Member of Japan Professional Photographers Society
Public transportation system is something we use for everyday commute and also for traveling. In order to bring a new perspective to public transport system, every year, we invite photography and haiku submission. (Application period is from early June to the mid of July.) Themes for the photography category are “Transportation in Japan” and “New Tourist Destinations”. Themes for the Haiku category are things pertaining to railway or things that portray and appreciate Japanese values. Works selected are exhibited at venues like Ueno station around the Railway Day (October 14th) in October every year and those works judged the best receive awards such as Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Award.
Traffic Culture Exhibition 2022
Public Interest Incorporated Foundation, Japan Traffic Culture Association
Railway Day Executive Committee
Date ： October 19th (Wed.)- 24th (Mon.), 2022
Opening hours： 9:00a.m. – 7:00p.m.
Venue ： JR Ueno Station Central Exit, Grand Concourse, Special Exhibition Site
Admission ： Free
Request for cooperation in prevention of the COVID-19
1. Please refrain from visiting if any of the following apply.
➢ if you have a fever or cold-like symptoms (coughing and pharyngitis etc).
➢ if you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.
2. Please wear a face mask and cover your cough.
3. Please sanitize your hands at the entrance.
4. Please keep social distance on from others when viewing.
5. Please do not eat, drink, or talk loudly in the venue.
6. Please note that admission may be restricted during the congestion.
*Future plans are subject to change depeding on circumstance. Please check the latest information on the official website or at the event.
At Traffic Culture Exhibition, which is held annually in fall at stations, Japan Traffic Culture Association also holds “SAKURYOKAI” , an exhibition to present works by representative artists of Japan. The artists with whom TAKI Hisao, Director General of our association has been interacting since 1970s participate in this exhibition. Currently, about 23 artists in Japanese paintings, Western paintings, calligraphy present their works. SAKURYOKAI implies “a society with full energy” as dragons going up the rapid river. Traffic Culture Exhibition is also an opportunity to be able to see works of leading artists in public spaces like stations.
(Titles are omitted. By section, Japanese syllabary order.)
In order to make public art widely known, since 2013, we have set up a section for “Promotion of Public Art Special Exhibition” within the Traffic Culture Exhibition. The effort of public art to create a pleasant environment by installing art in public spaces such as stations and airports is unfortunately still not known enough in Japan. At the Traffic Culture Exhibition held every year in October, besides introducing public art installed across the country and artists, we also present picture panels, models, and actual art parts to showcase the process of creating public art, such as stained glass and ceramic relief. In addition, public art works by invited artists will be exhibited.
*Video screened at the Traffic Culture Exhibition “6 Places to see Public Art in Asakusa and Ueno”
This acrobatic horseback riding show called “Kakeuma Shinji” takes place at the Fujinomori Shrine in Kyoto. It is a traditional Shinto ritual event practiced by riders who pass their skill from father to son and then son to grandson. The riders show a variety of horseback riding techniques, for instance, the rider in this photo is displaying the technique called “Fujisagari” meaning hanging like a cluster of wisteria blossoms. The purpose of this equestrian technique is to make enemies believe that the rider is injured and falling from his saddle. I hope I captured the rider’s expression and posture at the most critical moment as well as audience keenly watching him. (Taken May, 2022)
Comment by SHIMIZU Tetsuro ：From an exquisite shooting spot, this photographer caught the very moment of this acrobatic horseback riding skill ritual, which is to dash through the enemy ground pretending as if the rider was shot by an arrow. The rider’s balance with his toes just stretching up is beautiful. Viewers will also notice the folding fan with the rising sun motif, which the rider will catch in the next moment. The photographer’s use of the compression effect of telephoto lenses successfully captured the background audience, the bustle at the festival and the tense look of the rider.
In early summer, the bottom of the sea is carpeted by endless white sand at a depth of 15 m. Further ahead, as I kept swimming, I saw a big coral clump (root) mostly surrounded by a big school of small fish and a red grouper. With admiration I was watching the vibrant pulsating dance of the school of small fish contrasted against the red color of a grouper. It was as if I was looking into a kaleidoscope. (Taken June, 2022)
Comment by SHIMIZU Tetsuro ：Amami Oshima was registered as a World Natural Heritage Site in 2021. As I looked at this photo, I rediscovered how biodiverse the seas are as well. In this highly transparent blue sea swims a school of small fish, while a red grouper stays above a coral root. Encountering this magnificent scenery, I guess the photographer approached quietly holding his breath and then successfully captured the scene to produce this gorgeous picture employing the best use of fisheye lens and strobe lightning.
I successfully caught the moment that N700S Shinkansen bullet trains were ferried on a barge through the intricate, narrow Harioseto strait, which is one of the three most violent turbulent waters in Japan. As the Shinkansen passed in front of me, the sun just began to rise on the horizon, creating a powerful scenery. This year is the 150th anniversary of Japanese railroads. It is memorable that these new Kyushu Bullet Trains are marking such a historical moment and I hope they will contribute to the development of Western Kyushu region.（Taken March, 2022）
Comment by SHIMIZU Tetsuro ：Usually, we rarely get a chance to see ocean transportation. In addition, this photo selected the N700S “KAMOME(Seagull)” bullet trains as its subject which is scheduled to be launched on September 23, 2022 by Western Kyushu Railway Company. As soon as this photo was displayed, all the judges of this competition gasped in surprise. I hear that a photography tour is planed to the region. Looking at this photo, various thoughts of local people came to mind and I was deeply moved. The impressive sky and the title of this picture may open a new gate to the future development of the region.
Every year when I visit my parent’s in Shimonoseki, I wake up early in the morning to take photos of Chidorihama beach. When the tide is low on this beach many wild birds come to take refuge on the tidal plain. After taking the photo I returned back to my home in Tokyo and checked the images taken at the Chidorihama beach. To my surprise I found that one of the photos included a flock of Black-faced Spoonbill which is an endangered species inhabiting East Asia. I believe this large flock coming to this beach must be very rare. So, I hope that through this photograph as many people as possible would be able to see them.（Taken November, 2021）
Comment by SHIMIZU Tetsuro ：Black-faced Spoonbill, which belongs to the Pelecaniformes Threskiornithidae family, is an endangered species living mainly in East Asia. In Japan, Kyushu and Okinawa are their main wintering places, but they were also confirmed in Yamaguchi prefecture. By shooting the picture of a large flock resting on a tidal plain during sunrise, the photographer successfully depicted the entire atmosphere of their habitat.
Yokohama Air Cabin is a five-minute urban circular gondola lift running between JR Sakuragichou Station Front and Canal Park of New Port in the Minatomirai district of Yokohama. As a coincidence I saw a group of stand-up paddle (SUP) boarders approaching underneath the gondola lift. As I took this picture against the blue sky and the cables, the gondolas looked like notes on a sheet of music. While in the background, joyful people were walking along the disused railway track of Kishamichi Promenade.（Taken May, 2022）
Walking in the backcountry in Fukushima, I came across a typical “satoyama” landscape, which reminded me of the old children’s tale of “Flower-blooming Old Man”. In front of the mysterious-shaped small mountains stood cherry trees in full blossom. Behind them a stream rolled by with a white morning fog floating above it, giving this photo a nice composition.（Taken May, 2022）
I began to take the photo in the evening when Mt. Fuji was still clearly visible in the background. As the night darkened I began to see twinkling stars in the breaks between clouds. In the foreground, the railway line and the Tokaido freeway both ran parallel to the coast created bright streaks of light. While that light painted the clouds golden, the clouds reflected the luminosity on the surface of the sea. This scenery reminded me of the vitality and ceaseless power of the Japanese economy.（Taken February, 2022）
I took this picture on the third day of my “toritetsu”, a trip taking photos of railway trains. My friend and I left the hotel early so that we could take photos of the local train station in the early morning. We positioned ourselves on the railway overpass and were waiting for photo opportunities. We saw two schoolgirls wearing gym clothes on the train station platform waiting for their train. Perhaps they were going to join the morning practice. Soon a single-car regular train that left Abashiri station heading to Kitami arrived. I shot just at the moment that the schoolgirls got on the train leaving Nishi-memanbetsu station at 7:56. I framed them with the verdant vegetation surrounding them.（Taken June, 2022）
I strongly wanted to travel to Japan while I was living in Japan as an international student. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, I was not allowed to do that. But half a year before the graduation from university, I decided to travel to Okinawa. I visited Cape Chinen Park with a Brazilian friend with whom I got to know while traveling. Once I saw the sea off the cape I felt quite relieved and at the moment understood the charm of Okinawa. As I look again at the pictures I took then, I can still vividly recall my high spirits at the time.（Taken September, 2021）
Grandma, who lives in Nagoya, came to stay with us in Kawasaki for the first time for the New Year holiday season. On the day she was returning to her home in Nagoya, we went out together to see her off at Odawara station. We rode on the Odakyu Railway’s express train called “Romance Car”. After buying lunchboxes at the station, we got on the train and my daughter was cramming her favorite salmon onigiri (rice ball) and a meatball into her mouth. She looked so cute that I couldn’t resist taking this photo. I was happy that I could capture such a precious moment with this photo.（Taken January, 2021）
The terraced rice fields in Hamanoura Inlet have been chosen as one of Japan’s 100 Best Rice Terraces. Every year I visit the rice terraces to shoot the landscape against the setting sun. As I heard that they would be making a surprise firework display on May 1, I went out early that day and was there by noon. I had to wait seven hours for the firework show, launching 75 fireworks, that only lasted five minutes. It was a fleeting display but I managed to capture the fireworks reflecting on the terraced rice fields against the evening glow of the setting sun. It was a very impressive show.（Taken May, 2022）
The first train of the day at Hanasaki Line heading for Kushiro was the last train heading for Nemuro which arrived the station the night before. This train, model Kiha 40 series diesel car, is not on a regular service. So, last night I checked and I confirmed that it would run the next morning. Next morning, I positioned myself at this point and waited for the arrival of the first train. The temperature was -14C, the lowest temperature in February in this Akkeshi County. I was happy to be able to shoot the train passing through the breathtaking rime while raising snow smoke.（Taken February, 2022）
Iriya Uchibayashi Musical Performance, performed during an annual festival at the Iriya Shrine, is a traditional ritual that is about 260 years old. Worthy to note is the drumming and the lion dance, a style descended from the Gion Music Festival, and designated as an intangible folk cultural property of Miyagi prefecture. The people and children that perform the lion dance and drumming practice a lot together as they need to keep in sync with each other. I began to shoot photos about twenty years ago, and since then I have been enchanted by this festival and keep coming back every year.（Taken September, 2019）
I went out to a famous train shooting spot called “The Big Curve of Kobuchizawa” hoping to take a photo that is unique and different from the usual composition. As I was preparing to take a photo of the first train of the day, I saw the indigo blue sky brighten-up and then turning into a beautiful color gradation as the sun started to rise. So, I changed my mind and decided to focus on the color of the changing sky, which created this shadow-picture-like photograph with the silhouette of the train in the foreground.（Taken November, 2021）
At Odagawa River, during the Late Edo to early Showa period, logs cut down in the mountain were transported by tying them together to make rafts and then drifted or pulled downriver to Nagahama, the mouth of the river. Logs were cut into four meters length and ten logs were tied together to make one raft called “komata”. It was a daily occurrence to see those rafts gliding down the river. The rafting in this photo is a tourist event reviving this traditional practice and raftsman’s technique.（Taken April, 2020）
These days we often hear the news of the closing of local railway lines, and the train in this photo, a local tourist train named “Okuizumo Orochi”, is one of them. It was decided to end the service in 2023. As I arrived, I saw local people of Okuizumo Town waving to tourists on the train. I learned that the town people, who wish for the continuation of the service of this tourist train, gather at the station every time it arrives in town. I wish that such warm welcome would lead to the continuation of the tourist train.（Taken November, 2021）
There is a spot along the railway where pampas grass grows. I was taking the pictures of trains and pampas grass shining in the setting sun, when a local farmer began to burn off a field of rice paddy further down. As the smoke spread, it deflected the sun light and the whole area turned into a golden world. I have taken pictures here often, but it was the only time I had such a good luck to capture such impressive autumn scenery.（Taken October, 2021）
Because of the COVID pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were held without spectators. As a result, the new Japan National Stadium, the main stadium, was inaccessible to the public due to these public health regulations. This year, however, with the lifting of restrictions, the authorities began offering a tour of the stadium. The stadium procured a variety of woods from 47 prefectures as building material and was designed so that cooling air circulates throughout even under severe heat. I enjoyed the wonderful stadium tour which made me remember of various performances by Olympic athletes as well as to appreciate Japanese architecture and technology.（Taken June, 2022）
The bank of the Senrigawa River is a famous place to shoot airplanes taking off or landing on Itami Airport. The airplanes pass low just above the photographers. Many people like to capture Jumbo jets, but I like Bombardier propeller aircrafts. At night their propellers shine so beautifully when landing. I was just enchanted by the spectacle, as I released the shutter it was like I was dreaming.（Taken September, 2021）
My friend brought me to the upper Oigawa River to take the photos of SL and tea plantations. As I had never seen SL before, I was overwhelmed to see the black smoke puffing out and the powerful figure of the steam locomotive engine.I was lucky to take the picture of a tea-picking woman waving her hand and a locomotive engine driver waving back to her.（Taken April, 2021）
”A Door to Everywhere You Wish” or Dokodemo-door comes from the fictional DORAEMON cartoon where a door leads to anywhere you wish to be. I was positioned to shoot the Anpanman train against the rape flowers in full bloom, when a family happened to come by. I asked for their favor to pose as if they just came out of the Dokodemo-door and at that time the Anpanman train passed by.（Taken April, 2022）
I have long wanted to take a photo of rice fields during the rice-planting season when the flooded fields reflect the splendor of Mt. Chokaisan. I checked the progress of rice planting as well as weather forecasts, and one day I came to this spot. I happily finished shooting the scene that I have long wanted to capture, when suddenly I saw a red train, the Inaho—meaning an ears of rice—travelling across the background. I had no time to re-set the camera! I quickly held my smartphone and took this picture.（Taken May, 2022）
The railway bridge over the Shijuhassegawa River has a waterfall below, gushing like a dam discharging water. At the right angle, the composition looks like the train is crossing over the waterfall. In that sense, this is a unique photographic spot, but it is also a difficult spot to depict the season. Wakayama region has no snowfall, so I couldn’t utilize such easy clues of the season. That’s why I chose the timing between the middle of June to the middle of July when the beauty of dusk is spectacular. I tried to shoot the trains running against the glow of the sunset around summer solstice. I hope I captured the spirit of the season.（Taken June, 2022）
Kosei Region in Shiga Prefecture is famous for rainbows. I visited the place in the season when I expected the best fall colors of the famous metasequoia trees. The metasequoia trees were standing on both sides of the avenue. For several hours in the light rain, I waited for the sun to emerge to light up the trees. Then suddenly, when the sun came out, a big rainbow miraculously appeared as if striding the treetops of the tall metasequoia trees. The rainbow lasted only for two minutes or so, but I was very moved thinking the chance of shooting such precious landscape would never happen again.（Taken December, 2021）
The Limited Express Sarobetsu which operates between Asahikawa to Wakkanai usually consists of the blue Kiha 261 trains. But sometimes the trains are replaced with Kiha 261, 5000s that have a different color of Hamanasu pink–the color of Hamanasu wildflower–making the train more distinctive as they run through the lush green of Hokkaido in summer. Because the railroad runs through dense woods, there are only a few good places to photograph the entire train. To solve this issue I used a drone to photograph the pink express train travelling alongside the grandeur flow of the Teshiogawa River.（Taken August, 2021）
The long-nosed goblin walks over the blazing fires. This is an annual festive performance that takes place in July at the Kotohira Shrine and then in September at Ebisu Shrine. This goblin is called “Sarutahiko God,” who appears in ancient myths to guide us and makes our wishes come through. Here he is wearing the mask of “tengu” or a long-nosed goblin and walks around town during daytime. But at night he walks over blazing fires, a ritual to purify his body. To shoot the exact moment when the Sarutahiko God raised his foot high, wearing one-teeth-geta (wooden clogs), was difficult for me, but I managed to capture the image at the right time.（Taken September, 2019）
Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park is famous for wild monkeys enjoying the hot onsen. I visited the park on a cold snowy day and saw a lot of monkeys warming themselves in the hot onsen. While I was looking at a baby monkey bathing just in front of me, it began to snooze with his mouth open. It was so adorable and as it was such a cold day I envied the baby monkey in the hot onsen.（Taken February, 2022）
This “exorcism doll” is a traditional ritual to bring good health. At the beginning of a new year, locals at Nishiwaga make straw figures and bring them to the outskirts of the village to fight against the incoming epidemic diseases. Nishiwaga town is one of the snowiest districts in Tohoku region. On the day I took these photos, the area was hit by storm with more than 2 meters of snowfall. As we were just in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we prayed for our health.（Taken March, 2022）
The western part of Kitakami City is very snowy. My train bound to Yokote station in Akita prefecture was stuck in a blizzard at Iwasawa station, located in the mountainous area of Ou Mountains. It was difficult to clear away the snow falling on the railways in the midst of strong winds. The calm expressions of passengers waiting to resume service were impressive.（Taken January, 2021）
JR Koumi Line between Shinano-Kawakami Station and Nobeyama Station climbs a very steep slope leading to a summit of 1,375m, the highest point in all JR railways. I positioned myself on the railway overpass waiting for the train. Two diesel cars passed in front of me with loud engine noise heading for the mountain pass. As they crested the summit they were bathed by the lights of the setting sun breaking from the top of Mt. Akadake, the highest peak of the Yatsugatake Mountains. “Cheers and stay strong, Koumi Line trains!!”（Taken April, 2020）
Kamisya-Onbashira Festival, which takes place once every seven years at the Suwa-Taisha Shrine, is designated an Intangible Folk Cultural Asset by Nagano prefecture. The feature of the last day of the festival is called “Satobiki” involving the symbolic placement of four massive new logs to support the foundation of the shrine buildings. These large “Onbashira” pillars, each weighing more than 12 tons, are pulled straight up slowly after a ritual of “Kanmuri Otoshi” meaning sharpening the end of each pillar into a pyramid. Then, many believers of the Shrine God ride on the pillars as they are being pulled up until they stand vertical into the earth. This is done very slowly while everyone is cheering “Keep it up!” or blowing bugles. After waiting for a good moment to take the photo, finally a strong light shown like a spotlight on the participants, and I was able to capture the energy of the moment.（Taken May, 2022）
|The Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Award||“Galloping Wisteria Blossoms”||KAWASAKI Naruto|
|The Minister of the Environment Award||“Throbbing Pulse of Life in the Sea”||TANIGUCHI Tsuneo|
|The Kyusyu Railway Company President Award||“A Great Leap Forward”||NAGASAKI Minato|
|The Japan Travel and Tourism Association Chairman Award||“An Endangered Species Finds Refuge”||OKUBO Tatsuro|
|First Place||“Musical Notes in the Sky”||ISHII Yoshiaki|
|“Spring Has Come to Satoyama”||YOSHIDA Masahiro|
|Second Place||“Sleepless Tokaido”||SATO Yoshiki|
|“A Railway Station in the Woods”||HASEGAWA Tsuyoshi|
|“Summer in Okinawa”(A set of four pictures)||DU JING|
|Third Place||“I Am on Holiday Too”||TAKAGI Mika|
|“Fireworks Reflected on Rice Terraces”||TAKAMURE Junichi|
|“Train Passing through the Bekanbeushi Wetlands in Extreme Coldness”||IGARASHI Masaki|
|“Traditional Lion Dancing and Drumming”||FUJISHIMA Junshichi|
|U-22 Award||“Twilight Shadow”||NITTA Ryuichi|
|“Welcome to Okuizumo Town!”||ENDO Tsutomu|
|“The World of Golden Autumnal Color”||ENDO Satoshi|
|“A Tour of the Olympic Stadium”||TAKASHIMA Satoshi|
|“Shimmering Landing Lights”||YAMAMORI Keiko|
|“Anpanman Train Has Come!”||ONISHI Hiroyuki|
|“Sanaburi Season Gratitude to Nature”||SHIMIZU Yasuhiro|
|“Trains Runninng Over the Waterfalls in the Dusk”||HORIUCHI Isamu|
|“Rainbow Tunnel”||TAIRA Naoharu|
|“Running alongside the Teshiogawa River”||SASAKI Yasunari|
|“Sarutahiko God Walking Across Flames”||YAMASHITA Kazunari|
|“Heavenly Nap at an Onsen”||INUKAI Asuka|
|“Exorcism in Snowy Country” (A set of three pictures)||ONODERA Mitsuhiko|
|“Train Stuck in a Snowstorm” (A set of three pictures)||MURAKAMI Yoshiaki|
|“Koumi Line Trains Challenging the Mountain Pass”||YAMAOKA Nobuhiko|
|“Erecting the Onbashira Pillars: Keep It Up!”||KUSANOBU Yoshimasa|
|Japan Traffic Culture Association
Director General Award
a summer trip
|Comment by HASEGAWA Kai :
Russia invaded Ukraine in the spring of this year. When I see the devastation, I am deeply grateful for freedom and peace. This is true even more if you go on a trip.
|First Place||summer vacation
an unknown world
in the train window
|Comment by HASEGAWA Kai :
Scenery seen for the first time through a train window. We are excited about encountering the unknown world during the summer holidays. There were many applications from Saitama Prefectural Sakado Deaf Academy.
|Second Place||rape flowers
the local line
|Third Place||a straw hat
on the baggage rack
heading for my hometown
the rails are lost
in deep thought
|a chapter finished—
|Winner||a trip taken after a long time
the mackerel sky
after a long time
|on my back
looking at spring sideways
I return home
|buying a ticket
already I’m a traveler
|a food shopping train
on a long-remembered day . . .
under summer grasses
|around the abandoned line
|my hometown station
from a burning field
|wiping sweat from a child
resting his head on my lap
the local line
after summer holidays
|a cow moos
summer freight trains
through the prairie
Harajuku, Tokyo is known to the world as a hub to create youth culture. Young people in the world are drawn to, and follow, young fashion, goods and design, and life style created in Harajuku. Harajuku is a “sacred spot” for Kawaii culture and we can say it is an originating place for “Japan is cool”. Along the platform of Harajuku station, there are sixteen big signboards (height 3m, width 4m) that Japan Traffic Culture Association owns. Harajuku Fashion Joy Board Culture Festival is an event whereby big posters with social and cultural messages are posted on these big signboards and has become a seasonal tradition of Harajuku. Recent posters include “Bring Olympic and Paralympic Games to Japan!” and “Travel campaign to rediscover the charm of Fukushima” with a aim to bring back tourists to Fukushima prefecture damaged considerably by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March, 2011, getting attention of young people passing through the station.
At Harajuku Fashion Joy Board Culture Festival from April to October 2015, Japan Traffic Culture Association and Information-technology Promotion Agency have co-hosted a campaign called “Protect and foster IT society; Striving for realization of a reliable IT society”, in which Manga is used to appeal the importance of password strengthening to prevent unauthorized log-ins.
KOMI Taku sculptor