Last summer marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first and only Japanese concerts, and Hello, Goodbye: The Beatles in Tokyo, 1966, a limited-edition book featuring photos by Shimpei Asai, commemorated the occasion. Never before published outside of Japan, Asai's images give a surprisingly intimate glimpse into the Beatles' behind-the-scenes world during their final year as a live band – a period documented in Ron Howard's Grammy-nominated 2016 film The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years.
Asai followed the group from their arrival at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on June 29th, 1966, through their departure for the Philippines three days later. While there, the Beatles played five brief sets at the Nippon Budokan. Prior to Asai's experience photographing the group, the Beatles' music had made a serious impression on him. "I first heard the Beatles accidentally on the radio," he recalled in a press release. "I had a feeling I had never experienced before. I was just stunned. I pulled over in my car and stopped by the road, and for a while I stared at the leaves of the trees trembling in the breeze."
Sample Asai's images below, along with exclusive remembrances from the photographer. Hello, Goodbye, which was published in a limited-edition of 1,966 copies, is available now from Genesis Publications.