Delve into the art and technique of photography, or learn the skill of film production and visual storytelling while working in small groups with our photo and film instructors, and National Geographic Explorers. Then hit the streets to photograph the color and motion of Tokyo’s unique neighborhoods, from the bustling Ginza district to funky Harajuku.. Visit the Studio Ghibli Museum to learn more about some of Japan’s most influential anime films and the history of the animation process. Practice street photography at the famous Shibuya Crossing or document the vibrant advertising of the buzzing streets of the Akihabara district—a hub for electronics and video games—or focus on the flower blooms and teahouses of the serene Shinjuku Gyoen park. Interview people you meet along the way as you craft the story you’ll be sharing with the group.
Venture outside the city to the mountainous town of Hakone in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Look for Mt. Fuji’s iconic peak across Lake Ashinoko, photograph the famous Hakone Shrine, learn the technique of time-lapse filming, and visit the town’s many traditional onsens, or hot springs, for a relaxing soak.
In the evenings, review the day’s images, work on editing your photos for the final gallery show or your footage for the final screening, and attend talks led by our National Geographic Explorers. Then head out to document Tokyo at night. Try out slow shutter speeds on crowds passing under the neon lights at Shibuya crossing, and seek out signs of anime and manga adorning the surrounding buildings.
Throughout the workshop, collaborate with fellow students and your leaders to organize and curate an exhibition of large-format prints of the group’s best photos or craft your story for the culminating final film screening. During the final celebration, join your group in sharing the work you’ve all created during your time in Japan.