People who are reading this article must be interested in knowing or expanding or have some degree of interests in Japan (it could be Japanese culture, Japanese tourist spots, Japanese history, Japanese technologies, etc.).
In my opinion, people who visited Japan and who absolutely love Japan would say ‘yes, you must bring your camera to Japan because Japan is an absolutely photogenic place to take photos with your camera’. Japan is a place worth bringing a camera, not a camera that is attached to your smart phone or tablets. And here are the three major reasons why you should bring your camera when visiting Japan.
1. Japan offers various photogenic places like no other place! Yes, it really does!!
What cities/ prefectures do you think of when you think of Japan? Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima…. Yes, these famous prefectures offer many photogenic scenes, but these prefectures are not the only places. From the north to the south, Hokkaido to Okinawa, the entire Japanese archipelago offers beautiful sceneries. Furthermore, Japan has four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter; each beautiful scene offers you a different scenic impression each season. No matter how many time you visit Japan, depending on the season you visit Japan, you can capture a different type of picture of the same place.
2. Japan is a safe place to leave your camera (no need to worry about being stolen or loss!)
If you search online ‘safest countries to visit’, Japan always scores top 10. In fact, Japan scored 8th as a peaceful country according to the Global Peace Index in 2015. Many visitors to Japan reported that when they left behind valuable goods accidentally, they found the goods after a few hours later when they went back to where they left. For example, a person left a cell phone at a restaurant. The cell phone was still on the restaurant table when the person went back 5 hours later.
Having an expensive camera will not make a thief to target you, as Japanese people have expensive and nice cameras and gadgets as well.
But of course, please take a common sense judgement to keep yourself and your belonging safe.
3. Camera will bring the locals loser to you !
When you go to electrical stores, like Yodobashi-Camera and Bic Camera, you will be surprised to see the variety of cameras sold at these stores. Many camera brands that we know are Japanese, such as Canon, Casio, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, and Sony to name a few. It is incomparable the number of cameras and camera related gadgets you see at these stores from electric stores in your country. If you go to an amusement arcade, you will see a floor filled with PURIKURA machines, decorative selfie sticker photo booth.
These examples show that Japanese people are enthusiastic of cameras, taking pictures and being taken pictures. Of course, there are people who do not wish to be in a picture, and it is always polite to ask if you can take a picture of the person if the person is the subject of your picture.
How about smartphone?
Yes, smartphone might work as well but as a person who knows this country, I must admit there are some people who might feel negative about being aimed by it. I cannot explain clearly why… some might take it rude, some might not notice the small thing in your hand is smartphone. All I can say is, smartphone doesn’t have a power as magical as camera.
Capture memorable and scenic scene of Japan with your camera will give you chances to talk to the locals. I am sure the locals are also more than happy to share their experience to you of what you want to capture despite the language barrier. This experience will deepen your and the locals’ cultural experience.
At the end, do not forget to bring several memory cards, as you will take so many photos that you do not want to delete any of them. Each picture represents your enjoyable and beautiful memories of Japan.
Author: Akiyuki Sakamoto