Filming and shooting in Japan - Things you need to know


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Japan is a country full of rules regarding filming and photography to respect people's privacy. If you are going to travel to Japan and intend to film everything you see ahead, this article will help you to clarify doubts on this subject, in addition to teaching some useful phrases. We will see some places that are prohibited to film and photograph and some laws regarding this matter.

Filming and taking photos of public places is not prohibited, but if you post an image and the person who appears in the photo wants to sue you, they can win because you have violated their privacy. Be careful when taking pictures on trains, people may think you are taking pictures of women's panties.

There are no specific laws regarding photography, but Japan takes privacy and respect seriously. So whenever possible, ask for permission to take a photo of the person, be it Cosplay, maid, etc. If you are afraid to take a picture and someone doesn't like it, that person will say “dame” (can't), so always be on the lookout.


It is common to notice people with blurred faces in photos from Japan, this is done to avoid future problems. If you are filming from a prohibited place, be careful with youtube that can detect it.

Places in Japan that are prohibited from filming and photographing

There are no totally banned locations, this will depend on the owner of the location. But most stores and businesses do not like to be filmed, as this can expose their marketing methods. So always ask for permission to film indoor locations. Even temples, it can be considered rude to film the inside of a temple. In these places they usually have a warning.

Unfortunately, most shows and concerts are prohibited from filming and taking photos. All this to protect privacy, security and a good experience at the show. All of this also helps to prevent piracy in Japan. If a location is really forbidden to film it will have well located warning signs. Also avoid using flash, especially in train stations.

Avoid using the Self stick in busy locations such as train stations, the use of this item is prohibited in most JR train stations. Other places and tourist spots prohibit the use of the self stick for security reasons. Notices can be found at these locations.

Taking pictures in Japan

If you want to take the photo with someone, or want that person to take a photo for you, see the phrases below that can help you:

Shashin koko the totte īdesu ka.
May I take pictures here?

shashin o totte itadakemasu ka.
can you take a picture of me?

kono botan osu dake desu.
Just push that button.

mou ichimai onegai shimasu.
One more picture please.

shashin o torimashou ka.
Can I take a picture?

issho ni shashin ni haitte itadakemasen ka.
Can we take a picture together?

I hope these phrases can help you!