Hokkaido Winter Photo Tours - Astrophotography
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Thursday, April 04, 2019
By Japan Dreamscapes
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Hokkaido Photo Tours means enjoying the evening sky.  The clear night sky, especially during winter, makes for amazing astrophotography in Hokkaido.  It’s easy to spend your entire Japan Photography Tour in pursuit of the near endless wildlife running free on Japan’s north island, Hokkaido.  Sika Deer are plentiful, and the amount of birding photography that can be enjoyed is famous worldwide; however, winter photograph spots include not only the earth but also the skies above.  Many places in Japan are renowned for their evening scenery, but the crisp, cleansing air of Hokkaido makes photographing the moon and stars above the snowy plains and peaks of Hokkaido Tours breathtaking.  But why astrophotography?  Why is it worthwhile?  There are some astral bodies that do not register any color with the naked eye, but with longer exposures, the true brilliance of the night sky shines through.  Aside from the deep sky objects, on especially clear nights, you can photograph the Milky Way, the band of light and stars that represents our little niche in the universe.  Photographing such celestial bodies may seem challenging, but at Japan Dreamscapes (JDS), we encourage photographers of all levels to join the photo workshops, so if you need to discuss how to take the best photos, our staff can help you, so please ask!


The moon represents more than photogenic beauty; it also plays a key role in the First Nations people of Japan, the Ainu.  The Ainu cosmology supports three domains, the highest being the celestial bodies of the sun and moon.  The middle domain is where the clouds and stars reside.  The Ainu believe that divinity exists in all living objects, and the moon is no exception.  That divinity, or Kamuy, exists in the moon and therefore deserves the respect associated with a higher level of spiritual energy.  The mythology of the local indigenous people adds another layer to the majesty of Hokkaido’s night sky, so when you are taking pictures that you will treasure, you are also tapping into the culture and history of an ancient indigenous tradition.

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