Canceled due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and for participant safety.

2022 dates to be announced soon!

2021 Japanese Winter Wildlife: 9 Day Adventure

February 10-19, 2021

Cost: $USD 

Non-refundable Retainer $USD 

Physical Demand: Intermediate - no long walks but exposure to freezing temperatures for extended periods of time, footing will be snow and ice with slipping hazards, and standing on the deck of a boat in motion

Hokkaido, Japan - a magical place filled with stunning wildlife. The most northern island in Japan, Hokkaido holds some of the largest areas of wild lands left in Japan. The sparsely populated Eastern region hosts a wide variety of wildlife. Some, like the Steller's Sea Eagle migrate to the area to overwinter while others, such as the Red Crowned Crane are year long residents.  Set against a landscape draped in snow, these creatures allow us to observe them as they go about their daily rituals in this frozen wonderland. Some behaviors we will see include the Red Crowned Crane mating display, Steller's Sea Eagles fishing, and red foxes patrolling for their next meal.

 

Join me as we take nine amazing days to explore these frozen wilds in Eastern Hokkaido and all they have to offer.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about this adventure. Further details, along with flight suggestions, gear recommendations, and a general adventure itinerary will be sent upon receipt of spot retainer.

Species commonly found:

Red Crowned Crane (Grus japonensis)

Wild Whooper Swans (Cygnus cygnus)

Steller's Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus pelagicus)

White-tailed Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla)

Ezo Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes schrencki)

Yezo Sika Deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis)

Related articles:

2020 JWWA Trip Report

2019 JWWA Trip Report Part 1

2019 JWWA Trip Report Part 2

2019 JWWA Trip Report Part 3

Adventure includes:

  • Nine days of Professional Photographic Guiding

  • Intimate group size with a maximum of three participants

  • 2 Sea Eagle cruises

  • Post processing tips and creative technique discussions

  • All ground transportation during the tour, starting and ending at Kushiro Airport (IATA: KUH, ICAO: RJCK)

  • Single occupant accommodations for 8 nights 

  • Chemical hand and toe warmers

  • Small snacks along with water, tea, and coffee

  • Authentic Japanese Onsen experience

Excludes:

  • Travel to and from Kushiro, Japan

  • Any lodging before or after the adventure start/end

  • Any meals not included with lodging

  • Any Visas 

  • Travel and Gear Insurance

  • Personal Gear

  • Personal purchases such as souvenirs  

  • Alcoholic beverages

Considerations
Coming to Japan for the first time can be an eye opening experience. The culture is very different from what many are use to, but I personally find it amazing! However, there are some aspects of it that need to be taken into consideration before booking this adventure.
Limited Western Food Options
Japan is a culinary delight for those without many dietary restrictions. Those who like fish, rice, vegetables, and noodles will be right at home here. Vegetarians will find options very limited, if not non-existent, in some areas we visit. Many of our meals will be found in the local konbini, a Japanese experience in and of itself. Evening meals will be sit down affairs either hosted by our accommodations or at local restaurants to include tempura, sushi, or other local dishes. 
Sleeping Arrangements
We will be staying at a mix of Japanese business/Western hotels and smaller traditional ryokans. The traditional rooms typically feature tatami mats with futon mattresses on the floor. Those with mobility issues may find these accommodations difficult. 
Winter Environment
Early mornings and sunset shoots will be the usual on this tour. This also means that temperatures of -4°F/-20°C are not uncommon. Highs are typically no more than 40°F/5°C and we will be out for extended periods of time. Protective clothing is a MUST! This includes thermal base layers, puffy coats with waterproof shell, snow pants, and thick winter gloves and hats. Specific suggestions are available upon request and will be included in the registration literature. 
     A Bender Photography LLC      |     Las Vegas, NV    |     bender@abenderphotography.com