Here is a report on the special GR meeting I enjoyed with “GR staff” overseas! (Mayumi)

2024.02.22 BLOG

My name is Mayumi, and I am in charge of overseas sales for GR. This time, as a guest writer, I would like to report on the special GR meet that I enjoyed with "GR staff” from overseas on October 14, 2023!

First of all, let me introduce myself. Each region has its own overseas sales staff. I mainly support the activities and sales of our distributors in the Asian region (you know what I mean?), and when I go to the region on overseas business trips, I interact with local photographers and attend events. By the way, GR events are held on the initiative of each region.

The events that GR official writers Yuka and Arata have attended are examples of such events.

Seasonal Events of Autumn (Yuka)
New York Event Report (Yuka)
GR events held in Seattle and San Francisco, USA! (Yuka)

Report on GR Festival Hamburg (ARA)

For several years during the pandemic, we were unable to travel abroad, but in 2023 we were finally able to do so.

In 2023, for the first time in several years, we overseas sales team members were able to attend GR events organized by local staff promoting GR at overseas sales companies and distributors. Every time we attended, we returned home with a lot of enthusiastic energy. It has been truly a blessing for me to be able to directly feel the excitement of GR overseas.

A few photos of events in each region overseas.

Sorry for the long introduction. This report is about the special GR meet, “GR meet 47 - Special Edition in Omotesando”. The purpose of this event was to introduce the event we do in Japan to enthusiastic overseas staff and let them experience it as "participants".

The participants were the “GR staff” from overseas. The day before the event, we held a global conference at Ricoh headquarters for the first time in several years, and 11 of the participants (from Canada, the UK, China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, etc.) stayed extra days to attend the event.

In addition, we were fortunate to have GRist yokoego from China who happened to be in Tokyo to attend.

The venue was an event space in Omotesando. The surrounding area is a sophisticated mix of traditional architecture and modern, unique commercial facilities. On the other hand, the Harajuku/Takeshita-dori area is the center of Japanese POP culture. A short walk away is the Meiji Jingu Shrine, where you can enjoy the full range of Japanese culture. We chose this area because some of the guests were visiting Japan for the first time and we thought they would enjoy it.

Our guest photographer was Robert Adachi. We asked him to cover the entire event in English, and he told us that he had always enjoyed participating in multinational and multiregional gatherings since he was a teenager, often organizing them himself. In 2018, he also participated in a GR event in China.

The day of the event was blessed with good weather and beautiful light at Meiji Shrine, making it a perfect day for photography and walking. They enjoyed taking snapshots while chatting in a friendly atmosphere. When they found the perfect spot, they took pictures without leaving until they were satisfied. They seemed to enjoy the walk as pure GR fans.

They took pictures to their hearts' content.

Then it was time for the review.

Each participant submitted three photos for Robert Adachi to review. Although many GR events have been held overseas in recent years, it is rare to have a review by a photographer. The participants listened attentively.

The submitted works, although photographed at the same time and in the same place, showed how different their perspectives are. Especially this time, since the participants were from overseas, although many of the works were taken in scenes that seem so ordinary to those of us living in Japan, their perspectives were quite refreshing.

Today's guest photographer, Robert Adachi.
Robert read the photographer's intention from the image and commented on it in English.

Participants expressed their thoughts in their own words about their photos.

Then Robert showed us three slideshows, including the one taken during the photo walk at GR meet 47 in Gunma, in November 2022. He played live on the instrument (handpan) that he brought with him especially for this occasion.

Slideshow of photos taken that day with live handpan performance. We were enchanted by the beautiful sounds of the instrument.

The soft sound filled the entire room with a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere. We were all enchanted by the sound, and there was a loud applause after the performance. They praised Robert's unique way of performing, blending photography and music.

Now, let me share with you some photos of the event!

We started together. Whenever we found a subject, we stopped to take a picture.

Takeshita-dori is full of stores selling cotton candy and crepes.

Walking along Takeshita-dori, we came to Harajuku Station.

In front of Meiji Jingu Shrine, we found a yaki-imo (baked sweet potato) shop that baked the sweet potato using wood, which you rarely see.

The members went to Meiji Jingu Shrine. There was a pleasant light shining through.

“Everybody's GR”, a tradition at the GR meet in Japan.

A commemorative photo of all the participants. Thank you to the global GR staff who participated. It was a great day!

Here are some of the works by the participants.

Finally, here are Robert's comments and his work.


The difference was not only in the official language. The sight of GR-loving ladies and gentlemen from Asia and other parts of the world coming to the reception desk one by one with cheerful greetings was unlike any other GR event I have attended, including GR meet 47. The atmosphere was similar to the global events I attended and organized in my 20s and 30s, and I felt like I had returned to my old home.

When it was my turn to speak, I told my best joke, but it was not well received. I wondered if everyone was tired on the last day of training, but I was told that not everyone speaks English well. This has been the norm at global events in the past, where you are expected to choose the right vocabulary according to each person's language level and profession when speaking.

The route of the photo walk was from Ura-Harajuku to Takeshita Street, which I also used for the official sample photos and video shoot of the GR III Street Edition and Urban Edition. Everyone was so excited to shoot in the heart of Japan's subculture, well, we were stuck and it was hard to move forward. This was another point that was different from meets in Japan, where people are used to group activities.

Reviewing the works submitted by the participants after the walk is always a very difficult task, whether they are Japanese or guests from overseas, but it truly is a blissful time. I face their devoted works with all my heart and soul. I concentrate my energies, grasp the qualities of the work in a short period of time, identify what kind of sensibility and aesthetic sense the person has, and verbalize it.

As you would expect from participants in the photography business, the level was high. Without exception, everyone had their own 'signature' in their photographs. We were fortunate to have Mr. Yokoego, a popular Chinese photographer whose work is featured on the GRist site, joined us that day. The sophistication of her work was extraordinary.

Honestly, I wasn't sure if I should take the job or not, since my only son had his last field day in junior high school that day. But I am so glad that I was able to attend! I want to attend these meetings again, and I also want to go to other countries to meet them. I would like to say thank you to all the Ricoh staff.


Until just a few years ago, there were very few GR fan events abroad. Now they are held every month somewhere in the world.

Behind the scenes, we have staff members who are passionate about GR.

We invited them to “GR meet 47” this time because we wanted them to participate in a GR event in Japan themselves, and hoped that their experiences and feelings would be of use for activities in their regions. I hope that they will localize this experience in their own regions and organize more events that GR fans around the world will enjoy!

We will have more GR events overseas in the future. I will try to report them if I get the chance! Thank you for your continued support!


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