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Ritsurin garden in autumn

Winners of the Japan Photo Contest – Memories of Japan Category

October 03, 2014

Released 3 Oct - Last night the winners of Japan Photo Contest 2014 were announced at the Japan Tourism Symposium, “Growth Strategy for Tourism, Making the Best Use of the Olympic and Paralympic Games” held in London at the Embassy of Japan. Over 900 entries were received making picking the winners a difficult task. Thank you so much to all those who entered. Here at Japan National Tourism Organization we loved seeing your Japan holiday photos and greatly enjoyed the wonderful stories you shared from your travels in Japan.

“The originality of these images was truly inspiring. It was refreshing to see such originality from amateur photographers. Overall the quality and originality was extremely high, especially within the Memories of Japan section,” said Philip Lee Harvey, one of the professional photographers on the judging panel.


Here we reveal the winners of the Memories of Japan category:

GOLD PRIZE WINNER - Monika Mukherjee

Monika’s prize is a pair of return Economy Class tickets with Japan Airlines (JAL) and £200 worth of Marks & Spencer Gift Vouchers courtesy of JAL and two 7-day JR Passes courtesy of JR East.

 “I have been to Japan already and I'm sending you one of my favourite holiday photo.

I loved it so much as I found a place very peaceful, behind a lovely temple in Kyoto where there was very few people, far from all the tourists. Me between bamboos jumping for joy,” wrote Monika when she submitted her winning photo.

Judge Philip Lee Harvey said of the winning photo, “A Strong, dynamic composition, mixed with a spirit of fun...make this image a worthy winner.”

Monika Mukherjee prize-winning photo from Kyoto Japan.

SILVER PRIZE WINNER - Deidre Mezbourian

Deidre’s prize is a £300 voucher for Matsuri Japanese Restaurant in London courtesy of JR Central.

“Japan is an outstanding holiday destination; this festival photograph exudes the energy, colour and vibrancy you expect from a culture that celebrates and enjoys its historic national identity,” write Deidre when submitting her prize-winning entry.

Deidre Mezbourian's prize-winning photo of a Japanese festival.


Tom will receive a selection of Japanese premium drinks, including a bottle of Urakasumi sake, a bottle of Sho Chiku Bai sake, a bottle of Suntory whisky, and a bottle of Grace Koshu Wine.

“I captured this image through the fire on Setsubun Festival in Kyoto. It was a magical experience watching the history and tradition of Japan light up the observer's faces, appreciating the beauty in these seasonal customs,” wrote Tom.

Tom Tranter's prize-winning photo of a festival in Japan.


Seven commended entry winners will receive Kikkoman Soy Sauce and seasoning sets courtesy of Kikkoman.

The seven commended entries are:

1. Andy Hoskins
“I was waiting to cross a road and had my camera out when the two ladies in traditional dress stopped and waited to cross. I really like the way they're framed by the series of lines formed by the crossing, the fence and the wooden posts. I love the blur of the car just entering the photo from the left too,” wrote Andy.
Andy Hoskin's prize-winning photo.

2. Anirban Mukherjee
“The picture was taken of Jizo statues in Nikko. I read before that Jizo protects travellers so there was no way of missing this place. It wasn't easy to find it but I made it at last, I believe that they helped me find them and that they will help me to come back to Japan once again,” wrote Anirban.

Anirban Mukherjee's photo of Jizo statues in Nikko, Japan.

3. Conor Casey
“The photo is taken in Shibuya, Tokyo in 2012. I was with my wife on our honeymoon.

I love the guy just standing there, reminds me of a bouncer. This photo above another I’ve taken, takes me back there in an instant,” wrote Conor.

Prize-winning photo by Conor Casey taken in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.

4. Jenni Mowbray

“Hadouken! Japanese school girls practising their best Street Fight Moves outside Matsumoto Castle,” wrote Jenni.

Jenni Mowbray's prize-winning photo of school girls and a Japanese castle.

5. Jessica Li

“After the Hiroshima Peace Park and being reminded of the losses and sufferings that happened during the atomic bombing I was feeling quite sad.  I came across an old man sitting under the cherry blossoms overlooking the river and the Genbaku Dome feeding little birds. When he noticed that I was taking photos, he brought out more bread to attract the birds so they can be in my shots,” wrote Jessica.

Jessica Li's prize-winning photo taken in Hiroshima, Japan.

6. Matt Allen
"The city of Kanazawa was swathed in a blanket of spring time cherry blossom during my visit. Whilst walking along Kenrokuen Garden, I noticed a young woman dressed in a traditional kimono, stopping to admire the gently falling sakura. This photo will remind me of that very moment for years to come,” wrote Matt.

Matt Allen's prize-winning photo taken in Kanazawa, Japan.

7. Thomas Walker

“My photo is an observational shot of two playful school girls I found having fun at Fushimi Inari in the Spring. For me it harmoniously mixes the young and the old of Japan. It reminds me of the many facets in Japanese life,” wrote Thomas.

Prize-winning photo taken by Thomas Walker at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan.

Click here to see the Visions of Japan category winners.

JNTO will be in touch with the winners directly to arrange delivery of their prizes.

Winning entries will be exhibited in a free exhibition at the Embassy of Japan in London from 2-14 October 2014. The exhibition is open to the public 9.30am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. 

JNTO Partners