Thank you everyone for your amazing entries for the 15th COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contest. After thorough screening, we have decided on the prize-winning entries and will announce the results here.
Click here for the details page and contest overview


The last few years have been long as we lived our lives behind masks, but now, as the spring of 2023 is finally on the horizon, it seems these masked days are numbered. The theme of this photo contest was "Japan Travel Destinations You Recommend Visiting in 2023."

We have selected photos that convey our sincere wishes that people see these incredible places.

We will continue to hold COOL JAPAN VIDEOS Photo Contests on a regular basis, and we look forward to your future participation.

We hope that by sharing information about Japan, more and more people will learn about Japan's charms and people from all over the world will come to visit Japan.

Thank you for your continued support of COOL JAPAN VIDEOS.

Announcement of Results

※In no particular order
If you were selected as a winner, please follow the proper procedures to receive your prize.
「COOL JAPAN VIDEOS」Photo Contest Grand Prize
Judges' Comments
The Tottori Sand Dunes Covered in Snow, a Spectacular Winter Scene
The setting sun turns the earth brown, and the view on the left resembles a giant crater. This is a photo that leave you wondering if it is actually earth. The sight of a person walking along the snow-covered dunes, leaving footprints behind, is also dramatic. We have selected this work, where the snow, sand, and sea meet, as the Grand Prize winner whose vertical composition accentuates the depth and beauty of the scene.
「COOL JAPAN VIDEOS」Photo Contest Honorable Mention
Judges' Comments
Fireworks Over Atami Castle
Fireworks, a sight that everyone is familiar with, can look completely different depending on the location and composition of the shot. In this case, the fireworks are larger and more powerful thanks to the inclusion of Atami Castle. We are looking forward to seeing Atami's famous fireworks this year as well!
「COOL JAPAN VIDEOS」Photo Contest Honorable Mention
Judges' Comments
Mt. Haku, One of the Three Sacred Mountains of Japan
We have selected this image of Mt. Haku on a clear day as an honorable mention.
Mt. Haku is one of the "Three Sacred Mountains of Japan," along with Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama, which are worshipped by mountain ascetics. The dazzling white and blue colors absorbing the sun's rays are a divine sight.
「COOL JAPAN VIDEOS」Photo Contest Honorable Mention
Judges' Comments
Icicles at Lake Shikotsu, Hokkaido
In contrast to the Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival of Chitose, with its beautiful ice sculptures, the cold winter air at Lake Shikotsu is much harsher. We have selected this photograph, which captures the beauty of a natural formation brought about by a great cold wave, as an honorable mention. The rows of sharp icicles and the gray sky in the backdrop perfectly depict the harsh winter.
「COOL JAPAN VIDEOS」Photo Contest Honorable Mention
Judges' Comments
An Igloo at Kidogorobei Village
In this photo we can see a woman wearing a hanten, a traditional Japanese winter coat, as she stands in front of an igloo. We have selected this work as an honorable mention as it is a photo that, if rendered in black-and-white, would be difficult to tell what time period it was taken in. Kidogorobei Village is one of the venues for the Yokote Snow Festival, a popular winter event in Akita, Japan.
「COOL JAPAN VIDEOS」Photo Contest Honorable Mention
Judges' Comments
The Torii Gate of Itsukushima Shrine, the Symbol of the Shrine, Undergoing Major Repairs
The 16.6-meter-tall torii gate, the symbol of Itsukushima Shrine, is undergoing a major restoration project. This photo depicts the torii gate, which was finally unveiled in December last year after three and a half years of work. We chose this work as an honorable mention because it made us want to visit the beautiful vermilion-lacquered torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage Site floating on the sea, in 2023.
Thank you
for all your submissions!

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