My Trip to Northern Japan in winter (Feb. 2015) to photograph Snow Monkeys!!!!

I am blessed to have the opportunity to Blog my entire 16 day journey on a frequent basis, keeping you posted whilst capturing Northern Japan during winter together with two ODP award winning wildlife photographers; Wim van den Heever, Ben Cranke, 10 other experienced photographers and one of Japan’s top guides to look after our safety. Enjoy this entire journey with me as we capture Japan’s incredible wildlife and landscapes spectacles. I will post images, share all trip preparation issues, various costs, camera equipment performance as well as  ’behind the scene’ issues which is normally not made public with you frequently as this journey unfolds.  I will really appreciate your support and feedback!

  • This is a list of just a view of what we can expected to photograph whilst on this tour:
  • Snow Monkeys (Macaques) – bathing in hot springs
  • Whooper Swans at volcanic Lake Kussharo
  • Displaying Red-crowned Cranes
  • Dawn Charters out to sea
  • Ice floes off the Shiretoko Peninsula for White-tailed & Steller’s Eagles
  • Sika Deer
  • Ural Owls
  • Red Fox
  • And possibly the world’s largest owl species, the Blakiston’s Fish Owl
  • Harbour Seal
  • Orca
  • Various waterfowl such as Goldeneye Duck, Pintail & more
  • Various Sea Birds such as Gulls, Terns and more


The islands of the Japanese archipelago have nine forest eco regions, which are home to an enormous diversity of flora & fauna, boasting over 90,000 species of wildlife in incredibly picturesque mountainous countryside.  Amazing hey, because when people think of Japan, they think shopping malls, high-density living and technology.


  • Expected temperatures:
  • Tokyo:   -5C    - Light snow & rain can be expected
  • Jigokudani:   -10C - Light to heavy snowfall can be expected
  • Hokkaido:    -20C - Light to heavy snowfall can be expected
  • (Whilst photographing the Owls at night): -30C


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I have added some of Ben’s images of snow monkeys he photographed whilst on tour for you to enjoy.  Not long till I will hopefully have my own snow monkey (Macaques) images to show you.


I will really appreciate your support and feedback! 

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Hi Bruna. I understand your reluctance about the freezer test but I do own a little tropical island so.... Your trip will be in much lower temperatures. The average summer max is around a hot 1 deg centigrade. That sounds ok but it is the very strong winds that often blow that will bring the wind chill factor right down. The light is the other factor of concern. There is almost perpetual grey cloud down south. Cannot change that bu hope for the best. It might sound silly but I am hoping for a storm on our return while crossing the notorious Drake Passage. I have seen some scary footage of huge waves and howling winds but that should make for great video footage. Eighty one days before I fly to Argentina. M


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