A photographic journey to discover the magic of autumn in Japan and the meaning of the word Momijigari.
Formed by an archipelago of more than 8500 islands in the Pacific Ocean, almost the entire surface area of Japan is occupied by the four main islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku.
Here is concentrated the History of one of the World’s oldest civilizations, which has made isolation a cultural value that has profoundly characterized modern Japan.
Autumn, often considered the perfect season to travel the country, is the season of Momijigari, a Japanese term meaning “autumn leaf hunting,” when tourists and locals alike flock to every corner of the country in search of the brightest and most spectacular colors.
We will not limit ourselves solely to Momijigari. Through photography we will search for the essence of Japan in its most representative elements. From the skylines of Tokyo, to the bamboo forest of Arashiyama, the ancient temples of Kyoto, the gardens of Nara, and so much more.
For much of the trip we will travel using Japan’s highly efficient transportation network, while we will have a private car to move freely in the area around Mount Fuji and reach the best vantage points within the entire Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
Arrive at Tokyo International Airport and transfer to the hotel to relax after the long flight and have a trip start briefing.
Dinner at one of the hotel restaurants and evening at leisure.
After picking up the rental car, we begin the transfer to the Five Lakes area of Mount Fuji.
On a clear day, the view of the Far East’s most iconic mountain, as well as the country’s highest peak, is one not easily forgotten.
Its unmistakable shape, the majestic grandeur over all the surrounding area, and the snow-covered peak will be a constant image of the days to come.
Thanks to the private car at our disposal, we will be able to move freely throughout Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park to photograph the mountain from the best possible angles, framed by the spectacular bright colors of autumn.
We will stay overnight near Kawaguchi Lake, one of the most iconic areas in all of Japan. Here, in moments of relaxation, we will be able to indulge in Momijigari comfortably by walking along the lake shore or taking part in the annual autumn leaf festival.
From sunrise to sunset, taking advantage of the private car available, we will spend the days exploring the Five Lakes region and Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park enveloped in autumn colors, photographing Mount Fuji from the best vantage points: from the Chureito Pagoda, to the streets of tranquil Fujiyoshida, to the shores of the Five Lakes, Shiraito Falls and Lake Ashi in Hakone.
After the last sunrise in the presence of Mount Fuji we will take a step back in time to the ancient Japan of the Edo period, traveling through the Kiso Valley to Kyoto via the historic Nakasendo Route.
The Nakasendo Route is an ancient trail that once connected Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo), which can offer a glimpse of traditional Japanese life through enchanting places, including nature and perfectly preserved traditional villages.
After a morning session on the shores of Lake Biwa, we will finally reach the ancient capital of Japan: Kyoto, the “city of a thousand temples,” cultural capital and major shrine of Japanese culture, a World Heritage Site.
Kyoto and its surroundings will be the main chapter of the trip, since autumn colors will be at their peak here (*).
Given the abundance of photo locations in the area, we will stay overnight in strategic locations to ensure that we experience Kyoto’s timeless atmosphere to the fullest during the best hours for photography, while optimizing our commute.
From the historic districts of Higashiyama and Gion, between the temples of Kiyomizu-dera and Hokan-ji, with a maze of avenues and traditional houses where time seems to stand still, we will move out of the city to explore the traditional village of Arashiyama and its famous bamboo forest, the thousands of red torii of the Fushimi Inari-Taisha shrine, to the eclectic and lively Osaka and the tranquil Nara Park.
The highly experienced accompanying photographer will allow the order of travel to be managed according to the weather conditions, always with the aim of ensuring the best possible photographic experience in the different locations.
After a final sunrise in Higashiyama, Kyoto’s timeless historic district, we will take the Shinkansen fast train back to the capital city of Tokyo.
Consisting of 23 central district-cities and other suburban cities, often called the greatest city on Earth, Tokyo is fun, crazy, exciting, and outrageously fascinating.
It is a perfect mix of tradition and modernity, both pushed to extremes.
And to get a taste of just how crazy and bright a night in Tokyo can be, we’ll spend the first evening strolling the streets of Shinjuku, one of the best neighborhoods to fully experience the crazy mix of neon lights, skyscrapers, Japanese culture and exciting nightlife.
From the vibrant Shinjuku to the tranquility of Ueno to the bustling Shibuya and the mysticism of Senso-Ji Temple, we will experience very intense days not only photographically, but entirely immersed in the heart of modern Japanese culture.
And if memory cards are not enough, never fear. It will be the perfect opportunity to lose ourselves in the overwhelming “Electric Town” of Akihabara.
We will move far and wide using Tokyo’s 13 subway lines, photographing its most iconic neighborhoods and corners at times of day most conducive to photography.
After our last morning session in the great metropolis, via the Narita Express we will transfer to the airport in time to catch our international flights back to Italy.
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