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Japan is arguably one of the world’s most photogenic nations – its futuristic megacities through to its rich cultural history make it the perfect fodder for photographers from across the world. Though international photographers have captured the beauty of Japan time and time again, there’s no one who truly understands it better than its locals. Here are just a handful of up-and-coming travel photographers based in Japan to amaze and inspire.
The US-born and Tokyo-based photographer made his way to Japan from San Francisco via Florida. Having lived here for several years now, Curry’s work has covered many facets of life in Japan, from the diverse landscapes of Japan to the everyday hustle of living in one of the biggest cities in the world. Working in both film and digital realms, his images swimming in depth and rich colour give his work an instantly recognisable feel even though his subject matter is never the same. Check out his Instagram for more.
Australian-born photographer Benjamin Hung to relocated to Tokyo four years ago and the city has ceased to be an endless ocean of inspiration for this neon-light addict. Ranging from super close-up commercial photography, to bird’s eye views of the city, Hung’s work changes as regularly as the lights at Shibuya crossing. His ability to tread the boundaries between everyday real life and super slick sci-fi fantasy encapsulate Japan’s mystic like not many others can. His Instagram is a sight to behold.
If there’s one photographer who can zoom in on the mundanity of life in Japan while still making it completely enthralling it’s UK-born, now Tokyo-based Chris Lloyd. During his time in Japan he’s worked for a number of campaigns in the cutthroat world of commercial photography, however it’s the unique perspective and impeccable timing of his street photography work that is most captivating and has been him garner attention from across the world. His Instagram feed is inspirational.
A photographer who truly belongs to the Instagram world, Yoshito Hasaka is a creative and designer who knows just how to push the boundaries of photo manipulation to the very edge. Balancing contract, colour and perspective just so, Hasaka’s surrealistic take on the city of Tokyo looks like something cut straight from a graphic novel or high production anime. Reflecting the clichéd images of Japan projected by the media, by using real life photos of Tokyo, Hasaka’s work is as subversive as it is visually addictive. For more, check out Hasaka’s Instagram feed.
There’s little to really divulge about this enigmatic photographer. Though he’s based in New Jersey and New York, Moto’s Instagram is home to an impressive collection of travel photography from throughout Japan. From stark black and white cityscapes, to the multicoloured street of Shinjuku and temples of Asakusa, his sleek city shots peppered with moments of scenic serenity make his Instagram feed one to trawl through.
Currently working as a freelance photographer in Japan, via the way of Toronto, Tokyo-based travel photographer Diego Rojas travels relentlessly capturing corners of the country that many people didn’t even know existed. Working non-stop to promote the culture and beauty of Japan to the rest of the world, if Rojas’ photos don’t make you want to visit Japan, then nothing will. Prepare to be amazed at his Instagram.
Born in the south of France, photographer Jordy Meow isn’t the type to stay still. Previously he lived and studied (subjects unrelated to photography) in both Paris and China, before moving to Japan where he became heavily involved in the urban exploration subculture known in Japanese as haikyo. It’s this hunger for exploration that feeds into the well travelled photographer’s work, with his portfolio as diverse as his experiences. He’s published a book called Abandoned Japan which you can check out on his main and offshoot websites.
One very special thing about living in Japan is the ability to witness the country completely transform as the year progresses. From the sweltering heat of summer, to the soft pink of spring, the fiery red of autumn and a snow-capped winter, there is arguably no country more captivating all year round than Japan, and local photographer Yuma Yamashita knows this all too well. With his well-framed and expertly times photographs, Yamashita captures the essence of a constantly transforming country like no others. Cast your eye over Yamashita’s Instagram for more.
Though it’s fair to say that Tokyo is home to a large portion of the country’s city photographers, Osaka local Yuan is shining a light on the beauty of Japan’s Kansai region. From cityscapes to whimsical spiritual pockets, Yuan’s work is diverse. However his eye for colour and ability to manipulate emotion with this use of colour make his work on Instagram and beyond such a fascinating oeuvre to follow.
Though Mt. Fuji is beautiful, dedicating the majority of your life’s work to photographing mountain seems like an impossible task – there are only so many photographs you can take of the same image, right? Wrong. Japan based shooter Makoto Hashimuki proves there are a million different ways to turn a lens on the same image. Lighting, angles and seasonal changes all play a huge role in this talents nature photographer’s work as he brings a fresh perspective to the same subject again and again, as proven on his Instagram feed.