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Travel-oriented guide to Japan in English. It is a project in progress started in 2005 by Philbert Ono, a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan.
The site is driven by and consists of three main sections: Photos, Articles, and Blog. Each section is driven by a different system so the design and layout looks different. Photos is our online photo gallery, Articles is where you find in-depth articles, and Blog provides site news and short travel articles.
The main objectives of this site are:
  • To showcase my pictures of Japan.
  • To write about Japan and my travel experiences here and offer travel tips.
  • To help people understand Japan better.
  • To entice more people to visit Japan.
  • In doing all of the above, to study and learn about Japan on a much deeper level than ever before.
What motivated me to start this site was:
  • I like to take pictures of Japan, and I like to write.
Who's Philbert Ono? Never heard of him.
I work as a translator, photographer, and I'm a Japanese-American originally from Hawaii.
How often is the site updated?
The site updated on an irregular basis. New images and updates are announced on the Blog page.
What is the roadmap for this site?
The PHOTOGUIDE.JP online photo gallery first broke ground in 2004, and after a testing period, received major infusions of images from 2005. More images of Japan for all 47 prefectures has been added ever since.
Is the Web site address PHOTOGUIDE.JP or
You can type it in either all capital letters or lower case letters. However, we like to spell it with all caps to distinguish it from our sister site, PhotoGuide Japan
How can I contribute to PHOTOGUIDE.JP?
You are welcome to contribute images or articles. You will not be paid, but if your images are approved, they will be fully credited in your name and Web site (if any). Contact Us to send me email.

Photos FAQ

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.
How do I search for images?
You can search for images with the prefecture links at the top. Or click on the Search link in the site navigation bar (in white) at the top of the page and enter keyword(s). Each image at PHOTOGUIDE.JP is tagged with key words such as the place name, temple name, season, etc.
The PHOTOGUIDE.JP link in the the site navigation bar provides subject-oriented categories such as festivals, castles, geisha, etc.
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 Jan. 2011, there are over 37,000 photos and videos. This number increases monthly. 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 Us 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.

Articles FAQ

Your Articles section looks similar to Wikipedia.
Yes, it uses the same software as Wikipedia. However, it is not a Wiki where you can freely create new articles and edit existing articles. Anyone can view our articles, but only sysops can login and create and edit articles.
How can I write or edit articles at PHOTOGUIDE.JP's Articles section?
Contact us and tell us what you want to write. If approved, your article will be uploaded and your name will appear in the article as the writer.

Blog FAQ

What kind of announcements do you post at the Blog section?
Short articles about Japan or major site updates.