We begin this 5-day photography marathon with a tour of northwestern Kyoto’s lesser-known yet old and beautiful temples, and finish the day with sunset at the world-famous Kinkakuji. The Golden Pavilion closes before sunset most of the year, but in autumn and winter, sunset falls before closing time.

On Day 2, we hit the mountain trails of Takao for a real off-the-beaten-path treat, a secluded river valley lined with gorgeous maple trees, with a visit to a waterfall. After our hike, we relax our muscles in an onsen hot spring bath, followed by a sunset-to-blue hour shoot along Arashiyama’s picturesque Togetsukyo Bridge. Bring your tripods!

Day 3 is an easy day to let you rest up after Takao, beginning with a walk through Nishiki Market and lunch there, after which we explore the byways of Gion, then catch the sunset from across the romantic lights of the Pontocho.

On Day 4 we visit Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion temple, followed by a walk along the Philosopher’s Path to some lesser-known temples of Higashiyama, and end the day at our personal favorite temple in Kyoto. After dinner, have your fast lenses ready as we’ll take in a magical evening illumination.

We cap the tour with a trip along Lake Biwa, past mountains covered in autumn colors, to Hikone Castle, one of Japan’s last 12 original-structure castles and a National Treasure, and explore its elegant Genkyuen Gardens. Our lunch is Omi Beef, at a restaurant with a view of the castle! We then move on to the Venice of Lake Biwa, an old town full of preserved old merchant’s houses lining the picturesque canals. Bring your long lens if you’re into bird photography, this place is a haven for waterfowl.

No. Pax USD/pax
Availability November 14-December 9, 2018* 1/2 639.00/538.00
Maximum 8 persons 3/4 505.00/488.00
Duration 5 days 5/6 478.00/471.00
Starts from Kyoto Station 7/8 467.00/463.00
Inclusions 2 World Heritage sites, National Treasure, temples, garden, period places, garden, riverside, onsen bath, all transport, all admission fees, 5 lunches, photo guide/ instructor 9/10 N/A
Accessibility Expect stairs, sloping paths and extensive walking
Temperature Expect 8-17 C

Last booking is for December 5-9, 2018.