College Festival Magic – The Art of Love at a Japanese University

Every year the Hokkaido University Festival takes place in June. Students prepare in teams for months in advance, culminating in four days of intense festival spirit. Here I interview students about “festival magic”…the curious pairing up of couples during the preparation and excitement of the festival.

This was my first video I’ve shot on my new camera – the Olympus OMD EM-1. I must do a decent write-up on the camera at some stage, but suffice it to say I really enjoyed using it for filming.

– Location: Hokkaido University, Sapporo City, Japan

– Script, camera, and editing by Rob Thomson (

– Music by the amazing Jeris Quinn (

– Produced as part of the World Relationships Study (

– The World Relationships Study: a 40-country survey about intimacy, similarity and secrets in friendship and romance.

– Filmed using an Olympus OMD EM-1, Panasonic Lumix 20mm f1.7 lens, Canon FD 50mm f1.4 lens, Zoom H1 sound recorder, and a Syrp Genie timelapse controller.

Long Weekend Cycle-Touring in Japan | Day 4: Abira Campground to Sapporo (Hokkaido)


Japanese squat toilets, pandas, grassy farm roads, and cherry blossoms in full bloom. A great way to finish a long-weekend tour. Last night, we went to sleep with rain. This morning, we woke to glorious sunshine. And more or less immediately after wrenching ourselves out of our sleeping bags… it …

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Long Weekend Cycle-Touring in Japan | Day 3: Hobetsu Campground to Abira (Hokkaido)


On the third day of our four-day cycle tour, we would face gravel forestry roads, deer carcasses,  missed turns, and the arrival of a third member to the tour. Apparently the overnight temperature dropped to -1 degrees Celsius last night. Goes to show that even early May in Hokkaido still …

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Long Weekend Cycle-Touring in Japan | Day 2: Yuni to Hobetsu Campground (Hokkaido)


Yesterday, we forgot to fill our camp stove fuel bottle with gasoline. This meant no warm porridge for breakfast this morning. Which meant a convenience store breakfast for us. For me this meant club sandwiches, a rice ball, yogurt, and coffee. But wait, I get ahead of myself. First we …

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