Tag Archives: Tsuyoshi Kato

Hokkaido 2016 Photography Adventure Day 5

25th October 2016 – Day 5 Furano and Biei -> Lake Toya

On day 5, we decided to start a bit early and head towards Torinuma Park, hoping to catch the morning mist across the lake. The weather was really cold for the autumn season, we departed from the hotel at 6am and Kato san drove down towards Torinuma Park.

Nakafurano

Along the way at Nakafurano, we caught the sunrise shining through from the mountain range. Even though it was pretty cloudy, we can spot the gorgeous morning sun rays punching through the horizon and skyline. Kato san stopped his car at the side of the road, ensuring that his car was not obstructing any traffic. We quickly took our camera gears out and started shooting away!

We didn’t spend too much taking photographs of the sunrise on that particular morning, once the sunrise moved up further into the sky, it was immediately engulfed by the thick clouds over the horizon during that morning. Nevertheless, we did enjoy and managed to a few photographs of the sunrise, she was spectacular at certain time!

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Torinuma Park

From the spot where we took the sunrise photographs at Nakafurano, it was about 10 – 15 mins drive to reach Torinuma Park. When we alighted from the car and walked towards the lake, there wasn’t any morning mist across the lake that we had hoped for. We were not disappointed because we knew that such scenes were never guaranteed, a bit of luck is needed too! Therefore we stayed back for a short time, taking photographs of Torinuma Park again.

We drove and returned back to our hotel at Nakafurano, went into the onsen to warm ourselves up from the cold early morning drive out, packed our bags and continued with Day 5 of my Hokkaido photography adventure.

Kamifurano

Miyama Toge (near to Woodylife)

After checking out from the hotel, Kato san drove up north towards Kamifurano and Biei. In just a short drive away, the autumn season turned into winter season. This is one of the amazing natural beauty of Hokkaido, getting autumn and winter seasons together in just a short distance away.

At this particular location in Kamifurano, it’s pretty well known as a lookout point since this is a toge, a mountain pass and overlooking the farms, the Furano railway tracks and the mountain range of Daisetsuzan National Park. The weather was covered with thick clouds close to the mountain range area, the farms were visible and not were not covered by the clouds or mist.

There was a golden moment when the sun light rays punched through the clouds onto the fields of Kamifurano and Biei. During my two trips to Hokkaido, I am always on the lookout for all these golden moment, when the sun light rays shined through the clouds. By describing the golden moment sun light rays shining scenes as awesome, breathe taking, unbelievable, I just simply ran out of adjectives to describe them. I would just snap as many photographs as possible before the sun light rays disappeared.

Biei

The next phase of my photography adventure is an early Christmas present from Hokkaido, experiencing winter season in the autumn season of Hokkaido! Biei was covered with beautiful white snow and the weather turned out perfect after a cloudy start in the morning.

The list of destinations that I would be sharing on my trip around the Biei region were some of the most popular landmarks and icons of Biei and also Hokkaido, they are very pooular with photographers and tourists visiting Biei. Having visited them, I was very excited and very happy, to photograph the various landmarks and icons in such a great weather.

A Gentle Reminder to ALL photographers, travelers and tourists

Before I start writing away on all those gorgeous landscapes, trees and landscape sceneries, I would like to give all photographers, travelers and tourists a very gentle reminder that we MUST/HAVE TO respect the local farmers in Biei, their farmland areas whereby their hard work are displayed on their farms, the different types of crops and vegetables. That farms surround all those locations that you see in my write up below, let’s protect the farmers hard work, we are also protecting all those beautiful landscapes that would allow other photographers, travelers and tourists to visit, enjoy and take many photographs for beautiful memories.

Please take your photographs from the viewing spot behind the rope/line! Do NOT cross the rope/line!

Christmas Tree

A lone tree, another of those one tree hill scenes added to my collection, this was also my Christmas gift from Hokkaido because this was the Christmas Tree of Biei, covered with snow!

Mild Seven Hill

Does the word Mild Seven strikes a bell in you? The name Mild Seven is tobacco brand and this beautiful hill that you see here was used in a famous advertisement for Mild Seven tobacco.

From my viewing point, I finally understand why this location was chosen for the advertisement. After taking a few photographs, I stood there and soaked in this pretty landscape scenery of snow powder on the farm land, the Japanese larch trees accompanied by the clear blue sky behind.

My Hokkaido 2016 autumn trip had been nothing short of phenomenal, spectacular and unique. Although the first few days were cold, wet and windy weather, there were a number of omens that made my trip very special and unique. While we were taking photographs of the Mild Seven Hill, Kato san and myself heard a distinct call from our backs, above in the sky. We quickly turned our backs and started observing, to our absolute delight, there was a flight of swans flying towards us and across the Mild Seven Hill! I finally managed to capture birds in flight while in Hokkaido!

This flight of swans was very unique, to put in a shameless plug for myself, the swans flew above Biei, welcoming me to Hokkaido! However, according to my Hokkaido Photo Guide, Kato san, it’s rare for swans to fly above Biei at this time and this was the first time he had seen them flying above Biei! Those pretty white swans gave me another priceless moment to remember from my Hokkaido 2016 autumn adventure!

Hill top observation point

This location is very special, it gives you the top of the world feeling, a bird’s eye view that show how vast, wide and far the Hokkaido landscape can be. There is no landmark to indicate this hill top observation point and during the winter season, it is not accessible by car.

This is a very amazing location, it’s an ideal location to experience and view how special it would be during the four different seasons. Kato san also mentioned that this spot is great for taking sunset scenes and I would love to come back again to this spot because I love taking sunset sceneries!

I am able to visit and take photographs from this hill top observation point because of my very experienced Hokkaido Photo Guide, Kato san. He knows the area, the locations, that we photographers would like to go and take photographs.

Parent and Child Trees

The parents will always love and look after their own children, just like the small oak tree that is standing in between two larger oak trees. From where I stood, watching them across the vast farmland filled with snow, this was filled with warmth, love and sunshine in a cold Hokkaido autumn season.

Farm House with row of trees

Continuing our journey in the area, Kato san stopped along the side of the road and showed me another scenic spot that photographers like to visit and take photographs, a farm house with a row of trees. While there wasn’t an official tourism marker build for this beautiful sight, visitors and photographers can observe it from the side of the road without stepping into the farmers land.

Blue Pond

The Blue Pond is probably one of the icons of Biei and Hokkaido, it’s a destination packed with tourists, travelers and photographers. I heard about this destination previously and wanted to visit this place since I am in the area. Therefore, I requested Kato san to plan in this location during my photography schedule for Biei.

A beautiful destination, no doubt about that, it’s just packed with tourist buses and cars though. Kato san highlighted that it gets even more packed and busy during the summer season! It might be a bit difficult to capture the photographs that you wanted when you are visiting the Blue Pond in Biei.

I enjoyed my short visit to the Blue Pond, captured down on my photographs before we left for our next destination. 

Shirahige Waterfall

Kato san drove into this area occupied by a few stylish hotels, some commanding a pretty awesome view, fitted with stylish furnishings and designs, with their own private onsen in some of the hotels. The room rate is therefore pretty expensive too! If I have the budget, I would love to stay in one of those stylish Shirogane Onsen Resorts near the Shirahige Waterfall.

My initial thoughts were, another waterfall, ok, let’s see what it’s going to be like! When I crossed the bridge and looked up and down the ravine, the Blue River, Shirahige Waterfall and the range of mountain peaks covered with snow, I just stood there, blown away and mesmerised by the natural beauty and surroundings.

Photographers will love this destination, imagine all the different types of sceneries, colours and landscapes during the four different seasons of Hokkaido, I would love to return again to this spot in my future trips to Hokkaido. Bring your lover/partner along when you visit Shirogane Waterfall, it’s a romantic destination and walk for both of you to enjoy the time, moment and gorgeous sceneries.

Mt Tokachi Observation Deck

I had a few key highlights from my Hokkaido autumn trip in October 2016 that I remembered deeply inside my heart and soul. The next location after Shirogane Waterfall was one of them and this might be the best of my best travel highlights during my Hokkaido autumn trip.

A drive up to the mountains, luckily for me, the road had not been closed yet. Kato san mentioned that this road up to the mountain would not be open during the winter season. From the drive up, I can totally understand why, Hokkaido winter is going to fill up this mountain road, making it very difficult to clear the snow filled road, moreover, driving in icy winter road conditions can be very dangerous too.

Upon reaching Mt. Tokachi Observation Deck, I stood there, outside Kato san’s car, did a 360 degrees observation of this destination. This was why I wanted to return back to Hokkaido after my first trip in November 2014.

It was a trip to the top of the world feeling, surrounded by a clear blue sky without too much clouds covering the mountain range peaks, powder snow fields and I was welcomed by a natural phenomena known as 22 degrees halo and possibly a rare 46 degrees halo too! The halo was like a gateway to a whole new world out there, it’s a Stargate!

You will know the feelings and emotions when you just have no words to describe and to even say it out. I stood there, completely blown away after taking a number of photographs of Mt Tokachi Observation Deck.

Before we made our descend to the observation hut and back to the car, I sincerely thank my Hokkaido Photo Guide Kato san, for bringing me to this destination. When I was at the Mt Tokachi Observation Deck, this was the magical moment whereby all my troubles, stress and pressure seem so far far away from me.

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Hinode Park

On the way down towards our lunch location suggested by Kato san, I had the opportunity to witness 2 seasons (winter and autumn) together, a beauty of Hokkaido that I enjoyed a lot from my 2 trips to Hokkaido (2014 and 2016). At Hinode Park, we made a short pit stop, the evergreen on the fields in the foreground, with the white snow covered mountain range in the background. An amazing and unforgettable view of 2 distinctive seasons coming together in 1 scene, a view that I will never forget.

Lunch – Kamifurano

When you have a very experienced local photo / travel guide like Kato san, he knows where are the best and most delicious local Japanese food. Kato san brought me to this charcoal grilled food house, a small family run food business. This would be one of my best authentic local Japanese food experiences that I had! There wasn’t any english menu and I really had to thank Kato san for selecting and ordering all the delicious food on my behalf!

Charcoal grilled pork, dipped with their own family secret sauce, it’s really unforgettable, very delicious. The charcoal fumes and cooked pork meat aroma would stay on your clothes, a smell that I would gladly accept!

Lookout point

After our delicious charcoal grilled lunch, we started a long road trip from Kamifurano towards Lake Toya. Kato san made a quick pit stop at one of the lookout points on the route down and I snapped a few photographs before the long road trip down.

Long car ride to Lake Toya

The distance between Kamifurano and Lake Toya was approximately 300km (based on the route that Kato san drove). It was quite a long drive and we reached Lake Toya at night, had a quick rest and onsen to relax from a whole exciting day of exploring, walking and driving.

End of my Day 5 travel photography adventure in Hokkaido, now to get ready for Day 6!

Hokkaido Autumn 2016 Day 5


Created with flickr slideshow.

 

Hokkaido Autumn 2016


Created with flickr slideshow.

Central/Eastern Hokkaido Day 2 – Shari, Teshikaga, Tsurui, Akan

Waking up to a cold and chilly Hokkaido morning, looking through the windows from my hotel room, I can spot the rain clouds over the horizon and rain falling down over a part of the sea and coastal area. After a hearty breakfast, having a good mix of local and international cuisines. We checked out and were getting ready to start our Day 2 Photographer Invitation Program schedule. Just as we were loading the luggage and getting into the mini bus, it started snowing!

Yes, it was getting colder with the snowing and strong winds!! We all got pretty excited with the snow falling down on us; it’s lovely and magical!! While it was not my first time experiencing snow, I loved playing with the snow!! We started our Day 2 journey by making a quick pit stop at Utoro harbour. It was snowing and with sea winds blowing, it was cold!

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Mr. Tsuyoshi Kato was our Professional Japanese Photographer guide (he’s also our photo guide, translator and driver for our entire adventure) for our Day 2 schedule and he was very awesome, he knew when and where to stop for photographers to take photographs because he is a photographer himself!

Road to Heaven(天に続く道)

In this area, Shari, Hokkaido, there is a road named “Road to Heaven”. Why is this road so special? Road to Heaven is distinctively Hokkaido, it is the Route 334/244, Shari-cho, Shari Hokkaido, Japan / 17km straight route. The Road to Heaven is straight, with leading lines that ends at the sea. My photographer friend David, who visited Hokkaido before, shared with me about the Road to Heaven, how uniquely it is to Hokkaido and the best time to photograph Road to Heaven is during Autumn (the time that I visited) when the leaves had fallen down and the whole Road to Heaven is very distinct! While we were up there enjoying the top of Road to Heaven, we, the band of photographers had a fun time doing and taking jump shots!

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As we continued driving along the road to our next stop, Lake Kussharo, we were mesmerized by the snow conditions. Along the road, Mr. Kato-san found a nice spot and stopped his mini-bus, we came down, took photographs of the snow filled landscape on the fields and trees. Mr. Kato-san also built a snowman and we took turns to hold the cute snowman for a photo! I had a fun time playing with the snow!

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Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖)

Driving on from Shari to Teshikaga, our next stop was at Lake Kussharo. The road trip was special and unique, on one side of the Hokkaido roads, it was filled with snowfall, while on the other side of the road, and it was autumn colours. The unique natural beauty of Hokkaido, two seasons, autumn and winter side by side.

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Lake Kussharo is the caldera lake in Akan National Park, upon reaching Lake Kussharo; we can feel the cold autumn/winter weather with strong winds blowing ast us. I wasn’t wearing gloves when taking photographs and it can really be tough on my hands! I recommend photographers to get gloves when visiting countries during winter season! The beautiful and cute swans at Lake Kussharo were pretty friendly and not afraid of human beings! We were pretty close to them and took some close up shots of the swans!

Mt. Iou(硫黄山)

Continuing on with our travel schedule, we departed from Lake Kussharo and drove towards our next stop Mt Iou. It is an active volcano, one of the mountains in Akan National Park. With the smell of sulphur in the air and on the rocks, we spent some time there taking photos at the sulphur rocks with steam coming out from the ground and rocks.

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Teshikaga-Ramen(弟子屈ラーメン)

I was told this was the best Ramen in Hokkaido (if not one of the best) and I was very eagerly looking forward to eating Ramen in Hokkaido. Nothing beats eating Ramen in Japan! Here are the details for Teshikaga-Ramen –

1-1-18 Mashu, Teshikaga-cho, Hokkaido, JAPAN

Tel: (+81)(0)15-482-5511

Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00 (Everyday)

I love Ramen and Teshikaga-Ramen was delicious and tasty! You have to try it if you have the chance!

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Lake Mashu (摩周湖)

After our tasty and delicious Ramen lunch at Teshikaga-Ramen, we continued with our schedule, traveling up to Lake Mashu. This is similar to Lake Kussharo, Lake Mashu is the caldera lake in Akan National Park and Lake Mashu has the reputation of the cleanest lake in the world. It was snowing at the top of Lake Mashu, snow was covering the tracks, lookout point and visitor centre. It was rather misty due to the weather; nevertheless, we were able to view the beautiful Lake Mashu from the top.

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Tsurui Village (Aza Nakasetsuri Minami, Tsurui-mura, Akan-gun, Hokkaido, JAPAN)

Arriving at Tsurui Village, we visited and stopped by a private park, where the owners reserved it for Japan’s national icon, the red-crown crane, known as the tancho zuru. The birds were given space to rest and feed at the park, away from the human beings. We were able to watch and observe the red-crown cranes from behind a wooden fence.

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I took out my EF 400mm f5.6 prime lens (Thanks to David for lending me for this trip!) and attached it to the Canon EOS 7D Mark II for bird photography action. It was a pretty good combination; lightweight and portable, ideal for bringing it for travel overseas.

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With my interest in avian photography, my experiences came in handy and I took a number of shots of the red-crown cranes in action. I was hoping for the cranes in flight, however, luck wasn’t on my side! However, I did manage to get a red-crown crane landing though!

We then drove to an open field near the river and was waiting patiently for the red-crown cranes to fly over here during the evening where they will be resting after feeding at other locations. We were not able to spot any of the red-crown cranes in flight and due to sunset and lighting conditions, we had to leave and drive to our next destination, Akankosou, our hotel for the second night.

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Akankosou (阿寒湖荘)

Our hotel for the second night of our travel itinerary, my maiden experience experiencing a traditional Japanese accommodation!

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This was also my maiden experience with Kaiseki, a traditional Japanese dinner! If you have the opportunity to experience Kaiseki in Japan, go for it!

Here are the details for Akankosou

〒085-0467 1-5-10 Akanko-Onsen, Akan-cho, Kushiro Hokkaido, JAPAN

Tel: (+81)(0)154-67-2231

The Japanese food dishes that we had during the Kaiseki, it was really awesome, beyond any more words to describe them. Our food photographs and priceless expressions after tasting the food would be the best testimonial to the amazing quality and standards of Japanese cuisine. We were in Food Heaven!

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Mt Hakuto(白湯山)

Before heading into onsen, we, this band of photographers decided to go out for a night Star Trail/Milky Way shoot (after official itinerary photography outing). Akankosou was kind enough to provide us with a guide and car to bring us out! With their local knowledge experience, the guide brought us to this location known as Mt. Hakuto; 5mins drive from Akankosou, at a height of 950m.

When we stepped out of the car and looked up into the Lake Akan night sky, we were immediately blown away by the amount of beautiful shining stars right above us. The stars brightened the dark Lake Akan skyline up and it was such a memorable experience for all of us! At times, we just wanted to lie down and do star gazing instead of photographing the Star Trails/Milky Way. We played with light painting and long night exposure photography too!

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Returning back to our hotel, Akankosou, we went to enjoy the onsen and relax for the night. Day 2 of our travel program had been very fun and it was one of the most memorable travel days out of the 4 days.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Central/Eastern Hokkaido Day 1 – Utoro

This marked the start of my awesome travel photography experience of a lifetime with newfound photography friends for Central/Eastern Hokkaido Familiarisation Trip (Photographers Invitation Program). Meeting at Changi Airport Terminal 1, I got to meet this special band of photographers that were going together on this big adventure.

Moe Anan – our beautiful and kawaii tour coordinator, translator

Dennis Seow of Superadrianme.com

Jensen Chua of Jensen Chua Photography

Yip Weng Seng of YipWengSeng Photography

Manami Iwatani, the pretty and bubbly Ran-san of Ninja Girls

Departing on Japan Airlines JL36 to Haneda Airport, Tokyo at 2200hrs Singapore time, we arrived at Haneda Airport at around 0530hrs Japan time. It was a pretty smooth flight to Tokyo and we cleared immigration and customs, proceed to domestic flights section for a bus ride to the domestic terminal at Haneda Airport for Japan Airlines JL1183 to Memambetsu Airport in Hokkaido at 0700hrs Japan time. The domestic flight from Tokyo to Hokkaido was smooth, arriving at around 0830hrs Japan time. During our descent to Memambetsu Airport, we had our first glimpse of the beautiful Hokkaido from the air! Walking out of the plane onto the aerobridge, we can feel the chilly cold autumn transiting into winter weather. The warmth inside Memambetsu Airport was most welcome for us!

At the arrival hall, our local Japanese hosts met us for our Central/Eastern Hokkaido Familiarisation Trip –

Mr. Higasa Kazuma – General Manager, International Travel Division of Nippon Travel Agency Hokkaido Co Ltd.

Mr. Tsuyoshi Kato – Hokkaido Photo Guide, Travel Planner, Photographer, Translator and Driver.

We went to the washroom and change to warm winter attire first before we formally exchanged greetings, formalities and name cards with Mr Higasa Kazuma and Mr Tsuyoshi Kato. After the introduction and briefing, we loaded our luggage into the mini bus for our start to Central/Eastern Hokkaido photography exploration! Our first destination was the Utoro area in the Northeastern part of Hokkaido, the journey from Memambetsu Aiport was around two hours and this was our first taste of long travel between destinations that we were visiting in Hokkaido. During our drive to Utoro, we were introduced to Mt. Shari-dake, with the peak at 1,545m!

Lunch was a quick pit stop at a local 7-11 convenience store in a small town along the route to Utoro. We had to rush over to Utoro since we had a professional Japanese Photographer, Mr Junichi Yamamoto, waiting for us at Utoro to bring us around Shiretoko National Park!

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Furepe Waterfall (フレペの滝)/ Mt Rausu-dake (羅臼岳)

Our first stop was Furepe Waterfall; it was a short trek inside to the edge of the cliff/plateau, through the forest. During this short trek, we were able to view the beautiful and grand Mt Rausu-dake, standing at a height of 1,661m, with the peaks and ridgelines covered with snow! The landscape was amazing and very beautiful, snow white peaks, blue sky, amazing cloud formations and the foreground of trees, and grassland in autumn weather conditions.

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When we reached to the edge of the cliff, there was a lookout point/hut that visitors can go up to catch a better view of the Furepe Waterfall. Initially, I couldn’t see any river flowing down the cliff forming the waterfall. Where is Furepe Waterfall, I ask myself? Soon, it dawned upon me with words from photographer friend of Yamamoto Sensei, who explained to us that the waterfall was from the underneath the rocks formation! Zooming in close with my telephoto lens (Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L USM), I saw for myself Furepe Waterfall!

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Mr Yamamoto Sensei brought us to the next destination, not too far away from Furepe Waterfall. While trekking through the forested area, we managed to spot wildlife, the deer! Being in the wild, the animals were very sensitive to human beings and once they sensed us moving close towards them, they would start to move away to somewhere else. It was a very fun experience to be that close to the deer grazing and my Canon EOS 7D Mark II with 70-200mm f/4 L USM is perfect for photographing wildlife while on the move!

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Yunohana Waterfall (湯の華の滝)

We continued with our photography and travel exploration to Yunohana Waterfall, not too far down the road from Furepe Waterfall. Trekking to Yunohana Waterfall was very interesting whereby we spotted more wildlife in the forested area. Yunohana Waterfall is very similar to Furepe Waterfall, the waterfall is from the underneath the rocks formation! Mr Yamamoto Sensei was really very nice and showed us good photography spots to take photographs of the Yunohana Waterfall, besides that, Mr Yamamoto Sensei was sharing with us his local knowledge of the wildlife and vegetation, it was very useful learning and very interesting!

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Oshinkoshin Waterfall (オシンコシンの滝)

This is a very beautiful waterfall, along the costal road of Utoro. When we reached there, it was getting close to sunset and the sunrays that shined brightly on the slopes of the waterfall, giving it a golden brown landscape and waterfall. At Oshinkoshin Waterfall, we started to experience the cold winter weather coming in and we can feel the coldness! From the steps leading up to Oshinkoshin Waterfall, we were able to have a nice view of the sea and the upcoming Hokkaido sunset. Oshinkoshin Waterfall is really beautiful and we spent a bit more time there!

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Hokkaido Sunset (Route 334 between ‘Oronko Rock’ and ‘Base of the Setting Sun’)

I am a photographer that loves taking photographs of sunsets especially when visiting different countries. When I saw the incoming Hokkaido Sunset at Oshinkoshin Waterfall, we knew we were going to get a beautiful Hokkaido Sunset and we were all looking forward to it! There was a bit of rush to this location along Route 334 between ‘Oronko Rock’ and ‘Base of the Setting Sun’. Once we disembarked, the band of photographers started firing away with their cameras. I was very happy to capture a beautiful Hokkaido Sunset and the Hokkaido Sunset memories still stays inside me today!

Landscape photography tips: I shot the Hokkaido Sunset at Utoro using 2 Canon DSLR bodies setup, namely Canon EOS 5D Mark III with EF 16-35mm f4 L IS USM and Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF 70-200mm f4 L USM. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III combination caters for a really wide angle landscape view while the Canon EOS 7D Mark II caters for a tighter crop landscape photograph especially when the landscape scene is very big!

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We said Sayonara to Mr Yamamoto Sensei for spending precious time with us that evening, each of us got nice Hokkaido photography postcards from Mr Yamamoto Sensei for memories! We took a group photograph with Mr Yamamoto Sensei before going to our hotel Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel.

Before we could setup our group photo shot, a Hokkaido wildlife animal came pretty close to us, watching and observing the whole group of us in action, the fox was curious at us human beings and observed us for a while with cute mesmerizing eyes. With the fox that near to us and we all photographers could not resist concentrating our cameras on the fox!

I wonder what did the Hokkaido Fox say?

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Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel (知床第一ホテル)

The Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel is a beautiful hotel, nice and comfortable! Love the view from my hotel room! The Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel was also where I experienced Onsen for the first time in my life and wearing a Yukata to dinner and Onsen! The buffet dinner was delicious and there was a widespread of local and international cuisines! I am grateful to Mr Kato-san for sharing with me how to wear a Yukata properly for the very first time!

My first ever Onsen, at Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel, was simply magical, the experience was unforgettable, therapeutic and relaxing! With the conclusion of my first ever Onsen experience, it also marked the end of Day 1 of our Hokkaido Photographer Invitation Program.


Created with flickr slideshow.