John Lander - Photographer in Tokyo

John Lander

I'm a photographer in Tokyo, Japan

Available for contracts

I speak English and French

Find me at

My activity

About me

I am a freelance photographer based near Tokyo, in Kamakura. My areas of expertise include: architecture, interiors, portraits and travel; my specialty is Japanese gardens. My work published by National Geographic, Travel+Leisure, TIME Magazine, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Times (UK), and many inflight magazines.

My Creations

  1. Manshu-in, Kyoto

    25 October 2015

    I happened on Manshu-in while visiting the much more famous Shisendo and Shugakuin Imperial Villa gardens in that far flung area of Kyoto. Of the three, I vastly preferred Manshu-in for its lack of crowds. Canon 5D Mark II.

  2. Gyukodo

    25 October 2015

    For the past few years I have been commissioned by a publisher of calendars for their "Gardens of the Spirit" series. Amber-Lotus, who publishes these calendars, want new, fresh, unseen photos of Japanese gardens. Though this has been a challenge, it gets me out and about around Japan. This gem... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  3. Ginkakuji

    25 October 2015

    Though many people imagine that the giant mound within Ginkakuji Garden is meant to suggest Mt Fuji, it is in fact called the "Moon Viewing Platform". A favorite of mine, though the challenge is that the place is far too famous for its own good, thanks to UNESCO. So photographing... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  4. Enkoji

    25 October 2015

    I happened on Enkoji while visiting the much more famous Shisendo, Manshu-in and Shugakuin Imperial Villa gardens in that far flung area of Kyoto. Canon 5D Mark II.

  5. Saihoji Koke-Dera

    25 October 2015

    A lot of planning went into visiting and photographing Saihoji. Weeks in advance, you must send a return post card to Saihoji, requesting a visit. Once you receive your invitation, guests are required to trace sutras and hear a talk on the garden, and pay a handsome fee to enter... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  6. Reiun-in Tofukuji

    25 October 2015

    Finding Reiun-in hidden in the depths of Tofukuji, Kyoto is the main challenge. Once I got inside, I was the only other visitor - the mass tourism mob was at the main temple of Tofukuji a major leaf-peeping venue in November. The only challenge was cloning out a spot of... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  7. Japanese gardens are my specialty, though publishers often want more photos with people in them, which is challenging since most gardens, apart from "strolling gardens" forbid visitors from entering the garden itself. I persuaded my friend Rev Taka Kawakami at Shunkoin to tidy up the garden at his temple for... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  8. Hogon-in, Arashiyama

    25 October 2015

    One of the challenges in finding off-the-beaten-path gardens in Japan is that many of these places are only open a few days per year, usually in April and November. Hogon-in, part of the Tenryuji complex in Arashiyama, Kyoto is one of those places - only open to visitors a few... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  9. This is my 2nd year of doing calendars on the theme of Japanese gardens of Amber-Lotus. They originally contacted me back in 2014 to commission me to do their 2015 calendar, having seen a photo essay of mine in GEO magazine they googled me and voila. Have just finished setting... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  10. Worldwide book launch of my newest book: The Shikoku Pilgrimage - Japan's Sacred Trail This is a video preview of the book, which will be available on Amazon USA, Amazon Japan November 20th. It is now available on Book Depository NOW with free worldwide shipping. #Japan #photography #shikoku #henro #pilgrim... continue reading (0, 0 images)