GROUP / pre-organized
  • June 10th, 2024
    Early Summer Shiretoko and Eastern Hokkaido
    Wildlife and Landscape Photography Tour & Workshop with Marco Ronconi
  • Hokkaido , Japan
  • Small group photography tour & workshop


  • Small group photography tour & workshop: maximum 5 participants (minimum 4 participants)
  • Accompanied by Marco Ronconi, wildlife & nature photographer
  • Three chances of Killer whale boat cruise
  • Two chances of Brown bear boat cruise

    Eastern Hokkaido in June is the month of early summer and a beautiful season of colorful wild flowers. Killer whales (Orcas) gather in the Nemuro Strait, off the coast of Rausu town and brown bears in the Shiretoko Peninsula become more active.
    In the first half of the tour, we focus on wildlife photography and you can expect to photograph killer whales and brown bears from a cruise boat. Also we will visit Notsuke Peninsula in the late afternoon, where the Siberian lupin and other wild flowers bloom during early summer. You can expect here to photograph Ezo shika deer and red foxes in the beautiful scenery background of Shiretoko Mountain Range and Kunashiri Island.
    In the second half of the tour, we will move to Akan-Mashu National Park and mainly focus on landscape photography. Not only the famous three lakes (Lake Akan, Lake Kussharo and Lake Mashu), but also we will photograph Mount Io where white sulfurous smoke rising up from countless fumaroles on the mountain surface, mysterious Lake Onneto as well as early morning Tsubetsu pass. If conditions permit, wonderful dawn scenery with sea of clouds can be expected here.

Photography Guide: Marco Ronconi

Marco Ronconi is an Italian professional nature photographer and publisher, passionate about wildlife and landscapes of the northern hemisphere. His fine art prints have been exhibited in galleries and his images have been featured in various magazines. His photographic vision focuses on capturing suggestions and emotions using light and elements such as snow, ice, and mist. He tries to celebrate the pristine beauty of a landscape or the fleeting encounter with wildlife, with simplicity, giving as much importance to the unseen and is left to the imagination. His approach to nature photography is more artistic and philosophical, than scientific. He created his own publishing house, Kamui publishing. Instagram page: @marcoronconi_

Killer whales and Seabirds in Nemuro Strait

The Nemuro Strait, located between Rausu and Kunashiri Island, is well known as the place to observe killer whales. Multiple pods, approximately 200 killer whales, come every year from May to July and this area has the highest killer whale encounter chance in the waters around Japan today. The research also suggests that the Nemuro Strait may be a meeting place for the different groups so they can look for future partners. In 2023, for the first time in two years, a pod of killer whales, including white individual, came to the Nemuro Strait and they were observed from cruise boats four times during the season. Although it is not easy to meet this unique white killer whale, let’s hope they will come again in 2024. June is the best season to observe and photograph killer whales and you will have three boat cruise chances as it may be canceled due to bad sea conditions.
Blog- White Orca (Shiretoko Hokkaido)


  City Summary
1 Nakashibetsu

Welcome to Hokkaido Japan, gather at Nakashibetsu Airport at 14:30pm.
**Domestic flight is not included in this tour.
Recommended flight
from Tokyo : ANA377 dep Tokyo (Haneda) 12:25/Arr Nakashibetsu 14:05 
from Sapporo: ANA4883 dep Sapporo (Chitose) 12:15/Arr Nakashibetsu 13:05

We will have wildlife and landscape photography in Notsuke Peninsula in the late afternoon. A various kind of wildflowers start blooming in June and here you will be thrilled by large herds of wild Ezo shika deer,  Red foxes also the magnificent scenery of Shiretoko Mountain Ranges. Then we will head to Rausu town and overnight.

Overnight at Shiretoko Serai | Meals included : Dinner

Day 2&3 will be the same program.
In the morning, We’ll board a chartered small fisherman's boat and cruise along pristine & glorious coastline to the Cape Shiretoko for the brown bears photography (approx 2.5 hours).
In the afternoon, cruise the waters of the Nemuro Strait by shared boat(approx 2.5 hours). Located between the mainland of Hokkaido and Kunashiri Island, the Strait is only 17km wide at the narrowest section. We will have chance to photograph killer whales, the flocks of Shearwaters as well as the dynamic coastlines of Kunashiri Island and the Shiretoko peninsula.
In the late afternoon, we will go out for nature photography either in Notsuke or Shiretoko peninsula by private vehicle.

Overnight at Shiretoko Serai | Meals included : Breakfast and Dinner
4 Rausu

In the morning, enjoy the last photography chance of killer whales by shared boat (approx. 2.5 hours).
After some rest at your guest house, we will go out for the late afternoon photography session in Shiretoko.

Overnight at Shiretoko Serai | Meals included : Breakfast and Dinner
5 Rausu
Lake Akan

After breakfast, we will head to Lake Akan by private vehicle. Lake Akan is one of the main lakes in Akan-Mashu National Park. Visit Ainu Kotan and experience the precious culture of the Ainu people. Kotan means "village" or "settlement" in the Ainu language and this is Hokkaido's largest Kotan, located on the shore of Lake Akan. In the afternoon, we will have photography session in Lake Onneto. This lake, secluded and hidden away from people in a magnificent natural setting, is one of the Three Great Secret Lakes of Hokkaido. Those who visit this Lake find its mysterious charms to be peacefully relaxing.

Overnight at New Akan Hotel | Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner
6 Lake Akan
Lake Kussharo

Early morning photography around the lake side forest. You may encounter Ezo shika deer and Hokkaido Squirrel in the spiritual forest. After breakfast, we will head to Lake Kussharo and Lake Mashu area, the center of Akan-Mashu National Park. In the afternoon, enjoy landscape and nature photography in this region till the sunset. Place of photography will be chosen by our guide.

Overnight at Kussharo Prince Hotel | Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner
7 Lake Kussharo and Mashu area

If weather permit, we will wake up very early morning and depart for Tsubetsu Pass for sunrise photography. Wonderful dawn scenery with sea of clouds can be expected here(weather conditions apply). Back to the hotel for breakfast and take a rest in the morning. Then we continue our landscape and nature photography around Akan-Mashu National Park.

Overnight at Kussharo Prince Hotel | Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner
8 Lake Kussharo

After breakfast, we will go out for our final photography session and head to Memambetsu. Tour ends around 13:30pm at Memambetsu airport.
**Recommended flight
to Tokyo  : JAL564 dep Memambetsu 15:10/ arr Tokyo (Haneda) 17:00
to Sapporo : JAL2718 dep Memambetsu 17:55 / arr Sapporo (Chitose) 18:40

Meals included: Breakfast


  Price per person
June 10th - June 17th, 2024
7nights 8days
JPY 490,000
*For 4 to 5 participants
Single room supplement JPY 50,000

**Tour price listed is per person, based on sharing twin rooms.
** This tour requires a minimum number of 4 participants. Please do NOT purchase your airline tickets until you receive confirmation that the minimum number of tour participants has been reached.
** Lunch during the tour is not included. You will have a chance to eat at local restaurant or to buy food from the local convenience stores. Each person should prepare to pay for these individually.
**The purpose of this tour is wildlife and landscape photography. According to weather reports and local information, tour schedule may be adjusted by our photography guide on spot.
**There is no guarantee of being able to observe or photograph wild animals listed in the itinerary.
**Boat cruise may be cancelled due to bad sea or weather condition. In that case, we will refund boat tour fee and may go out for land photography by private vehicle instead.
** The detailed itinerary will be sent to all participants at the same time three weeks before the tour starts.


English-speaking guide | Accommodation as per above | Private vehicle with driver as per itinerary above | Meals as per above | All activities participation fees as per above

Exclusive of:

Transportation to/from Japan | Domestic flight in Japan | Travel & Medical Insurance | Daily Lunches & Additional Snacks | Personal expenses (Souvenirs and Beverages, etc.)


In this season, the warmest temperatures you can expect is 15-20℃ (59-68°F), and it can go to as low as 10°C (50°F) . However, you may feel much colder than 10°C (50°F) on the boat. Especially the boat used for brown bear photography is small fisherman boat and there is no wind shield and bathroom. Please make sure you have layers of extra warm clothes for upper and lower body, groves, warm hats and rain gears.

About Accommodation

All of the hotels have western style room with beds and private bathroom. Common hot spring bath facilities are available at Hotel in Lake Akan and Lake Kussharo.

Vehicle and Luggage

We use 10 seater private van, and luggage space is limited, we allow everyone to bring up to one suitcase + photo equipment bag. If there is not enough space in the trunk for the backpack with photo equipment, you may need to keep it beside your seats.

Dietary Restriction

Hotels in remote area such as Eastern Hokkaido only accept requests for special meals to medical (such as allergy) and religious needs.
  Contact us about this tour
Travel planning and implementation:SAIYU TRAVEL CO.,LTD.
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