Camera Girls debut in picturesque Tokyo neighborhoods!
An interview and walking photo session with ...
Kyoko Kawano (Kyon♪)
A photographer specializing in carefree, cute photos and a mother of one. Prompted by a strong desire to photograph the sky with an even more vivid blue, she purchased a single-lens reflex camera and became enthralled with the enchantment of photography. Her easy-to-understand photo blog has proved popular, and she began teaching women about photography and writing on the topic. Her publications include “Carefree, Cute Photography Lessons for Beginners” (Gijutsu-Hyohron Co., Ltd.).
http://camera.na-watashi.com/(Camera Woman Kyon♪: Simple and Sensational Photography)
http://photochocot.na-watashi.com/(Atelier photo*chocot: A teeny, tiny photography school)
More Japanese women are reaching for a camera! What are the reasons behind the boom?
There is a growing number of women discovering photography with a single-lens camera not only during trips, but in everyday life as well. Photography sessions at restaurants and cafes that exclusively cater to women are also enjoying popularity. What is behind the boom?
“About 1 or 2 years ago the number of women participating in camera events began significantly rising. There’s a boom going on. One reason for the popularity is probably the prevalence of blogs. Anyone can easily create a website, and more people want to take and share attractive pictures of their hobbies, such as cooking or crafts, that are a part of their daily life. Another reason is the fact that the marketing of mirrorless cameras allows them to easily take professional quality photos with the ease of using a compact camera. The amount of photography-related goods that target women, such as cute straps, has also sharply increased.
What is the real enchantment of photography?
“We constantly view our world with a casual eye, but looking attentively through the lens gives it a special beauty. It heightens sensitivity and brings joy to each day.”
Strolling downtown with a camera in hand♪Visiting Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi
The Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi area still retains nostalgic downtown scenery, including old-fashioned shopping streets, temples and shrines, and parks. Strolling along while looking at shops and taking an occasional break at a café, you can easily enjoy away a half day. Take a hint from Ms. Kawano’s pictures and explanations, and try taking a walking photo session yourself!
Strolling and sampling old-fashioned rice crackers
A long-established rice cracker shop has continued producing its traditional flavor since the founding 100 years ago. The store has 8-10 types of rice crackers lined up in a row, including the popular “kenmaru” for 65 yen each! Between 1:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon, visitors have the chance to sample freshly made, savory soy-sauce flavored rice crackers.
7-18-18 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo Tel.: 03-3821-6421 Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6:00 pm. Closed: Tuesdays
A shop specializing in the traditional Japanese art of sculptured candies
This store demonstrates and sells sculptured candies. Heated candy is twisted and notched to create over 90 different shapes, including animals and flowers. Customers can also request different colors and poses. They taste good, but are so adorable that they are fun to look at for a while.
1F Tomoe Bldg., 1-23-5 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo Tel.: 03-6323-3319 Hours: 12:00 noon-7:00 p.m. Closed: Mondays/Tuesdays (or the following day when it falls on a holiday) * The demonstration fee is a separate charge of 105 yen. Requests for demonstrations are accepted until 6:00 p.m.
Magnificent Shinto shrines and spring azalea are a spectacular sight
This ancient shrine is said to have been built by Prince Yamatotakeru. The Chinese-style gate and main shrine constructed in the Gongen-zukuri style in the Edo period by the 5th shogun Tsunayoshi Tokugawa still exist today, and have been designated national important cultural properties.
1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo Tel.: 03-3822-0753 Visiting Hours: 6:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (In summer, 5:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.)
Taking a break at a retro café reminiscent of the Showa period
This café had been a place for the locals to enjoy some downtime since 1938, but closed its doors in 2006. Three years later it was reopened through the efforts of volunteers. The sentimental spot is a renovated town house from the early Taisho period that has an amazing at-home feel.
6-1-29 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo Tel.: 03-3823-3545 Hours: 8:00 a.m. -11:00 p.m. (Sundays until 6:00 p.m.) Open year round.
This is the camera I used!
For this shoot I photographed everything in “aperture priority mode.” I set the exposure compensation at about +1 and used an OLYMPUS PEN equipped with light tone auto filter function.