Photo galleries in Kansai, Osaka, Kyoto

A comprehensive English list of galleries, museums, and other exhibition spaces in the Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Shiga, Mie, Wakayama, Hyogo) which may show photography exhibitions is provided by Kansai Art Beat at the following Web page:

Venues by area in Kansai:

After a dormant period of a few years from mid-2008, Kansai Art Beat is again actively maintained as of May 2014. Photo exhibition listings are also provided:

Canon EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark II locking Mode Dial

Canon will offer a hardware modification of the Mode Dial on the EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark II. From Dec. 8, 2010 in Japan, you can have the Mode Dial replaced with a locking Mode Dial that has a button at the dial’s center to lock the Mode Dial’s setting. Whenever you turn the Mode Dial, you have to first press the button at the center of the dial. The locking Mode Dial is similar to the one found on the EOS 60D.

The cost will be 10,500 yen and you can have it done at any of Canon’s Service Centers in Japan. The modification will take about 10 days in Japan and there is no warranty on the locking Mode Dial. You will have to bear the cost of shipping or taking the camera to a Canon Service Center.

Payment for this modification is required even if the camera still has a valid warranty.

I have the 7D and from my experience, I haven’t had problems with the Mode Dial turning inadvertently. Significant force would be required to turn the dial by accident, but it is possible. This modification may offer peace of mind, but for me, it would be an extra step to turn the dial.

Official Canon announcement in Japanese:

Yodobashi opens in Kyoto

Yodobashi Camera has finally come to Kyoto with a megastore in front of Kyoto Station right behind Kyoto Tower. It opened on Nov. 5, 2010.

Called Kyoto-Yodobashi, the huge 6-story building looks similar to Yodobashi’s megastore in Akihabara and Osaka. Besides selling camera equipment and consumer electronics, the building also houses other shops and restaurants. Store hours are 9:30 am to 10 pm.

It will give major competition to BIC Camera also next to Kyoto Station.

Official site in Japanese:

Mutsumido Kyoto camera store bankrupt

Longtime camera store in Kyoto, Camera no Mutsumido (カメラのムツミ堂) has filed for bankruptcy. This comes before the opening of megastore Yodobashi Camera in Kyoto.

Camera no Mutsumido was founded in 1945 and has operated several branches in Kyoto. Selling mainly cameras, they expanded to sell electrical appliances and mobile phones. From Feb. 2003, branch stores started seeing red ink due to competition from large camera chain stores.

It’s sad to see a local camera store disappear after being in business for so many decades.

Japan Photos FAQ

by Philbert Ono

What’s Japan Photos at PHOTOGUIDE.JP/pix ?
It’s an ever-growing collection of tens of thousands of online photos and videos of Japan, organized mainly according to prefecture and city/town/village. It is to help promote travel to Japan and pique your interest in the places, things, events, and people the photos show. Be great if the pictures help you better understand Japan and see that it is much more than just Mt. Fuji, geisha, and cherry blossoms.

How are the photos organized?
Basically, there are top-tier categories such as the prefecture (all 47 prefectures of Japan), then secondary categories such as the city, town, and village. The secondary categories contain photo collections called albums (called “photo sets” at Flickr). Each album can contain up to 250 pictures of a certain subject or theme. Toward the top of the page, there are breadcrumb links (ex.: Home > Tokyo > Shinjuku > Album name) showing you exactly where you are within Japan Photos.

I also have theme-based categories such as festivals, people, sumo, and vintage postcards.

What kind of Japan photos are there?
They are mainly travel photos from all 47 prefectures. They intend to show what a place looks like or what happens at an event such as a festival. The photos are selected from among many and presented in a logical sequence. If it’s a festival, the photos are in chronological sequence. It’s more like a photo essay, and I avoid showing random, unrelated images.

Most of the photos were taken within the Tokyo-to-Osaka corridor since I live in Tokyo and most of my travels are done within this area. In the near future, I plan to spend extended periods in farther parts of Japan where I haven’t traveled and photographed much.

Did you take all these photos/videos?
I took almost all of them. Those labeled with “Philbert Ono.” Photos not taken by me are labeled with the respective photographer’s name.

How can I post my photos on your Japan Photos site?
I welcome photo submissions if you have photos of Japan I don’t have or don’t plan to shoot. You should have at least 12 photos of a subject in an understandable sequence. File names should be in numeric order. Images should be at least 400 pixels wide or tall for vertical shots. You send me the images and I’ll post them on the site. Contact me for more info.

How many photos are there in Japan Photos?
As of late 2014, there are over 48,000 photos and videos. This number constantly increases. Almost every month, I see a place or festival (matsuri) I’ve never seen before and shoot. It may take a while longer for me to upload the results.

Do you sell your photos?
Yes, most photos are available for licensing if you want to use it for editorial purposes in a book, magazine, etc. Give me the URL of the photo(s) you want and make an offer. Contact me for more info.

Can I use your photo in my blog?
Yes, you can use the image as is for free, as long as the copyright notice is clearly visible. Keep a copy of the image on your own site and do not hotlink images from my site.

Why not post these photos on Flickr instead?
Flickr charges money and I wouldn’t draw any income from posting photos there. I much prefer posting content on my own Web site and draw ad income at the very least. I also have total control over my site. The social networking of Flickr is great, but I started Japan Photos before Flickr came to fore.

What does “Album viewed xx times” mean?
Indicates the number of times the album (thumbnail page) has been viewed since June 6, 2010 when the system started to count the album views. The number of album views is not accurate for albums uploaded before this date.

Photo exhibition: Onna (Woman), Aug.-Dec. 2010

As part of their 60th anniversary celebration, the Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS) will hold a major photo exhibition called Onna (おんな), which means “Woman.” It will be an exhibition of photos of women by over 130 renown Japanese photographers (living and deceased) including Akiyama Shotaro, Araki Nobuyoshi, Ishimoto Yasuhiro, Kimura Ihei, Gomi Akira, Domon Ken, Nagashima Yurie, Hiromix, Nagano Shigeichi, Ninagawa Mika, George Hashiguchi, and Hosoe Eikoh.

The photos will span from 1945 to 2010, mainly showing women on the move and in action, displaying their “life force” and their will to live. The exhibition will be held in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Yokohama as follows:

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Basement 1st floor)
Aug. 14-29, 2010, 10 am to 6 pm (till 8 pm on Thu. and Fri), closed Mon.
Admission 700 yen

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art (Annex)
Sept. 14-26, 2010, 9 am to 5 pm, closed Mon.

The Japan Newspaper Museum
Nov. 13-Dec. 26, 2010, 9 am to 5 pm, closed Mon.
Admission 500 yen

A photo book (exhibition catalog) with the same title will also be sold for 2,800 yen.

Thanks to JPS for sending me a flyer and two complimentary tickets.

Official site and sample photos:

Web site revamping

Welcome to PhotoGuide Japan’s new NewsZONE section. Major changes have been made as follows:

  • The main NewsZONE URL has changed from to And what used to be at is now totally different.
  • PhotoWho’sWho (photographer biographies) has moved completely to It is no longer at PhotoCloseups also merged with PhotoLog.
  • PhotoBBS (message boards) has been shut down and most messages have migrated to this NewsZONE blog’s PhotoNews and PhotoLog categories.
  • The new PhotoNews category includes Japanese photography news, photo expo notices, exhibition notices, book announcements, etc. The PhotoLog category has my personal rants related to photography.

What’s New (what you’re reading now) is about the latest Web site updates at PhotoGuide Japan.

Some photography-related pages have also been transferred to this NewsZONE blog, such as PhotoRepairs, PhotoEvents, and PhotoFAQ.

Now that our NewsZONE section has been realigned and straightened out, next will be the revamping of DirectoryZONE still plagued with an outdated system and outdated information. So far, only PhotoRepairs has been revamped.

PHOTONEXT 2010 at Tokyo Big Sight

The 1st PHOTONEXT photography trade show for professionals will be held on June 29-30, 2010 at Tokyo Big Sight. This is for portrait studios, wedding photographers, school portraits, and photo accessories. You won’t find big-name camera makers like Canon and Nikon who already showed at CP+ in Yokohama.

If you went to CP+ and wondered why you didn’t see any large-format or photo accessories, it’s because they will show at PHOTONEXT.

Again, they have split the Japanese photo expo into two: One for amateurs and one for pros. I liked it the way it was with everybody in one place. It took them years to do that, but unfortunately the coupling did not last long.

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