Niigata Private Photo Tour - Prefectural Appeals
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Friday, May 10, 2019
By Japan Dreamscapes
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Niigata Private Photo Tours with Japan Dreamscapes (JDS) means being able to sample from a wide range of different elements.  The prefecture is commonly known for agricultural products related often to delicious saké or rice, but we at JDS know that Niigata has so much more to offer the visiting photographer.


Niigata has one of the most remarkable photo ops in the entire country, and hundreds of thousands of Japanese people and international visitors come to Niigata Prefecture to photograph Nagaoka’s Fireworks.  The festival spans three days and uses over 20,000 fireworks as part of its grand display.


One interesting element is how much native Japanese culture surfaces as part of the firework presentation.  For example, while you photograph the glittering fireworks, you can see the national flower, the chrysanthemum recreated in the sparkling beauty of the Nagaoka Fireworks.  Some of Japan’s spectacular waterfalls, volcanoes, and other native landscapes will also come alive in glimmering beauty.  However, the piece de resistance of the Nagaoka Fireworks is the Phoenix Display.  The Phoenix is over five minutes of non-stop fireworks set to Ayaka Hirahara’s song “Jupiter.”  


Being one of the top three fireworks performances in Japan, Nagaoka is a must see for anyone interested in festival and firework photography.  The night comes alive with the fireworks, and the JDS Photography Workshop Leader will use the years of experience in Niigata and in Japan to help you get to the best locations to enjoy the shutter chances the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival can provide for you.  Once you have filled your memory cards with breathtaking photos, it will be time to fill your stomach with the numerous local delicacies offered at the festival.


August 2nd and 3rd are for fireworks, but August 1st will be photos of the portable shrines, called mikoshi, traditional dance processions, and floating lanterns, called toro nagashi.  Your JDS photo tour leader will help you navigate the city and be in the best locations to capture these attractions as part of your introduction to Nagaoka Fireworks and Niigata Prefecture!


Moreover, Niigata is an expansive prefecture with many different treasures, and one of the most alluring is photographing Takada Castle and its grounds.  In the south-western region of Niigata Prefecture, near the city of Joetsu, Takada Castle stands as a representation of the tempestuous history from which it was created.  Being completed in 1614, Takada Castle’s construction occurred just outside of the sengoku period or ‘Countrywide Open War’ Era wherein most of the country was embroiled in social and military upheaval.


The grounds present a must-see photo op during the spring time because of the nearly 4,000 sakura trees that were planted there to maintain the beauty of the grounds during the rebirth of spring.  However, Takada castle grounds also have several deciduous trees that sparkle gold, orange, and red during the autumn and attract many visitors to capture the autumn landscapes encircling the magnificent castle.


Takada Castle has been maintained using the traditional Japanese construction style so it retains much of its glory as it has survived to the modern day, as modern facsimiles of the original materials are utilized to preserve the samurai spirit on which the castle was first founded.


Don’t miss your chance to join a Niigata Private Photo Tour and photograph these spectacles particular to this area of Japan!

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