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Photog Loses $7,000 of Gear On Japanese Bullet Train, Gets Every Bit of It Back



News in the photo world isn’t always uplifting — what with all the layoffs and copyright scandals — but once in a while you stumble onto one of those ‘renew your faith in humanity’ stories that just make you smile.

That’s the uplifting story told by Imaging Resource Editor-in-Chief Dave Etchells, who recently lost $7,000 on a bullet train in Japan, only to have it found and returned to him with nary a piece missing.

Etchells was in Japan on business recently when, due to some incorrect information, he accidentally boarded a bullet train going the wrong direction. In the flurry of activity that followed he somehow became separated from his gear bag packed full of $7,000 worth of equipment. We’re talking:

  • Fujifilm X100S
  • Olympus E-P5
  • Panasonic GM1
  • Sony RX100 II
  • Ricoh GR
  • Canon G16
  • Sony RX10
  • Nikon AW1
  • 5 interchangeable lenses
  • 3 audio recorders
  • batteries
  • filters
  • cables
  • and accessories

But the story actually has a happy ending. Because while the chances of getting all that stuff back might seem slim, that’s exactly what happened to Etchells. By the next morning, the rail line officials had gone looking for it, found it AND forwarded it to a more convenient station for him to pick it up!


The story, for many of us, might seem outrageous. Etchells himself could hardly believe it. But this, he says, is a prime example of just how accommodating the people of Japan can be.

To read the full account, Etchells’ interesting commentary on Japanese culture and a very useful list of lessons learned that anybody who travels with gear would do well to peruse, head over to Imaging Resource by clicking here.

Why I LOVE the Japanese people: How to lose $7,000 of gear and get every bit back [Imaging Resource]

Image credits: Photographs by Dave Etchells and used with permission