In early November Japan explodes into a dazzling array of colour as autumn hits its peak. The Japan Autumn Workshop is timed to see the flora at its fiery peak; the countryside awash in a sea of reds, oranges and yellows. This eight-day intensive workshop encapsulates the most exceptional landscapes, temples, shrines, waterfalls and lakes that Japan has to offer, and the chance to see some deer as well!
Lead by landscape award-winning photographer Andy Yee, and accompanied by self-admitted Japanophile Alexander J.E. Bradley, this tour will push your photography to the next level. The intimate group size is designed for personal attention to develop your photographic vision.
Days 1 & 2 — Kyoto
We begin our adventure in Kyoto: the cultural heart of Japan. Steeped in history, Kyoto has some of the most colourful temples and shrines found anywhere in the world. Our time will be wisely spent in the right locations at the right time. Early morning in the serene bamboo forest, late afternoon along the path of a thousand Torii Gates as the shadows grow long, evenings at illuminated temples. If we are lucky, we might even hear the shuffling of Geisha as they hurry from tea-house to tea-house in the twilight of Gion.
An evening with a Geisha
Geisha - or Geiko and Maiko as they are known locally in Kyoto, are a living, breathing window into Japan's traditional culture. The word Geisha conjures many different images, but in simple language, Geisha translates as Artistic Person - versed in the art of conversation, dance and music. We will have an exclusive opportunity to meet, interact and photograph Geisha in our own private quarters; a truly once in a lifetime experience.
Day 3 — Nara
Our first destination outside of Kyoto will be Nara; home to hundreds of wild deer and tightly packed with historical building such as the Todai-ji, the largest wooden building in the world. The area boasts its beautiful mountain scenery, which will be perfect in Autumn. Mount Yoshino will be surrounded by hills, bursting with vibrant colours in every direction.
Day 4 — Costal Kansai
Nachi falls is a spectacular complement to Seiganto temple - Temple of the Blue Waves. Along with Koyasan they form the backbone of the UNESCO listed 'Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range'. Along the coast of Wakayama and Mie prefectures lie some of the most unique rock formations found in all Japan. Home to the jagged Hashigui-iwa Rocks and the adorable Wedded Rocks.
Days 5 & 6 — Fuji Five Lakes
No trip to Japan in Autumn would be complete without a photograph of the iconic Mt Fuji. The Fuji Five-Lakes district is breathtaking at this time of the year as autumn brings a vibrancy that exemplifies the natural beauty of the lakes and vistas in the region. We will take out time to explore a wide array of shooting locations so you will be sure to capture the shy mountain in its best light.
Days 7 — Osaka
We will round out our workshop in Osaka with a stop at the Minoo Park. Arguably the best place to view the Autumn colours in the Kansai Region. The natural beauty of the park and its waterfall is the juxtaposition of the neon lights of Dotonbori in downtown Osaka, where we will share our final meal before the workshop comes to a close.
The Sony Alpha landscape award-winning photographer Andy Yee specialises in travel and tourism photography. When he is not living out of a suitcase, he is a content creator and photo educator based in Sydney, Australia.
His attention to detail provides a classic look, rather than a trend. As a photographer, he places importance to engage, educate and entertain an audience. A photographer can do all these things and make a difference in people’s perception of the world. To be able to travel abroad and capture the harmony between people of different cultures and beautiful landscapes, these are the things that inspire him to chase, photograph and share.
Andy enjoys inspiring others and helps them seek out their own adventures and pushes people to their own boundaries. He is a contributor to the Travel2Next and Resource Travel networks; his commercial work is published in Signature Style & Travel, Indesign Live and Habitus magazine.
Alexander J.E. Bradley
Alexander J.E. Bradley is the founder of Aperture Tours and a former resident of Tokyo. A photographer by spirit he has dedicated himself to his camera and opening up the world in order to break down barriers.
Alexander's style has been described as a "vivid lucid dream" as he enjoys mixing surreal elements into his conceptual work. His passion for photography grew hand in hand with his passion for travel, having visiting over 50 countries worldwide to perfect his skill. Now he teaches photography in his adopted home of Paris to anyone who will listen to him. He is a bohemian, a photographer, a philosopher and traveler... in that order.
Alexander has been featured in publications such as Lonely Planet, Practical Photography, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Savoir Tout faire en Photographie and The Peninsula as well as being features on The Flickr Weekly and the TV show Galwat & Oklat Mico produced by Al Ghad Al Arabi TV.
Japanese Cuisine and Accommodation
Japan is a gastronomic destination in and of itself. With such a wide and varied selection to choose from, you will learn that Japanese food is more than just Sushi. From succulent seafood to giant bowls of Raman, crispy tempura, or Kansai Okonomiyaki, you will come to appreciate all of what Japan has to offer your palate. All breakfasts, and one meal, either a lunch or dinner, will be provided.
We will be staying in three-star or greater hotels during our trip. Each has been selected for their value and offers a comfortable stay in petite but modern and well-equipped rooms. All rooms on the workshop will be provided as single occupancy.
Post Processing Workshops
We understand getting the photo into the card is only half of the battle. During the workshop, there will be time to go over post-processing to help you create images that pack a punch. Our photographers will sit down with you to assist your selection process, Lightroom and Photoshop workflows and techniques, and develop your best images, so you can showcase your photography prowess.
- Two professional photography guides
- Seven nights accommodation
- Single room occupancy
- All breakfasts
- One meal a day, lunch or dinner
- Transportation in private cars and ferries
- All entrance fees to photography locations
- Post-Processing sessions during the tour
- Airfare to/from Japan
- Alcoholic beverages
- Travel insurance
- Equipment and baggage insurance
- Visas (if applicable)
For more information, please read the full Terms and Conditions
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Reviews for Aperture Tours
The learning and sharing from all and the different perspectives of all participants were wonderful. Having the expertise and guidance of three professional photographers added to the value and learning experience of this workshop. The instructors are fantastic, caring and understanding individuals who always went the extra mile to ensure that everyone was comfortable and happy... Definitely customer centric individuals!!
Alexander taught us so much in such a short period of time. He is smart, high energy and focused on teaching. The photos we took will be treasured for a lifetime. The teaching included camera use, taking advantage of camera features we didn't know we had, design of photos such as use of line and light to create interesting shots, use of a tripod and long exposure times at optimal camera settings to create stunning images and much more. All this knowledge was shared with grace and good humor! We highly recommend!!!
The Aperture Tours Workshop was a great experience! We covered some great locations, and the leader's knowledge of the area meant we didn't waste time getting to the best locations at the optimum times. The accommodation and food were excellent, and the leader's knowledge meant we got a good 'taste' of life as well as some truly memorable memories and images.