I just arrived back in Hokkaido last night. It's great to be here, despite the 9-hour time difference and feeling slightly woozy from the jet lag.
Last year when I first visited this Island, the weather was not what I had been expecting. Too mild and with very little snow, I had to pick my compositions very carefully and also had to pass up on so many great locations as well. This year I am assured is back to -17ºC temperatures and almost waist-level snow in places. So much so, that I may not be able to get to some of the locations I fell in love with last year.
Photography as well all know, is a great leveller. It teaches you to accept what will be, because we have no control over the elements. And to come back to a place with expectations that have been formed by previous visits is also folly. It's best to clear the mind as much as I can and try to keep an open mind, because it is with this acceptance of adventure that new ideas and new images are born. I can't wait :-)
I'm also looking forward to sharing a glass or two of Saké with my guide :-)