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)

Day 1

  • 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 crane 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

Day 2

  • 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
  • Group dinner

Day 3

  • Photograph wild birds from several “bird hides.” Types may include eagles, great-spotted woodpecker, long-tailed tit (Shimanaega)
  • Travel to the outer banks of Eastern Hokkaido 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 the next port and stop to admire the drift ice, eagles and search for seals
  • Photograph Blackiston’s Fish Owl

Day 4

  • Early wake-up call to board a boat to witness sunrise over the drift ice
  • Experience the majesty of Stellar’s and White-tailed eagles feeding on the drift ice at dawn
  • Observe and photograph the various drift ice formations and search for wildlife
  • Lunch of regional seafood specialities (or ramen)
  • Sunset (hopefully) over the vast plains of drift ice in the sea
  • Stay in a luxury seaside hotel with an incredible dinner buffet of local specialties

Day 5

  • Morning snowshoe tour around frozen lakes
  • 2nd snowshoe tour to admire and photograph a frozen seaside waterfall and drift ice from the cliffside
  • Drive the coast and stop 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 town and dine on the local specialties

Day 6

  • Early wake up call for a 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
  • Relax and recharge in a lakeside onsen
  • Search the elusive long-tailed tit (Shimanaega) and ezo momonga right from our lodge.

Day 7

  • 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.