Say cheese!

19 Jun


Japanese tourists and cameras go together like a bad cliche.  And they don’t just take their cameras when they go abroad.  Internal tourism in Japan is huge, and one of my abiding memories of our pre-children trip to Japan, is the countless Japanese tourists: groups of school children, retired people, families and young people, all enjoying Japan’s natural beauty and manmade attractions. 

And, like the cliche, everywhere they went they recorded it on film (this was during the pre-digital era, I’m very old).  At key points of natural beauty, there were specially positioned, tiered benches for convenient arranging of group photos.  If by any chance you had forgotten your own camera, you could buy one from the handy vending machine on the top of the mountain.  If, on the day you visited, the mountain was shrouded in mist, you could use the special photo booth which superimposed your picture on a background of the view on a sunny day.  You could even have this printed as stickers.

When it comes to photos, the Japanese have all their bases covered.  Whatever it takes, you have to get your picture.  And don’t forget to hold up two fingers in a V sign and shout ‘peace’.


This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby. For more travel pictures, click here.


15 Responses to “Say cheese!”

  1. marina villatoro 19/06/2009 at 4:12 pm #

    What a cute picture:) Do you know what they say in Costa Rica- Say Whiskey. Have no idea why:)

    Photo Friday – INBioparque – A Kid’s Dream

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 19/06/2009 at 5:19 pm #

      I know which I prefer!

  2. Michelle (Wandermom) 19/06/2009 at 4:59 pm #

    Too funny! Thanks for sharing.

  3. jessie voigts 19/06/2009 at 5:20 pm #

    that is SO Much fun! and i’ve done that V sign a zillion times…

  4. Amy @ The Q Family 19/06/2009 at 6:50 pm #

    Ah.. The symbolic peace sign. 🙂 It’s not just the Japanese though. Thai people love to do that too.

  5. Cate 19/06/2009 at 7:51 pm #

    I still don’t get what the V/Peace sign is about. Nice post.

  6. Lucia 19/06/2009 at 10:46 pm #

    So funny and so true!

  7. Tim 20/06/2009 at 2:05 pm #

    We often strive to get special unique shots but years later the cliche shots still show up in the family album. For good reason!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/06/2009 at 7:59 pm #

      At the end of the day, I guess we just want a souvenier of our visit.

  8. Mara 21/06/2009 at 4:52 am #

    I like this photo. I was once asked (I thought) to take a picture of a group of Japanese tourists in front of the Bridge of Sighs. Turned out what they actually wanted was to take a picture of some of them with me in it. Because being blond-haired and blue eyed, I look so Italian I guess.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/06/2009 at 7:58 pm #

      We got asked to join in group photos everywhere we went in Japan. We felt like minor celebrities!

  9. Dominique 21/06/2009 at 1:50 pm #

    I most remember seeing tons of Japanese tourists at Prince Edward Island. PEI was a special mecca for the Japanese–especially young Japanese women and their kids. It seemed that the book “Anne of Green Gables” was heavily used to teach English in Japanese schools (don’t know if this is still the case, as I’m very very old :lol:)…so coming the Canada to see all of the sites where the beloved “Anne” grew up was a huge deal for young Japanese women.
    I’ll admit one of the reasons we were there was that I loved the “Anne” books as a kid and wanted to see the place…but it was a Really. Huge. Deal. for the Japanese. There were tour buses full of them with Japanese-speaking tour guides. There were Japanese-language brochures about PEI. There were Japanese women who barely knew English working at some of the museums and gift shops. And there were many, many Japanese people taking photos!
    This photo reminds me of that trip 🙂

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/06/2009 at 8:00 pm #

      I love how the Japanese are so obessessive about whatever it is they are in to. When we visited, Hawaii was huge (I don’t know if it still is) and all the teenagers had dyed blonde hair, Hawaiian shirts and lashings of fake tan. For some reason this is what they thought Hawaiians looked like!

  10. Lorraine 23/06/2009 at 6:29 am #

    This photograph, combined with your post, tells such a great story about funny cultural cliches. I’m chuckling at the sheer enthusiasm of tourism photography.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 23/06/2009 at 11:36 am #

      It’s what makes travel so interesting for me, all the funny little differences between us.

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