In November Japan explodes into a dazzling array of colour as autumn hits its crescendo. 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 nine-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 Aperture Tours founder 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 & 3 — 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 such as Kiyomizu-dera. 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.
Day 4 — Nara and Mount Yoshino
Our first destination outside of Kyoto will be Nara; home to hundreds of wild deer and tightly packed with historical buildings 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. We will spend the night at Mount Yoshino which is nestled between hills bursting with vibrant colours in every direction. We will share a room in a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese Inn and relax in an onsen, hot spring bath, after dinner.
Day 5 & 6 — Nachi Falls and Coastal Kansai
Nachi falls is a spectacular complement to Seiganto temple - Temple of the Blue Waves and together 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. We will spend two days sneaking down from the mountain to the coast to explore this photogenic area.
Days 7 & 8 — 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 9 & 10 — Tokyo
Leaving Fuji we will pass through Hakone before we will round out the workshop in the megatropolis of Tokyo. From the neon-lit streets of Shinjuku, and the impressive skyline of this futuristic city, to the quiet and spiritual lantern covered alleys of the old Asakusa district, Tokyo is a contradictory city full of wonder. The workshop will conclude after breakfast on Day 10.
Your Professional Photographer Guides
Sony Digital Imaging Advocate Andy Yee specialises in travel and tourism photography. When not leading workshops in exotic locations, he can be found in Sydney, Australia working as a visual content creator and photo educator.
As evidenced by his diverse portfolio and winner of the Sony Alpha Landscape Award, Andy utilises his camera to capture the harmony between people, culture, and landscapes. His work has been described as expressive and inspiring. He harnesses his attention to detail to compose images with a classic look as opposed to chasing trends.
Andy’s passion for photography is infectious. He has a knack for translating the mysteries of image creation into concrete, practical language. Using his work as a springboard, he guides people to draw upon their own creativity to discover their individual styles. His balance between one-on-one instruction and critique enables learners to capture the shots they see in their minds.
What Andy finds most rewarding is inspiring others to take their cameras along on their own adventures. He is passionate about leveraging his professional skill and knowledge to advance others to the next level. Experiencing learners’ joy of capturing images the way they want to see them is what motivates Andy to continue finding new ways to support the creative process.
Alexander J.E. Bradley
2018 Travel Photographer of the Year finalist Alexander J.E. Bradley is the founder of Aperture Tours and a former resident of Tokyo and host of the Japan Winter and Autumn Workshops. A photographer by spirit as well as by trade, 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 visited over 60 countries worldwide to perfect his craft. A skilled teacher, he enjoys sharing his passion and helping people unlock their photographic potential in the most beautiful destinations in the world. He is a bohemian, a photographer, a philosopher and traveller... 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 featured on The Flickr Weekly and Messy Nessy Chic’s Don’t be a Tourist in Paris.
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. When we aren't leaving in the dark to shoot sunrise, breakfasts will be provided. All dinners will be offered, but lunch and drinks will be up to you.
We will be staying in three-star or greater hotels during our trip. We will spend one night in a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese Inn, which will be quite the experience. Each hotel 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
Nine nights accommodation
Single room occupancy
Most breakfasts (some days we depart for sunrise before breakfast)
Transportation in ferries and private cars
All entrance fees to photography locations
Post-Processing sessions during the tour
Airfare to/from Japan
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.