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Explore Chinatown-International District

Several Photography Walking Tours are planned for Winter 2023.

Bring your camera and take a tour of Seattle’s Historic Chinatown-International District.  Led by award winning photographers, you’ll go behind the scenes to get views of interesting things not often seen.  Or, you can take a food walk to sample the delicious cuisine the district offers.  The guides grew up in this neighborhood and will share their knowledge of the rich history that is ours.  

Japantown Tour with Theo Bickel and Sally Kim-Miller
Explore Seattle's historic Japanese American neighborhood in a tour combining photography and the enduring story of Seattle's JA community - March 18, 2023

Explore Seattle's historic Nihonmachi - Japantown - past and present with your camera. This unique photo walk includes special invite-only visits to historic Japantown buildings and introductions to business owners in the vibrant Japantown neighborhood.

Free to attend. Due to limited space, the Tour will be accessible to ten people. Please contact the event coordinator immediately if you are unable to attend in order to allow others to join. 

Tour will beginon the bottom floor of the Panama Hotel Teahouse (605 South Main St, Seattle, WA 98104) with introductions and an overview of Seattle' Japantown history. 

Topics of tour: Japanese American history, Asian American history, historical preservation, community story telling, photography, photographs, macro photography, street photography. 

Tentative Agenda:

  • 10:30-11:00 am Check in at bottom floor of the Panama Hotel Teahouse

  • 11:00 am Introductions, Overview of Japantown History

  • 11:30 am Panama Hotel

  • 12:00 pm Jackson Building / Chiyo's Garden

  • 1:00 pm Tour of Japantown Businesses

  • 2:00 pm Photo Tour Ends back at Panama Hotel Teahouse

What to Bring/Expect:

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Tour will include steep staircases. Tour is unfortunately not ADA accessible. 

  • Layered clothing that allows movement; appropriate gear if the forecast is rain.

  • Camera - Prefer a mirrorless / DSLR. While cell phones are not a camera, you can use your camera phone for this tour.

  • Masks are optional

  • Positive Attitude and a Sense of Adventure!


Number of people: 10 Maximum

Photographer (Theo Bickel) Bio: As a Shin Nikkei (post-1952 Japanese descendent), Theo moved to Seattle in 2015 and quickly found himself putting down roots in Seattle's vibrant Japanese American community. Theo has nearly ten years of experience working in Seattle's Chinatown-International District and uses his camera as a storytelling tool capturing the unique history and presence of the C-ID. 

Photographer (Sally Kim-Miller) Bio: A photographer fascinated in culture and community, Sally is a long time Seattle resident (of 38 years) who has seen the C-ID go through many changes through the decades. She enjoys doing street photography and "street portraits" of all ages, most of in the CID which is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Seattle.

Travel through History with award winning photographer Dean Wong.

Meet Dean in front of the storefront he grew up in -Saturday February 4, 2023.


Topics of tour: Chinatown History, community activism to preserve and develop housing for seniors, King Street core walking tour, Canton Alley (Donnie Chin/International          District Emergency Center and Sun May Company), Maynard alley, photos of murals  in old African American jazz clubs, King Street core history and more. Bring your questions, especially on photography. The tour will feature photographs of different sites we will stop at, along our route.

Tentative Agenda:

  • 10:30 - 11:00 am Check in at 809 S. King Street (Near Vu’s Beauty School)

  • 11:00 am Introductions and Basic Photography Techniques

  • 11:30 am Area Chinatown ID Street Photos

  • 2:00 pm Photo Tour Ends at 505 Maynard Ave.

What to Bring/Expect:

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Layered clothing that allows movement; appropriate gear if the forecast is rain

  • Camera - Prefer any camera. While a cell phone is not a camera, you may use your camera phone for this tour.

  • Masks are optional

  • Positive Attitude and a Sense of Adventure!

Number of people: 15 Maximum

Photographer (Dean Wong) Bio: Born and raised in Chinatown. 50 plus years in the community learning the craft of photography and then establishing a legacy of my work documenting the neighborhood. Author of “Seeing the Light: Four Decades in Chinatown,” American Book Award 2017. Awarded numerous lifetime achievement awards from community organizations in honor of my work.

Chinatown International District Photo Walk Tour with Rick Wong

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Time:    9:00 am - 1:00 pm    

Meeting Location: Wing Luke Museu



During the Lunar New Year’s celebration on Saturday, January 28, 2023, enjoy a 2-to-3-hour excursion through the Seattle Chinatown International District. It’s a great way to see some of the CID hidden gems and learn about photography. Led by Rick Wong you’ll learn to take amazing photos of the CID best spots and learn the history of this community. We will walk through this neighborhood during the Wing Luke Museum celebration of the Year of the Rabbit, photographing behind the scene look at the studio where the Mak Fai Lion Dance team prepares to perform that day. We will end this tour by photographing a Cantonese custom of Yum Cha, the Chinese version of high tea.

For photos, we’ll cover techniques for street and food porn photography with your camera. 


Tentative Agenda:

8:30 - 9:00 am        Check in at Wing Luke Museum

9:00 - 9:30 am        Introductions and Basic Technique

10:00 am        Area Chinatown ID Street Photos

11:00 am        Mak Fai Lion Dance Studio

12:30 pm        Ocean Star


What to Bring/Expect:

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Layered clothing that allows movement; appropriate gear if the forecast is rain 

  • Camera - best cameras are DSLRs, but you are also free to use your camera phone

  • Masks are optional

  • Positive Attitude and a Sense of Adventure!


Number of people:    15 Maximum

Age Range:        15 years old to 80 years old as long as you meet the criteria


Photographer Bio: 

It was his first experience while watching an image magically appear on a blank sheet of photo paper, and capturing that one special moment in time to share with others, that led him into the field of photography.


After working in the imaging industry for the last 30 years as a studio owner, industrial photographer, freelancer, fashion photographer, event photographer, film producer, multimedia producer and a fine arts artist. Rick has changed his focus to teaching, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors. 


Funding provided by the Neighborhood Matching Fund from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods


This document has been funded in part by the Neighborhood Matching Fund Program of the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The information contained herein does not necessarily reflect the policies, plans, beliefs, conclusions, or ideas, of the City of Seattle. The City does not warrant the accuracy of any of the information, ideas, conclusions, or information, contained in this document.

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