Photo by: Ron Rosenstock
Location: Japan
PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Japan Autumn Color

2019 Rates Listed

  • Enjoy the immersion in to Japanese traditions, today’s culture, and stunning photography locations.
  • Capture the pulse of Tokyo at the Meiji Shrine & Imperial Palace.
  • Six nights in colorful Kyoto, with its many gardens and fall foliage.
  • Miyajima Island and the floating Itsukushima Shrine.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site of Koya-san and the largest Zen garden in Japan.
Region

Asia and Pacific

Destination

Japan

Dates

November 5-16, 2020

Duration

11 days

$5795

per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 9 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 5-8 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $1195.

Tour Overview

Autumn is one of the most spectacular times of year to visit Japan. The fall color lasts longer than in the Northeast of the US, therefore the trees should be bursting with color on this photographic journey. Strabo takes you from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, to UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Miyajima Island & Mount Koya, and ending in the ancient capital and heart of old Japan, Kyoto. Japan has it all from natural landscapes, ancient temples, traditional culture, and wonderful modern...

Autumn is one of the most spectacular times of year to visit Japan. The fall color lasts longer than in the Northeast of the US, therefore the trees should be bursting with color on this photographic journey. Strabo takes you from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, to UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Miyajima Island & Mount Koya, and ending in the ancient capital and heart of old Japan, Kyoto. Japan has it all from natural landscapes, ancient temples, traditional culture, and wonderful modern street photography. Enjoy the excitement with Ron Rosenstock, on his return journey to Japan. Ron is a veteran leader, having conducted more than 200 programs to many destinations worldwide. Ron taught photography at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. His published books include his exquisite black and white photographs: The Light of Ireland, Chiostro (Cloister), and Hymn to the Earth; color photographs in Journeys. Ron’s work has been featured in over one hundred exhibitions, both in the U.S. and abroad, and his photographs are to be found in the permanent collections of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Mass., The Polaroid Collection in Cambridge, Mass., and the International Center of Photography in New York City. Ron’s striking; one-of-a-kind photographs can be seen at www.ronrosenstock.com.

Ron’s core teaching is based on a saying of the twelfth century theologian and philosopher, Mister Eckhart, “Art is not just for special people, but everyone is a special kind of an artist.”  Ron’s teaching is designed to bring out the inner creative spirit within all of us. His teaching reflects the techniques of his teachers, Ansel Adams and Minor White. Learning not just to look, but also to see, and then to know how to get a finished print, whether you are concentrating on infrared, black and white, or color. Ron uses a digital projector to demonstrate how he finishes his images with Aperture and Nik Software. He also shares photographic exercises that are an aid in “seeing photographically.” Those participants that bring a laptop have the opportunity share their images with the group for comments. Ron’s programs will help you to make more meaningful photographs, whether you are a beginner or advanced photographer. This tour is designed to be a photo tour, and, as such, we must be flexible in our scheduling. Much of what we do, and when we do it, will depend upon weather and light. Scheduling also takes in to account photographing around the crowds. Therefore there will be some early mornings, and evening photo shoots, which will also take advantage of the light. Depending on the location there may be opportunity to have a rest at the hotel during the afternoon. We have found due to traffic patterns and multiple public transportation systems it is much easier and faster to move around the cities each day via local bus and train. Taxi’s will also be used where necessary. There will be a great deal of walking each day (2-3 miles per day) not only at photo locations but getting to and from transport to the sites. Several stations and photo ops it will be necessary to climb stairs. Be sure to have comfortable walking shoes. The hotels have been chosen for your comfort as well as their proximity to prime photographic locations and public transportation. There is one evening included, which is of traditional Japanese style. Therefore you will need to have lower expectations regarding bed comfort, and higher noise level between rooms and public areas. Please be respectful of others in these situations and try to enjoy the Japanese experience. There may also be some optional activities that may present themselves during the course of our trip which are not included in the itinerary. The activities will be available at your discretion, for a small charge, and dependent upon the cooperation of the weather.  

Photo Leader

Ron Rosenstock

Wonderful trip. The places were beautiful, very safe, and the Japanese people we interacted with were amazing. There was a nice balance of scheduled treks and free time. Thank you for all the care that goes into planning the trips and the communication to us. We are so thrilled to have been able to go. And the group was great. Ron makes it so comfortable and gets us to amazing places.

Everything was so clean and cared for. Very friendly service at hotels etc. Local guide was amazing, very friendly, caring, knew so much about what we were seeing. She took care of each of us, helping with anything that we wanted to do, guiding us through all the trains, bus and rail stations. Huge asset to the trip. Ron does a great job leading us, and has a wonderful attitude toward new experiences and foreign travel.

— Mary Thayer

One of my favorite places on our trip was our overnight to Miyajima Island. For many reasons, but one of the main points was it was our first introduction to the iconic Japanese Maples in their full color. And what a sight it was. Local guide was terrific, enjoyed her knowledge and sense of humor. She did her upmost to make sure we saw Japan and its culture.

— J. Billman

Tour Itinerary

November 5: Depart Home

You will need to depart today on an overnight flight to Tokyo (NRT), losing a day en route. If you would like us to arrange additional evenings and transfer to hotel, please notify Strabo Tours. Please note your international flight will need to be Multi-City, return can be from Kansai (KIX) or Osaka Airports (ITM).

November 6: Tokyo

The airport is 1-1.5 hours from city center, therefore everyone will take their transfer of choice to the hotel. Options will be provided upon enrollment with estimated costs. Check in time at the hotel is 3PM. Enjoy some time to rest and unwind until you meet in the hotel lobby at 6PM for an introductory meeting with Ron and your local guide. The group will depart on public to a lovely restaurant for your welcome dinner. Overnight Tokyo (D)

November 7-8: Tokyo

During your stay in Tokyo you will visit and photograph places of historical and cultural significance. Your guide will travel with you via public transportation to markets, temples and beautiful gardens. A few of the highlights that have been chosen are Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, a small garden jewel, one of the oldest gardens in Tokyo. There is a pond in the middle, which the garden master designed so that the visitor sees a different scene every few steps. Sensō-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Asakusa is one of the few neighborhoods in Tokyo where you might spot a Geisha. There are thought to be about 40 Geisha in the area, back in the 1930’s there were hundreds. The next day photograph in Showa Kinen Park, and Meiji Jingu Shrine, dedicated to the late 19th-century emperor who opened Japan to the West. Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine is wonderfully serene and austere, not colorful or flashy like other Asian places of worship. The moat outside the Imperial Palace may provide beautiful reflections of the bridges that surround it. Before retiring for the evening you will need to separate your luggage, as you will only need an overnight bag and camera gear for your journey tomorrow. Your large suitcase (1 per person) will be transported to hotel in Kyoto for the following evening. Be sure to keep with you your camera gear, important documents, prescriptions, and clothes for a day. (B both days)  

November 9: Hiroshima - Miyajima

After breakfast at the hotel your guide will assist you with traveling via bullet train (approximately 4 hours) to Hiroshima, where you will then transfer to a local train for another 20 minutes, and a ferry going to Miyajima Island. The tides will predict the timing of your photography shoots, as we hope to capture the Itsukushima Shrine at high and low tide during our overnight stay. This shrine is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as a National Treasure of the Japanese government. Other photography locations include Senjokaku and Daisho-in Temple, with views of the surrounding islands. Overnight at a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese Inn. Overnight Miyajima Island (B, D)

November 10-11: Hiroshima - Kyoto

Momijidani Park is one of the most famous maple tree valley parks in Japan. The park is located at the foot of Mt. Misen, Miyajima. You will have a photography walk there this morning before returning to Hiroshima via the ferry and train after lunch. Then board another bullet train to Kyoto, approximately 2 hours, where your hotel is walking distance from the station. The next two days will be filled with photographing amidst the fall foliage of Kyoto, and capturing the Japanese culture and traditions. The Gion district is a collection of streets defined by old wooden buildings, teahouses, and restaurants. It’s also known as the Geisha district, you may catch a glimpse of geisha in full dress and white makeup. North of Kyoto is the quaint village of Ohara, which houses the Sanzen-in Temple, one of the finest in all of Kyoto. Explore the tree-lined paths, seeking out the natural colors, wooden walkways that lead you to gardens and Buddhist temples. Jojakkukoji in the Arashiyama district is located in a serene forest with views of the ever-changing maple trees. Another photographic stop in the Arashiyama district includes a Bamboo Grove, standing amid these soaring stalks of bamboo is like being in another world. Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) is a Zen Buddhist Temple, sits above a lovely pond, offering beautiful reflections. Although this maybe one of the most crowded photo ops, thanks to traffic flow the crowds do not interfere with photographing this amazing structure. Overnight Kyoto (B each day)

November 12: Mount Koya - Kyoto

Today will be a long day outside the city of Kyoto, when you will transfer via private bus to Mount Koya, or Koya-san. Home to over 100 temples, Koya-san has been the center of Shingon Buddhism, an important Buddhist sect for over twelve hundred years. The 2½-hour journey is one of the highlights of the visit. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is comprised of various temples, Kongobu-ji Chief Temple, Danjo Garan, and Daito Pagoda. It is also home to Japan’s largest rock garden, and Okunoin, Japan’s largest cemetery. The 1½-mile walk to the mausoleum takes you past 200,000 tombstones, belonging to feudal lords, and prominent monks. Overnight Kyoto (B)

November 13-15: Kyoto

Continue your exploration of Kyoto with your local guide where you will photograph the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine, and if the weather cooperates you can photograph the reflections of beautiful bridges on the Palace grounds. Easy walking distance from the hotel is the Kyoto Train Station and Kyoto Tower, which can provide nice evening shoots with the city lights and reflections. You will have some free time your last day in Kyoto if you would like to return to some of your favorite locations, or do some shopping.  Overnight Kyoto (B both days)

November 16: Kyoto - Home

Check out of the hotel is at 10AM, again there are options available for return transportation to your airport of choice which can be an hour away. Either private transfer, public bus or direct fast speed train. Fees will be provided upon enrollment. Departure will be from KIX or ITM airports. (B) Note: This itinerary has been carefully constructed to assure participants the best Japan has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, itinerary, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.