Tuesday, November 17, 2009

日本での写真撮影 (Photography in Japan for the rest of us)

I've been meaning to do this for awhile. I spent a few weeks in Japan in March of 2009, and I did a lot of what I do...photo taking. I'm not going to post a bunch of random shots from the trip, though. Instead, I thought I would post some shots of a couple camera stores I visited, and some of the photographers I met!
The first shop is the famous Camera Cabaret.

Focused on toy cameras, and carrying Superheadz stock, this store in Shibuya is porn for camera lovers.
The storefront is hidden on a backstreet in Shibuya, a short walk from the famous crossing. On the second floor, it is very unassuming from the outside.

Inside, we see a small shop, resembling an art studio...with a lot of cameras! I was the only customer, and the clerk working that day was Go. His name was Go, not Thunderbirds style.

A wall of Superheadz products, Holgas, and vintage Dianas above.

Some Polaroid cameras...

And a stockpile of Smenas (Smenii?).

And, just because, some blurry Agfa boxes.

Lots of free flyers by the front door, a few shown here.

Next up we have a little shop in Kochi on the island of Shikoku, Arew Watch & Sundries Co. The blog is a bit more interesting and updated more frequently. This place was super tiny, but it appeared in the Kochi guide book. We still had to ask for directions, though we were right across the street from it.

The tiny shop was run by a very nice gentleman and loaded with very cool, if pricey, cameras.

And a couple shots of the camera. Looking at these now, I see cameras I wished I'd taken a closer look at while I was there.

This was taken at Oosawa Camera in Tokyo.

I visited some other small shops, and spent quite a bit of money at Bic Camera in Shibuya. Mostly on Fuji instant film, which costs twice as much as it does in the US, oddly enough.
I also visited with a group of photographers that live in Japan. Riding on the back of Skorj's scooter, along with Brian on his motorcyle, we spent much time trying to navigate around the Tokyo Marathon to find this little pastry shop for a meetup. Here is the gang...

From left to right: Skorj, Dairou Koga, Brian Scott Peterson, Jim O'Connell, Clemens Schwaighofer, and Eiichi Miyamoto. Here is the shot Eiichi was taking while I was shooting. And a few more shots of the brunch, shot with my Natura Classica.

I also met a few random photographers on the street. In Tomigaya, this French guy, Eric, thought I was Skorj. White guy with a Polaroid camera...why not? We all look alike.

I met this photographer in Akibahara. I started to speak Japanese, turns out he was a tourist from Taiwan. He spoke some English (I don't know Taiwanese!). I took a photo of him and he took a photo of me...wish I had written his name down.

And this was in Yoyogi on a rainy day, Shingo Tsuruzono.

And this is Brian, in a little restaurant in Shimokitazawa.

In Akibahara, I found this spot with a bunch of Polaroids in the window. Looked like a radio station. Later I was walking by and they had someone famous, I assume, in there with a crowd around the window. I tried to take a photo but was told not to. Not sure if it was specifically part of Ameba, which is a lot of things...blog, videos, search engine, etc.

So, I spent a few days with Skorj and Artsyken on Shikoku, where we explored some haikyo, or abandoned spaces. We drove from the the southern tip to the north coast in a day (my birthday! Perfect!). These are some shots of the two doing what we do...

And Skorj's famous 600SE, at rest outside of a semi-abandoned ropeway station.

I could go on and on about the trip, and I may talk about it some more in the future, about Ashio and Shikoku and all the haikyo, but this post is getting a bit long. I have a bunch of shots of myself from the trip, of course, but here is an accidental self portrait to finish this post.

I still have a list of stuff to write posts about, including the Kowa Super 66, Fuji film in instant Kodak cameras, and this! Until then...


  1. my bf had some tokyo visiting plans, so now i know where we have to go... nice post and shots:)

  2. Anonymous4:25 PM

    The post was not too long, in fact I was hoping it would go on a while longer.

    Looking forward to your upcoming posts.

  3. Awesome post and wonderful pictures. The camera stores in Japan are amazing!

  4. Anonymous10:42 AM

    Those cameras at the shop really look interesting.

  5. Thank you for the adresses! I'm curious: how much is an SX70, there?

  6. not sure! but over $100. everything was pretty expensive at both stores.

  7. Everything is more expensive in japan, I guess...

  8. Cool Post. Thanks for the tag!

  9. you are amazing photographer and traveller.

  10. Any way I can get in touch with you for questions about a Multishot 102? Mine is eating my film!

  11. These are great photographs!