A while ago I posted on shops for new camera kit in Tokyo. Here’s the companion to that, a short list of my favorite used camera shops in Tokyo. But before I get started, a caveat:
Please bear in mind that this is a very subjective list; these are just places I’ve been recommended or stumbled across. I have bought and sold at some, but not all, and apologies if I have missed somewhere important.
5 shops, in no particular order . . .
1) Fujiya Camera, Nakano
Nakano was Tokyo geek central before Akihabara, and it has some of the best hobby shops in Tokyo, including cameras. There are several Fujiya shops in a small area. The biggest one has used cameras on the second floor. Check out Mandarake while you are in Nakano. No cameras, but everything else you could imagine!
2) Sanpo Camera, Meguro
Sanpo is the most inconviently situated of this list, but I suspect that is the point. They are VERY cheap. I’m not so sure about their used cameras, but they kitted me out with a new DLSR kit not so long ago for much less than anywhere else I could find. A favourite of pros.
3) Map Camera, Shinjuku
Right round the corner from Yodobashi camera Shinjuku West exit. There are about 5 or 6 used camera shops within a stone’s through of this one but Map is the biggest and best. I just sold them a lens the other day and they were super-efficient. I’ve always had good advice from the staff too.
4) Sakuraya, Akihabara, Shinjuku etc
There are Sakura camera shops dotted all around Tokyo and Japan, actually a chain of used camera shops, and how that is economically feasible, I have no idea. In any case, they have lots of extremely cheap classic cameras. I bought a Yashica Samurai for 1000 yen in one the other day. It came with a free battery worth 800 yen!
5) Lemonsha, Ginza
By no means the cheapest of the above, but my favourite. Lots of Leica, a fair selection of Nikon and Canon, medium format etc. They stock other collectables like fountain pens and watches too. (I’m writing a story on Seiko right now). They have a little coffee machine and seating area, so its perfect for a break during an afternoon of ginbura.
Lastly, my friend Alfie Goodrich has a great post on his local camera shop. There are hundreds of small and (mostly) friendly camera shops in Tokyo and around Japan. Good luck on finding your own favourite!