As I like to do around the holidays, I’ve put together a gallery of selected work from the year–images that, for one reason or another, I find particularly moving or important. This year, I covered the MERS outbreak and political and labor unrest in Korea. I photographed for new and longtime editorial and commercial clients on some really interesting assignments, including travel stories for The Wall Street Journal and The South China Morning Post, major energy projects in Ulsan and Geoje, and logistics and shipping operations in both Korea and Japan. I also shot my sister’s wedding (congrats Marie and Nassim!) and a Korean cookbook that will be published next year. In between, I traveled and explored my new home here in Japan. It was a lot of fun for me and Aya (who is a very tough editor) to go back through my work and select these images. We hope you’ll enjoy this visual journey as much as we did. Click the grid below to go to the slideshow.
If you’re traveling to Japan, make sure to schedule your trip around the many festivals or matsuri that take place throughout the year. Nearly every city, town, village, and even neighborhood has its own festival, and they’re a great way to experience and learn about local music, food, art, and history.
Matsuri are often held in autumn, and serve as a celebration of the harvest (which explains all the great food you’ll encounter during your visit). Here in Nagoya, the city’s annual festival takes place over two days October, and features dozens of events, including J-Pop performances, samurai shows, and parades.
This was my first time shooting the Nagoya Festival, and it was some of the most fun I’ve had since moving to Japan. I hope the gallery below will inspire you to visit Japan and experience matsuri for yourself.
Ben Weller is a photographer in Nagoya, Japan. All images by Ben Weller / www.wellerpix.com © 2015