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Sat, 19 Nov 2022 - Wed, 30 Nov 2022


Japan is a landscape photographer’s paradise, a tantalising blend of ancient and new, urban and rural. This new workshop for 2022 takes you from Tokyo’s futuristic neon-lit bustle and the traditional charm of the old imperial city of Kyoto to tranquil bamboo forests and lakes and – of course – the splendour of Mount Fuji. With the leaves on the ubiquitous maple trees turning autumnal scarlet and gold against clear blue skies, this November workshop is the perfect opportunity to develop your outdoor photo techniques with Tom’s expert guidance.

Japan workshop highlights

Our workshop is topped and tailed by a night in the world’s largest metropolis, Tokyo, where photo locations will include the Eiffel-like Tokyo Tower and Sensoji, the city’s oldest temple, with its ornate gates and graceful five-storey pagoda.

Then it’s a short hop on the Shinkansen, or bullet train (an experience in itself), to the Fuji Five Lakes area, where we’ll be based for three nights to ensure plenty of time to capture iconic Mount Fuji and its reflection in Lakes Tatuki and Motoso. For truly spectacular light (and to avoid the tourists), we’ll be photographing at sunrise and sunset, and focusing on the glorious autumn foliage and other natural details in between.

Japan’s cultural capital, the elegant city of Kyoto, is our destination for the next three nights. We’ll be shooting a treasure trove of ancient, man-made sites, including the Kyoto Botanical Gardens, the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) and the temples of Daigo-ji and Byodoin. By contrast, we’ll  take in the sunrise at the Chureito Pagoda with Mt. Fuji in the distance and the mesmerising Sagano (Arashiyama) Bamboo Forest.

From Kyoto, we’re heading south to Nara Park and the Soni Highlands for a two-night stay. Famous for its magnificent temples and shrines, it’s also a wonderful spot for sunsets over the pampas grass-covered slopes of Mount Kuroso, while its thousand-strong herd of sacred deer are tame and game for portraits and poses in Nara Park.

Our next stop is one night in Takashima on the shore of Lake Biwa, famed for its graceful Shirahige Shrine Torii Gate (Shinto) gate, which we’ll be shooting at sunrise. We’ll also be photographing Metasequoia Namiki – 1.5 miles of road lined on both sides with 500 towering redwoods in their glorious autumn colours, creating a mesmerising natural tunnel – before returning to Tokyo on the bullet train for our final night in Japan.


Workshop participant requirements

Whether you’re a beginner or a semi-pro, you’ll find plenty to learn and enjoy on this workshop
You’ll require either a digital camera with at least 16GB memory card (minimum 32GB if it’s high resolution) or a film camera (SLR, medium, large or wide format) – Tom has many years of experience working with both
Additional kit – a tripod, shutter release and polarising filter will help you maximise your shooting opportunities, although they aren’t essential
Average fitness levels are required, as there will be quite a lot of walking, although nothing too strenuous (we’ve got no plans to climb Mount Fuji – it’s far more pleasant photographing it from the bottom!)
November weather varies from mild to cool, averaging 17C / 63F by day and 8C / 46F in the evenings, so bring clothes you can layer, and a waterproof jacket for insurance (it’s also useful for lying or kneeling on if you’re shooting close to ground level)


One-to-one and group tuition with Tom, 11 nights’ accommodation private rooms (no single supplement) breakfast, transfers to/from Tokyo International Airport, JR passes, transport during workshop
Flights, Travel insurance, lunches, evening meals, snacks and drinks, gratuities