northeastern Russia & winters further south, reaching Hokkaido where it spends its days hunting for fish around the pack ice. Packs or clusters of these immense birds gather in Rausu harbour & out on the pack ice waiting for the fish that the tour boats provide. The White-tailed Sea Eagle is another large eagle, closely related to the North American Bald Eagle. It is more widespread than Steller’s & breeds across northern Europe & Asia, & is a year-round resident of Hokkaido. White Tailed Sea Eagle landing on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tourSteller's Sea Eagle preparing to land on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour The NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour includes three days of photographing the impressive sea eagles, with a 5 am & 9 am cruises each day. The afternoon of each day is free for rest or photo advice & critique; however, one evening at least will be devoted to photographing the Blakiston’s Fish Owl from a local hide. The Blakiston’s Fish Owl is the largest living species of owl, it is, in fact, a large eagle owl, with a wingspan that can reach up to two metres long. Blakiston’s fish owl is found in Siberia, northeast China & the island of Hokkaido in Japan which is why the photographic opportunity afforded here is to be grasped, that said, the evening photography is harsh & adequate preparation is required. Additionally, on the tour, we will include visits to a sea eagle feeding site on a frozen lake, this provides some amazing opportunities for shots of interaction between the sea eagles of both types, plus black-eared kites. The photographic opportunities afforded for bird in flights shots are equally excellent. White Tailed Sea Eagle soars in the sky above a frozen lake in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Upon leaving Hokkaido, our tour to photograph Japan Snow Monkeys And Hokkaido’s wildlife will return to Tokyo. The following day, we travel to the Jigokudani Valley, to photograph the monkeys of “Hell’s Valley”, where steam & boiling water bubbles from small crevices in the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs & formidably cold & hostile forests. Whilst we stay in the town of Yudanaka, our target is to photograph the Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata), more commonly referred to as Snow Monkeys, that descend from the steep cliffs & forest to sit in the warm waters of the onsen or hot springs. The monkeys return to the security of the forests in the evenings. We will spend two full days in the valley. You will have the opportunity to photograph the monkeys in the onsen, or at play in the valley below the main area where intimate mother & baby shots are easily achieved. It is without a doubt a harsh environment in the winter months with snow on the ground for a third of the year, but the hot springs make it a paradise for the several of hundred monkeys that live in the valley & the surrounding forests. Whilst at the onsen or the valley, the monkeys simply ignore the photographers & simply get on with whatever it is they want to be doing. Upon our return from Yudanaka to Tokyo, our group will have a brief overnight stop in a local hotel near to the airport & from there depart homeward bound.

NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour Outline Itinerary

Available upon booking the tour & placing a deposit.

Single Supplement

No single supplement payable

Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour Availability

SPACES AVAILABLE!

Recommended Equipment

Available upon booking the tour & placing a deposit.

Additional Notes

NaturesLens photography holidays include only the travel stated on the event page, flights of any nature are not included. Flight details, where applicable, are made available to clients in plenty of time to allow for booking at the best prices available.

The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.

NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants, if sufficient photography holiday places are not sold the photography holiday may not be run, this photography holiday has a minimum participant level of 3 plus NaturesLens guide(s).

Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.

Unless stated otherwise, most NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays are suitable for single travellers, we design our holidays so that each participant gets their own room, there is no sharing & no single supplement - if this is unclear for any event, please check the accomodation arrangements prior to making a booking.

Please note the cuisine on many of the NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays is authentic & typical of the region in which you are travelling, international or western cuisine is often NOT available - if this is unclear for any event, please check the cuisine arrangements prior to making a booking. This Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour cost includes accommodation, breakfastentrance fees to parks, feeding stations & nature tour boat trips at Rausu, all transport to & from Japanese airports & within Japan – excluding flights. The NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour cost specifically excludes all flights, both international & domestic, alcohol & other items of a personal nature. A non-refundable deposit of £1000 is required to secure a place on this trip with the balance being due 12 weeks prior to departure (17th November 2017).

PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY FULL

The 2018 photography tour now has had all places reserved, we have opened bookings for the 2019 Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Tour, if you would like to attend that trip, please view the details on the dedicated event’s page.

David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens in Greece for their Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday which is to be conducted on & around Lake Kerkini. The lake has impressive snowcapped mountains to the northern edges providing a perfect photographic backdrop. David Howse Dalmatian Pelican Group photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday The photographic opportunities on our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday will be sublime – with opportunities for shots from both the shoreline & on the water itself. Lake Kerkini, situated in northern Greece, not far from the border with Bulgaria, is the setting for our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Workshop – in winter, Lake Kerkini, is the most important place in Europe for the globally threatened Dalmatian Pelican, additionally the lake is a noted haunt of the rare Spotted Eagle. NaturesLens have arranged for the clients to venture, using boats, out on to the lake itself, it is expected therefore that clients will be able to enjoy incredible close encounters with the magnificent Dalmatian Pelicans, many of which should be sporting full breeding plumage at this time of year. Read more

David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens in Greece for their Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday which is to be conducted on & around Lake Kerkini. The lake has impressive snowcapped mountains to the northern edges providing a perfect photographic backdrop. David Howse Dalmatian Pelican Group photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday The photographic opportunities on our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday will be sublime – with opportunities for shots from both the shoreline & on the water itself. Lake Kerkini, situated in northern Greece, not far from the border with Bulgaria, is the setting for our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Workshop – in winter, Lake Kerkini, is the most important place in Europe for the globally threatened Dalmatian Pelican, additionally the lake is a noted haunt of the rare Spotted Eagle. NaturesLens have arranged for the clients to venture, using boats, out on to the lake itself, it is expected therefore that clients will be able to enjoy incredible close encounters with the magnificent Dalmatian Pelicans, many of which should be sporting full breeding plumage at this time of year. Read more

David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens in Greece for their Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday which is to be conducted on & around Lake Kerkini. The lake has impressive snowcapped mountains to the northern edges providing a perfect photographic backdrop.

Please note that this is a slightly extended trip of 4 days of full photography as opposed to 3.

David Howse Dalmatian Pelican Group photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday The photographic opportunities on our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday will be sublime – with opportunities for shots from both the shoreline & on the water itself. Lake Kerkini, situated in northern Greece, not far from the border with Bulgaria, is the setting for our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Workshop – in winter, Lake Kerkini, is the most important place in Europe for the globally threatened Dalmatian Pelican, additionally the lake is a noted haunt of the rare Spotted Eagle. NaturesLens have arranged for the clients to venture, using boats, out on to the lake itself, it is expected therefore that clients will be able to enjoy incredible close encounters with the magnificent Dalmatian Pelicans, many of which should be sporting full breeding plumage at this time of year. Read more