Who needs a camera in this day and age, right? Weeeeell sort of: there are still some things that normal cameras (you know, the ones that can’t be used as phones) can do and if you happen to be in Yokohama this weekend, the best place to see all of said cameras is at the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show. The photographic expo is taking place at the Pacifico Center in Minato-mirai (a 10-15 minute walk from JR’s Sakuragi-cho station and through a couple of huge shopping malls aka “Queens Square”). The ticket isn’t exactly cheap (¥1500), but you have enough time to register online through the official website and bypass completely the entrance fee –you’ll just need to find a place to print out the registration email which comes almost immediately.
So what do you do there? See the best and newest the Japanese photographic industry (and selected overseas makers) has to offer; take pictures of everything and anything—including various semi-pro and pro models in various stages of (un)dress; collect literature (everything is in Japanese, but these are catalogues so expect lot of pictures, plus the specifications are international); and try cameras and lenses that cost more than your car. Yes, that’s right: at CP+ all the equipment is free to try. Yes, even those huge telephoto lenses sports photographers use. And you can do that using real live models as your subject or the countless still art compositions the companies have created just for you (this is Japan so expect lots of model trains.)
Granted, CP+ is mostly aimed to the camera otaku among us so perhaps after a couple of hours the novelty wears off; when this happens, you can either stop by the food stalls for some soul food or leave (Yokohama’s Chinatown is not that far or you can make a field trip out of your return through the “Queens Square”—don’t miss the huge Snoopy). I’d suggest making a second lap around the expo grounds though: there are dozens of photographic exhibitions in there (showcasing the cameras, of course, but this also means that there are lots of really great pictures taken by some of the best photographers in the world). CP+ is one of the biggest photographic events in the world and if you are even the slightest interested in photography you’ll have a great time. Oh, and there are lots of drones too!
A famous park, a former black market and a whole heap of museums—get to know Ueno: