What exactly is an EYExplore Photo Adventure?
In short, a photo adventure is fun like a tour, educational like a workshop.
In more detail, a photo adventure is a brief but in-depth photography workshop in an interesting part of the city. It’s not exactly a tour in the traditional sense as we do not spend much time explaining the sights and history of the city. Instead, we explore the city through our cameras, photographing interesting locations and people.
We also teach you a lot about photography—both the technical aspects of your camera as well as the art of making photographs. Most importantly, you shoot a lot of photos and we have fun all along the way!
Why do you sometimes call it a ‘photo adventure’ and other times a ‘photography workshop’ or a ‘photo tour’?
For EYExplore, these are all the same thing. We like to call them ‘Photo Adventures’ because, for us, that term really encapsulates what we do. However, most people are searching for ‘photography workshops’ or ‘photo tours’ so we pepper these terms around our site as well so we are easier to find.
Are your photo adventures group sessions or private sessions?
Currently, we have one photo adventure which we operate as a shared group session. However, for the most part, all of our photo adventures are private sessions. This means you pay for the session not the number of people (up to a limit of 4). So, regardless if you are one person, a couple, or a family of four, the price is the same. Also, no one else can join your session. It’s just for you!
Do you have a calendar for your photo adventures?
We don’t have a combined calendar for all of our photo adventures! This is because almost all of our photo workshops are private sessions, which means you can book them on the day and time of your choosing (within reason, e.g. night photo workshops can only be booked at night). We recommend following your photographic interests when browsing our site.
Even if a workshop is not available on your desired day (for example if it’s already booked) we will work to accommodate you, so please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Are EYExplore photographers licensed tour guides?
We are not licensed tour guides. Although our adventures take place all over the city, they are not guided tours. Our focus is photography, not local history. Therefore, our photographers do not require a tour guide license.
I am a total beginner. Can I still join a photo adventure?
Of course you can! Our photo adventures are open to all levels. If you are a beginner you stand to gain the most from our photo adventures as we can teach lots of fundamentals on camera operation and composition. For more advanced photographers we offer more in-depth critiques of the photos we take during the photo adventure. The most important thing, regardless of level, is to have fun!
What does a typical group look like?
Anyone interested in photography can join. Groups tend to be international and gender mixed. We have local Japanese people, expats living in Japan, and travelers coming on holidays taking part in our photo adventures. We attract an ever increasing community of photo enthusiasts from around the globe. However, since most of our photo adventures are private sessions, this only applies to the handful of group sessions that we offer.
What kind of camera do I need?
For most photo adventures a digital camera is all you need. It can be a DSLR, mirror-less, or point and shoot, but ideally with some manual controls for aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. For certain photo adventures, manual controls are a requirement, but always mention that on the adventure page in the ‘Minimum Required Gear’ section.
Can I shoot with a smartphone?
For certain photo adventures smartphones are acceptable. Street photography and architecture can be done on most phones these days. However, night photography can be quite challenging on a smartphone. For that, we highly recommend a camera capable of manual controls.
Can I use a film camera?
Sure! We won’t be able to give you direct feedback on your photos, however we can certainly show you excellent photo spots and help you create great photographs.
Do I need a tripod?
On most of our photo adventures, a tripod is not needed. If a tripod is required, it will be stated in the adventure description.
Can I rent a tripod?
Absolutely! We charge ¥1,000 for each tripod. For certain photo adventures, a tripod is required. In those cases, if you cannot bring your own, you must rent one.
Can I rent a camera?
For private adventures you can! We will also provide you with a memory card so you can take your photos with you. Rentals fees can be found on the private adventure product pages.
Do you offer hotel pick-up?
Yes, we do! But only on private photo adventures. You can book a hotel pick up as part of the booking process on each photo adventure page.
What if I get lost?
We send out a description, a photo, and a map of the meeting point, so hopefully you won’t get lost! Just in case, please aim to arrive at the designated meeting spot 15 minutes before the start time of your photo adventure. This allows for any unforeseen complications. In your booking confirmation email you will receive an emergency phone number. Don’t hesitate to call us if you need assistance.
What if I am late?
On private photo adventures, our guide will wait for 15 minutes past the start time. If we receive no contact prior to that time, the adventure is cancelled and is non-refundable. On group photo adventures, we are unable to wait past the designated starting time as it would be unfair to other participants. In these cases, the adventure will begin on time.
What language is used on the adventures?
All of our photo adventures are conducted in English at this time. We expect all customers to have at least a conversational level of English. On private adventures, other languages may be available depending on the instructor. Please contact us for details.
What should I wear?
1. Comfortable shoes. During a photo adventure, we walk an average of 3km, sometimes a bit more!
2. Depending on the weather forecast, you may want to bring rain gear. EYEplore photo adventures happen rain or shine!
Bookings & Cancellation Policy
How do I book a photo adventure?
You can book right on our website! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance.
When and how do I pay?
We require payment upon booking your photo adventure. Transactions are safely handled through Stripe. We never handle your financial information directly!
Can I cancel my adventure?
Of course, you can cancel at any time. However, you may not always receive a full refund depending on when the cancellation is made. Our policy is as follows:
• Cancel up to 48 hours before the adventure: 100% refund
• Cancel up to 24 hours before the adventure: 50% refund
• Cancel within 24 hours before the adventure: 0% refund
Should you need to cancel you must immediately inform us via email. We consider the time stamp on the email as the time at which cancellation notice was provided. In cases where the booking was rescheduled, we use the original booking date when considering the cancellation time (e.g. if a booking was rescheduled from May 1st to May 7th, and then cancelled on May 3rd, no refund will be issued).
Can an adventure be canceled by EYExplore?
We run our photo adventures in all weather conditions: rain, snow, wind, heat. However, walking and shooting in extreme weather is not much fun. If we deem it necessary to cancel your photo adventure because the weather is too severe, we’ll make our utmost effort to reschedule it to another day. Otherwise you’ll get a full refund.
Can I reschedule my booking?
Yes, it is possible as long as we have availability on the date/time to which you want to reschedule.
Rules & Regulations
Can I join for free if I don’t take photos?
Since most of our photo workshops are private sessions, it’s totally fine to bring along someone who is not there for the photography at all. Remember, you are paying for the session and can bring up to 4 people including yourself at no additional charge.
However, on our handful of group photo adventures we cannot accept anyone tagging along for free as it’s unfair to the other participants. To treat everyone equally and ensure an adventurous and fun atmosphere for all, we keep a strict policy to only allow paying participants to join the group session.
Is the adventure still on if it rains?
We run our adventures in all weather conditions: rain, snow, wind, summer heat… whatever! However, walking and shooting under extremely heavy rain is not fun. If weather conditions are extreme (e.g. typhoon) we may deem it necessary to cancel a photo adventure. In this case, we will do our best to reschedule the adventure, or if this is not possible, you will receive a full refund.
Is there an age limit?
Nope, no age limit. As long as you and your loved ones are interested in photography there’s no problem. However, we ask that young photographers (under 18) are accompanied by an adult.
What is included in the price?
The fees cover the time and expertise of the photographer. Everything else, including public transport, food, insurance, etc. are NOT included.
Do I need to tip my guide?
Tipping is not expected and not customary in Japan. However, if you think that your guide did an outstanding job and you had a wonderful time in his/her company then you may consider tipping.