Is it possible to film in Japan now?

Update from Tokyo on 10th June, 2020.

Yes. The Japanese government has lifted coronavirus state of emergency in all over the country. Now public parks, museums, restaurants and cafes are open in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka as well as other cities in Japan.

Local videographers, sound mixers and photographers are available in locations and studios. There are no restrictions on moving around by public transportation. However, wearing face masks are strongly recommended. Video equipment shops and rental shops are open daily at shorter business hours.

8K VR shot in Shibuya station

Yesterday, I filmed a VR footage at Shibuya station. It was a test shooting using an Insta360 Pro, which captures up to 8K VR footage. After the shoot, I stitched and uploaded to YouTube.

The huge picture on the wall was painted by Taro Okamoto in 1968.

You can rental Insta360 Pro, Instra360 Pro2 and Insta 360 TITAN at Toyo Rental (Shibuya, Tokyo).
https://www.toyo-rental.co.jp/item/camera/Insta360-Pro.html?id=Insta360Pro

Jiro Kumakura (jirokumakura.com)

How much costs from Tokyo to Kyoto?

Recently I was asked how much it would cost if a crew moves from Tokyo to Kyoto using Shinkansen. So I checked.

<Travel>
One way ticket from Tokyo Station to Kyoto Station costs 13,850 JPY (116 EUR). So, if you go to Kyoto and then return to Tokyo, tickets cost 27,700 JPY (232 EUR). If you ride in the Green Car (First class), you have to add about 5,000 JPY (42 EUR) each.

<Hotel>
Generally, a reasonable hotel (less luxury but neat&convenient) in Kyoto costs about 10,000 JPY (84 EUR). However, the rate changes at seasons. In Kyoto, in the cherry‐blossom season or autumn colour season, it soars to more than double. I recommend you to book as earlier as possible.

Happy filming in Japan!

Live streaming technician in Tokyo

Yusuke Tanaka is a reliable engineer for live streaming events in Japan. This morning, thanks to him, we smoothly checked the internet connection at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo, where our client is going to hold a concert in March. We will film the concert and live stream the event via YouTube Live.

I have been working with Yusuke for a long time. He always helps us with his wide knowledge about new technologies. If you are looking for a technician for live streaming, I highly recommend him.

Yusuke Tanaka | Engineer, Real Stream, Inc.
http://www.realstream.jp/co.html

If I am not available… ask them!

Since I am working by myself, sometimes I just can’t make. In those cases I highly recommend these professional videographers based in Tokyo:

Adrià GINGER
http://adriaginger.com/en/
Although he looks a bit like a punk, he does great jobs and his attitude at work is quite sincere that I’m sure!

Andrew JONES
http://aj-productions.jp/
He’s been living in Japan many years. He speaks fluent Japanese. Sometime I learn Japanese from him! He does great jobs and is very reliable at location shootings.

Andrew JONES and his SONY FS7 at Ootemachi Hall, Tokyo

Mikael SENNINGE
http://www.mikaelsenninge.com/
Mikael was working in the film industry in France before he came to Japan and is very good at lighting as well as camera operating. He is very easy to communicate with.

Filming in Kyoto in Winter.
(From right, Adria GINGER, Mikael SENNINGE and Rin TAKADA. Rin-san is also an experienced sound mixer based in Tokyo)


How much does it cost if you hire C300mk2 or FS7m2 in Japan?

Sometimes people ask me to shoot with Canon C300mk2 or SONY FS7m2 for their interviews or documentary shootings. I have my own C300mk2 but often I need one more to film interviews with two cameras. Then I ask local agencies that rent those professional equipment.

Generally, a Canon C300mk2 costs between 15,000 JPY to 23,000 JPY (about 140 USD to 210 USD) per day, while a SONY FS7m2 costs 12,000 JPY to 16,000 JPY (about 110 USD to 150 USD) per day in Tokyo (as of February 2020).

Since my friend videographer, Adrià Ginger, told me about the Toyo Rental several years ago, I have been renting many equipment from them. They provide latest models at resonable prices.
Toyo Rental https://www.toyo-rental.co.jp/ (Japanese language web site)

Besides, I usually hire equipment from these agencies as well:
TOC (Tokyo Offline Center) https://www.toc-net.jp/ (Japanese language web site)
Tokyo Camera Kizai Rental https://www.tokyo-camera.jp/ (Japanese language web site)

Hope you have a successful filming in Tokyo!

Jiro Kumakura
JIRO KUMAKURA is a bilingual videographer based in Tokyo. Visit jirokumakura.com

Sound mixers in Tokyo

If you are preparing filming in Japan and searching for a local sound mixer who speaks English, I recommend Mariel Lohninger and Jeff Ruiz. They are reliable, easy to communicate and super skillful.

I have been working with Mariel Lohninger since 2015. He always does great jobs.
Mariel’s website http://tokyo-crew.co.jp/

Jeff Ruiz of H Media Group also provides us high quality sounds. He is very friendly, too.
https://hmediag.com/

Jeff Ruiz, sound mixer

Hope you have great visits and successful filming in Japan!

Jiro Kumakura
jirokumakura.com

Shibuya’s new observatory

Photo shot at Shibuya SKY by Maryam, a graphic designer from Qatar.

SHIBUYA SKY is an observation area rising 229 m above Shibuya, opened in November 2019. You can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Tokyo.

Maryam Al-Homaid(@maryamhome), a talented graphic artist from Qatar, was producing her personal film in Tokyo. In the early morning of late December, we went to the top of the Shibuya Scramble Square building, a new landmark in the city.

You can take personal photographs or videos at the observatory deck with your smart phone. However, due to security reason, you have to have a strap on your DSLR or mirrorless camera. For detail visit: Shibuya SKY. And please enjoy the video we shot!

JIRO KUMAKURA is a bilingual videographer based in Tokyo. Visit jirokumakura.com

Mountain Monk Training in Yamagata



Traversing into the spirit realm on Dewa Sanzan. Photo: Derek Yamashita/The Hidden Japan

Randiah Camille Green is a writer living in Tokyo, and enthusiast for offbeat travel and spooky things. Thanks to The Hidden Japan, I had a chance to film Randiah trying Yamabushi mountain monk experience in Dewa Sanzan, the oldest site of mountain worship in Japan.

Please read her article on GaijinPot Blog: Voyaging Towards Introspection with the Yamabushi Mountain Monks.

And please enjoy the video we shot!

JIRO KUMAKURA is a bilingual videographer based in Tokyo. Visit jirokumakura.com