Ten foot wingspan? Yes. Over 20 pounds? Yes. Territorial and aggressive? Yes. Whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus) are giant birds. They average 137cm - 173cm (4.5ft - 5.6ft) in length. On average their wingspan is 200cm - 300cm (6.5ft - 9.8ft). Guaranteed, in one day, you’ll photograph them in the 100s if not 1000s. In one location in particular, the numbers reach 5,000 roosting Whooper Swans at night. Your tour will include blue hour to golden hour, take off and landings as well as the Whooper Swan winter habitat photography. Your one day photo adventure may include other species such as raptors, ducks, and other Niigata residents.
Going to Hokkaido to photograph Whooper Swans is a mistake. Hokkaido is for Steller’s Sea Eagles, White-Tailed Eagles, Red-crowned Cranes, and the rare Pure-White Long-tailed Marsh Tits. If that type of birding photography interests you, then I have a Hokkaido Tour focuses on these species.
Niigata is also famous for its winter landscape photography. The pronounced difference between the cityscapes of Tokyo and the snow transformation that occurs once you reach Niigata is well documented in Kawabata’s famous text: “Snow Country."