Japan Photo Workshop

(22 customer reviews)

¥470,000per person

Have any questions? Contact us!

Adventure Type

10 Day Photography Workshop

Max Size

10 people


November 20 — 30, 2022






All breakfasts
• Accommodation for 10 nights
• Bullet train ticket (Tokyo to Kyoto)
• Entrance to Mori Tower observation deck
• Geisha photo session
• Group dinner (x2)
• Luggage transfer from Tokyo to Kyoto
• Train pass (5000 JPY charge)
• Helicopter Flight (20 minutes)
• Professional photo instructor


• Airfare
• Camera
• Food

Minimum Required Gear

• A comfy pair of shoes
• DSLR or mirrorless camera capable of manual modes
• 18-55mm zoom lens (on crop sensor) or similar prime lenses
• 24-70mm zoom lens (on full frame) or similar prime lenses
• Tripod (can be provided free of charge)

Photography Workshop


Street Photography

Japan Entry Requirements

EYExplore will provide all of the documents (ERFS) needed for an entry visa to Japan. We are your one-stop shop for photography and travel in Japan!

Jump to…

Having fun doing street photography in the back alleys of Shibuya
Having fun during a street photography workshop in the back alleys of Shibuya

What’s the Story?

Japan is a country with one foot in the future and one in the past. It is a land where tradition and modernity meld into one another without distinction, a place where even the recent history of the last 50 years can be felt on the streets of the modern metropolis of Tokyo. Kyoto, one of the ancient capitals of Japan, now a cultural bastion, is a short ride away on the futuristic bullet train—a stone’s throw from the largest city on earth. These contrasting worlds will be the focus of our photographic journey together.

What We’ll Shoot

From the skies above of Tokyo to the quaint streets of Kyoto, we will use our cameras to explore themes and concepts in both photographic narrative and composition. During this photography workshop through the major cities of Japan you will learn about rules of framing as they apply to street photography, urban landscape photography, architectural photography, and even portraiture when we finally meet and photograph a geisha in Kyoto.

These concepts will all come together to convey a particular story about the places and subjects that we will photograph. We will give you the conceptual tools that enable you to capture your unique perspective of Japan. Of course, we will also support you on all camera settings and technical concepts that go into the process of creative excellent photos! Our goal is for you to finish our Japan photography workshop with newfound skills and approaches to photography.

Charles explaining exposure compensation during a photo workshop at Kanda Shrine in Tokyo
Charles explaining exposure compensation during a photo workshop at Kanda Shrine in Tokyo

Where We’ll Explore

The photography workshop begins in the Tokyo metropolis. First, will explore the streets of Ginza, lined by high walls of glass skyscrapers. Our search for photographic enlightenment will also take us into a few famed shrines and temples in the heart of the city. We’ll delve into the neon-lit streets of Shinjuku and Shibuya, and then duck into mysterious back alleys where the light streams in from above in a ghostly glow. We’ll explore the quarters of old Tokyo, the ‘shitamachi’ or ‘low city,’ where the houses date back to the post-war boom, their facades telling as many stories as the district’s elderly denizens. Before we leave the metropolis we will take to the skies in a helicopter and take it all in from high above the city.

Our journey continues in Kyoto after a short transit on the bullet train. Here we enter a world of mindfulness and nature. We’ll explore the environs of the Zen temple complex at Nazenji. The gardens will inspire our mindful eyes to create photos composed with harmony. We will head to moss-covered temples on the mountain-sides that flank the old capital, and find solace in places rarely traveled. Before our time is up in Kyoto we will make one excursion to Osaka, getting a glimpse into a Japanese city seemingly frozen in the bubble era, its streets harking back to another time. Finally, as a grand finale to our Japan photo workshop, we will spend time with a geisha, photographing her in a private session at a traditional tea house.

See the full itinerary below for details.

Charles teaches composition in the architecture rich district of Shiodome during a photo workshop
Charles teaches composition in the architecture rich district of Shiodome during a photo workshop

A Photo Workshop with plenty of Hands-on Coaching

  • We are passionate about photography and as such have scheduled at least 6-8 hours a day of workshop time, including shooting and getting from location to location.
  • We will walk… a lot. Please be ready to cover a few kilometers/miles on foot per day on some days (not every day of course).
  • Each day is generally broken down into three slots of activities (morning 8/9am – 12pm, afternoon 1pm – 5pm, and evening 6pm – 10pm). Generally we always start at a fixed time but the rest of the day flows a bit in accordance with how the events of the day evolve.
  • We will use two of the above time slots for structured, hands-on workshops/photoshoots while leaving the third time slot for free time or self-directed challenges.
  • What is a Self-directed challenge? For those who want to shoot non-stop we will provide additional ideas and locations with specific concepts to work on during that time.
  • Regarding feedback—we provide feedback on your photos on a constant ad-hoc basis during our time photographing together. However, we also schedule short 1-on-1 meetings with the instructors to give more detailed feedback on your images from the trip as a whole.
  • At the end of the entire 9-day workshop we will have a shared dinner during which each participant can share a few of their photos with the entire group to sum up their experience.
Lukasz teaches long exposure night photography during a photo workshop in Tokyo
Lukasz teaches long exposure night photography during a photo workshop in Tokyo

What’s included in the Photo Workshop

  • Daily photographic excursions with a local pro photo instructor
  • Hotel stay for 10 nights
  • Helicopter flight in Tokyo
  • Entrance to Mori Tower observation deck
  • Bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto (including return ticket)
  • Luggage transfer from Tokyo to Kyoto
  • Geisha photoshoot in Kyoto
  • Casual dinner with the group on first and final night of the experience
  • Train pass (Suica/Pasmo) charged with 5000 JPY
Capturing a candid moment during our geisha photography workshop in Kyoto
Capturing a candid moment during our geisha photography workshop in Kyoto

A Photo Workshop set in Spring & Autumn

Japan is not only a country where tradition meets modernity. It is also a place where the seasonal cycles of nature are very much a part of the local culture. During spring and autumn the major cities like Tokyo and Kyoto undergo beautiful transformations.

Sakura blossoms set against a shinto shrine during spring in Tokyo
Sakura blossoms set against a shinto shrine during spring in Tokyo

Cherry blossoms, called ‘sakura’ in Japanese, bloom in the springtime, turning the environs of temples, shrines, and gardens into wonders of nature. The people of Japan also take to these places in droves, picnicking under the pink boughs of cherry trees. This makes for ample opportunities for candid street photography in a backdrop of spring.

Autumn foliage in Tokyo
Autumn foliage in Tokyo

In the autumn, the maple trees change to gorgeous shades of red, while the gingkos’ foliage turn into a golden yellow, their uniquely shaped leaves, themselves a symbol of Tokyo, carpet parks and gardens. Both Tokyo and Kyoto become natural tapestries of fall colors, offering up many fantastic photographic opportunities.

Though this photography workshop focuses on urban and street photography, we feel that a seasonal backdrop for your experience can only be a positive. So, we have scheduled two sessions for this photography workshop, one in spring and one in autumn, so that you can get the most of Japan’s most colorful seasons.

Trip Info

Photo Workshop Dates

Autumn session: November 20 — 30, 2022


470,000 JPY per person on a single room basis
If you are traveling as a pair, we can offer a discount in the case of twin room occupancy.


TokyoSunroute Plaza Shinjuku (5 nights)
KyotoHotel Prezio Kyoto (4 nights)
TokyoPresso Inn (1 night)

Accommodation Details

  • We book a total of 10 nights between Tokyo and Kyoto.
  • The last night in Tokyo is at a hotel conveniently located near major transport hubs.
  • Breakfast is included daily at the hotel.

Requirements & Disclaimers

  • You must be at least 18 years of age to participate.
  • You must have the appropriate visa and legal status to enter Japan for the purpose of tourism.
  • You must provide your own airfare to arrive in Japan.
  • We reserve the right to cancel the workshop in the event that we do not reach our minimum number of participants (4 participants).

Payment & Cancellation Policy

Payment must be made in full at the time of booking. However, bookings are fully refundable until 30 days prior to the departure date, which makes full refund cut-off date October 20, 2022. All other cancellations will be refunded as follows:

  • Between 60 and 30 days before departure: 80% refund
  • Between 30 and 7 days before departure: 50% refund
  • Less than 7 days before departure and after departure date: no refund

Cancellations should be made via email with a clear subject line stating your intention to cancel. We will use the timestamp of this email to determine the cancellation term.

Please check out our FAQ for more details or contact us with any questions and concerns.

Photo Workshop Itinerary

Part 1: Tokyo


The Start of a Photo Adventure

The EYExplore Japan Photography workshop begins in the Tokyo metropolis
The EYExplore Japan Photography workshop begins in the Tokyo metropolis

Arrival & Orientation

Upon arriving in Tokyo, the entire group will go out for dinner to get acquainted with each other and the instructors. We will discuss everyone’s photographic goals and get to know each other’s work as well.


From Modernity to Tradition

Tokyo is a melting pot of traditional culture and a modern metropolis
Tokyo is a melting pot of traditional culture and a modern metropolis

Morning 8am start

Explore Tokyo’s modern architecture in Shiodome, Ginza, and Yurakucho all the while working on composition and framing. We will start from fundamental concepts, new to some and a review to others, to build a foundation of ‘photographic language’ for the entirety of the workshop. For the most part, we will capture architectural and street photography during this session.

Afternoon after lunch, 1pm to 4pm

Explore Hie Shrine situated in the Akasaka district for a taste of the more traditional side of Tokyo. Here we will work on capturing details that portray the spirit of a place in an ensemble of photographs. We will apply the same ideas at two other shrines in Ochanomizu, Yushima-seido and Kanda-myojin. All along the way, we will come across cherry blossoms if they are in bloom, or gorgeous autumn leaves in the fall.

Cherry trees in full boom in Tokyo
Cherry trees in full boom in Tokyo

Evening from approx. 5pm onward

After a long day, the evening is scheduled to be free. For those who want an extra challenge, we will provide recommendations for good shooting locations as well as feedback and challenges customized to your needs for an evening of self-directed shooting.


Into the Streets and the Neon Lights

Using long exposure techniques to capture the roar and energy of the city in the streets of Shibuya
Using long exposure techniques to capture the roar and energy of the city in the streets of Shibuya

Morning free until after lunch time

Enjoy the morning at your own pace. Once again, we will provide you with additional ideas and tips on where to go and what to shoot. It’s also nice to breath and spend a bit of time away from the group as photography also works well as a solitary and contemplative pursuit. You can use this time to soak in the atmosphere of the city.

Afternoon after lunch, 1pm to 4pm

Venture into Harajuku to capture the characters of the streets and their fashion. We will work on approaching street photography from various perspectives, candid and interactive, up close and from a distance. We will continue on to Shibuya at dusk and keep working on street photography techniques, capturing people set against the lightscape of the Tokyo dusk.

Long exposure photo of traffic streaming through Shinjuku with neon lights in the distance
Long exposure photo of traffic streaming through Shinjuku with neon lights in the distance

Evening from approx. 5pm to 11pm

After a break, we begin in Shibuya with a view of the famous crossing from above. From there, we will practice long exposure photography with the help of tripods. We’ll visit excellent vantage points throughout Shibuya before moving on to Shinjuku for more long exposure work, capturing traffic light trails and neon signs in a magnificent mosaic of color.


Urban Geometry and the Cyberpunk Metropolis

High-contrast street photography with Laurence Bouchard in downtown Tokyo during a photography workshop
High-contrast street photography with Laurence Bouchard in downtown Tokyo during a photography workshop

Morning 9am start

Meet local street photographer Laurence Bouchard, known for his high-contrast black and white style of shooting. We will work with him in his favorite spots around Ebisu and Roppongi, especially focusing on the National Art Center of Tokyo, a sprawling architectural wonder. This impressive will provide us with endless opportunities and photo ideas, rain or shine.

Afternoon from approx. 3pm

Visit Shibuya Sky for a panoramic view of the city from the rooftops of a 50-story building in the heart of the city, including a shot down onto the iconic Shibuya crossing. We will begin before sunset and watch the city transform before our eyes—and camera lens. No tripods are allowed on the roof of this building, so we will practice various techniques for shooting in low light conditions without the aid of a tripod.

Street photography in the back alleys of Shinjuku—photographing people in candid moments
Street photography in the back alleys of Shinjuku—photographing people in candid moments

Evening from approx. 7pm to 11pm

Dive into the red light district in Shinjuku, known as Kabukicho. Here we will capture the gritty underbelly of the city. We’ll explore a world of back streets and alleys straight out of Blade Runner or Ghost in the Shell. The neon lights, window displays, and grime-filled alleyways make for an intense shooting locale that harkens back to a more ‘wild’ time in Tokyo’s past—the bubble era of the 1980s—when the economy boomed on the back of the hastily reconstructed metropolis.

Street photography in Kabukicho, Tokyo's major red light district
Street photography in Kabukicho, Tokyo’s major red light district


Old Tokyo & A Helicopter Flight

One of Lee Chapman's classic photos of an elderly women in the old districts of Tokyo
One of Lee Chapman’s classic photos of an elderly women in the old districts of Tokyo

Morning & Afternoon 9am to 4pm

Join local photographer Lee Chapman on an excursion away from the neon lights and into the old districts of Tokyo, where time seems to stand still, and the locals’ faces say a thousand words. Here we will practice street photography focusing on narrative, while Lee guides us through parts of Tokyo rarely seen by the eyes of outsiders.

Evening from 5pm to 8pm

The view from the cockpit of a helicopter with Tokyo Tower in the distance—a highlight of our Japan photo workshop
The view from the cockpit of a helicopter with Tokyo Tower in the distance—a highlight of our Japan photo workshop

Take to the skies in a helicopter for a cruise around Tokyo and capture the metropolis from the skies above. There are only 3 seats in the helicopter (in addition the pilot), so we will split up the group into multiple flights. Each flight is approximately 20 minutes in length. In the event of a full workshop, the instructors will not accompany the group during the flight. We will provide all tips and camera settings prior to liftoff.

Part 2: Kyoto & Osaka


A Trip to Traditional Japan

The Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto is best visited in the evening when the crowds have gone for the day
The Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto is best visited in the evening when the crowds have gone for the day

Morning 7am to 12pm

After a few days in the Tokyo metropolis, we will travel via bullet train to Kyoto, Japan’s ancient imperial capital. The city is in stark contrast from its counterpart in eastern Japan. Gone are the mega-dense urban hubs and glass skyscrapers, only to be replaced by wooden temples, towering pagodas, and winding streets paved with cobblestones.

Afternoon 1pm to 3pm

Upon arriving in Kyoto we will have some free time before check-in time at the hotel. We’ll use this time to explore Kyoto’s main train station, which is an excellent example of contemporary architecture providing a last taste of modernity where you will be able to apply much of what you have learned photographing Tokyo.

Evening 7pm to 10pm

After checking into our Kyoto hotel we will reconvene and grab our tripods for an outing to the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine. This beautiful and mysterious shrine is home to thousands of vermillion gates, called ‘torii’ in Japanese. This attracts thousands of tourists as well, but there is a secret to avoiding the crowd—go at night. Since it is dark, we will employ tripods to get the best shots of the shrine’s many paths and passage sprawling up the mountainside.


Zen Temples and Natural Beauty

The Nanzenji temple complex is a bastion of zen—a place where we can take a mindful approach to photography during the workshop
The Nanzenji temple complex is a bastion of zen—a place where we can take a mindful approach to photography during the workshop

Morning 9am to 12pm

Enter a calm world of Zen temples in the Nanzenji temple complex. Here we will explore visual ideas for juxtaposing the natural beauty of the gardens with the traditional architecture of the temples themselves. There will also be room for street photography incorporating people into the scenes. Depending on the season and weather we will be able to use different effects to our advantage. Rain or shine, these Japanese temples will be a great source of inspiration and captivating imagery.

Afternoon after lunch, 1pm onward

Explore the Kurodani area for splendid views of cherry blossoms in the spring and autumn colors in the fall. The temple complex is also home to an ancient cemetery and pagoda. We will explore the grounds of this solemn place while photographing the old stonework juxtaposed with the blossoming spring colors or autumn foliage of the Japanese maple trees. We’ll end up at shinnyodo Temple, a large complex surrounded by gardens filled with sakura and Japanese maple.

Autumn leaves in Kyoto
Autumn leaves in Kyoto


Hidden Temples and Bamboo Groves

A hidden bamboo groves away from the tourist spots in Kyoto—a prime location for working on composition and creative techniques during the workshop
A hidden bamboo groves away from the tourist spots in Kyoto—a prime location for working on composition and creative techniques during the workshop

Morning 9am to 12pm

On the hilly outskirts of Kyoto Tanukidani Temple, a hidden sanctuary built into a mountainside, rarely visited by travelers. Here we will explore the mysterious and magical road leading up the mountain to the temple itself. We’ll encounter moss-covered stones and statues as ancient as any in Japan and learn how to photograph these details creatively. Just down the road from Tanukidani temple we will also visit a marvelous zen temple called Enkoji where we can take our time to rest in the pavilion while viewing the splendid natural view.

A hidden temple at Tanukidani, sitting atop a hill overlooking Kyoto
A hidden temple at Tanukidani, sitting atop a hill overlooking Kyoto

Afternoon after lunch, 1pm onward

After lunch we will head off to Adashino Nenbutsuji on the opposite end of the city. Here we’ll explore a small but beautiful bamboo grove, far away from the famous and overcrowded Arashiyama. We will also visit another nearby temple, Otagi Nenbutsuji, famous for its throngs of mossy statues.


Osaka’s Underground Markets

The colorful alleys of Tsuruhashi in Osaka make for a prime spot for street photography during the photo workshop
The colorful alleys of Tsuruhashi in Osaka make for a prime spot for street photography during the photo workshop

Morning 9am to 12pm

A short trip from our base in Kyoto, Osaka offers a glimpse into a retro Japanese city. We will first head to Tsuruhashi where we’ll explore a market that is seemingly underground due its streets being entirely closed in by rooftop canopies. This place is known for the many families of Korean descent who have made their home here. Though they are often 3rd of 4th generation born in Japan, we can still witness an interesting melding of Japanese and Korean culture and cuisine. In this ethnically rich location, we will work on our street photography and capture the bustle and energy of the market.

Afternoon after lunch, 1pm onward

Shinsekai and Dotonbori comprise Osaka’s downtown,’ both in the sense of being busy as well as hip and underground. Here we will continue with street photography in the lights and neon glitz of the city, capturing the vivid street life of Osaka’s urban center. In the evening we will share our final team dinner in one of Namba’s many local eateries.


A Day with a Geisha

A geisha calmly sits with her eyes closed for a candid shot during the photography workshop in Kyoto
A geisha calmly sits with her eyes closed for a candid shot during the photography workshop in Kyoto

Morning & Afternoon 10am to 5pm

On this day we will experience the climax of our time in Kyoto—a photoshoot with a geisha and her apprentice in a private, traditional location. We will get to know the two young women and understand their lives, their reasons for becoming a geisha, and the challenges they face by taking on this esteemed line of work and lifestyle. On the photographic front, we will work on the usage of artificial and natural lighting to capture candid and staged portraits of our elusive subjects.

Evening 7pm onward

We will pack up and head back to Tokyo for our last night before everyone’s departure. The bullet train ride will be a nice time to decompress and share photos and stories from the trip!

A lovely geisha poses in a garden while holding her iconic red umbrella
A lovely geisha poses in a garden while holding her iconic red umbrella


The End of Our Journey

The sun sets on our adventure in Japan
The sun sets on our adventure in Japan

Feedback & Departure

On the final morning the instructors will be at the hotel to see everyone off and make sure they can move safely on to the airport. We will also be available to review images on a 1-on-1 basis to give overall feedback from the workshop experience as a whole.


Is this workshop for me / Do I have the right photographic level to join?

This photography workshop is open to photographers of all levels, from beginner to advanced. We are adept at customizing our workshops to accommodate all kinds of people regardless of skill or interest. We are confident everyone can grow as a result of this photo adventure.

What kind of camera / lenses do I need?

A camera capable of manual settings is the only required piece of equipment. However, more specifically, full-frame, APSC, and micro 4/3 cameras are all perfectly fine, including mirrorless and SLR cameras, such as but not exclusive to Nikon and Canon DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, Sony A6000 series, Sony A7 series, Fuji X series, Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless cameras, and Leica rangefinder and mirrorless cameras. In terms of lenses, a variety of focal lengths will be useful ranging from 28mm to 85mm (full frame equivalent focal lengths). In general, zoom lenses and primes can both be used on this workshop without issue. Finally, in some instances lenses with a max aperture of f/2.8 or more will also be useful but not required.

Will I need a tripod?

Yes, in a few cases, but if you don’t have your own, we can provide one free of charge when necessary. The times we’ll use tripods are few, so you don’t need to bring one if you prefer not to. However, you are of course welcome to have your own if you prefer.

Will I need a flash?

No, we will not be doing flash photography during this workshop.

Do I have to book my own airfare?

Airfare is not included in the workshop price and you must arrange your own flights.

Do I have to book my own accommodations?

No, we will arrange the hotel and accommodations for you.

Can I choose my own accommodation?

No, we would like everyone to stay at the same place to ensure a consistent and fun experience for all.

What kind of accommodation do you provide?

We will book western style hotels with beds and all of the conveniences that you would expect from an international hotel, although keep in mind that rooms in Japanese hotels tend to be on the small side compared to other countries. In particular, we choose hotels that are conveniently located in order to facilitate the photographic experience above all.

How much walking will there be?

For the purpose of urban and street photography, we have to walk all over the place (in addition to using public transport). So, please bring a good pair of shoes and be prepared to walk a lot of everyday.

Do you provide meals every day / How much will I spend on meals?

We provide breakfast everyday (at the hotel). And on the first night and final night we will provide a casual dinner at a restaurant. All other meals are not included. Meal prices range from 800 JPY to 1200 JPY for lunch and 1500 JPY to 2500 JPY for dinner. This does not include drinks, however water and tea are always free in Japanese restaurants. Also, tipping is not expected in Japan.

What is your cancellation policy?

Payment must be made in full at the time of booking. However, bookings are fully refundable until 30 days prior to the departure date. All other cancellations will be refunded as follows:

  • Between 30 and 22 days before departure: 85% refund
  • Between 21 and 8 days before departure: 50% refund
  • Between 7 and 3 days before departure: 25% refund
  • Less than 3 days before departure and after departure date: 0% refund

All cancellations should be made via email with a clear subject line stating your intention to cancel. We will use the timestamp of this email to determine the cancellation timing.

If you have any other questions of concerns that were not covered here, please contact us.

Instructors for this Photo Adventure

  1. maseyart

    I had the pleasure of a totally bespoke tour of the back alleys of various parts of nighttime Tokyo with EYExplore professional Charles. I can’t praise this experience enough. Firstly, Charles is an experienced photo pro with a complete knowledge of the art and a huge arsenal of tips and tricks he readily shares. Having been a shooter for years, I can honesty say I learned a lot from Charlie.

    Second, after a discussion of what I was looking for image-wise, Charles put together a fantastic tour starting in my hotel lobby in Shinagawa where we met and then we hit a TON of off-the-beaten-path areas with fantastic photographic appeal. From tiny back alleys to marketplaces, to above-the street perspectives and unique rainy night opportunities.

    Lastly, the tour was thorough. We trained and walked for hours, had great conversations and Charles’ quirky sense of humor kept it lively the whole time. I was happily exhausted at the conclusion lat in the night. I will totally book another bespoke tour on my next visit.

  2. DanielPeralta

    I just enjoyed my 7th photo tour with EYExplore. (it might’ve been my 8th). I’ve been using them since 2015. I love Japan and I especially love seeing the country through the creative eyes of EYExplore’s superb guides. I’ve worked with Axel, Lukasz, Charles and Paul (before he was a guide with EYExplore). They share their unique perspectives of one of my favorite countries in the world… Japan. Tokyo can be so overwhelming in one moment, then tranquil in the next and these guides will show you both, as well as, help you experience everything in between. From the towering architecture of Tokyo, to the neon lights of Shinjuku, the crossing in Shibuya, overcrowded train and subway stations, to the colorful characters that inhabit Tokyo streets, you can see it all with EYExplore. These guides will most definitely help you capture the most vibrant street photography you’ve ever done. I’ve hired photo guides all over the world – Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Belgium, Portugal – and I consider EYExplore among the best.

  3. TravelTogether2019

    We had a great experience with EYExplore in Tokyo and Osaka. We booked 4 different itineraries with 3 different photographers (Lukasz, Lee and Axel) and each one gave us an amazing experience. We not only saw areas of each city we would never have known about and got amazing photographs but we learned a lot about Japanese culture from each of our photographers. As photographers ourselves, we loved seeing these cities through the lens of local photographers who appreciated the beauty and artistry of the Japanese way of life as much as we did. we would highly recommend EYExplore for any trip to Japan … even if all you have is a cell phone. These guys can show you a Japan that no guidebook can.

  4. storyofheinrich

    I’ve booked three workshops with EYExplore in April 2019, Tokyo Vertigo, Tokyo Metropolis and Urban Geometry with Laurence. With Laurence, me and my girlfriend had a private workshop for about four hours and it was a great experience I can recommend to you. You will capture great stuff, I recommend to use the b/w mode with high contrast. The results are amazing and Laurence is a very nice guy with a lot of experience and he takes the time to explain all the necessary stuff for composition and camera settings. So if you would like to improve your urban street photography skills, then go for it and book this workshop. Worth every yen! Greets from Germany.

  5. Ian R

    I did the Tokyo Night tour, the Temples of Tokyo tour, and the Temples of Kyoto tour. These should really be called workshops since Lukasz, Axel, and Charles spent a lot of time helping me to understand my camera settings, the unique composition opportunities at each location, and encouraged me to experiment to achieve new results.

    My background: Hobby photographer. Self taught, reading lots of blogs. Never had any formal photography workshops or classes before EYExplore. Shooting on a Sony A6000 with the kit wide angle and kit zoom lens.

    I appreciated all three tours, and each one has a different flavor.

    In Kyoto the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, so Axel did a great job of altering his usual tour to really focus in on the cherry blossoms. as a result i have some awesome shots of cherry blossoms + shrines! We focused on the 55-210mm lens.

    In the temples of tokyo tour I asked charles to focus more on the typical temples route plus some street photography since i felt i had already gotten great cherry blossom shots with Axel. Charles has an excellent set of shots on this tour, and does a great job showing how the photographer can get involved to make the scene into what they want vs. passively capturing what is already there. We split time between the 18-50mm and the 55-210mm lenses.

    In the Tokyo Night tour, Lukasz was amazing and worked with my schedule to start the tour pretty far away from his normal location. He has an EXCELLENT library of locations to choose from, and i think each location yielded me a once in a lifetime shot. I really appreciated that he took the time to make sure i got a sharp, well exposed shot in each location before moving on – night photography is iterative, and he really knows what is possible at each location. A few locations took up to a dozen tries before he was happy with the result. I also appreciated that Lukasz was already familiar with my specific camera model and knew how to adjust the settings to get the shot. We exclusively used the 18-50mm lens, almost always wide open.

    Overall, i would highly recommend any EYExplore tour to any photographer at any level. Their team will work with you to get great shots and introduce you to really cool areas of the city you might not otherwise explore.

  6. usphotoguy

    Great experience. I started with Temples of Tokyo, then did Tokyo Vertigo and Tokyo at Night. I liked them enough to book Osaka Cyberpunk, Tokyo Metropolis and Tokyo Rush the following week.

    Lukasz, Charlie, and Axel were great instructors. They were able to break me out of an “all horizontal lines must be horizontal” mindset that has added another dimension to my photography. That’s just the beginning. The techniques and philosophical approaches I learned will last me a lifetime.

    The results were fantastic. The light trail shots I ended up with from Tokyo Rush were incredible. A lot of the Temple shots, particularly at Yushima Seido, I never would have noticed if Lukasz’s sharp eye hadn’t caught on to them. Some of the Tokyo at Night techniques led to fantastic shots of the people, vehicles, and lights of Shinjuku.

    I could go on and on but you get the picture. These guys are awesome. You will have a good time, you will end up with some of the coolest photos you have ever shot, and you will learn a lot regardless of your skill level. A+++ would buy again.

  7. koshimatsu


  8. rmikealm

    This review is long overdue, but needed to be said! My teenage daughter and I did an evening tour with Axel that was one of the highlights of our Tokyo trip. We learned a ton about the city, its art and architecture, and its people wandering through the metro and various neighbourhoods in the city. We didn’t see the typical tourist attractions but instead how the city flows and how to capture its splendor on film. Axel’s photography instructions, little exercises, and corrections were terrific, fun, and made our 2 hours with him fly by.

    My daughter’s photography skills are pretty good already, and Axel was able to give her higher-level instructions while helping me with the basics. We both left better photographers! I recommend this photography tour to everyone I know traveling to Tokyo without hesitation.

  9. Ricky

    This was my first trip to Tokyo and wanted to be sure to take home some memorable photos. But not just any simple snapshots.. I wanted to photos that I could show my friends and have a big wow factor! 🙂 I met up with my instructor Lukasz for the Tokyo night time tour. I am extremely satisfied with my experience. Lukasz was able to take me to some very locations in Shinjuku and Shibuya. He provided me very tips on using my tripod as well as setting up the shots… not just exposure, but the best usage of shuttle speed to capture the trailing lights of cars as well as people. I also really appreciated his explanations on composition options for the shots. This tour gave both a great learning experience for my photography as well as providing me with the nice photos to take home and share with friends and family! Thank you Lukasz!!!

  10. Tye T

    If you’re just getting started in the world of photography, this is a fantastic experience! You’ll get to spend time with someone who clearly knows what they are doing and will give you helpful tips on how to improve your photography with hands on examples as you go. Highly recommended!

  11. Adam H

    This was my second EYEplore photography tour (after participating in the ‘Tokyo By Night’ tour with Lukasz last year) and, again, it was value for money and a very informative and enjoyable way to brush up on my photography skills, and visit some off the beaten track areas of Tokyo. Charles (a very personable Melburnian!) was my guide and, at all times, he was very patient in explaining technical issues and reviewing and advising on my photos. My only regret is not doing the tour at the beginning of the trip, as I could have employed my new found photography knowledge and skills for the duration of my entire holiday! Thanks again Charles and EYEplore for a great experience!

  12. Dee4137

    I have traveled several times to Japan, usually taking photographs alone. My Husband found Eyexplore online and signed me up for a daytime tour and an evening tour on the same day. Lukasz was the photography guide. The tours were fun and Lukasz really is not only a knowledgeable photographer, but also as a teacher. Lukasz was able to give guidance and suggestions for all levels of photographers in the group. I am an advanced amateur and found all of Lukasz’s suggestions advancing my abilities and my vision.

    One big draw is the Instructor guides have discovered hidden gems and are willing to share them. This is so you have a unique and challenging experience seeing Japan in a new and different way. On my last visit to Japan, I took a solo tour with Lukasz and I brought back fabulous photographs.

    I highly recommend you take a tour with EYExplore no matter what level of a photographer you might be. You go to places you can only imagine. You will ride public transport and do quite a bit of walking. Wear comfy shoes, and limit your camera bag to make yourself more mobile. And if it says rain, do bring an umbrella. You will have a wonderful experience.

  13. whole-of-the-moon

    I did 2 tours with EYExplore and enjoyed both of them. Very friendly and helpful. It was fun to be taking photos with a group of like minded people. A welcome break from solo travelling.

  14. olli t

    Three days in Tokyo. Where to start? A photo workshop seemed like a good idea. A quick search turned up Eye Explore offering photography adventures in Tokyo. Which to choose? Tokyo Metropolis or Streets of Tokyo? The former seemed closer to my kind of photography, the latter would push me a little more. The calendar made the decision for me: Streets of Tokyo.

    The website set out the goals:
    Expand your idea of what makes a great street photograph
    Get confident at photographing people in public
    Have fun while interacting with people on the streets
    Practice making candid photos of urban denizens

    We met by Harajuka station. There were four of us: Axel and Lukasz from Eye Explore, me and one other participant. One of the features of the Eye Explore approach that drew my attention initially was the small group size — a maximum of four people plus guide. This was better yet.

    Harajuku, a train ride, Shibuya. Two and a half hours from 5pm to 7.30pm in beautiful weather. Two hundred photographs — a handful worth keeping. Axel and Lukasz were excellent guides taking us through very different nighbourhoods and great locations within those neighbourhoods. And excellent mentors — ready with advice, suggestions, tips, encouragement without ever being too intrusive or overly prescriptive.

    The most entertaining part of the evening was spent at the famous Shibuya crossing. Here, guided by Axel and Lukasz we repeatedly walked part way into the road, knelt down in the crossing and photographed the oncoming pedestrians with the bright lights of Shibuya as a backdrop.

    Even though the four of us were kneeling down in the middle of the crossing on one of the busiest junctions in the world, with a press of people coming from behind and in front of us, no one objected. No one trampled us, no one pushed us aside, no one shouted at us, no one even gave us a dirty look. Best of all, as we knelt in the middle of the crossing taking photographs, a police officer ambled by in front of us and gave us not a second glance. I dare you to try this in London, New York or Paris.


  15. Michelle-MXNYC

    This is a long-overdue review of the two-day personalized photo tour my husband and I took with EYExplore in Tokyo (Metropolis) in February 2018.

    Undoubtedly, both Axel and Lukasz are amazing photographers and teachers. But what really sets these two apart from the multitude of good photographers out there is their intuitive ability to identify placements, timings, and locations that result in the amazing images photographers dream of. The photographs we took during this tour were beyond anything we could have achieved on our own simply by spending ten days photographing the popular sights of Tokyo. The images we captured were only possible through Axel and Lukasz’ intimate knowledge of the city, commitment to studying the locations on offer, and incredible eye for candid shots.

    Axel and Lukasz also know what they’re doing in terms of business, their target audience, and the fact that a ton of photographers or photography enthusiasts use social media. They tapped into this expertise to deliver a workshop that featured fantastic street photography opportunities of temples and other sights that would look impressive on Instagram while teaching us powerful shortcuts and user secrets that helped us to use our DSLR cameras better.

    We loved our experience with EYExplore (particularly the subway shots and Inari After Dark) and would recommend it for novice and more seasoned photographers alike. Axel and Lukasz will help you to better use a super sophisticated camera or create impressive images using just your iPhone. If you complete this tour, you will not be disappointed; you will leave Japan with a portfolio of fantastic images that would otherwise be virtually impossible to shoot in a short period of time without deep knowledge of the city.

  16. Carol D

    My husband, son and I experienced this Tokyo Metropolis Photo Adventure on Nov 3, 2017 with leader Stephane. Stephane and the adventure could not have been better. We had 3 levels of photography interest in our group and Stephane met all of our needs. I was basically happy with just walking and pulling out my cell phone for a shot every once in a while, my son had a much better camera with his cell phone and tried every experiment Stephane suggested using Reflection and/or Negative Space.

    My husband had 2 cameras along and was changing back and forth. We all got some interesting shots. We were lucky enough to be in Tokyo on a Holiday so streets were filled with people and added more interest to shots. Stephane took us to buildings that we never would have thought of, if going alone. Of course we hit the Ginza area and loved it. Tour probably covered 3 miles in walking with some stairs but well worth the experience. Would definitely do a repeat.

  17. Narciso A

    EYExplore provides photographer-centric tours of Tokyo, with skill levels from beginner to professional. For beginners, they teach basic camera operations so that you will get the most of the walkaround tour of beautiful places. For professionals, they have extensive experience in the area, perfect for getting suggestions on shooting places and new ideas for your new project. They also tell you what you need to get the most out of the tour, and do not hesitate to answer questions you may field. Cameras of all kinds can be taken on these tours, and the guides will take extra care that you are safe and comfortable during your session.

  18. clg914

    We did 2 tours Tokyo by night and Kyoto photo tour as well. Both tours were private and Lukasz and Axel were really nice and very patient with us. Neither my husband or I know much about photography and we both feel as though we learned so much. The guides were really informative and very interesting people who have great photography skills. These were fun workshops and I think anyone from novice to expert would enjoy them. The amount of time is perfect and the spots are just fantastic. Please do not hesitate to book these tours trust me you will like it! I can’t wait to try out my new photography skills! Both tours were different and the pictures I took are great, not only that I feel like I could take better pictures anywhere now. Thanks guys you are true professionals and really fun and interesting to be around.

  19. Natalie

    Great tours! Learned so much and my photos from Tokyo reflect the patient, expert input. Four tours – two days – a lot of walking and photo snapping. I’m proud of my photos (took shots I never knew I could or even THOUGHT possible) and my progress in both the art and technique of photography. Many thanks Lukasz for believing I could when I wasn’t sure, for explaining things as many times as needed to ‘get the shot right’, for changing the way I see the world through the lens and for making everyone on our night tour feel pretty darned amazing in the cold and rain as we produced great photographs. Thanks!!! I’ll be back for Vertigo, Kyoto and Osaka.

  20. Richard N

    I did 3 consecutive photo tours with EYExplore with the goal of improving my street and night photography. Lucas was great with showing use of new camera settings, tips on composition and was really attentive – with good local knowledge. Thanks for helping me get some great shots guys!

  21. Nadir A

    Fantastic tour with a really knowledgeable guide. As a complete photography novice, Stéphane taught me a lot about how to use my camera better, including explaining the different modes (aperture priority, shutter priority etc.) and what kind of settings I should use in what circumstances. He was also clearly really familiar with Tokyo as he led me around the city really easily, going to different parts in order to take different types of pictures. Highly recommended.

  22. Lachina

    If you’re not a professional photographer, the best way to get some really good photos of Tokyo is to spend time with Stéphane and Lucas, as I did. You’ll get the people and the places that will make your photos memorable and unique, and you’ll learn (or re-learn) a few tips to use after your workshops have ended. Whether your first time in Tokyo or even if you live here, you’ll get some great photos and enjoy the experience.

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