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2023 – Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday

February 11, 2023 - February 25, 2023

Stellars Sea Eagle in flight
  • Winter Wildlife

    of Japan

    Join David & Ian, members of the NaturesLens guiding team, on both Hokkaido & Honshu, the mainland of Japan, for this this 14 night photography trip.

    Travel through wintery landscapes, taking photo opportunities with Blakiston's fish owl, red fox, red-crowned crane, snow monkey, Steller's sea eagle, white-tailed sea eagle & whooper swan & more besides.

    11th - 25th February 2023

    £6499 per participant

    Group size: 4 - 6 participants - fully booked.

    Bookings closed: Fully booked.

    Fully booked

    Winter Wildlife of Japan - £6499 per participant

    11th - 25th February 2023
    £6499 per participant
    fully booked
  • NaturesLens invites you to spend this 14 night/15 day tour traveling throughout the wonderfully diverse landscapes of Japan, specifically Central Honshu & Northern Hokkaido, getting up close to a wide range of native species that thrive in harsh winter conditions. Our Japanese Winter Wildlife photography holiday, which we have been leading for the last 9 years, covers a variety of areas, providing you with unique opportunities to undertake wildlife photography of the highest quality.
    Guided by David & Ian, you will visit Central Honshu & Northern Hokkaido & gain an insight into the variety of landscapes & wildlife that exists throughout the country, made even more photogenic by dramatic winter conditions. The photographic opportunities on our Japanese Winter Wildlife photography tour are always without parallel – with opportunities to photograph the red-crowned cranes, Steller’s sea eagles, white-tailed sea eagle, whooper swans, & of course, the Snow Monkeys, during this photography holiday.
    Join NaturesLens to capture images of the red-crowned cranes, Steller's sea eagles, white-tailed sea eagle, whooper swans, & the Snow Monkeys, in Japan, during the Winter Wildlife of Japan photography holiday. This photography holiday is of 14 night/15 day duration on a Half Board, Non-Shared basis & costs £6499 per participant.
    Join David & Ian to travel deep into stunning snow-covered landscapes, capturing beautiful images of wildlife which thrives during harsher seasons in Japan. Our group will travel throughout several different regions, including the mountainous area around Yudanaka in central Japan, & north of the mainland to the island of Hokkaido, giving you an insight into the variety of landscapes & wildlife which exists throughout the country, made even more photogenic by dramatic winter conditions.
    Our trip offers enthusiastic wildlife photographers the opportunity to rise early for two dawn visits to the famous red-crowned crane roosting sites of the Tsurui region of Hokkaido; spend two days at the Akan red-crowned crane feeding centre; & spend two days observing the beautiful whooper swans which inhabit Lake Kussharo, a frozen caldera lake in the eastern region of Hokkaido.
    Not only this, but our trip is unique in offering six boat trips on the drift ice of the Nemuro Strait to photograph Hokkaido’s fabulous Steller’s sea & white-tailed eagle populations as they fly, feed, dive for fish & fight over scraps. These excursions will give you unique access to the native wildlife at each location, providing ample opportunity to obtain incredible images.
    Our tour begins in Tokyo; from there we immediately transfer to Hokkaido, the most northerly island of Japan, which holds the most remote & only true wilderness in Japan. North of the island, the Shiretoko Peninsula is recognised for its world heritage site status, as the landscapes of dramatic coastline & soaring mountains are stunning, giving you the perfect backdrop to achieve editorial quality images of the wildlife inhabitants. As we travel across the island, you will have the opportunity to photograph a vast selection of Japanese Winter Wildlife, including red-crowned cranes, black-eared kites, whooper swans as well as white-tailed & Steller’s sea eagles as we cruise through drift ice environments which surround the island & across additional feeding sites on the Nemuro Peninsula to the east of the island.
    We will then move onward to Yudanaka & spend two days at the Jigokudani snow monkey site with the Japanese Macaque, also known as the Snow Monkey, in the mountains, at their thermal spa, as they bathe & feed in the area. We give you the second day here so that you have the chance to fine-tune your photography having become more familiar with the environment & the behaviour of this species. After spending the morning with the snow monkeys of Jigokudani Yaen Koen, we will travel to Yamanakako. Our final location is on the shores of  Lake Yamanaka; the view of Mt. Fuji from the lake is breathtaking & has a distinctive shape – making for an iconic image to complete your Japanese Winter Wildlife photography holiday.
    Japan is an extraordinary country, & our Japanese Winter Wildlife photography holiday provides wildlife photographers with unrivaled opportunities to capture uniquely beautiful photographs.
    In order to present the best photographic opportunities the majority of locations that we make use of throughout this photography holiday are rural or remote in nature, as such food is often based on seafood & is traditional Japanese in style – westernised menus are frequently not available – if you wish to discuss this further prior to booking please contact us.
    Group size is limited to between 4 & 6 participants, this is due to the nature of the photography excursions & the type of hotel that we prefer to make use of, so booking early is essential.

    Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Itinerary

    day 1

    flight to tokyo from home location

    day 2

    meet at haneda domestic terminal & transfer to hokkaido

    day 3

    early morning location shoot for red-crowned crane roosting site, full-day photography of red-crowned cranes in tsuri

    day 4

    early morning location shoot for red-crowned crane roosting site, half-day photography of red-crowned cranes in tsuri & transfer to kussharo

    day 5

    full-day photography of whooper swans

    day 6

    half-day photography of whooper swans & transfer to rausu

    day 7

    two early morning boat trips for photography of steller's & white-tailed sea eagles, possible afternoon photography on notsuke penninsula

    day 8

    two early morning boat trips for photography of steller's & white-tailed sea eagles, possible afternoon photography on notsuke penninsula

    day 9

    two early morning boat trips for photography of steller's & white-tailed sea eagles, transfer to notsuke penninsula

    day 10

    early morning location shoot for photography of steller's & white-tailed sea eagles plus foxes & black-eared kites, late morning or afternoon cruise for eagles & sea-birds on the nemuro coast

    day 11

    early morning location shoot for photography of steller's & white-tailed sea eagles plus foxes & black-eared kites, afternoon transfer to tokyo

    day 12

    drive from haneda to yudanaka

    day 13

    snow monkey photography

    day 14

    ½ day of snow monkey photography & transfer to yamanakako - sunset at yamanakako lake looking towards mount fuji

    day 15

    sunrise at yamanakako lake looking towards mount fuji, ½ day of swan photography alongside the lake & return to haneda - trip concludes

    A Young Snow Monkey Peers Over The Edge Of The Thermal Pool   Photographed During The Winter Wildlife Of Japan Photography Holiday
  • 25%

    Discount from Lenses For Hire on any lenses, or other camera equipment, that you require FOR this wildlife photography holiday.

    NaturesLens have partnered with Lenses For Hire to give you an exclusive discount on any lenses hired for any NaturesLens Wildlife Photography Holiday or Workshop.

    • Accommodation on a non-shared basis (with no single supplement payable)
    • Airport Transfers
    • All in-trip transportation
    • All photography sessions & appropriate permits
    • Food on a half board basis
    • Guidance & advice from our Photography Holiday Guides
    • Transportation between photographic locations
    • 6 early-morning boat trips for White-Tailed & Steller Sea Eagle photography
    • Monkey park entrance fees
    • Optional trip to Matsumoto Castle
    • All Drinks
    • Any activities not listed on the itinerary
    • Flights
    • Meals not listed on the itinerary
    • Personal expenses of any type
    • Required Insurances
    • Sundries
    • Tips & Gratuities
    • Transportation to start location
    • Visas
    • Flights between Tokyo & Hokkaido

    What our clients say

    • Alan - Calera - 2017

      Always good trips, with great photographic opportunities, & lots of camaraderie. Recommended!

    Make a Booking Enquiry

    Sorry, all the available places for this photography holiday, Winter Wildlife of Japan, have already been reserved; however, if you would like to be placed on a waiting list in case of any cancellations or to be notified should we decide to run another of these trips, please fill in the form below.
    This form collects your entered details for the purposes of a booking enquiry.
    Please view our privacy policy for full details on how we protect & manage your submitted data.

    How to Book

    Before booking, it is important that you read the relevant photography holiday event page & our Booking Terms & Conditions. If you have any doubts regarding your suitability for this photography holiday, please contact us.
    To book, simply click the relevant link from the event page on our website. You will then be sent a booking form & a copy of our terms & conditions. In order to secure your place on the selected photography holiday, simply complete the booking form with details of all persons travelling & holiday indemnity, in relevant cases, & return to us (either by email or by post) with confirmation that the deposit has been paid. Payments should be made via bank transfer.
    A deposit of 20% is required at the time of booking unless you are booking less than 90 days before departure. In this case, full payment of the photography holiday price is required.

    Recommended Equipment

    Recommended Camera Equipment

    For this photography holiday, we would recommend that you have available, an array of lenses from an intermediate telephoto lens such as the 70-200mm or 100-400mm, through to your longest lens, whether that is a 400mm, 500mm or 600mm. If the longest lens you own is a 300mm lens but you have a 1.4x or 2.0 extender this would be suitable. In fact, you should pack your extenders as this will allow you to further vary your focal length on this photography holiday. A wide angle would also be useful if you fancy capturing some environment shots.

    If you own a lens with an aperture of f/2.8 within the recommended focal length, bring it! These will allow you to focus on your subject faster & will also be useful in low light conditions.

    You should also pack a tripod to help steady your lens, especially when you are out photographing at dawn & dusk.

    Recommended Clothing

    On this photography holiday, you may experience extreme cold & even sub zero weather conditions so we recommend that you pack the following items of clothing for extreme comfort, or if you are susceptible to the cold.

    You will need plenty of warm & weatherproof clothing. Layering is key to keeping warm in extreme cold conditions so thermal underwear & undershirts coupled with thin jumpers, micro-fleece with a wind & waterproof down coat is best. For your lower half you will need thermal leggings & winter lined trousers coupled with good waterproof over trousers. Black salopettes would also work.

    To protect your hands, you should pack silk gloves or a thin pair of thermal gloves with rubber grip on the fingers & palm under ski gloves will help to keep your hands warm. Gloves where the fingers are cut away so that you can operate your camera with them on would be a good substitute for ski gloves.

    If you don't have a hood on your coat, you should pack a warm hat to protect your head & a balaclava or snood to protect your face from the wind. This is especially important while you are out on the boat for the sea eagles. We also recommend that you bring a good pair of snow or thermal boots with a good sole for walking on snow & ice.

    For the Snow Monkeys, we recommend bringing a pair of snow studs or spikes. They don't need to be elaborate, just something to give you extra grip on the icy paths surrounding the thermal spa.

    Additional Notes

    NaturesLens photography holidays do not include flights unless it is explicitly stated on the event page. When it is time to book your flights, we will send you the details in plenty of time to allow for bookings at the best available price.
    The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.
    NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants in order to be viable. If this minimum number is not met, the photography holiday may not go ahead. This photography holiday has a minimum participant level of 4 plus NaturesLens guide(s).
    In the event that the minimum number for a photography holiday to go ahead is not reached, NaturesLens reserves the right to cancel any given photography holiday. In that event 100% of monies received will be returned. However, NaturesLens is not responsible for expenses incurred by its customers.
    Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.
    Please note the cuisine on many of the NaturesLens photography holidays is authentic & typical of the region in which you are travelling. International or western cuisine is often NOT available. If you have any concerns over the food arrangements or have any special dietary requirements, please contact us prior to making a booking.
    All personal luggage are the responsibility of the owner & we request that photography holiday participants limit their luggage to the equivalent of one suitcase, one flight bag, one camera bag & tripod. We do not wish to appear dictatorial in this matter & the request is made to ensure space & comfort for everyone in our vehicles.
    NaturesLens & its agents act only as agents for the passenger in all matters relating to travel arrangements, & as such, do not assume responsibility for injury, accident, damage, loss, delay or irregularity which may occur via defect of transportation or any other cause.
    NaturesLens reserves the right to substitute hotels, & other previously outlined arrangements as necessary, to either improve or equal the travel experience.
    NaturesLens reserves the right to pass on to photography holiday particpants any additional & unplanned expenditure incurred during a photography holiday, via events beyond the control of NaturesLens. NaturesLens reserves the right to accept or decline any person as a member of any photography holiday.
    Payment of deposit by photography holiday participants or their representative constitutes their acceptance of all conditions contained herein.
    All bookings are made subject to our terms & conditions.
    Travel Insurance Requirements

    Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Summary

    The Winter Wildlife of Japan photography holiday is a photography holiday of 14 night/15 day duration, that costs £6499 per participant

    & takes place in Hokkaido in Japan, between the dates of 11th - 25th February 2023. It is ideal for photographing blakiston's fish owl, killer whale, orca, red fox, red-crowned crane, snow monkey, steller's sea eagle, white-tailed sea eagle, whooper swan & more. This photography holiday is led by David Miles & Ian Roberts for NaturesLens. The photography holiday is offered on a Half Board, Non-Shared basis. Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 4 participants & a maximum of 6, plus David & Ian. We consider this to be an event of Medium level of exertion, if you have any questions about your suitability for this event, please contact us prior to making a booking enquiry. The photography holiday starts & ends at Tokyo Haneda Airport. , although you may be able to travel on the same flights as David Miles & Ian Roberts, if you are travelling from London. , this photography holiday requires a deposit of £1200 to secure a place.

    Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Payment Details

    • Deposit required to secure a place: £1200 payable upon making a booking.
    • Final balance payment due: November 11th, 2022*. Bookings made after this date will require the full payment to secure a place.
    • Bookings close: November 11th, 2022.
    • No-interest payment plan: we offer a no-interest payment plan for our photography holidays. Please enquire for details.
    • * Unless stated otherwise on our event booking form.

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  • Details

    11th - 25th February 2023
    £6499 per participant
    Event Category:




    David Miles
    Ian Roberts