Sakura in bloom


Ginza Used Camera Fair

February 22, 2013 · 0 comments

Ginza camera fair

This means awesome cameras for sale here

In Ginza, one of the most expensive places in Tokyo and more famous for its line up of world famous jewellery stores and high end shopping amongst others, there is an annual used camera fair event in the top floor of the Matsuya building (a department store, almost opposite the Apple store, so it’s easy to find). I luckily found out about it a week before so aligned my dental appointment (also in Ginza – there are a lot of dentists there for some reason) with the opening date the 20th Feb to go along and see what was the big deal all about.

Being a camera geek helped too. If you’re not interested in camera’s then give this one a miss. There isn’t much else to see here. It was like walking around a camera museum. Not much digital in sight, in fact one stall only sold film rolls (which make memory cards look cheap if you haven’t looked at the price tags of them in a while).

Old cameras

Gold and leather camera sir?

The above photo shows a nice example of what is available. What are they? I have no idea. They just look cool. The cheapest one (on the right) is about £800 though. Double that for the middle one, and double again for the one on the left. I think my brand new Olympus OM-D EM-5 cost that a year ago, which had state of the art technology and it can take more than 36 photos at a time too. It’s a huge amount to drop on a 30+ year old camera in my opinion, but I respect those who do.

old video cameras

Some video cameras were there too

Despite Japan having a huge history in optics from companies like I don’t know, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, Fujifilm, Sigma, Pentax, Tokina, Hoya, and the more recent electronics companies taking over digital like Sony, Panasonic and even casio, the fair featured a lot of German made glass, from the likes of Leica, Carl Zeiss, Schneider and Rollei amongst all the vintage ware. Of course the Japanese companies were well represented, but not as much as you may expect from a Japanese based event.

In terms of bargains… Well there isn’t too much to speak of unfortunately. Other decent second hand shops (I recommend MAP camera in Shibuya) have similar prices if you can find what you are after. This event is more for the rare bits and pieces. Those sort of things will take up all your money so you’ll need to fund your next adventure with a Halifax Loan in order to make use out of your new purchase, or at least use the money to get to Tokyo to hunt down these items. That’s assuming it’s not going to sit in a air tight glass cabinet for your viewing pleasure :-)

Anyway, the fair ends on the 25th and should return again next year. So if you’re a カメラおたく in Tokyo, then you better get down there quick. Here’s some more shots from the fair to whet your appetite:

Rollei in Japan

Rollei Glass


Camera geek stuff

Moveable extension things


Camera lenses




A river is not the first thing people think off when you say Tokyo but the city like many others around the world is built around one. Like the others you can take a river cruise along it to get a completely different perspective of the city too.

I took a afternoon Sumida river tour, which included entry to the Tokyo World Trade Centre and a bus tour around a few tourist attractions in the ticket price online which seemed to be the same price as booking it on location (but you can pay with your own home currency). It’s available on Wednesday and Sundays currently.

Tokyo world trade centre

Tokyo Tower from the WTC

The tour starts with Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →

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Tokyo Skytree

May 29, 2012 · 6 comments

The Tokyo Skytree is the worlds second tallest building next to Dubai’s Burj and setting the record for the tallest tower in the world at 634metres. It was open to the public just 2 weeks ago (May 2012). The attraction had such large interest (it is primarily a broadcasting tower, but also has 2 observation decks) that a ticket lottery was held for the first month to avoid huge queues while the interest was still high. Although this isn’t my favoured lottery to win (I prefer the euromillions!), my partner won us tickets, so we was one of the first to experience Japan’s tallest building and get the highest view of Tokyo without getting inside a vehicle. This also makes me one of the first foreigners to go up there. It’s always nice being first :-)

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree merchandise

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60 Foot Gundam

May 26, 2012 · 10 comments

60ft Gundam replica in Japan