Higashikawa International Photo Festival

I visited the Higashikawa International Photo Festival in 2000 and 2001 when I brought my photography students from Community Images. It was definitely a memorable experience for our program to experience the hospitality of the community, the well-organized festival, and the local environment.


The first Photo Fiesta occurred 1985 in Higashikawa as the town was declared the “Town of Photography” to impact the photographic world and to protect the local environment. Higashikawa is located the middle of Hokkaido, Japan near Asahikawa and is a rich farming community.

The festival occurs during the last weekend of July every year. This year the photography festival starts on July 24th and ends 29th 2012. In addition, the festival is the site of the Japan National High-school photo championships. The festival is great opportunity to meet high-school students and teachers, amateurs, and professional photographers from Japan and around the world.

The Higashikawa International Photo Festival has five photography awards at the festival: 1) Overseas Photographer Award 2) Domestic Photographer Award 3) New Photographer Award 4) The Special Photographer Award – a photographer who was born or lives in Hokkaido 5) The Hidano Kazuemon Award – a photographer who has contributed to society through photography.

Other photography activities at the festival include: Independent Photography Exhibition and portfolio review that our students participated in, a Street Photo Gallery involving photography fans and college students and collaborations between photography and music, and photography lessons.

For more information see websites:




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