10 Superb Views to Visit after Covid-19 virus in Japan! The winners of the First Scenic Photo Contest by Locals 2020

10 Superb Views to Visit after Covid-19 virus in Japan! The winners of the First Scenic Photo Contest by Locals 2020
We are pleased to announce that ZEKKEI Japan has launched the first photo contest of "Superb Views (Zekkei) to Visit after Covid-19 virus in Japan”! Thank you for the 1022 submissions to our dedicated Facebook and Instagram from 1st August to 13th September, 2020. This campaign is aimed at supporting the tourism and hotel industries in the midst of the extremely difficult situation caused by the outbreak of the new Covid-19 virus. With the purpose of revitalizing the travel industry in a step-by-step manner while taking thorough measures against Covid-19 virus, the photo contest focused on the "nearby travel destinations of each photographer".

1. Top 10 Zekkei to Visit after Covid-19 virus

1st prize

Meoto (Husband and Wife) Fall (in Kumamoto Prefecture)

・Comment from Ms. Sumikawa, a judge
For this contest, I selected this piece based on the concept of the power of photography namely, composition, color, emotion, storyline, and rarity. From this piece, there is a contrast between the dynamic waterfall and the cool, Japanese silence, and the sunlight falling softly between the trees. This made me want to simply stand right there. As for the storyline, the name of the waterfall made me wonder what happened here in the past, and I appreciated the fact that the piece captured this moment.

・Comment from Mr. Mizuno, Secretary General
The concept for the contest this year was "a superb view close to home" and "a view I want to visit once the Covid-19 virus is settled", so we took into account that it was not a place that was difficult to visit, but a view that could be encountered easily. I thought this photo was very nice and it had a divine quality to it. Therefore, I chose it as my number one piece.

2nd prize

Sea Fireflies and Milky Way in the Sado Island, (Neiigata prefecture)

・Comment from Ms. Kato, Secretary General
Sado Island may seem like a frontier island; however, if you take the jetfoil, it takes about 15 minutes to get from Niigata to Ryotsu port, or a little over 30 minutes on a regular boat. It's relatively easy to encounter the "superb view" conditions, with the stars shining beautifully at night in the pitch black sky. On the contrary, you can see sea fireflies glowing with the naked eye only in specific seasons, which made me think that this photograph captured the fantastic scenery well. Sado Island in Niigata is blessed with an abundance of seafood. The photograph also shows that the island is rich in marine resources.

3rd prize

Kaichu Torii Gates in the sea to Shinto Shrine of Oou

・Comment from Mr. Mizuno, Secretary General
The contrast between stillness and motion is wonderful. The stars and the scene of the seemingly endless torii gates in the sea match each other and are a sight to behold. This is a very impressive work to me.

4th prize

Yellow Veil to Mt. Iwate (in Iwate)

5th prize

Heron, Hunting at a Mountain Stream in Fukui

6th prize

Let's go to Nara!

7th prize

Plateau Road along the Rime Ice (in Gunma)

8th prize

At Kumano Taisha Shrine (in Yamagata)

9th prize

Shizuoka Gokoku Shrine (in Shizuoka)

10th prize

Norikura Headwaters (in Gifu)

2. Here are the winning entries after 11th place!

Blue Water Mirror (in Hokkaido)

Spring Flowers Blooming Profusely (in Ibaragi)

Ojigatake, Seto Inland Sea National Park (in Okayama)

The Beloved Iyonada Line (in Ehime)

Today’s Evening View (in Fukuoka)

Into the Green (in Fukushima)

Eikando (in Kyoto)

Hankyu Railway and Cherry Blossoms (in Hyogo)

Drawn into the Morning Glow (in Miyazaki)

Irabu Bridge (in Okinawa)

Autumn Toudou Waterfall (in Akita)

River and Fallen Trees (in Nagano)

Hikone Castle Covered in Cherry Blossoms (in Shiga)

The Showa Buddha (in Aomori)

Red Fuji and Sunflowers (in Yamanashi)

Alpine Route (in Toyama)

Evening View of the Inland Sea Coast (in Aichi)

Sunset in Amami, (Kagoshima)

Kegon Falls (in Tochigi)


Meiji Centenary Observatory (in Chiba)

From the Balcony (Shimomaruko Gas Bridge) (in Tokyo)

3.Judges and their comments on the overall Zekkei Photo Contest 2020

  • アサヒカメラ

【Special Jury President】
Mr. Hiroto Sasaki (Asahi Shimbun Publishing Co., Ltd. / AERA dot.)

・General comments on the overall Zekkei Photo Contest
I got the impression that many of the photos were not the typical scenic views, but rather pictures of what they normally see during your travels or what caught their eyes. In fact, there were some that were the opposite of Instagrammable, and they did a great job of expressing the spectacular views that are familiar to us. Also, the overall impression I got was that the photos captured a sense of atmosphere in terms of temperature and humidity, and that the subjects were being photographed in a straightforward manner. That's what makes photography so interesting, isn't it? I feel like I was able to see the essence of what photography is all about. I appreciate the opportunity to have a lot of fun looking at photos.

  • WAmazing

【Special Judge】
Ms. Fumiko Kato (President/CEO, WAmazing K.K.)

・General comments on the overall Zekkei Photo Contest
Since my work is in the travel and tourism industry, I believe in the great power of photography. The photos in the top rankings all conveyed a sense of travel, nostalgia, a sense of excitement, a sense of atmosphere and climate of when the shots are captured, which all made me want to experience these senses in person. It was a very enjoyable time, thank you very much.

The favorite photo of Ms. Kato

[Sea Fireflies and Milky Way in the Sado Island, (Niigata)] by Mr. Yoshiyuki Ito
It takes about 15 minutes to get to Sado Island by jetfoil. It is not rare to see the spectacular scenery of the stars shining beautifully at night in the pitch black sky. The photograph also shows that the island is rich in marine resources by shooting sea planktons that shine with simulations in specific seasons.

  • Pomalo

【Special Jury】
Ms. Kyoko Sumikawa (Co-founder / CCO of Pomalo Co., Ltd.)

・General comments on the overall Zekkei Photo Contest
With videos currently trending, it made me wonder once again what kind of power photography has. This event was a great opportunity to reaffirm the power of photography to capture a moment in time, including the powerful atmosphere of their photos, and the ability to capture the smells and winds of a place. It's hard to find fault with any of them. I'd like to give them all an award. I hope that the photographers will continue to take more and more pictures of the goodness of photography and the enjoyment of the season, the moment and the place. I have high hopes for the future. It was a fun time for me as well. Thank you very much for your time.

The favorite piece of Ms. Sumikawa

[Meoto (Husband and Wife) Fall (in Kumamoto)] by kazu.h0803
There is a contrast between this dynamic waterfall and the cool, Japanese silence, with the soft sunlight in the dimly lit nature. This made me want to simply stand right there. For this contest, I valued interesting and dynamic composition, colors that share a sense of atmosphere and convey the smells of the place, as well as the overall coloration. In terms of emotions, we also considered whether the photo had the power to capture a moment in time and whether it would motivate people to visit there. In terms of the storyline, the piece that makes you want to imagine the margin of the picture when you visit there. Finally, I selected the piece, considering it as a shot that is difficult to capture with a coincidence or rareness.

  • アビリブ水野

【Special Judge】
Mr. Masatoshi Mizuno (Senior Managing Director, Abilive Corporation / Secretary General, ZEKKEI Japan)

・General comments on the overall Zekkei Photo Contest
This was our first photo contest, and with your help, we were able to move forward with the contest in a meaningful way. Thank you very much. This project started from the lockdown due to Covid-19 virus. Although things have eased up little by little, there is still a sense of stagnation; especially, the tourism and travel industry. Therefore, we wanted to see what we could do for this situation. We hope to continue to hold this contest for the second and the third time in the future. We would be very grateful if you could continue to help us with this project.

The favorite piece of Mr. Mizuno

[The Beloved Iyonada Line (in Ehime)] by Mr. Yorihiro Nishimoto
There may be other photos with similar scenery; however, this is a photo that can only be taken here. The balance of the composition, the color combination of blue, green and red, the trees and the sea, and the mountains and clouds in the background - it's a very good view. Personally, I appreciated it highly as a familiar spectacular view in a different sense from the so-called "superb view".

4.In conclusion


What did you think? I sincerely hope that the new Covid-19 virus will end as soon as possible. When things settle down, I want to travel again! I want to visit a spot I've been curious about! We hope you will find it interesting and we look forward to working with you.

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