Asia. It conjures images of exotic destinations, ancient languages, delicious food, and vibrant cultures. Some 4.4 billion—60% of the world's population—lives in the 48 countries that span this massive continent. The incredible allure of its many unique landscapes and peoples beckons us, yet the sheer size and diversity of the "East" can be intimidating.
With Santa Fe Photographic Workshops as your guide, you experience carefully cultivated and compelling locations meticulously selected by our local and native experts. Our programs allow you to go deeper into the heart of Asia than the typical photo tour, with immersive experiences at the very soul of this fascinating place.
It is with careful consideration that we have chosen Japan as our starting point for our Asia Expeditions. It is an awe-inspiring place: an archipelago of 6,500 mountainous islands spanning over 1,800 miles from north to south. Mount Fuji, Kyoto, Tokyo, Pokemon, Harajuku fashion, sumo, sushi, advanced electronics, maiko (known to us as "geisha")—the images we have of Japan are many, but in truth there is far more to explore.
In the north, Hokkaido was, and sometimes still is, Japan's wild frontier, comparable to Alaska in many ways, with long winters and short, but beautiful, summers. In the south, Okinawa is a sub-tropical chain of islands, lush with greenery and lined with white sand beaches. In between, Tohoku is a beautiful, rustic land of stoic people living humbly as farmers and fishermen.
Hokuriku is the less-explored Central-Western area of Japan, known for its mountains, snow, sake, and villages of thatched roof houses. Kansai is the cultural heart of Japan, with the ancient twin capitals of Kyoto and Nara at its center—here you find 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and hundreds of designated "National Treasures”, vibrant cities like Osaka and Kobe, and smaller destinations chock full of surprises like Otsu and Koya-san. Further west, in the Chugoku region, are gems like the canal town of Kurashiki, the floating shrine of Itsukushima at Miyajima, and Hiroshima with its mark on modern history. Other destinations include the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu, steeped in history and rich in natural beauty. And, finally, there’s the metropolis of Tokyo—wonderfully overwhelming, incredibly complex, and the world's safest large city.
The photographic and cultural opportunities in Japan are immense, truly providing something for everyone. Our team guides you through the many nuances of this friendly country, teaching you the history, showing you both the hidden gems and must-see locations, and sharing with you to some of its very best restaurants.
Join us and experience the photographic expedition of a lifetime in the Land of the Rising Sun!