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Video recording in Japan 2014/2/17 21:22
Since I do a lot of video recording (with my digital camera) on my vacations, including Japan, I have been wondering about some do's and dont's if you see my meaning.

Are there any things or areas I should avoid to record while in Japan?

I know there are temples with signs saying "No photo" so of course I avoid that places. Also I would never record anything like military bases or yakuza bars and so on.

What about airports (where there are no signs saying "No photo" like there are around the immigration for instance)? I though the transportation train on Osaka Kansai airport was cool but did not dare filming it. Also I have seen several cool vending machines, but did not dare filming it in case I would violate something.

Walking in "wild forests" and so I do not bother though.
by Jojo (guest)  

Re: Video recording in Japan 2014/2/18 11:24
Other than respecting signs that say no photographing/filming you should also try not to look like you're filming anyone. Japanese people (and I think most people) don't want to be filmed.

As long as you aren't purposefully getting other people in your shot a lot of things should be okay. Also keep in mind that while some things may be a novelty to you they are a way of life for people here so try not to get in the way when filming. Basically be aware of others, try not to get them in shots if it can be avoided and don't get in their way.

Filming a vending machine should be fine, especially if it's not being used by others at the time. And trains should also be fine. Trains are very popular in Japan and you can often see enthusiasts at the end of platforms taking pictures as trains enter and leave the station. So you certainly won't look out of place wanting to capture it, too.

If you're unsure if you can film or not when you're in a store/restaurant/etc just ask someone. Even if you can't speak any Japanese you should be able to get your point across by holding up your camera and asking okay?
by Sage (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Video recording in Japan 2014/2/18 22:37
I supposed that avoiding filming other people would be suggested. Well I do try to avoid that in all cases, however it is a bit hard if trying to record in very crowded places, say Nara around Todaji or any big city like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto. Its hard to turn off the camera all the time someone happens to walk towards me or pass by the camera lens.

Anyway. Are there any places without prohibition signs that should not be filmed?

How about parts of the airports? I dont want to be suspected as a terrorist or something.
by Jojo (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Video recording in Japan 2014/2/18 23:28
I think you may be worrying unnecessarily. Places where photography (and video) is explicitly prohibited are the immigration and security areas at airports, inside stores, and banks. If there are no signs up, you really don't need to worry, and you should just use common sense about filming in people's faces without their permission.
For the record, photography at Japanese military (SDF) facilities is generally not a problem, so long as you are outside the facility. I remember all the people pointing cameras through and over the fences around the defense ministry in Tokyo when they had the PAC3 missiles set up inside. Being from a country where that would be inconceivable, I actually asked the guard at the gate if it was really OK to take photos there, and he replied that there was no problem at all so long as you don't try to climb over the fences and get inside (trespass).
The US military bases in Japan, however, are a different story, and you can expect to be told off or questioned if you are seen pointing a camera in their direction.
by Herbie (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Video recording in Japan 2014/2/19 05:23
Alrighty. Well I have been quite shy considering filming. Most time I wait till there are no people around (which however kinda ruined my experience of photos from my first trip to the bad side since there wer almost no people on them). When in areas with little people I usually turn the camera away if someone passes as a sign of respect. There are tons of situations I would have liked to record but not dared. Odd stuff not usual at home to show my doubting relatives and so on.

I did not think Japan military would be so "laidback" however. Where are US military bases located on the main islands? I suppose there are big signs however so I would most likely not go there anyway..

Its harder filming in big cities if I want to avoid offending someone. However with all millions of cam phones around you could never know if they just text or film something.
by Jojo (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Video recording in Japan 2014/2/28 16:17
I like filming a well, and its basically a pain in Japan. You cant film in practically any shops or stores.. Maybe you can get away with it with department stores because staff are not generally nearby though.

As for people, I would even worry. If you have someone on hoiday with you, just get the to stand in the direction and pretend your filimg them.. Most of the time I dont even bother seeing if Ive caught someone by accident.
by MayMay (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Video recording in Japan 2014/3/3 06:40
I made a comment on here before but I am guessing it did not get posting. I am always adjusting my setting for my company so a lot of stuff donft not get posted on here because of my PC security and the web security.

I donft think you should have any problem but as long you do not take pictures of people. People in Japan are very nice and if you are filing or taking pictures they will spot and stand to the side until youfre done, this is what I experience. You can video tape inside some area or inside the train but just do when there not a lot of people or only a hand full amount of people inside the train.

When it comes to filing or taking pictures inside stores, grocery store and other spots they may or most likely ask you to stop filing. I remember watching these youtube video 2 guys were making a video how to shop for food in Japan and they were in a grocery store and they were asked to leave. Now filing school Ifm not sure but filing in public you should be okay.

Also Sage is correct gOther than respecting signs that say no photographing/filming you should also try not to look like you're filming anyone. Japanese people (and I think most people) don't want to be filmed.h

Other than that if you have any questionc just ask the people working there. they will tell you
by SeikoSKO (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Video recording in Japan 2014/3/3 19:34
Thank you for your reply, I am happy you tried again since it was not posted.

Like you say filming people is not my intention. I understand japanese people (like me) are quite shy and well.. have high integrity (or what it is called) and I notice as well that people in Japan try to not block people when they take photos of things. It is a very respectful way and I appreciate this very much and try to avoid taking pictures or video recordings in Japan of people, usually by tilting my camera away if someone passes by.

The only problem would be if say, recording a busy street (from far away perhaps), a temple with many visitors, or any other popular sightseeing spot. I have seen videos on youtube where they are filming areas with much people, documentary shows, etc. Not sure what to consider that.
by Jojo (guest) rate this post as useful

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