Archive for the ‘Tales from the Toke’ Category

Tokyo Camera Style

Monday, July 26th, 2010
 Tokyo Camera Style

When Tokyo Photographer, John Sypal isn’t literally eating, sleeping, and breathing photography, he is out serendipitously stumbling upon an exquisite little ism in Tokyo that piques as much curiosity as does a two-headed prairie dog. Its called “Tokyo Camera Style,” the notion that cameras are as much as personalized style accessories as they are “tools with which [their wearers] can express their personal taste and private sensibilities”…[and that]…”the relationship one has with their cameras affects their approach to making a picture.”

I was always eh, kinda like consider myself kind of a pioneer of the pentaprism, a camerateur if you will. I’ve wined, dined, sipped and shopped in some of the most demonstrably beamer epitomable camera shops in the Tokyo metropolitan region. Yeah, I’ve bought strange looking Fujipets at Alta. I’ve had dangerous pinholes from the the Camera Box. Well what you get is a gaffer-taped Holga in a UFO catcher loaded with a provocative roll of expired Velvia, and uh, rust. Processed with Campbell’s tomato soup. See I have kinda of a uh…well I ordered my Leica Titan, Christ it was so tough it left the box and it walked down to the end of the counter, camera gal wearing those rhinestone glasses with the little pearl thing clipped on the sweater. My Leica come down, tried to beat the shit out of my digital camera battery. Battery just wasn’t strong enough to defend itself

Anyway… I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love a good gadget. I managed to acquire a whole used car lot of of ‘em and drive a different one (or three) everyday depending on how I feel. And inasmuch, I’ve managed to elbow my way on to John’s site a couple of times. Here, here, here, and a few other places. Go check out Tokyo Camera Style to see what the rest of Tokyo is sporting. I guarantee you it aint your mama’s rainbow banana pudding…

Uncle Mori

Monday, July 6th, 2009
 Uncle Mori

Met Daido Moriyama san at Place M again. It was at the opening of his show titled “Northern” and had been previously shown at Rat Hole a few months back. The reason he showed it again was because he just released a new book of the same name. This year is the 30th anniversary of his trip first photo adventure to Hokkaido. The images were stunning to say the least. The prints themselves were of top caliber as they always are.

I had a chance to have a nice discussion with him this time, asking him about a few of the images in particular. It was a real treat to hear a couple of stories behind the images. I also asked him what film and developer he uses; Kodak Tri-X in D76, and whether he still soups and prints his own stuff, to which he said “mochiron” (of course), with the exception of the very large stuff, which he sends to a printer.

All in all a very nice time. To somewhat of a surprise, Masato Seto, Moriyama’s ‘protoge’ and Place M’s owner asked me to please have a show there, which I would love to do, had I a sponsor to help with the costs. If you have any suggestions, don’t hesitate to offer them.

Tanuki. Himself.

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

2456978452 f24a1231d7 o Tanuki. Himself.

Excerpt from Tom Robbins Villa Incognito

It has been reported that Tanuki fell from the sky using his scrotum as a parachute.

That is not so ridiculous when we take into account the unusual size of Tanuki’s scrotum.

Well, okay, it’s still pretty ridiculous–and no less so just because in relation to his overall body mass, Tanuki’s scrotum is proportionately larger than the scrota of elephants, whales, and the Jolly Green Giant. In those days, his testicular balloon bag may actually have been even more voluminous than it is today, though that’s difficult to imagine since his balls very nearly drag the ground as it is, and any increase in volume would surely have been an impediment to mobility if, indeed, not a source of some pain. There is also the possibility that Tanuki had (and perhaps still has) the power to increase or decrease scrotum size at will.

Yet, having said all that, we must concede that the role of anatomical size per se in Tanuki’s descent is not easy to determine, and a more pertinent question might be not how the badger managed to use his significant seed sack to parachute to earth but, rather: Where did he parachute from? And why?

Knock! Knock!

“Who’s there?”


“Tanuki who?”

“Don’t be stupid. Tanuki. Himself.”

“Oh, I see. Well, where did you come from, Tanuki himself?”

“From the Other World.”

“What other world?”

“The one before this one, moron. The World of the Animal Ancestors.” His voice could have been shoveled from a gravel pit.

“Ah so. Excuse me, then, honorable animal ancestor. How did you get here?”

“Parachuted in. It’s strictly forbidden, of course. Against all the rules. But what the hell. . . .”

The farmer looked around for signs of equipment, for a silk canopy, specifically, and a harness.

“Never mind that,” growled Tanuki.

“Well, what is it you want here?”

“To drink rice wine.”

“Sake? Understandable, but I don’t think so. From the look of the grin on your face, you’ve drunk too much sake already. Anything else?”

“Yes. Girls. Young, pretty girls.”

The man snorted such a laugh that something shot out of his nostril. “Forget about it. No girl would have anything to do with a funny-looking creature like you.”

“Don’t be too sure, old fool,” snarled Tanuki, and with that he butted the farmer in the midsection with such force that the man fell to the ground, speechless, gasping for breath. Then, on his hind legs, round belly jiggling like a Santa Claus implant, the badger waddled over to the well where the man’s daughter was filling water jars, and fixed her with his toothy, high-voltage grin, a smile so overheated and manic and wild it could crack a funhouse mirror or peel the lacquer off the chopsticks in a maiden’s hair.

What immediately follows is a brief, and only partial, clarification concerning Tanuki’s nature. To wit: while virtually everyone refers to him as a “badger,” to the point where

“Badger” is practically his second name, the scientific truth is, Tanuki is not a badger at all. Any zoologist will gladly point out that tanukis are a species of East Asian wild dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), possessing the long snout, coloration, and markings of a raccoon, although lacking the raccoon’s famous ringed tail.

The fact that tanukis are nearly tailless, coupled with their penchant for standing upright on their hind legs, undoubtedly plays a role in Tanuki’s being so generally regarded in an anthropomorphic light. At the edge of a dark forest, it would be fairly easy for the impressionable to mistake a tanuki for a little man. But, thanks to his otherworldly powers, there happens to be an even more legitimate reason for Tanuki’s anthropomorphic reputation, as we shall soon enough find out.

Before moving on, however, we must address the probability that the perceptive reader will have noticed in our narration an apparent and perhaps troubling inconsistency. Unless the author is simply too careless and sloppy to be trusted, why does he sometimes write “Tanuki” (singular, individual, a capitalized proper noun) and at other times, even in the same paragraph, write “tanukis” (plural, generic, an uncapitalized common noun)? The explanation is simple. This badgerish creature, like God, is both one and many.

Both. In the same instant. Like God.

As anybody who knows anything about the Unknowable well knows, “God” and “gods” are interchangeable. The exclusivistic patriarchal Jehovah/Allah freaks are not incorrect when they insist that there is but one Supreme Being and that “he” is immutable and absolute. However, neither are the wide-eyed inclusive pagans and primitives wrong when they recognize gods of fire alongside gods of rivers; honor a moon goddess, a crocodile spirit, and deities who reside in, among countless other places, tree trunks, rain clouds, peyote buttons, and neon lighting (especially the flashing whites and the greens).

Thus, if the reader is wise enough not to try to impose

human limitations or narrow notions of uniformity on the

Divine Principle, is nimble-minded enough to realize that he or she can be (perhaps should be!) simultaneously monotheistic and pantheistic, then he or she will have scant problem in accepting the paradoxical essence of our small friend, Tanuki of the tanukis.

At first, the daughter at the well seemed prepared to accept Tanuki’s invitation to lie down with him. She was a farm girl, after all, and the mating activities of animals were as familiar to her as the sprouting of rice or the ripening of plums. Likewise, bestiality was not unknown to her, for she had brothers, cousins, and young male neighbors who, from time to time, were prone to so indulge. If we seldom if ever hear of girls participating in such sordid practices, it’s certainly not because rural girls are any less lustful than their masculine counterparts. Perhaps it’s due, rather, to the universal girlish character, which is cleaner, more restrained, sensitive, and finer-grained than that of the hopelessly coarse adolescent male. Or, it may only be a matter of logistics: it’s one thing for a hormone-racked boy to mount a ewe, but a maid presenting herself to a ram is so awkward an enterprise as to be nearly unthinkable. It would test the girl’s ingenuity and probably confuse the ram.

Still, Tanuki was no ordinary beast. He walked upright, had a charming accent, a confident and exotic manner, and a riveting, if somewhat unnerving, grin. So cute was he, and so persuasive, that she soon found herself loosening her kimono. Alas, when he commenced to boast about how he had recently parachuted to earth from the Other World, she grew frightened, ran away, and bolted the farmhouse door behind her. “I thought I saw a demon,” she told her mother, to explain her blush and why she’d returned home without water.

Dejected, Tanuki stole a small jar of sake from its cooling place in the well and lumbered off into the forest to brood. At some point during the night, when he was quite tipsy, he began to drum on his protruding belly, as tanukis are wont to do, and the pla-bonga pla-bonga sound of his drumming eventually attracted a kitsune. A fox.

“You idiot,” Kitsune scolded him, after Tanuki had bemoaned his woeful failure. “How could you be so naive as to tell a human being the truth? Men live by embedding themselves in ongoing systems of illusion. Religion. Patriotism. Economics. Fashion. That sort of thing. If you wish to gain the favor of the two-legged ilk, you must learn to fabricate as wholeheartedly as they do. Actually, by sabotaging their static illusions, we can sometimes help turn their stale deceptions into fresh possibilities for their race, but that’s probably a mission you’re neither interested in nor suited for. So, just lie to people any way you see fit and reap what benefits you can–but do bear in mind that you should never, ever lie to yourself.”

Much of the fox’s wisdom was lost on the drunken badger, but he’d grasped one important fact, and the following dusk when he approached the farmer’s daughter at the well, he took a different tack. “My pretty cherry flower,” he rasped, “I am, in fact, merely a simple beast of the woods who has become enchanted by your beauty and yesterday was driven to misspeak due to the intensity of my desire to hold your sweet hand and nuzzle your exquisite neck.”

“Oh my,” gasped the girl. And she watched him with a mixture of pity, vanity, and awe as his tiny fingers undid her sash.

Afterward, leaving the girl exhausted on the moss, Tanuki rapped at the farmer’s door. “Ten thousand pardons, honorable sir,” he said, bowing deeply. “In addition to the impolite interjection of my head bone into yesterday’s conversation, I’m afraid I also told a little fib. Look at me, sir. Look me over. Obviously, I’m no Animal Ancestor. Damned ridiculous! No, I’m merely a poor orphan of the woodlands, temporarily down on his luck and maddeningly hungry. Both frogs and wild onions are scarce this season, and my ravenous self would be forever in your debt if you might spare . . .”

Somewhat apprehensively, the farmer set a bowl of boiled rice by the kitchen door. Tanuki proceeded to eat, taking deliberately dainty bites, chewing very, very slowly; and when his host grew bored and turned his attention to some household chore, the badger suddenly seized a cask of sake quite as large as himself and, short legs pumping, heavy scrotum swinging, escaped with it into the brush, one step ahead of the farmer’s ax.

That night Tanuki got snockered so enthusiastically that the sake got snockered along with him. He thumped his full belly–pla-bonga pla-bonga–and his grin fought a duel with the moon.

Tanuki relished homemade sake. He liked dancing his drum-belly dance in the moonlight, he liked gorging himself on fat frogs and yams, and as much or more than anything else, he liked seducing young women. After his initial success with the farmer’s daughter, he embarked on a long spree of seduction. Over the years, he enjoyed a great many such successes, and the encounters brought him immense delight, despite the fact that some of the girls would later give birth to strange-looking babies, which, believing them to be demon children, the girls’ families would drop over a cliff or drown in the nearest creek.

Eventually, however, Tanuki grew weary of country girls, with their frank and easy ways; and he commenced to wander into cities, where the women were glamorous and sophisticated, were wrapped in rich silks, recited poetry, served sake of a noticeably finer quality, and smelled of powders and perfumes instead of farm sweat.

After stealing into a garden or a courtyard or a courtyard garden, he would saunter up to a woman there, his scrotum swaying, his smile on fire. “Pardon me,” he’d say, “I’m a lonely denizen of the purple hills, who has been pulled into town by nothing but the beacon of your own beauty, which in my innocent way I long to . . .”

Reaction depended upon the female’s age. A really young girl–fifteen, sixteen, seventeen–would scream as if a godzilla egg had hatched in her bathwater, and run right out of her getas in her haste to reach the safety of the house. Girls in their twenties, on the other hand, would hurl their getas at him, would hurl books, flutes, teapots, iron lanterns, inkwells, and stones; hurl them with such bone-bruising force that it became his turn to scramble to safety. If the object of his intentions was thirty or older, she’d usually regard him with calm contempt, wag a sharp, painted nail at him, and admonish him coldly, “You’re stinking up my chrysanthemum beds, you obscene monkey. Crawl back to your filthy lair before my retainer treats you to a taste of his blade.”

Each successive rejection took a larger bite out of Tanuki’s confidence, until finally it was gnawed down to the core. With what passed for his tail between his legs, he did, indeed, slink back into the hills, so far back that the lights of no city, town, or village could muffle the silent beeping of the stars. After a halfhearted meal of shelf fungus, he slurped a jar of purloined sake (down-home variety) and began a halfhearted shuffle upon the fallen leaves. Around midnight, a fox appeared.

“What a pathetic excuse for tummy-thumping!” Kitsune chided him. “I could produce better pla-bongas by beating a steamed dumpling with a toothpick. Have you completely dissipated your sense of rhythm?”

Resisting an impulse to bludgeon the kitsune with the empty sake jar, Tanuki instead embarked upon a mournful litany of urban failures, not caring that he was losing face by the bucketful.

Kitsune shook his orangish head. “It’s beyond me,” he said, “how you ever acquired a reputation for cunning. Listen, loverboy! All human beings can be deceived, but they can’t all be deceived in the same way. The very hook that will snag a bumpkin, an educated cosmopolite will spit out or brush aside. Unless, of course, it’s baited with money, that fatal lure that regularly makes a fish out of men of every station.”

“I hear you can exchange it for sake,” Tanuki objected. “The good stuff.”

“True enough. But you’d have to steal the money in order to purchase the sake, so why not just steal the wine and cut out the middleman? Money! Before it was invented, men were nearly as savvy as us. Not that you are overwhelmingly savvy. All that hug-me-because-I’m-a-furry-little-lost-animal crap. That’s for amateurs. That’s for house pets and teddy bears. You still haven’t sorted out the knots and tangles of the human mind. Well, I’ll tell you this much: if you’re going to recline on a lady’s futon, you’re going to have to recline there in a gentleman’s body.”

“But how . . . ?”

“How? How? Are you an Animal Ancestor or aren’t you?” Properly exasperated, and convinced that food, beverage, and worthy entertainment were irreversibly absent from the badger’s clearing that evening, Kitsune loped off into the shadows.

Tanuki lay down in the dead leaves to try to attain the degree of sobriety necessary for a full grasping of the fox’s meaning. A few snowflakes began to fall, falling slowly, very slowly, taking their time, as if waiting for Tanuki–or anybody–to notice them; as if stalling until some wonderstruck bystander might remark on their beauty and how no two snowflakes are ever exactly alike. At what point, it’s fair to ask, did snowflakes start believing their own publicity?

That had been the first snowfall of the season. When the last snow fell at winter’s end, toward the middle of March, the figure that stood in the badger’s clearing was casting a humanlike shadow. Falling only marginally faster than November’s intrepid trailblazer; preening on the breeze; boasting in a fluttery stage whisper,

“Regardez-moi. The likes of me has never been seen before and will never be seen again,” the very last flake in line (self-delusional to the finish) landed on an eyelid that could have belonged to Toshiro Mifune, complete with epicanthic fold. There, it was summarily flicked off by a thumb. Not a claw, but a thumb.


Monday, October 30th, 2006

847225057 30118e9996 o Shinjuku

Shinjuku was the first place I fell in love with in Japan. Doc took me there three years ago on my first day in Japan. She took me to the top of Tokyo Tocho where I first witnessed the never-ever-ever-endlingness that Tokyo is. I went back to Shinjuku three or four times in those short few days.

What I loved about was its severe urbanity. Its the most city a city can get. Few people live there but it is the keystone of the pyramid on which the entire Japanese economy was/is built. Its where the office buildings buzz florescent high about neon where their salarymen and office ladies cut loose after working their fucking asses off, deep into the night.

Its the Yakuza in Kabukicho, Yakitori and beer of Omoedeyokocho. Its the Koreans in Okubo, the homos in Nichome, the drunks in Goldengai, and the bums on Yasakuni…. Its the monk in the busiest train station in the world offering prayers for alms. Its the candle lit sidewalk fortune tellers and the parasoled homeless shoe-shine ladies, the karaoke hustlers, the pachinko addicts, the gallery hoppers, the security guards, the reflective coated contruction workers, the tourist, the edoko, and the graffiti. Its the life in the neon…and the neon in life.

There is something for everyone in Shinjuku. Shibuya is too crowded, Ginza’s too expensive, and Ikebukuro is too boring. Downtown is too old, Ebisu and Nakame are too fashionable, Odaiba is too far, Shimokita is too immature, and Roppongi is just too much. But nobody ever seems to complain about Shinjuku though. Maybe its too dangerous but everybody needs a little danger in their life. It’s everybody’s place for one reason or another.

The List

Friday, April 21st, 2006

img050 2 The List

Akasaka Camera
Address: Akasaka 4-2-3 107-0052
Phone: (03) 3585-6284
Fax: (03) 3585-8736
Web Site:
Hours: 9:00-20:00 M-F, 9:30-19:00 on Sat., 10:00-17:00 on Sun., closed 2nd, 4th, 5th Sun. and national holidays
Other Info: Large selection of used Japanese and imported cameras and lenses, mainly rangefinder and collectables. Only a small collection of recent film SLRs.
Near Akasaka Mitsuke subway station.

Address: Shinjuku Terminal Bldg. 1st floor
Shinjuku 3-23-1 160-0022
Phone: (03) 3352-6337
Fax: (03) 3352-6171
Web Site:
Hours: 10:30 – 20:00, no holidays
Other Info: Classic cameras, used cameras, and accessories.
Near JR Shinjuku Station, East Exit (1 min. walk.)

Ameyoko Camera
Address: Ueno 4-7-8, Ameyoko Center, 3F
Phone: (03) 3833-3671
Web Site:
Hours:10:00-20:00 (Closed 3rd Wednesday)
Other Info: Classic camera and collectables specialty store with about 300 items to choose from, includes medium format and 35mm equipment. Near JR Ueno Station (Yamanote Line).

Arrow Camera and Garakutaya
Address: Aragicho 8
Phone: (03) 3357-1169
Web Site:
Hours: 9:00-19:00, Sun. 10:00-17:00
Other Info: Arrow camera specializes in purchasing used cameras. Garakutaya sells used cameras, lenses, accessories and junk parts. 35mm, medium/large format, and digital equipment. Near Yotsuya Sanchome Station (Marunouchi Subway Line.

BIC Camera (Camera Specialty Store)
Address: Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-11-7
Phone: (03) 3988-0002
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-20:00
Other Info: Another huge camera and electrical chain retailer. New and used cameras can be found in this new specialty store. 35mm, medium/large format, digital.

Camera Classic
Address: Minami Aoyama 3-12-12 Kotani Bldg. 5F
Phone: (03) 3402-1729
Web Site:
Hours: 11:00-19:30 (Closed Sundays)
Other Info: Situated very close to Omotesando Station (Chiyoda Subway Line), this small camera shop houses a fine collection of collectable classics. Warranty: 6 months on selected items. 35mm and medium format.

Champ Camera (Ginza Store)
Address: Ginza 5-15-1 Nankai Tokyo Bldg.
Phone: (03) 3543-4547
Web Site:
Hours: 8:00-19:00, Sat./Sun. 9:00-18:00
Other Info: Chain store that also sells new cameras. You can also make purchases on-line (within Japan). 35mm, medium/large format, digital. Near JR Yurakucho (Yamanote Line). Branch stores in Akasaka and Yokohama. See list:

Classic Camera Moritz
Address: Fuchu-shi, Fuchucho 2-16-17
Phone: (042) 358-5351
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-19:00, Sat./Sun. 11:00-18:30
Other Info: A premium collection of classic film and 8mm movie cameras. Warranty: 3 months on selected items. 35mm, medium format. Near Fuchu Station (Keio Line).

Fujikoshi Camera
Address: Nihonbashi Muromachi 3-3-1
Phone: (03) 3241-1635
Web Site:
Hours: 8:00-19:00, Sat./Sun. 10:00-17:00
Other Info: New and used classic cameras (mainly Leica, Minox, Hassy, Linhof and Rollei). Warranty: 6 months on items over 30,000 yen. 35mm, medium/large format. Near Mitsukoshi-mae Station (Ginza Subway Line).

Fujisawa Shokai 藤澤商会
Address: 東京都品川区東五反田5−21−18第8スカイビル 1F
Daihachi Sky Bldg. 1F, Higashi-Gotanda 5-21-18
Phone: (03) 3449-5055
Fax: (03) 3440-3406
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-18:00, closed Sun. and national holidays
Other Info: Sells used equipment of all Japanese and foreign makes. Ships only within Japan.
Near JR Gotanda Station (Yamanote Line).

Fujiya Camera
Address: Nakano 5-61-1 164-0001
Phone: 03-5318-2222
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-20:30
Other Info: Large store with many Japanese (especially Nikon) and imported brands. Sells both new and used equipment.
Near JR Nakano Station (Chuo Line) North Exit.

Hayata Camera Store
Address: Asakusa 2-1-3
Phone: (03) 3841-5824
Web Site:
Hours: 11:30-20:00
Other Info: Voigtlander specialty sales and classic camera repair store. Warranty: 6 months on selected items. 35mm and medium format. Near Akasaka Station (Ginza Subway Line).

Kamera no Gokurakudo
Address: Toyama 1-1-8
Phone: (03) 5273-1932
Web Site:
Hours: Tue.-Fri. 11:00-20:30, Sat. 10:00-20:30, Sun. 19:00
Other Info: New and used Contax camera and Carl Zeiss lens specialty shop. 35mm Contax and medium format. Near Wakamatsu-kowada Station (Oedo Subway Line)

Kawamasu Camera
Address: Kotobuki, 3-12-6
Phone: (03) 3844-2941
Web Site:
Hours: 9:00-18:30, Sat. 9:00-18:00, Sun. and national holidays 10:00-17:00
Other Info: Large selection (over 1000 cameras and 3000 lenses) of sorts of used cameras and lenses. A collector’s dream store. Warranty: 6 months on selected items. 35mm, medium format. Near Akasaka Station (Ginza Subway Line).

Kikuya Camera
Address: Kikuya Bldg. B1F, Ueno 6-2-14 110-0005
Phone: 03-3832-2331
Fax: 03-3839-0320
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-19:00, closed Wed.
Other Info: Specializes in used imported brands like Leica, Hasselblad, and Rollei. Store is in the basement floor.
Near Ueno Okachimachi subway station (Oedo Line) Exit A7, JR Okachimachi Station, Ueno Hirokoji Station (Ginza Line), and Naka Okachimachi Station (Hibiya Line).

Kimura Camera (Shinjuku Store) Updated!!
Address: Shinjuku 3-23-7 Asahi Bank Bldg.
Phone: (03) 3354-0731
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-20:00
Other Info: Another popular shop with collectors. The first floor houses new products, including film etc., the second floor has a large selection of used gear. Near JR Shinjuku Station (east exit).

Kitamura Camera (Shinjuku Purchasing Store)
Address: Nishi Shinjuku 1-15-13, 4F
Phone: (03) 5908-4322
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-20:00
Other Info: This Shinjuku store specializes in purchasing used equipment. 35mm, medium/large format, digital, accessories. Near JR Shinjuku Station (west or south exit).

Lemon – Ginza Stores
Address: Ginza 4-3-14 104-0061
Phone: (03) 3567-3131
Mail order: (03) 3567-5533
Fax: (03) 3535-6978
Web Site:
Hours: 11:00-20:00, closed Sun. and national holidays
Other Info: Three Lemon stores are within a stone’s throw from each other in Ginza. The main camera shop sells used cameras and accessories. It also offers to sell your used equipment at a favorable rate. The Nishi Ginza store sells new and used Leica, Hasselblad, etc. The print shop offers photofinishing services, including prints from digital cameras.
Lemon also has branch stores in Osaka (06-6345-0720) and Fukuoka (092-737-4022).

Lucky Camera
Address: Shinjuku 3-36-16
Phone: (03) 3354-7898
Fax: (03) 3350-0780
Web Site:
Other Info: Near Shinjuku Station’s South exit. Buy, sell, and trade cameras. Leica specialist. They ship only within Japan.
Map in English:

Map Camera
Address: Nishi-Shinjuku 1-13-6 160-0023
Phone:(03) 3342-3383
Fax: (03) 3342-3422
Web Site:
Hours: 10:30-20:30
Other Info: There are two large stores. The No. 1 store sells used equipment (both Japanese and imported cameras), and the adjacent No. 2 store sells digital cameras.
Near Shinjuku Station West Exit. Very close to Yodobashi.
Map in English:

Miyama Shokai
Address: Ginza 5-9-5 104-0061
Phone: (03) 3571-7527
Fax: (03) 3571-7527
Hours: 10:30-19:30
Other Info: Used camera equipment. No Web site as of this writing.
Near Ginza Station. Branch stores in Shinjuku (03-3356-1841), Ikebukuro (03-3987-2621), Yokohama (045-251-4100), and Omiya (048-643-3316).

National Photo
Address: Jingumae 6-13-11 NP Bldg.
Phone: (03) 3486-7761
Web Site:
Other Info: Sells a wide selection of professional film and digital photographic equipment. Also sells collectables and used pro studio cameras. 35mm, medium/large format. Near Meiji Jingumae Station (Chiyoda Subway Line).

Nikon House (Sukiya Camera)
Address: 東京都中央区銀座4丁目2-13 クリスタルビル1F
Crystal Bldg. 1F, Ginza 4-2-13 104-0061
Phone: (03) 3561-6000
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-19:00
Other Info: Store is at a prominent street corner in Ginza. Used Nikon equipment only.
Near Ginza subway station Exit B5 and Yurakucho Station.

Nisshin Camera
Address: Kanda Iwamotocho 1 Banchi 101-0033
Phone: (03) 3251-7504
Fax: (03) 3251-5194
Hours: 9:00-20:00 (M-F), 10:00-20:00 (Sat., Sun.)
Other Info: An impressive range of modern and collectable cameras at reasonable prices. If you are into manual focus 35mm then this is a good place to look. 35mm, medium/large format, digital. Near JR Akihabara (Yamanote Line).

Nitto Camera
Address: Nakano, 5-49-6
Phone: (03) 3387-0111
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Closed Thursday)
Other Info: An interesting selection of cameras and top-quality lenses. A good place to visit if you make a trip to Fujiya Camera. Warranty: 6-12 months. 35mm and digital. Near JR Nakano Station (Chuo Line).

Ohba Shokai Camera Co.
Address: Shimbashi 1-15-6
Phone: (03) 3591-0070
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-19:30, Sat.19:00, Sun./Hol. 17:00
Other Info: 35 mm film cameras make up the bulk of stock at Ohba Camera, but there is a healthy smattering of MF and LF cameras. Lenses and accessories are located on the second floor.

Ohnuki Camera
Address: Ohnuki Bldg. 1st floor
Miyagawa-cho 2-47
Naka-ku 231-0065
Phone: (045) 231-0306
Fax: (045) 231-8531
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-19:00, closed Wed.
Other Info: New and used camera equipment of all major brands.
Near JR Sakuragicho Station and Hinode-cho Station (Keihin Kyuko).

Osawa Camera West Exit Store and East Exit
Address: Ebisu Minami 1-1-12 (West)
Phone: (03) 3719-0741 (West)
(03) 3446-5839 (East)
Web Site:
Hours: 9:00-20:00, Sun. 10:00-20:00 (West)
9:30-19:30, Sat. 10:00-19:00, Sun. 11:00-18:00 (East)
Other Info: Two stores owned by the came company in Ebisu. Mainly stock manual focus 35mm cameras and lenses. Near JR Ebisu Station (Yamanote Line).

Sankyo Camera 三共カメラ
Address: Ginza 4-8-7 104-0061
Phone: (03) 3543-3951
Fax: (03) 3546-1183
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-19:00 (till 18:30 on Sat.), 11:00-18:00 on national holidays., closed Sun.
Other Info: There are two stores in Ginza. One is called the Ginza Store and the other is called the Miharabashi Store (03-3561-2330) address above. The former sells imported cameras like Leica, while the latter sells Japanese brands.
Near Ginza subway station.

Sanpoh Camera
Address: Meguro Honcho 2-5-5
Phone: (03) 3793-2273
Web Site:
Hours:9:30-19:00, Sun 10:00-18:00
Other Info: Good selection of cameras at competitive prices. Often featured in Japanese camera magazines. 35mm, medium format, digital. Near Gakugei Daigaku Station (Tokyu Toyoko Line).

Shinbashi Ichi Camera
Address: Higashi Ueno 1-11-1 105-0004
Phone: (03) 3833-4311/4312
Fax: (03) 3833-4313
Web Site:
Hours: 10:30-19:30 (till 17:30 on national holidays, Closed Sundays except in July and Dec. when it is open on Sun.
Other Info: This store focuses on medium format equipment, especially Mamiya. The store has moved from Shimbashi to Okachimachi. 5-min. walk from the north exit of JR Okachimachi Station or 3 min. from Naka-Okachimachi Station on the Hibiya subway line.

Sukiya Camera
Address:東京都中央区銀座5丁目5-1 マツモトキヨシ銀座5thビル8F
Ginza 5-5-1 Phone: (03) 3571-5555
Fax: (03) 3571-5633
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-19:30 (till 19:00 on Sun. and national holidays)
Other Info: Conveniently located in Ginza. Sells classic Japanese and Leica cameras and lenses. Open every day. Buy and sell.
Near Ginza subway station Exit B5.

Address: Hongo 4-17-6 TED Bldg. 5F
Phone: (03) 3812-1201
Web Site:
Hours: 9:00-17:30 (Closed on Sat. and Sun.)
Other Info: A strange little store that sells props, lighting and cameras for pro studio work. Medium/large format. Near Kasuga Station (Toei Mita Subway Line).

Yodobashi Camera (Main Store)
Address: Nishi Shinjuku 1-11-1
Phone: (03) 3346-1010
Web Site:
Hours: 9:30-22:00
Other Info: One of the top camera and electrical retailers in Tokyo. The main store is located in Shinjuku, and is surrounded by separate specialist buildings which stock watches, film, video tape, cameras etc. They mainly sell new equipment, but used equipment is also sold.
If you become a member of their customer loyalty system, 10% or more of any purchase is credited in points (1 point = 1 yen) to your account which can then be used against your next purchase. Near JR Shinjuku Station (west or south exit).

Yoyogi Camera
Address: Yoyogi 1-38
Phone: (03) 3370-8682
Web Site:
Hours: 10:00-19:30 (Closed Sundays and national holidays)
Other Info: A small shop that stocks a wide range of used film cameras, especially roll film models. 35mm, medium/large format. Near JR Yoyogi Station (Yamanote Line).

Map I pilfered from here.