Tag Archive for japanese

10 Things Every Traveller to Japan Needs

What’s in the bag: Travellers’ edition

When you spend a day out in Japan, what do you really need to carry with you? What do other traveller’s themselves take? Here’s that video, and leave your comments below or on the YouTube channel.

Here’s the iHerb discount link for you: http://www.iherb.com?rcode=WZC316.

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City of Ghosts on display at the Nagoya Foreign Artists Exhibition FAE2017

This is the first display by me for a few years. Please come and check it out, perhaps meet me, and see many other wonderful work by other expat artists. Details:

I’ll be there on Wednesday afternoon, late Friday, and some of Saturday and Sunday. This collection will expand in the coming year or so with more photos relating to this concept.

FAE2017 City of Ghosts exhibition panel

FAE2017 City of Ghosts exhibition panel

About the series

A film expert discovered the first colour footage taken of London. After reviewing this footage, he felt that whilst cities are permanent, in fact London has changed little since 1927, the people are constantly changing. Our lives are fleeting and transient, and so he said that people are like ghosts passing through the city. In fact, we live our lives, and carry out our affairs with earnest, energy, seriousness, and with hard determination. All of our struggles, achievements, disasters, love, loss, happiness, sadness, and more are lived out in these spaces called ‘a city’. However, what remains of our individual lives after we die? Very little. The architecture, the monuments, the transport spaces, offices, work spaces, the market spaces, the houses, and the culture of the people who survive today, which will be passed on and tweaked by each new generation. Otherwise, there is no memory of the individual people will remain, except for a few monuments. Even though we are alive now, we are already merely ghosts passing through the permanence of the city space.



Um especialista em cinema descobriu as primeiras imagens a cores tiradas de Londres. Depois de revisar estas filmagens, ele sentiu que enquanto cidades são permanentes, de fato, Londres mudou pouco desde 1927, as pessoas estão constantemente mudando. A nossas vidas são fugazes e transitórias e, portanto, ele disse que as pessoas são como fantasmas passando pela cidade. Na verdade, vivemos as nossas vidas e realizamos nossos assuntos com ânsia, energia, seriedade e com determinação. Todas as nossas lutas, conquistas, desastres, amor, perda, felicidade, tristeza e mais, são vividos nesses espaços chamados de “cidade”. No entanto, o que resta das nossas vidas individuais depois de morrer? Muito pouco. A arquitetura, os monumentos, os espaços de transporte, os escritórios, os espaços de trabalho, os espaços de mercado, as casas e a cultura das pessoas que sobrevivem hoje, que serão passadas e ajustadas por cada nova geração. De outro modo, não há memórias de pessoas individuais que permanecerão, com exceção de alguns monumentos. Embora estejamos vivos agora, já somos meramente fantasmas passando pela permanência do espaço da cidade.

 

ある映画専門家が、ロンドンを撮影した最初のカラー映像を発見した。この映像を鑑賞後彼は、街は永久不変である一方、―1927年からロンドンは少しだけ変わったと言えるが― 人々は絶えず変化していると感じた。彼はまた、我々の人生は儚く移ろうもので、人々は皆街をさまよう幽霊のようだとも言っている。事実、我々は自分達の人生を生き、固い決意とともに、熱心に、元気に、真剣に日々の業務を遂行する。我々のすべての苦労、成果、惨事、愛、喪失、幸福、悲哀といったものが、「街」という空間に生き延びている。しかし、我々の死後、個々の人生のうちで何が残るだろうか。ほとんど何も残らない。建築、記念碑、輸送空間、オフィス、仕事場、市場、家、そして今日生きる人々の文化は、新しい世代によって受け継がれ、改変されていく。そうでなければ、いくつかの記念碑以外に、個人の記憶は残らない。今生きているにも関わらず、我々は既に永久的な都市空間をさまよう幽霊にすぎない。

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First Pateon-exclusive post gets published tonight

We’ve started our two Patreon projects:

  1. 52 Photos of Japan (weekly)
  2. Travel info, guide, travel photo articles

The first Patreon exclusive content goes out at 7pm tonight (Friday) Japan time. It includes a free photo normally worth USD$25/photo, for JUST $1 or $5/post. Find us at Patreon.com/ablyth.

 

A young Japanese lady in Asakusa, Tokyo.

A young Japanese lady in Asakusa, Tokyo.

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New exclusive work on Patreon

We have published a lot of great travel articles, travel guides, and more here on our blog. However, we don’t get paid for it. A lot of people are able to benefit for free, but we struggle to afford the trips and the models we need. Consequently, we will be doing two new projects on Patreon.Com/ablyth.

  1. The 52 Week Japan Photo Project, a photo per week will be given for free to patrons.
  2. All new travel articles and travel guides will be published on our Patreon page; we hope to eventually do this monthly. Included will be large-sized photos that patrons can download and use without any watermarks. Patrons can also use these photos for their own personal use including blogs.

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Various Japan-related scenes.

Various Japan-related scenes.

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5 Times to avoid travel in Japan

Sadly, this is the last time we will publish a travel related article for free on our own blog. However, we have not given up, and we will not quit. We have lots, lots, LOTS more to write about, photograph, and share. All our new travel articles will be published on our Patreon page.

I’ve had models come from overseas and want to work with me, and I’ve had to give them warnings and advice on moving about in Japan. Generally, there’s a few key pieces of information that all travellers must have. You simply cannot just turn up and expect everything to work; in this otherwise well managed, smoothly functioning country.


 

Japanese get very few holidays and little chances of having time off. They are expected to work like slaves through out the year and their lives. For instance, even though legally maternity and paternity leave is generous, generally men can get only really the day of their child’s birth off (and may be a couple more days). That means, there’s just a few opportunities in the year to do things like head back to their home towns. Many Japanese were raised in a different city to where they currently work. Consequently the transport system gets very, very, clogged at the start and end of the holiday periods. Major companies used to coordinate their holidays to be held at the same time, so that it was easy for staff to know if another company is contactable on particular days or not. This led to Friday afternoon jams on public transport like the bullet train, airports, and highways. A two hour trip could become an eight hour ordeal. At the end of the break the so called “U-turn” rush is just as bad. Companies kept this schedule for decades, but only recently have they started to relent to pressure to stagger their holidays, or offer “flexible” holiday periods for their employees. Flexible in quotation, as their is still heavy restrictions on when they can start and end their breaks.

The major holidays

1. The Golden Week Break

This is a collection of holidays including Children’s Day that were bunched together because having a scattering of days off was too disruptive for companies. The GW holiday usually starts from the last few of days of April and ends at around the 5th of May. The exact dates vary from year to year, and depends on when the weekend is.



The bullet train is known by the locals as the “shinkansen”

2. The New Year Break

The New Year holiday replaces the family focused Chinese or Lunar New Year (CNY) that was celebrated until this post-war period began, and is now largely forgotten from Japanese culture. For European cultures, Christmas is the big family time of year, but CNY was that for Mandarin influenced cultures. Today in Japan, they have completely adopted the Gregorian Calendar, and so the European New Year is celebrated instead. The break normally starts at around the 27th December (depending on when the weekend is), and lasts until about the first weekend of the new year. Usually, you would have to avoid travelling on that first Sunday.

3. The Mid-summer festival break

This is also called Obon in Japan. In Mandarin influenced cultures, this is a mid-summer feast to celebrate the end of harvest. In post-agrarian Japan, it seems this is largely forgotten, and is known as a holiday to celebrate the ancestors. It used to be held according to the lunar calendar, but since Westernisation in the late 1800’s, the holiday was fixed to the Gregorian rather than the lunar Calendar, but is still a floating holiday. It generally runs from around the 11th to 16th August each year (depending on the companies). It’s not an official holiday, and so government offices are still open, and many services still operate on normal schedules.

On any given day

4. In the mornings

The subways can be crazy-crowded, especially in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. The times to avoid generally vary by station, by section, and especially by line. Generally avoid the main lines that connect to central nodes, especially between 7.30am to about 8.10am. If you take the train during this rush period, you won’t be standing only shoulder-to-shoulder (yes, let your imagination run wild). If you have a backpack, it’s best to wear it on your front when inside the train.

 



An office worker at a subway station probably wondering how to get home after an after-hours get together.

 

5. Late at night

Two things to be mindful of. The last subway train can run from around 11.40pm to maybe 12.20am. This means, if you miss it, expect an expensive taxi ride home. Check hyperdia.com for train times. The other thing is if there’s a special event or festival. Subway stations are not designed for big event crowds. So when a fireworks display, a baseball game ends, or even a town festival ends, crowds will generally descend on the closest (often only) nearby train station all at once. Don’t plan on any taxis being available, or even a way to drive anywhere between the event and the train station. Crowds can be so thick that even traffic wardens can keep cars at traffic lights waiting for over half an hour or longer, if the roads were allowed to be open at all.



Some festivals can attract crowds of anywhere between 100,000 for a small local festival, to many hundreds of thousands.

 

Bonus: Kyoto on any given afternoon

Kyoto residents are proud of their city’s heritage. So beautiful is it, that a captain in WWII in the US military who was tasked to choose bomb sites said that the city has such a cultural and architectural heritage that it should be spared from all bombing. Today, hoards of tourists descend on the city on a daily basis. Many Japanese and Chinese tour groups have their own buses, but North American and European travellers tend to find their own way about town. Consequently, when all the tourist places close at 4.30 or 5pm, suddenly, there are hoards of tourists all trying to cram onto buses or take taxis simultaneously. Consequently, the roads and buses are clogged with lots of very tired travellers and locals.



A Kyoto City bus in the afternoon just before tourist sites close for the day.

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Cost-share product shoot on 13th November

Our KickStarter project has Launched! Details and pledges: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/japanesephotos/cost-share-a-product-shoot.

Japan has a great reputation for quality products and manufacturing; have your products appeal enhanced by being seen in Japan. Give your product an international feel, and a look that seems accepted and normalised in Japan. On the 12th or 13th (and may be 14th) November 2017, my skilled models, makeup artists (mua), and I, hope to shoot a bunch of products like yours. However, we have only limited spaces available. Contact us now if you’re interested.

A cost-sharing shoot is where we have the location, scene, models, and MUA, but need a group of companies to supply the products and the funds to pay for the location, models, mua and me. This means, you share the cost of a shoot, which normally starts at about USD$2000 (AUD$2600), but you save lots of money (about 90% of the cost). This is ideal for small companies, startups, and low-cost products. We cannot do any “explicit” or illegal products.

Photo shoot services for lifestyle and product placement for social media.

Photo shoot services for lifestyle and product placement for social media.

 

The scene: Inside a traditional Japanese (or modern style house, TBC), with a young female adult model. If stretched financial goals are achieved, then we can include a male or another female model. These extra models may be mixed-race or expats.

Theme: Lifestyle & product placement.

Photos intended for: Social media, Amazon, your website, billboards, fliers, brochures, your Kickstarter or other crowd-fund-sourcing page, advertising materials, anywhere.

Getting set up for a shoot in an old style Japanese house in Yokohama.

Getting set up for a shoot in an old style Japanese house in Yokohama. (Photo taken on iPad)

 

Photo licence: World wide, unlimited-time, unlimited prints, non-transferable (cannot be given to other companies to use, except for media-promotional uses).

Benefits: Low-cost semi-exclusive shoot. You get ten web-sized and ten full-sized photos, and two videos of about 5 to 10 seconds each (intended for Instagram use). Photos will be delivered in jpg, and videos in avi, mp4, or mpg formats. Your product will appear international and normalised in an authentic domestic scene. Japan has a reputation for excellence and quality products, have yours associated with this.

Makeup artist preparing a model for a lifestyle shoot in an old-style Japanese home.

Makeup artist preparing a model for a lifestyle shoot in an old-style Japanese home.

 

Buy-in: Early-bird sponsors (the first ten): USD$200 (AUD$260; which is only 10% of the normal price of a similar style shoot, ie: a 90% discount) per product (maximum five similar models or prototypes of an item). Second group (next 10): USD$250 (AUD$315), and then the third group: $300 (AUD$380). Limited spaces. We are using KickStarter, and so pledges & payments may be available via Kickstarter; for more information contact us.

Currency:  I am Australian, and my PayPal account is Australian, and so the currency for this campaign needs to be based on the Australian dollar. For referential purposes, equivalents are posted in US dollars based on the conversion rate on 19th August. Models and makeup artists will be paid in Japanese yen.

 


 

What kinds of products?  Anything (that’s legal). Example: cosmetics, shampoos, watches, books, bags, cups, Kickstarter prototypes, clothes, small electronics, small furniture, sports items, whatever.

Where: A house in Nagoya or Yokohama in Japan, which will be similar to the samples on this page.

Deadlines & schedule: (current plan)

  • Pledge by: Friday 6th October 2017 (via KickStarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/japanesephotos/cost-share-a-product-shoot).
  • Final decisions of:  Participating models and location.
  • Products to arrive by: Friday 3rd November (Japan time)
  • Shoot date: 13th November (Japan time).
  • First photos of some products shown on social media: Day of shoot.
  • Photo deliveries: One to five weeks after shoot (post-processing takes some time)

What will the money pay for? The model(s), makeup artist, shoot assistant, me. Our time, cost of materials, transport, minor props, post-processing, other shoot related incidentals. If stretch goals are achieved, then a second model can help. If further stretch goals are achieved then additional models may be required, and a second shoot day.


Eri making paper cranes in a Japanese tatami room.

 

What will happen: Once the shoot is confirmed to go ahead, we will email you with postage details, and shoot related questions. After confirmation, cancellation is not possible, and so immediately send your products with any artistic shoot suggestions. We will try to follow your shoot suggestions the best we can, but may not be able to use the scene to recreate precisely what you describe. We will of course do our best to deliver high quality photographs that you will want to use. We also hope that you will be so pleased that you will want to tell your friends about us, and use our services again.

During the shoot we will try to show your products in the most naturalistic of settings. We want to avoid kitsch, unnatural, and forced poses; so each shoot will take a little bit of time to plan and prepare, and shoot. After the shoot day(s), there will be thousands of photos for us to process. We will select the best looking photos of your product, process them (with minimal adjustments), and send them to you at the earliest possible time.

Postage of items/products: The items must arrive by the deadline before the shoot. If the items fail to arrive on time they will be returned unopened and we will not be held responsible for delivery delays. Refunds cannot be issued. Also, tell us if the items/products you sent need to be returned after the shoot; bear in mind that you will pay for return postage. The product(s) must arrive by the 3rd November, so that we can organise and plan. It’s strongly advised that you post early, in case there are delays or issues in the shipping process. Any customs fees must be paid by you. We cannot be responsible for products seized by customs authorities; please confirm the legality of your product in Japan before backing this project. Additional customs and delivery charges must be settled by bank or PayPal transfer.

Legal: All items must be legal and legal in Japan too. Japan Customs usually restrict imports of seeds and nuts, and adds tariffs to electronic items. Prohibited items, more info.

 


Eri enjoying an ice cream on a window sill.

 

Social media & additional promotion: If requested, your products will be shown on JapanesePhotos.Asia Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr accounts; also on our blog. Send us links to your website and the social media accounts you want in the descriptions or comments. We’ll also follow you, and include your @accountname if possible. The model may also include his/her name and may also share it in his/her account (depends on the model’s own pre-existing contracts). In most cases, JapanesePhotos.Asia will keep the photos on display in our social media feed and will be persistent.

Delivering the photos:  This will be done via the cloud. You will get a link and password, and so you can download them all. First deliveries will be within 24 hours, and most will be completed in one to five weeks after the shoot.

Finally, we will be very grateful for your support in this project, and we hope you will be pleased with the results.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, this blog, and Kickstarter for updates.

Who is doing this? The worker bees doing this for you are:

  • Photographer & chief organiser: Andrew.
  • Makeup artist: Ksara.
  • Models:  Eri, Chiaki, or Miyu.
  • Shoot assistant:  (depends if funds are available).
Photographer: Andrew & Ramen; MUA: Ksara; Model: Eri

Us: Andrew (photographer), Ksara (MUA), and Eri (model).

 

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Lifestyle shoot: Summer at home


Daydreams. This is one of the wonderful photos with Eri from the shoot this week. Special thanks to the wonderful, cheery, and very talented Eri; it is always great working with you. Also, a big thanks to Akiko, our most-helpful and wonderful makeup artist for the day. Also, a special thanks to the owners of the house for letting us shoot there. どうもありがとうございました。


We shot a variety of situations through the day. The theme was a lifestyle shoot of “Summer at Home”. We couldn’t get through the complete wish list, but did the best we could. The typhoon the day before disrupted our start times, especially as we weren’t sure if we could start on time as planned, start later, if at all. In the end, we started later in the morning than we hoped.

The highlights: Eri can make paper cranes, Akiko was a brilliant assistant, the mandarin flavoured ice block was apparently really nice, so too the pizza, and I didn’t bump my head too many times on the low door frames.

 


Update to the JapanesePhotos Instagram at: http://bit.ly/2vo6ZrL. More photos of this shoot are in the Eri Gallery of the PhotoShelter Portfolio.

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