Epic landscapes, unique wildlife, national parks, and a UNESCO heritage sight. On our winter workshop, we will experience a Hokkaido’s famous drift ice (and the wildlife it attracts including White Tailed Eagles and the Stellar’s Sea Eagle) caldera lakes, and other unique wildlife including the iconid Red-crowned Crane, Sea Otters, Whooper Swans, Ezo Shika (deer), Blackiston’s Fish Owl, Hokkaido Red Fox and maybe even the Ezo Momonga, Hokkaido’s cutest resident.
Our tours cater to small groups only, of no more than 6 people plus a guide and driver. We’ll travel in a luxury touring van, large and comfortable enough for driving distances, yet small enough to be nimble and allow quick stops when we encounter wildlife (yes, we can view some amazing animals right from the road)!
Eastern Hokkaido is raw and rugged but not without its creature comforts. We will stay at comfortable hotels and dine on Hokkaido’s regional specialties including ramen, robata, and the freshest and most amazing seafood on the planet. Tours are 7 days in duration and cover a lot of ground. However, we can also create customized (shorter or longer) itineraries for private groups. Prepare to experience the magic of Hokkaido and take home some truly epic images.
Winter Photography Tour (Sample Itinerary)
Pick up at Kushiro or New Chitose Airport (for evening arrivals in Chitose, we’ll spend the night and drive in the morning)
Head East to the Kushiro region
Visit the largest seafood market in Eastern Hokkaido with an endless array of fresh fish, sashimi, crab, shellfish, and more
Next we’ll head to the Tsurui sanctuary and observe red-crowned cranes and their elegant display of courtship and dancing
We’ll check in to our hotel in Kushiro city
For dinner, We’ll head out into the city and enjoy the regional specialty, Robata
Sunrise on the river with frost-covered trees and red-crowned cranes in their rookery
Witness the crowns flying in from the river and capture their approach and landing ritual at the sanctuary
Paddle a local river and capture the wildlife, which may include ezo sika, white tailed eagles, Stellar’s sea eagles and Kingfishers
View herds of ezo shika on the hills above the Pacific ocean
Search for sea otters from the cliffside
Photograph wild birds from several “bird hides.” Types may include eagles, great-spotted woodpecker, long-tailed tit (Shimanaega)
Notsuke peninsula – a unique sandspit peninsula populated with herds of mature male ezo sika (think antlers). Possible rutting. Search for fox on the snow-covered beaches scavenging the seaside (one of our favorites!)
Drive to Rausu and stop to admire the drift ice, eagles and search for seals
Spend the night in Rausu and photograph Blackiston’s Fish Owl feeding at night
Early wake-up call to board a boat to witness sunrise over the drift ice
Experience hundreds of Stellar’s and White-tailed eagles feeding on the drift ice at dawn
Drive the peninsula and photograph the various drift ice formations and search for wildlife
Incredible seafood lunch in Rausu
Photograph the sea of Othotsk and the sunset over the drift ice
Stay in a luxury seaside hotel with an incredible dinner buffet of local specialties
Snowshoe Goko Lakes in Shiretoko National park. Photograph the frozen lakes and wildlife
Snowshoe to Furepe and photograph the frozen waterfall and drift ice from the cliffside
Drive to Abashiri making stops to admire the seascapes, drift ice, and possible wildlife including waterfowl and ezo sika
Board an ice-breaker ship and experience the drift ice close up
Spend the night in Abashiri and dine on the local specialties
Sunrise forest walk to capture Hokkaido’s cutest critter, the ezo momonga
Visit the frozen seaside and lakes and search for eagles and fox. Observe the ice fisherman and even try your luck fishing for smelt (wakasagi).
Visit the Akan-Mashu National Park, Lake Akan, Lake Mashu, and lakeside onsens and observe the whooper swans who live at the lake
Hope to capture the elusive long-tailed tit (Shimanaega) and ezo momonga right from our hotel!
Morning snowshoe walk with a naturalist learning about the local ecosystem and its wildlife
This concludes our epic winter wildlife tour
We will drive to either Kushiro or Sapporo, where you can depart Hokkaido or continue with your Hokkaido journey
Upcoming Tour Dates
2023 – February 28 – March 5
2024 – March 1 – March 7
2025 – February 28 – March 6
Cost – ¥670,000 pp
To inquire about availability, general questions, or to book, please contact by clicking the button below. Space is limited. Contact us today.