Behind the cover: Shiho

Looking back and sharing some of the great shots Junpei Ishida captured for the 2nd issue of the GetHiroshima Mag in summer 2014.

Shiho, from late night noodle restaurant Choichoi-ya, was the perfect candidate for issue #2 of the GetHiroshima Mag, our first summer issue. Summer in Hiroshima is a great time of year for hitting the beaches, SUPing the rivers and sipping wine on the waterfront, but it’s also a time of year when the city’s cafes, bars and restaurants are hopping. We wanted to convey the idea of fun in the sun that continues well after it has set with some local downtown flavor. Choichoi-ya’s open-front street style, Shiho’s no nonsense hospitality and her playful nature allowed us to capture a cover image that, we think, really hit the spot.

Using a big, juicy watermelon was GH Mag cover photographer Junpei Ishida’s idea. Watermelon just screams “summer” in Japan. It is most commonly associated with the beach and the whack-a-mole style game suika-wari, when people try and smash the fruit with a stick while blindfolded. By bringing it into Shiho’s downtown noodle shop we linked hot summer days with steamy summer nights. The vibrant red and green of the fruit contrasted nicely with Choichoi-ya’s darker surroundings. We had great fun with this shoot, and with so many great shots it was tough to choose just one, so we’d like to share some of the ones that didn’t make it here.

Before starting the shoot we had to prepare the prop. This called for a pro, which, of course, meant Shiho did double duty as model and chef.


You know you’ve got a good watermelon when it’s bigger than your head!


Time to eat…

Turns out watermelon is quite filling and being a food model is hard work!


Telephone thing.


As we’ve found is often the case, the idea that ended up making it on the cover came right near the end of the shoot, in the sweet spot between being relaxed and being tired and irritated at having your photo taken. Or maybe it was just that we were all getting thirsty…

Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of and loves running in the mountains.