|Above, Jonathan Bellés, Yoshikazu Ishii and Armand in Tokyo. Did we goof by having Ishii-san in the middle?|
Everyone who travels does so with a still camera (film or digital) or a video recorder of some kind. I have been such a traveling shutterbug since I was a kid.
In Japan, photography is a very popular hobby or advocation. But, when in Japan, there are some guidelines that a visitor should follow so not to upset anyone.
Japan Today has an article on "5 Cultural Tips For Taking Photos In Japan" that should help you to keep out of trouble.
They begin with:
TOKYO —Believe it or not, there’s a Japanese way of taking photos. We’ve compiled some cultural guidelines as well as language tips to help you take happy snappies on your next trip to Japan.
Naturally, the first rule of photography in any country is to obey the rules. Always look for signs at tourist areas to make sure it’s okay to take pictures. If you see the “No photos” or “No flash,” do comply, no matter how much you want to capture the moment.
But there are other not-so-obvious things to consider when taking snapshots in Japan, especially when local people are involved. The following hints should help you understand photography protocol in Japan. Keep in mind that these are not hard and fast rules, just guidelines based on our collective experience working and playing in Japan. No one says you have to follow them, but you know, when in Rome…To see what the 5 tips are, go here.