Buying cameras in Japan

Japan is a paradise for all of us who enjoy taking pictures. All the major camera brands are Japanese, that’s good because prices for lens and cameras are much lower here than in other places. Furthermore, Japanese people in general like photography a lot, and that’s good for the market. You can find zillions of specialized shops, second hand cameras shops and there are even huge shops filling medium size buildings only with cameras. My advice is, go to Akihabara and compare the prices in different shops, sometimes the difference is pretty big. The cheapest shops are usually in the little streets (not in the main Akihabara avenue). Here are some pictures I took in Yodobashi (A good place to look stuff, they have almost all new models), and also pictures inside Mapcamera, a shop with all kind of old lenses and cameras, even from 50 years ago.

D60 a gogo

Canon area

Compact cameras

More compact

Canon EOS



Sony Alpha

S5 Pro

D300 panel

Canon EOS Digital

Canon and Nikon

There are many Hasselblad and Leica in there


Only Leicas

More Leicas

Did you notice the “?” in the price? That means that depending on the day and your skills to negotiate the final price than vary a lot.

More interrogation marks.

And more

The entrance to the forth floor in a building with five floors, all full of photography goodies. Mapcamera.






I love that you can test lenses and cameras all you want before buying. I took this picture using a 10mm lenses from the shop. I did not buying but I’m thinking to do it.

  • Kialaya

    April 23, 2008 at 9:38 am

    God, I am caught in between “i love it oh, all those marvelous cameras to play with, I want go there” or “arrgggg, I would go mad with so many things to choose from, no no no, i don’t want to go there, i would freak out”. 😉

  • ryan

    April 23, 2008 at 10:41 am

    You got my hopes up by taking pictures of attractive girls looking at the cameras – thought you were going for a themem for a moment. 😉 Ah. . .how I miss akihabara right now.

  • Neil Duckett

    April 23, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    I love Yodobashi …. i stop by once a week …. i got pulled up the last time i took a few photos though.

  • Marcos

    April 23, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Nice blog!

    If it’s not in that store probably doesn’t exist

  • Lee

    April 24, 2008 at 12:11 am

    I guess you know about it already Hector, but Fujiya Camera in Nakano is a fantastic little place. Great prices for new and second hand stuff. Very helpful staff too.

  • Dan

    April 24, 2008 at 4:11 am

    i just bought a camera from sofmap and they gave me a 13000Yen discount because because i brought in a paper showing that amazon had it for a different price. so they gave it to me for that price and i didn’t pay shipping and i got the 10% points!!! oh the internetz.

  • kirai

    April 24, 2008 at 6:49 am

    Dan: great! I should do the same, the Amazon strategy 🙂

  • Windbell

    April 25, 2008 at 4:58 am

    I kept triggering the security alarm tag they had on their cameras by accident over at Yodabashi.

    How did you manage to snap pictures? Did you slot your CF card into the cameras on display to take pictures?

  • Peter

    April 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I was dumbfounded when I saw all the cameras on sale when I went to Akihabara for the first time… I wouldn’t mind returning.

  • kirai

    April 25, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Windbell: I use my camera with their lenses. You can also ask them for a specific lens that maybe is not on exposition.

  • Edward

    April 28, 2008 at 10:39 am

    My candy store. ^^; I need to remember to search Amazon before my next visit.

  • happy_gajin

    March 17, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Don’t go to BIC Camera. I was shocked when I bought a Sony digital music player in Akihabara, and then a few days later I say the same player for ~$150 more at BIC Camera in Ikebukero.

  • Michael

    April 23, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Hi looking for the Canon EOS 5D MarkII and the 70-200mm EF IS USM f.2.8 lens. can anyone suggest a cheap site in japan?..most of them are in japanese and i cannot understand anything.

    Trying to get them from japan somehow. would appreciate your help

  • sanea

    September 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Hi all!!!
    Please help me with an advice…i will go to Japan at the end of october..and i really want to buy a camera (reflex) from there. What is the most recommended place to buy one? What model i can buy with 700-1000euro?

    And what about taxes? How much are they??

    Thank you!

  • Valldeperas

    September 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    One day I’ll buy one (more or less) pro camera. It happens to me that seems too xpensive here, and dunno xactly if have enought things to take photos to. Just know it’s a interesting thing I just want to try…

  • Al

    May 30, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    You can usually save a lot over the inflated Akihabara prices by following this strategy:

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