Terms & Conditions

Last modified: April 5, 2010

When you order and purchase any tangible merchandise from PhotoGuide Japan, you must agree to the following:

Order Acceptance Policy

The customer can cancel his/her order partially or completely anytime before sending payment. The customer can cancel the order automatically by not remitting payment within 2 weeks after submitting the order.

PhotoGuide Japan reserves the right to reject any orders from any customer for any reason. Orders for items banned or illegal in the customer’s (or designated recipient’s) country will not be shipped. Payment will not be requested nor accepted for any orders rejected by PhotoGuide Japan.

If necessary, PhotoGuide Japan shall contact the customer country’s embassy or consulate in Japan to confirm whether or not an item is banned or illegal in the customer’s country. PhotoGuide Japan does not and will never knowingly sell illegal, stolen, or harmful goods. PhotoGuide Japan also cannot be held liable for any items confiscated by customs officials in the customer’s country.

Pricing Policy

Although the prices listed in the catalog are always current, they are subject to change without notice. Such changes will always be reflected in the catalog before they take effect.

Any price quote PhotoGuide Japan gives to the customer is non-negotiable and will remain valid for 2 weeks (in the case of auctions, until the auction ends or until we are outbid). After 2 weeks, the price quote may change.

If payment is not remitted within this time, the price quote and the order will be canceled automatically except in the case when the customer gives PhotoGuide Japan advance notice about a delay in payment or if PhotoGuide Japan agrees to delayed payment (normally for trusted customers placing bids at auctions through ProxyShop). Nothing will be shipped to the customer until confirmation of payment is received.

Bartering, trading, etc., instead of currency payment will not be accepted.

Payment Acceptance Policy

The payment options are PayPal, credit card, money order, cashier’s check, cash, wire transfer, and bank transfer. Personal checks will not be accepted. Payment from outside Japan must be in US dollars. Money orders and cashier’s checks must be drawn on a US bank or US post office. Payment shall be made to Philbert H. Ono or to our authorized agent in accordance with the payment instructions given to the customer. Payment from within Japan may be in yen transferred to PhotoGuide Japan’s Japanese bank account.

Orders for any items containing nudity (fine-art nudes, etc.) must be paid with PayPal or a credit card. This is to ensure that such materials are not sold to minors. If the adult customer does not have a credit card, he or she must send payment together with a photocopy of a valid ID showing the customer’s name, address, and birthdate. (Orders for items containing nudity will not be accepted from customers in countries where such items are banned.)

Although sending a large amount of cash is not recommended, it will be accepted if it arrives safely. Any cash, money order, or check lost or stolen before reaching PhotoGuide Japan’s private (and secure) mailbox will be the customer’s loss, not PhotoGuide Japan’s. Using registered mail is recommended. All payments will be acknowledged by e-mail upon receipt.

Order Fulfillment Policy

PhotoGuide Japan shall fulfill the customer’s order as soon as possible after confirming or receiving payment. It shall notify the customer of the approximate date when the order will be shipped (in part or in whole). If there is a foreseeable or abnormal delay in shipping the order, PhotoGuide Japan shall notify the customer as soon as possible. If PhotoGuide Japan cannot ship an order within 3 months after receiving payment, the customer will be notified and will have the option to receive a full refund (usually in US$ cash) for the unfulfilled order or to have the amount credited to a future order.

Most the items can be shipped within 21 days. However, an item can be sold out or discontinued by our supplier at any time. In such a case, the customer will be notified and will have the following options: 1. Receive a full refund for the unfulfilled order. 2. Have the amount credited to a future order. 3. Order an alternate item and pay any extra amount required or receive a partial refund if the alternate item has a different price from original item ordered.

Special shipping requests (priority air mail, EMS Express Mail Service, etc.) as specified on the order form will be accepted whenever possible. The additional cost will be included in the price quote.

Everything PhotoGuide Japan ships will be packed and sealed well enough to withstand normal handling and transit. However, PhotoGuide Japan cannot be held liable for any product damage incurred by the postal or courier service during shipment. PhotoGuide Japan also cannot be held liable for any items lost in the mail or stolen before reaching the customer. In the case of EMS shipping, the item is insured up to 20,000 yen.

The customer must bear any customs or import duties that apply in his/her country.

Returns & Refund Policy

Since we sell only quality items, customer satisfaction with the merchandise is virtually assured. However, there is no money-back guarantee. Once payment is made to PhotoGuide Japan or its authorized agent, the sale will be final. Product returns and refund requests will be accepted only in the following cases:

  • PhotoGuide Japan shipped the wrong item due to its error. In this (highly unlikely) case, PhotoGuide Japan shall pay for the return shipping cost. PhotoGuide Japan shall also refund the applicable amount or ship the correct item by priority air mail (at no extra cost), whichever the customer prefers.
  • PhotoGuide Japan shipped an item that has a defect incurred during the item’s manufacture (not including any damage incurred during delivery). The same action described above for a wrong item shipped shall be taken.
  • The item the customer ordered is no longer available or PhotoGuide Japan cannot ship it within 2 months after it received payment for it. In such a case, PhotoGuide Japan shall give the customer a full refund for the item or credit the amount for a future purchase.
  • The customer mistakenly overpaid for his/her order. If the customer remits payment exceeding the required amount (such as submitting the same credit card payment form twice), PhotoGuide Japan will ask the customer whether the extra money is a bonus (which will be gratefully accepted) or a mistake. If it’s a mistake, PhotoGuide Japan shall refund the extra money after deducting a surcharge or it will be credited to the customer’s next purchase, whichever he/she prefers.
  • In the case of proxy bidding for auctions in Japan, a full refund will be given if the auction was lost.

Other Policies

These above terms and conditions are subject to change at anytime. Any major policy changes will be stated at the top of this section.

Non-compliance with any of the above policies may be permitted upon the mutual consent of PhotoGuide Japan and the customer.

Any item of contention not covered by the above “Terms and Conditions” is to be resolved amicably through the mutual consent and agreement of PhotoGuide Japan and the customer.

Privacy guaranteed: The ordering and purchasing information, and all other personal information you provide for your order will never be sold, rented, or revealed to any party not involved in processing your order. Complete confidentiality will be maintained. See our Privacy Policy here.

Banned items not shipped: We do not knowingly ship any merchandise to a country where it is banned.

No porno, etc.: PhotoGuide Japan does not and will never knowingly promote or sell pornographic materials, child pornography and nudes, and illegal, stolen, or harmful goods.

Licensed to sell: PhotoGuide Japan is licensed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Public Safety Commission (i.e., the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department) to be a commercial dealer of second-hand merchandise. Second-hand merchandise can be anything which has been purchased once at the retail level, whether or not it has been actually used or opened. PhotoGuide Japan’s Second-Hand Merchandise Dealer’s Permit No. is 307729803587

*For any questions about the above policies, Contact Us.

Privacy Policy

PhotoGuide Japan has a firm commitment to protect the privacy of our customers and visitors. Basically, the personal information we collect is used only to accept and process orders and payments for merchandise or digital content. Your personal information will never be sold, rented, or revealed to any party not involved in processing your order or membership. (Unless requested via a subpoena, court order, or other legal means.)

Also, any private or personal information you give us via e-mail or other means will also be kept private unless we obtain your permission to use or reveal the information to another person(s).

What information do we collect?
When you place an order for merchandise, you are asked to provide personal information such as your name, address, e-mail, username and password. (Although we do not collect credit card information, such information is collected by the payment processors we use, such as PayPal.)

Also, when you request pages from our Web site server, our server automatically collects some non-personal information such as your IP address, browser type, operating system (e.g., Windows or Macintosh), and the domain name from which you accessed the site. We may use cookies (small text files that are stored on visitors computers when they access our Web site) to collect this information. Non-personal information is used for statistical purposes only, and they cannot be used to personally identify you.

If you post messages on any of our commenting systems, we will maintain on the system any information about you as you choose to disclose. You are also free to delete or edit your messages even after the initial posting. Until you delete any comments, they will be stored and searchable by key words by the public.

Who sees my information?
Personally identifiable information is seen only by PhotoGuide Japan and/or reputable payment processors (PayPal, etc.) hired to process your credit card payment and any other type of commerce or transaction.

How do you use my information?
We use your personal information only for the following purposes:

  1. To process your order and payment for the merchandise, services, or digital content we offer to customers.
  2. To communicate with you. This includes essential e-mail notices to our cusrtomers. There will be no advertising-related e-mail messages.
  3. To confirm that you are eligible (age requirements, etc.) for the merchandise, service, or digital content we offer.

We use your non-personal information only for the following purposes:

To compile statistical information about our users such as the browser used, operating system used, referred domain names, etc.

How secure is my personal information?
We follow the best-available precautions to maintain the security of the your personal information. We and our payment processors provide secure Web pages (using Secure Socket Layer technology) for critical and confidential online transactions such as when you submit personal information to order and purchase merchandise or digital content. Our payment processors also maintain good security to protect any personal information that is collected and/or stored.

If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, please contact us

By visiting this Web site, you are agreeing to the practices described in this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with our Privacy Policy, please leave now.

CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show on March 11-14, 2010

Just when I got used to the name “Photo Imaging Expo (PIE),” they have created yet another incarnation of Japan’s largest camera show.

It is now called the “Camera & Photo Imaging Show” abbreviated as CP+. And instead of being held in Tokyo, it will be held in Yokohama, at Pacifico Yokohama, a large convention complex.

Instead of the four photography-related organizations which held the old PIE show, CP+ will be held by CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association).

For details, see the show’s official site in English:
http://www.cpplus.jp/en/index.html

Pacifico Yokohama is near JR Sakuragicho and Minato Mirai Stations:
http://www.pacifico.co.jp/english/

About CIPA
The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) is an international organization comprised of companies involved in the production and sale of silver-halide camera and digital camera, imaging-related products, software and more. In addition to product specifications, standards and technical research, CIPA deals with environmental issues and other industry-wide issues and seeks to contribute to the development of photographic and imaging culture.
Web site: http://www.cipa.jp/english/

YOKOHAMA PHOTO FESTIVAL Open Portfolio Review

As a birthplace of photography in Japan, Yokohama will be staging a full-fledged photo festival from 2012. They will be holding a few activities as a prelude to the festival.

One of them is the Open Portfolio Review. On Jan. 16-17, 2010, they will have a large room with a long table lined with photo portfolios of various photographers who apply for this event. A panel of distinguished photographers, curators, and critics will review your portfolio in your presence.

They will accept applications for this portfolio review from early Dec. See their Web site for details and application info:
http://www.yokohamaphotofestival.org/Portfolio_Review.html

Izu Photo Museum opens in Shizuoka Pref.

Another photo museum has opened in Japan. This one is in the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture. Opened on Oct. 26, 2009, the new Izu Photo Museum is part of the Clematis no Oka museum complex.

The museum was designed by Sugimoto Hiroshi who is also the first artist to exhibit at the new photo museum. The museum is near JR Mishima Station on the Tokaido Line. A free shuttle bus is provided from the north exit, leacing once an hour.

See their Web site for more details.
http://www.izuphoto-museum.jp/e/index.html

Movie: Katen no Shiro

Released in Japan on Sept. 12, 2009, this movie is about Okabe Mataemon, a Nagoya (Atsuta)-based master carpenter who in 1576 was ordered by Japan’s leading warlord Oda Nobunaga to build Azuchi Castle on Mt. Azuchi fronting Lake Biwa. The main castle tower or donjon was to have an unprecedented five stories. It was to be the grandest and most lavish castle Japan had ever seen. Mataemon and his crew had only three years to complete the epic construction which they did. The movie shows the major and minor tribulations Mataemon and his crew went through during the construction. The movie is also unusual because it has no battle scenes despite being a samurai movie.

Being a castle fan, I really looked forward to this movie. However, I was somewhat disappointed with the quality of the acting, completeness of the story, believability, and overall visual and emotional impact. The movie does have a few outstanding scenes with what looks like thousands of people working, but they were too few and too short. Computer graphics depicting the construction of the mountaintop castle were impressive enough. But I thought there were too many story lines and characters which could not be fully developed or explained within the movie’s 139 min.

For history buffs, it might be frustrating because the movie is obviously not historically accurate since it is a work of fiction. For castle fans, the movie does not show all the major aspects of building a castle. I wish they showed more scenes of the actual construction (which sped by too quickly). Work on the stone walls, interior, moats, etc., are missing. Seeing the stones being cut and fitted onto the walls, the beams being fitted to the main pillar, the construction of the roof, moat digging, interior painting, gold leafing, etc., are all missing. So the educational value of this movie does not attain its potential.

The movie does have interesting story lines. Construction of a major castle with mostly manual labor, Mataemon the carpenter prodigy, Nobunaga’s affection for imported European goods, merchants getting rich from European trade, ninja-like assassins, and a few love stories. But the movie was too short to adequately develop them all. It tries to cover everything, but in doing so, it never really developed any story to its fullest and best potential. It might have been better to make it a TV series rather than a movie.

But I still recommend seeing this movie. It is worth seeing the few outstanding scenes that it has. The movie was filmed in Kyoto; Adogawa in Takashima where they filmed the giant boulder scene with 200 extras, Awajishima island in Hyogo for scenes atop Mt. Azuchi overlooking Lake Biwa, Kiso-Fukushima in Nagano for forest scenes, and Taiwan for the big tree scene.
It is pretty much an all-star cast headed by Nishida Toshiyuki as Mataemon, Otake Shinobu as his wife, and Ogata Naoto (who gave a fine acting performance) as a woodsman.

I have posted a detailed review and detailed summary of the movie plot for those of you who cannot understand Japanese, so you’ll know what’s going on:
http://photoguide.jp/txt/Movie_review:_Katen_no_Shiro_(火天の城)

Official Web site (in Japanese only): http://katen.jp/

Izima Kaoru: Landscapes with a Corpse, Sep. 26-Oct. 25, 2009

Izima Kaoru will hold an exhibition of his “Landscapes with a Corpse” series from Sept. 26 (Sat.) to Oct. 25, 2009 (Sun.) at BLD GALLERY in Tokyo. This is an unusual series of photos of high-fashion actresses posed as corpses in various situations, sometimes humorous. Read more about his work here: http://photoguide.jp/txt/IZIMA_KAORU

He is also having an exhibition called “One Sun” at the same gallery, running until Sept. 23, 2009. Gallery hours 11 am to 7 pm.

Izima will also give a few talk shows at the gallery (reservations required and admission charged). See the gallery Web site for details (in Japanese only). The gallery is near JR Yurakucho Station, Ginza Station, and Ginza Itchome Station.
http://www.bld-gallery.jp/exhibition/090822izimakaoru.html

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