Photography workshop in Tohoku: end April, 2013

Mount Bandai from Lake Inawashiro: photography workshop in Tohoku

THIS WORKSHOP IS SOLD-OUT. Two full days of fashion and landscape shooting around beautiful locations in Tohoku, this workshop runs from the evening of 26th April with our return to Tokyo on Monday 29th.

Read the article for full details of the package and for three galleries of scouting shots from some of the locations we’ll be visiting.

Tohoku has had some tough times in the past two years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11th, 2011. It’s the part of Japan where my wife comes from. It was the first countryside of Japan I ever experienced. Tohoku has a special place in my heart.

With these things in mind, it is a pleasure to announce this workshop, to give those of you who know this wonderful area of Japan a chance to re-visit with the express purpose of shooting some great photos. Or, for those of you who have never been, the chance to discover some great new places and shoot some great photos.

Where will be visiting?

The workshop will be centred around two basic areas: Ishikawa-machi and Inawashiro, both in Fukushima. We’ll be staying in Ishikawa on the first night [Friday] and shooting in various locations along the river between there and Furudono on Saturday.

We’ll move to the Inawashiro/Mount Bandai area and stay Saturday and Sunday nights, with a full day of shooting in the area on Sunday.

What will we be doing?

We’ll be taking two fashion models with us. Shinyong Lee seems as if she will be free [confirming this on Monday 8th April]. She will also be selecting the second model. We have a great pool of people to choose from.

The workshop will be a chance to shoot with the models in some stunning locations.

It will also be a chance to shoot some landscape and macro work, to complement the work you will be doing with the models

You will be producing a set of shots to two briefs: 

  1. A magazine spread of general ‘model on location’ shots, interspersed with shots of and details from the location.
  2. A fictional product advertisement shot/set of shots.

You can see some of the shots by one the attendees of our last location workshop in Miyazaki –  Andrew Holian – here:

What’s the whole package, where do we stay, how do we get there and how much does it cost?

Here’s what you get for the workshop fee:

  • Two days full shooting [Saturday and Sunday]
  • Saturday and Sunday evening of critique sessions and post-processing tips
  • Two professional fashion models in attendance the whole weekend
  • Three nights accommodation: first night [and breakfast the following morning] in Ishikawa-machi at Hotel Matsutaya. Saturday and Sunday nights in condo-style, self-catering accomodation in the Hotel Listel, near Lake Inawashiro.
  • Transportation from Tokyo, around the locations and back to Tokyo: I will be renting a Toyota Grand Cabin or Grand Commuter van. Pickup will be early Friday evening from a central Tokyo location. We have the same vehicle for the whole weekend. Checkout of the hotel is on Monday at 10am, after which we will return to Tokyo.
  • All petrol, road-toll and parking costs inclusive: no extra costs as far as the vehicle is concerned. We cover all of it.
  • Post-production and editing of your final project layouts.

How much is the workshop?


What are the exact dates and times?

  • Pick-up and departure in Tokyo will be roughly 6.30pm on Friday 26th April.
  • We check out of the Listel in Inawashiro at 10am on Monday 29th April and return to Tokyo that day.

What sort of places will be shooting in?

There are a couple of specific locations for this workshop and there are galleries below of location-scouting shots from a couple of the areas.

1. The river along Route 14 near Ishikawa-machi

2. One or two specific locations on the way to Bandai from Route 14, namely along Route 20.

3. Two areas around Lake Inawashiro: the south-west side of the lake and a small, almost haikyo, village near Joko – on the south east side of the lake.

4. Areas around Lake Hibara, including the sunken village of Hibara.

How Many People Will Be Coming?

This workshop is for a minimum of six people, maximum of eight. There will be our two models and, of course, myself.

The Galleries of Location-Scouting Photos: this is a selection and not comprehensive of the whole trip’s locations.

Route 14 river locations

Old Bus on Route 20 On Our Way to Bandai

Areas Around Lake Inawashiro and Joko

How Do I Reserve Myself a Place?

Please drop me an email to alfiejapanorama[atmark] or use the contact form on this site, stating ‘Tohoku Workshop’ as your subject.

There is a deposit of 50% of the workshop fee. This is not refundable. Sorry I can’t be more flexible than that but i do it this way as there have been issues in the past with people dropping out at the last minute.

Please let me know if there is any more information you need.

In the next couple of days [8th, 9th April] I will be confirming exactly which models will be attending but if there is anything else you want to ask, please feel free to do so.

Thanks a lot.

P.S. For those of you who still might be somewhat paranoid about anything to with the  word ‘Fukushima’….

It pains me that the whole of the third-largest prefecture in Japan got such a bad name after the events of 3/11. For anyone interested in this workshop but curious about how safe Fukushima really is right now, let me say this:

1. From the radiation monitoring stations in two public schools, one in Ishikawa and one near Lake Inawashiro, I saw levels of between 0.09 micro-sieverts and 0.12 micro-sieverts/hour. To put that into context, the map at currently has levels of between 0.09 and 0.12 micro-sieverts for much of the area around Shibuya and west of Shibuya. When you visit the map, select ‘Full’ as the style [it opens by default as ‘Dark’]. You will then see place-names.

2. There are hotspots between Ishikawa and Bandai. We will be travelling through them to get to Bandai. None is greater than 1.6 micro-sieverts/hour

3. I have travelled to the area five times since 3/11, twice with my whole family. My daughter spent her spring holiday this year in Ishikawa.

4. You’d get around 200 micro-sieverts on a round-trip flight between Tokyo and New York.


About Japanorama

Japanorama is run by British professional photographer, Alfie Goodrich, and provides practical photography teaching in Tokyo. Weekly workshops, group and one-to-one lessons bring together photographers of all ages and abilities.

We also welcome submissions of photos and articles for this site, so please get in touch via our contact page. Thanks. © 2015 All Rights Reserved

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