Autumn is one of the best seasons that photographers love. The mixture of orange, red, yellow and brown is a spectacle for many camera lenses. A good place to visit to capture autumn’s highlight is Japan, specifically the cities of Aomori and Shizuoka. These two cities boast wonderful sites that showcase the fall beauty in all its glory. Doing the Aomori and Shizuoka Japan Photo Tour with us guarantees postcard-perfect photos and a lifetime experience of autumn wonders.
UNUSUAL EXPEDITION’s trips are well known for accomplishing a lot in just a few days. We basically pack a lot of content with different themes in a single trip. This workshop will be no different. Locations shoots each day are dependant on daily weather and lighting conditions.
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Upon your arrival in Japan, we will start our Aomori and Shizuoka Japan Photo Tour. You will be brought to Oirase Gorge. Oirase Gorge is prized for its stunning river valleys with clean and fast flowing water. The gorge extends to more than 14 km and is a very famous spot for fall photography. The thick woods transform into a spectacular autumn backdrop as the leaves change their colors in line with the fall season. The time of our tour is just about right since the autumn colors peak around late October to early November. So, make sure to get your camera ready on Day 1!
We will have a 1 hour drive to Japan’s biggest morning market, the Tatehana Ganpeki Asaichi. Also called Tatehana Wharf Morning Market, it is a famous tourist attraction in Hachinoche due to its bustling activity. It is a seasonal Sunday farmer’s market that opens before daybreak and ends around 9 AM. We need to get up early to capture the active and lively atmosphere of the place. And as you finish taking photos, you have free time to enjoy what the market has to offer including local seafood and produce with many food stalls of local cuisines! In the afternoon, we will drive back to Oirase Gorge and cover more of its amazing beauty that we weren’t able to finish during yesterday’s visit.
The Aomori and Shizuoka Japan Photo Tour is jampacked with interesting places to visit and fun activities for everyone! We will start the day by going to Jōgakura Bridge, a marvelous deck arch bridge that extends 360 meters long. Located in the southern Hakkoda Mountains, the lush forestry transforms into a magnificent backdrop of a vibrant autumn color palette. The bridge, in a backdrop of autumn trees, is a sight to behold!
Then, we will proceed to Hakkoda Ropeway. Riding the cable car provides a striking view of the Hakkoda Mountain Range during autumn. After which, we will go to two ponds which are part of the Tsuta Bird Sanctuary Nature Trail: Tsukinuma and Naganuma. These ponds are accessible through a trail, so prepare yourself for a simple hike. You will be able to take photos of lush beech trees and ponds that are habitats for wild birds, ruddy kingfishers and Mandarin ducks. We will end the 3rd day of the tour by visiting Oirase Gorge again for more photo opportunities!
Today, we will visit Oirase Gorge in the morning instead of our usual afternoons. Visiting the gorge at a different time of the day gives it a different vibe and lighting for a different photo effect. Then, we will visit the Towada-jinja Shrine at the foot of the Nakayama Peninsula. The site is said to have been built in the 9th century as a holy site that honors Yamatotakeru-no-mikoto. Legend has it that a monk transformed into a dragon with 9 heads and killed the python that was then controlling Lake Toawada.
We will continue with the tour at Nakano Momiji-yama. It is also referred to as Nakano Maple Mountain where the colorful maple trees become the backdrop of the Nakano Shrine during the fall season. Visiting the place during mid October to early November allows us to witness the beautiful fall foliage that is worth every picture snap. We will end the day in Hirosaki, a city located in western Aomori. It is known for its major festivals and beautiful cherry blossoms.
We will explore Hirosaki in all its beauty. The first stop is the Hirosaki Castle, a 17th century castle and known as one of Japan’s most beautiful castles. It is built using the Hirayama style with the main tower situated on top of a hill. It is surrounded by defensive walls, yagura towers and moats. The architectural beauty of the castle is good enough for a picture-perfect shot. But, capturing its beauty during autumn is putting the castle on a higher pedestal of stunning portraits.
We will also go to Saishōin Temple, a 5-story pagoda from the Edo Period. What makes it an architectural masterpiece is the fact that it was completed without the use of even a single nail! Next in our itinerary is the Tsugaru-han Neputa Village where you can experience Tsugaru culture in all its entirety! It is a facility where you can find traditional arts and crafts, souvenirs and even taste their local cuisines!
We will start with Takayama Inari Shrine. It is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Inari Okami, and is quite famous for many red torii lining its path. The red torii complements the autumn colors, giving visitors a chance to capture superb photos. After the shrine, we will go to Ashinochishogun Prefectural National Park. It is a quiet and beautiful place with 2300 cherry trees. Lake Ashino and Ashino Park are also located inside.
The last stop for the 6th day of our Aomori and Shizuoka Japan Photo Tour is the Tsuru no Maihashi Bridge in Fujimiko Park. The bridge is the longest triple-arched wooden bridge in the country as of May 2018. The 300 meter long bridge is made from Aomori’s cypress wood and built over Lake Fujima. It has an impressive sunset, making it an exquisite spot for tourists and photographers.
Today is our last day at Aomori Prefecture. In the morning, we will limit ourselves within Hirosaki because we need to be at Aomori Airport for our flight to Shizuoka.
Upon arrival at Shizuoka, we will proceed to one of their famous scenic spot called Nihondaira. Here, you will be able to witness a beautiful sunset that you can capture on top of a hill that is 307 meters above sea level. The place also gives us a marvelous panoramic view of Mount Fuji including its very visible summit.
We will start the day with an early morning visit to a tea plantation, Obuchi Sasaba, with a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji. The quiet and relaxing plantation brings us to Japan’s natural wonders. You can stroll through rows and rows of tea bushes. The view of the tea plantation with an unobstructed view of Mount Fuji as the backdrop makes for a photograph worth a lifetime. We will also be joined by a Japanese tea master in a class where you can learn the traditional way of tea making as well as recognizing different tea bases and other ingredients.
Our last stop for the day will be Satta Pass Viewpoint (Satta-toge Pass.) We will arrive at the viewpoint with enough time to witness the sunset. One of the most outstanding things about this viewpoint is how it combines nature’s natural wonders with man-made construction. Satta Pass overlooks Mount Fuji and Suruga Bay, but also a series of constructed roads. It is a mixture of the earth’s essence mixed with human ingenuity.
Our morning will start at Shizuoka Fishing Port. Shizuoka’s fishing port is a delightful subject for street photographers. The bustling port keeps the emotion raw as people are busy doing their own thing. Close-up shots of fish products like tuna or mackerel, or people vending them are also valuable subjects.
After the port, our group will proceed to a pottery-making class where you can experience making your original masterpiece! Another class will follow at a different venue as you learn how to do calligraphy with matcha!
We will end the day at Kunōzan Tōshōgū Shrine. This Shinto shrine is known to be the original burial place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate. It is also considered to be the oldest Tōshō-gū shrine in the whole of Japan.
We will spend a few hours of the day at Shizuoka before travelling to Tokyo. While in Tokyo, we will see several of their famous sites as well as visit other photo attractions. The streets of Tokyo are great for street photography! The Japanese people are very artistic and fashionable and it is always a delight to capture close-up and street portraits of them!
Follow by a transfer to the airport for an early morning flight on the next day back to Singapore.
We will check in at Tokyo Airport and waiting for our flight back home to Singapore.
Land transportation in destination
Group transfer to airport
All meals as stated in itinerary
Return International Air Ticket
Return Domestic Air Ticket (If Any)
Guide & Driver Tips
Any Private Expenses, Room Service, Porter Service
Visa Fees (If Applicable)
Beverages / Alcohol Drinks during Meals
Personal Travel Insurance (Compulsory – Self Purchased)
Photography Setup Fee (If applicable)