COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest Winners! Bringing the charms of Japan to the world. Photos taken with smartphones and processed photos are also eligible for entry! COOL JAPAN VIDEOS is always holding photo contests with different themes, such as Japanese culture, nature, Japan's four seasons, and more.

COOL JAPAN VIDEOS is a "social video curation site" that introduces the charms of Japan to all people around the world who are interested in Japan.
We have been holding photo contests since 2020, and this year, 2022, will mark our 12th contest. This article will introduce some of the wonderful works that have won awards in the past.

Also, with the "COOL JAPAN VIDEOS" photo contests, even photos taken via smartphone can be winners! Stay tuned for contest details, and feel free to enter our contests after learning what they're all about!



We're pleased to introduce the grand prize winners of our past photo contests. We have chosen works, to the best of our ability, that convey the charms of Japan via photography and make those who see them want to visit Japan. Every last one of these photos is fantastic! We'll also introduce the places where the photos were taken.


[Jul 2022 - Aug 2022] The 12th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: Summer in Japan
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: あ や か
Location: Hanshin Koshien Stadium (Osaka)

Judges' Comments: A Moment of Victory for Sendai Ikuei Gakuen at Summer Koshien 2022
Sendai Ikuei Gakuen won the 104th National High School Baseball Championship. A dynamic shot capturing players on the mound and dust flying into the air.
The combination of the winners raising their hands to the sky while a member of the losing team watches creates a very dramatic scene, and we have selected it as this contest's Grand Prize winner.

■Honorable Mentions
・Hanshin Koshien Stadium (Osaka)
・Rural Scenery
・Fukagawa Hachiman Festival (Tokyo)
・Nokonoshima Island (Fukuoka)
・A Sunflower Field
・Utsukushigahara Farm (Nagano)
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[May 2022 - June 2022] The 11th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: Japan's Outdoors
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: HIROKI
Location: Hoshi ni Te no Todoku Oka Campsite (Hokkaido)

Judges' Comments: Hoshi ni Te no Todoku Oka Campsite in Nakafurano, Hokkaido
A contrast between the beautiful starry sky and warm camp lights.
We have selected this photo as the Grand Prize winner for its clear skies and the captivating nature of Furano.

■Honorable Mentions
・Paddleboarding at sunset on Matsue Beach (Akashi, Hyogo)
・Canoeing and autumn leaves at Lake Chuzenji (Nikko, Tochigi)
・The swing of Heidi, Girl of the Alps, at Hakuba Iwatake Mountain Resort (Kitaazumi, Nagano)
・Fuji on New Year's Day from a campground (Fuji, Shizuoka)
・Scuba diving at the Aragusuku Islands (Yaeyama, Okinawa)
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[March 2022 - April 2022] The 10th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: Nature in Japan
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: st situation
Location: A tea plantation (Kamikawa, Hyogo)

Judges' Comments:The scenery of a tea plantation reminds us of the mountains that symbolize Japan. You can practically smell the crisp green air. We have selected this photo as the Grand Prize for its depiction of nature, which has been an integral part of life for the Japanese as an agrarian people since ancient times.

■Honorable Mentions
・Diamond Fuji and swans at Lake Yamanaka (Yamanakako, Yamanashi)
・A sea of clouds at the Yakuno Highlands (Fukuchiyama, Kyoto)
・Cherry blossoms at Koiwai Farm (Iwate District, Iwate)
・A midwinter glow (Kikuchi, Kumamoto)
・An evening view of Komezuka in autumn (Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture)
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[January 2022 - February 2022] The 9th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: Japanese Events
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: 甚四郎
Location: The Shiozawa Seppu Snow Festival (Minamiuonuma, Niigata)

Judges' Comments:The Shiozawa Seppu Snow Festival is held every year on the third Saturday in February in Shiozawa, Minamiuonuma, Niigata. This fantastic festival in the snow is held in honor of Bokushi Suzuki, the author of "Hokuetsu Seppu" and a literary figure of the Edo period, and to pass on the culture of the snow country. We are pleased to present the grand prize to this photograph of a beautiful, traditional festival featuring magical flames burning in the snow.

■Honorable Mentions
・The Kawarayu Onsen Yukake Festival (Naganohara, Gunma)
・Ose Festival, Uchiura Fishing Port Festival (Numazu, Shizuoka)
・Menburyu (Kashima, Saga)
・Bean-throwing on Setsubun
・A traditional bridal procession
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[November 2021 - December 2021] The 8th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: Winter in Japan
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: yuzu rin
Location: The Weeping Cherry of Gion in Maruyama Park during winter (Kyoto city, Kyoto)

Judges' Comments:The Weeping Cherry of Gion in Maruyama Park, one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Kyoto Prefecture, and not far from Shijo-Kawaramachi and Gion, Kyoto's downtown area. The cherry blossoms bloom in spring and are popular with many tourists, but this photo shows the beauty of the cherry trees in winter, and the weeping cherry bathing in the moonlight gives the viewer a sense of Japanese wabi-sabi. We would like to award the Grand Prize to this photo, which exudes an overwhelming presence.

■Honorable Mentions
・A group of students going to school in the snow (Tokyo)
・Foxes at Zao Fox Village (Shiroishi, Miyagi)
・A shinkansen traveling through the snow (Maibara, Shiga)
・Eel fishing at night (Tokushima City, Tokushima)
・Snowy scenery at Lake Nakamaki (Nagano City, Nagano)
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[September 2021 - October 2021] The 7th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results Theme: Autumn in Japan
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: st situation
Location: Iwagami Shrine (Shiso, Hyogo)

Judges' Comments:Ginkgo trees at Iwagami Shrine in Hyogo Prefecture. The yellow carpet and the ginkgo leaves dancing in the wind create an amazing, autumnal atmosphere. The grand prize goes to this photo, which captures a rare and spectacular view that can only be seen during the autumn foliage season.

■Honorable Mentions
・A harvest moon and otsukimi decorations
・Shrine maidens dancing at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine (Dazaifu, Fukuoka)
・The "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" Jizo statues at Daisho-in Temple (Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima)
・Silver grass on the Tonomine Highlands (Kanzaki, Hyogo)
・Rolls of straw after rice harvesting
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[July 2021 - August 2021] The 6th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: Summer in Japan
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: Lily0321
Location: The Fukagawa Festival (Koto, Tokyo)

Judges' Comments:The Fukagawa Festival is a festival held every year around August 15 at Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine in Koto, Tokyo. It is one of the Three Great Festivals of Edo and has a history of around 370 years. It is also known as the "Water Throwing Festival" because people splash water around to beat the heat. We were very impressed by the dynamism and the smiles of the participants splashing water on each other in the photo. We would like to award the Grand Prize to this photo that captures the spirit of traditional Japanese festivals.

■Honorable Mentions
・Blue skies and a red Mt. Fuji (Oshino, Yamanashi)
・Blue skies and a bicycle (Hyogo, Japan)
・Bug catching in the rice paddies
・The sea and terraced rice paddies (Hirado, Nagasaki)
・Children playing in a fountain (Toshima, Tokyo)
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[May 2021 - June 2021] The 5th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: Places in Japan you want to visit After Corona
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: Nguyen Vu
Location: Umeda (Osaka City, Osaka)

Judges' Comments:This contest's grand prize winner is a scene of a Japanese city at night with neon lights. The lights in the downtown area, which we have always taken for granted, have become lonely due to Corona. We chose this work with the hope that the colorful neon lights and the smiling faces of the people will soon return.

■Honorable Mentions
・A couple wearing yukata at the Gion Festival (Kyoto City, Kyoto)
・A leopard at Asahiyama Zoo (Asahikawa, Hokkaido)
・Sunset at Chirihama Nagisa Driveway (Hakui, Ishikawa)
・Geiko in Higashiyama (Kyoto City, Kyoto)
・Fireworks in Noshiro (Noshiro, Akita)
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[March 2021 - April 2021] The 4th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: Spring in Japan
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: toru.s_
Location: Cherry blossoms and rape blossoms at Sakitama Kofun Park (Gyoda, Saitama)

Judges' Comments:Climbing up the hill you'll feel the breath of spring and discover beautiful scenery all around you. We would like to award the Grand Prize to the entry that expresses a path to hope, as if heading towards the exit of a Corona filled world.

■Honorable Mentions
・A horseback archery tournament (Towada, Aomori)
・A child walking along a path lined with cherry trees (Kaga, Ishikawa)
・Cherry blossoms and a sea of clouds at Omori Resort Village (Yokote, Akita)
・Snowy mountains and cherry blossoms at Oide Park (Hakuba, Nagano)
・An onagadori and plum blossoms
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[January 2021 - February 2021] The 3rd COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: Winter in Japan
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: rikopapa
Location: Unknown

Judges' Comments:One of the most popular New Year's activities is kite flying We're happy to see that this traditional game, which has been around since the Edo period, has been passed down to today's children. The cold winter air and the warmth of the sun's rays are so gentle that it almost feels as if they're watching over you. We'd like to award the Grand Prize to the photo that evokes said nostalgia.

■Honorable Mentions
・A snowy Atago Shrine (Beppu, Oita)
・The snowy landscape of the Kirigamine Highlands (Suwa, Nagano)
・The snowy townscape of Hida Takayama (Takayama, Gifu)
・Japanese macaques bathing in hot springs (Shimotakai, Nagano)
・Swans flying south for the winter (Azumino, Nagano)
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[November 2020 - December 2020] The 2nd COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: Japanese Gourmet
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 5,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: しゅん
Location: KUROMATSU Ramen (Takasaki, Gunma)

Judges' Comments:This is a photo that conveys the deliciousness of a popular ramen restaurant that's always attracting long lines of customers. The clear soup and neatly arranged noodles create a beautiful display.

■Honorable Mentions
Here are the themes of the honorable mentions.
・Ozoni - Near Ishimizu Hachimangu Shrine (Kyoto City, Kyoto)
・Kaki-no-ha Sushi Yamanobe (Sakurai, Nara)
・Hana-bi Dango - Terakoya Honpo (Kyoto City, Kyoto)
・Shiruko - Toraya Kobo (Gotemba, Shizuoka)
・Fisherman's Pickled Seafood Bowl - Izu Kogen Brewery (Ito, Shizuoka)
Click here to see the honorable mention photos


[September 2020 - October 2020] The 1st COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest: Announcement of Results
Theme: The Beauty of Japan
Prizes: ●Grand Prize: 200,000 yen Amazon gift card ●Honorable Mentions: 50,000 yen Amazon gift card

■Grand Prize
Photographer: Yuto Yamada
Location: Daigoji Temple (Kyoto City, Kyoto)

Judges' Comments:This work matches the theme "The Beauty of Japan" and is a perfect fit for the Grand Prize. The sentimentality of autumn, the wabi-sabi of Japan, and the modesty of Japan are all expressed in a single photograph. The colors of the leaves and the colors of the kimono and Japanese umbrellas worn by the people match perfectly, making it a very attractive picture.

■Honorable Mentions
・The torii in the sky at Takaya Shrine (Kanonji, Kagawa)
・Fresh greenery at Hase Temple (Sakurai, Nara)
・Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi in winter (Kanagawa, Japan)
・Tea picking at Obuchi Sasaba with Mt. Fuji in the background (Fuji, Shizuoka)

The grand prize for the memorable 1st COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest was 200,000 yen, with honorable mentions awarded 50,000 yen each! We received many submissions that conveyed the beauty of Japan.

Many of the works included famous sightseeing spots and traditional events in Japan, the beautiful scenery of spring, summer, fall, and winter, as well as Japanese culture and history. In addition to one grand prize winner and five honorable mentions, 50 entries were selected from the first contest.
Click here to see the honorable mention photos and other submissions

The winning photos and other entries were used in the promotional video for COOL JAPAN VIDEOS.
The 1 minute and 40 second video shows one beautiful photo after another with each photographer's name, and is a collection of Japan's "wabi-sabi." Please take a look at it.



COOL JAPAN VIDEOS is a social video curation site that introduces the charms of Japan to people all over the world who are interested in Japan.
・We carefully select and present attractive videos of Japan from major video sites
・Users can communicate with people all over the world by posting photos and commenting on videos
・You can have your own "My Page," and registration is completely free!
Click here for more information about COOLJAPANVIDEOS

「COOL JAPAN VIDEOS photo contests are open to everyone! Below is a partial list of what can be entered.
・Photos taken not only with SLR cameras and digital cameras, but also with smartphones and other devices can be submitted.
・You can submit as many photos as you like during the contest period.
・Image editing, such as cropping and color changes, is also allowed!

Detailed submission guidelines for COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contests can be found at the bottom of the ongoing photo contest page.

The following is information about the current photo contest.

[Ongoing From September 2022] The 13th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest
Theme: Japan Travel Memories
Submission period: September 1, 2022 12:00 AM - October 31, 2022 11:59 PM (Japan time)
Prizes: ■Grand Prize: 30,000 yen Amazon gift card (1 Winner) ■Honorable Mentions: 10,000 yen Amazon gift card (5 Winners)

Photo Contest -Japan Travel Memories -

We received many great photos in our past photo contests! Click the link below to view past photo contest entries!
※Click here to see photos submitted in past contests.



We are always holding COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contests! Not only professional photographers, but also beginner photographers are welcome to enter. Even just a casual shot taken via smartphone has a chance to be a winning photo!
Help us introduce the beauty of Japan with the world. We're looking forward to receiving everyone's submissions!




Written By
Last Updated : Jul. 21, 2022
Japan
COOL JAPAN VIDEOS運営ライター(COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Team Writer)
I focus on keeping users informed about what the CJV team wants to share with you.
Photo Contest Results - COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Winning Photos - Discover the Charms of Japan!
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