2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan | Mt. Fuji

May 25 | Evan | No Comments |

In previous photography tours of Japan, I’ve spent a lot of time photographing Mt. Fuji from the Fuji Five Lakes, but for the 2018 photo tour of Japan in cherry blossom season we spent most of our time photographing Mt. Fuji from the Shizuoka side.  One thing that really interested me about photographing Fujisan from Shizuoka was the idea of being able to get more city elements included with the mountain.

Mt. Fuji, perhaps Japan’s most iconic symbol, has a bad reputation for being too shy, often hiding behind layers of clouds.  I usually tell the photographers on the photo tours of Japan that I will feel lucky if we have a clear view of Mount Fuji 1 out of 3 days.  The 2018 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan set a new record for me though! On my previous photo tours of Japan, I’ve never had two days in row where we could see a clear view of the entire mountain, but for this year’s photo tour, we had a clear view of Mt. Fuji for at least part of the day, three days in a row.  On the second day, it was so clear that if there was anyone hiking on the mountain, I’d know if they were a friend of mine or not!

 

The 2018 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour took a small group of photographers to Japan.  We started in Tokyo and continued to Hiroshima, Miyajima, HImeji Castle, Kyoto and Mt. Fuji.  Here is the trip report from the 2018 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan. The 2019 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan is already planned and live!  Limited spots are available for the 2019 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan, with first booking already reserved!  Below is a gallery of cherry blossom photos from our time spent making photos of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji.

2017 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Fuji Five Lakes

Jun 01 | Evan | No Comments |

The last stop for our group of photographers visiting Japan before returning to Tokyo was Fuji Kawaguchiko.  Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the Fuji Five Lakes and offers stunning views of Mt. Fuji no matter what time of year.  Thankfully this is the case as we were early for cherry blossoms this year.  Though we did manage to find perhaps the one single cherry blossom “tree” in full bloom at the time.

Besides Lake Kawaguchi, we also visited neighboring Lake Shoji and also Lake Yamanaka.  Throughout most of our stay in the Fuji Five Lakes we could see Japan’s famously shy mountain, though often with cloudy skies behind and above Mt. Fuji. 

Also, the Kubota Itchiku Art Museum gave me another chance to test out my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II’s in body image stabilization.   The in body image stabilization (IBIS) combined with the the M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO is suppose to give me 6.5 stops of image stabilization.  Once again, I was quite impressed with the results as the photos below are 1 second handheld and 8/10 of a second handheld.

1 second handheld

8/10th of a second handheld

The 2017 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan took our small group of photographers to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kyoto, Wazuka and Fuji Five Lakes.  Take a look at the 2017 Cherry Blossom Tour Trip report to see more from our tour of Japan during cherry blossom season.  Want to visit Japan during cherry blossom season with Japan Photo Guide?  The 2018 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan for photographers has limited spaces available, book now!

2016 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan | Fuji Five Lakes

Jun 01 | Evan | No Comments |

Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide136

Mt. Fuji as a reputation for being really shy, especially while visiting the Fuji Five Lakes outside of Winter.  For the 2016 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour of Japan, Mt. Fuji was operating about half of our photographer sessions in the Fuji Five Lake area.  Our hotel was at Lake Kawaguchi (where the photo above was taken from) but we spent the first sunset by Lake Yamanaka.  We got just a touch of color with a slightly hazy Mt. Fuji, but all things considered, our first photo session with the shy mountain didn’t go so bad!  The next morning, after nothing much happening at Lake Tanuki (not one of the Fuji Five Lakes, but very nice place) we stopped by Shiraito Falls.

Yamanaka Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide125

Shiraito Falls Japan Photo Guide146

For whatever reason, Lake Shoji has always been good luck for me as you might recognize that the 2015 Cherry Blossom Photo Tour made some fantastic photos of Mt. Fuji from the shores of Lake Shoji last year.  This year was similar as we had great a nice sunrise and mostly still water making for a great reflection of Mt. Fuji.

Photo created by and courtesy of Mami Yasui

Photo created by and courtesy of Mami Yasui

MSP_2958(1)(1)

Photo created by and courtesy of Mami Yasui

Photo created by and courtesy of Barna Photo

Photo created by and courtesy of Barna Photo

As you can see, we had quite a few nice photos from Lake Shoji!  Our group of photographers stayed at Shojiko quite a while both making photographs and just enjoying the view.  Too bad didn’t have weather like this for all the times our group went out to photograph Mt Fuji.

Shojiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide138 Shojiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide139 Shojiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide143

By the end of our staying the Fuji Five Lakes area, the cherry blossoms around Kawaguchiko were starting to approach full bloom.  One day was a little gloomy and quite windy, the next morning, clear sky and light wind making for some great reflections!   The photo at the top of this post is my current desktop on all my computers and a vertical crop of it on my iPhone.

Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide128

Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide129 Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide130 Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide133 Kawaguchiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide134

Our last morning of the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan at the Fuji Five Lakes was mostly cloudy but we still went out anyway hoping for something, or rather anything!  We went out to Lake Saiko in hopes of being able to see and photograph Mt. Fuji one more time.  To our surprise, when arriving at Lake Saiko, we could see most of the Mt. Fuji.  While the clouds cooperated for a while, they covered Mt. Fuji just as the sun was coming up and color was starting to enter the sky.  We were still able to make some interesting photos of Mt. Fuji for our last photo day of the tour!

Lake Saiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide137 Lake Saiko Mt Fuji Japan Photo Guide138

Photo created by and courtesy of Barna Photo

Photo created by and courtesy of Barna Photo

With TokyoHiroshima, Miyajima and Himeji Castle  and Kyoto already visited, next up for the 2016 cherry blossom tour was the Fuji Five Lakes to photography Mt. Fuji along with some cherry blossoms. Our photo tour of Japan ended here but yours can start just around the corner!  Interested in joining the 2017 cherry blossom tour?  Please contact me today to start your trip to Japan during cherry blossom season or any other time you’d like!

By the way, I quite like the first photo in this post of Kawguchiko and Mt Fuji when it’s flipped upside… maybe even more that the right way up?

upsidedown fuji Japan Photo Guide

 

2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Fuji Five Lakes

Apr 29 | Evan | Comments Off on 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan | Fuji Five Lakes |

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

Before evening returning from the the 2015 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan, I received a few inquiries about the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan!  If you are looking for that information, the details of the 2016 Cherry Blossom Tour of Japan can be found here.

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

 

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

After part of the group returned home after the main group tour, for the extension tour of 2015 cherry blossom tour of Japan, we headed to Yamanashi Prefecture to take photos of Mt. Fuji from the Fujigoko or Fuji Five Lakes.  We stayed at Kawaguchiko, but also took photos of Mt. Fuji from all five of the lakes, including, Lake Motosu, Lake Shoji, Lake Saiko and Lake Yamanaka.  We spent 3 nights and 4 days in the Mt. Fuji area but 2 of them we had rain and clouds all day and 2 we had views of Mt. Fuji.

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

 

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

Believe it or not, seeing Mt. Fuji for 50% of the days is actually ahead of the average for this time of year!  It’s well known in Japan that Mt. Fuji is “shy” and I’ve been told that during April, it’s estimated that you can see Mt. Fuji completely clear on only about 1/3 of the days.  So even though 2 days gave us nothing, I think we were lucky to see Mt. Fuji half the time we were there!  In general, you have a better chance of viewing Mt. Fuji in the Winter months and also earlier in the morning, but of course, anything can happen!

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide

Want to see more photos from the 2015 Cherry Blossom Photography Tour of Japan?  The group tour also went to Tokyo, Miyajima, Hiroshima, and Kyoto.  Stay tuned for more photos from the escorted tour of Japan!

fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide fujigoko mt fuji japan photo guide