Shopping: Chikuma Camera (Ueno)

Hello, everybody! It’s spring now and it’s time for shopping. I rarely travel far lately due to the pandemic but if I do get to Ueno I always visit a particular shop which I will introduce to you in this article. They have a following because of the products they sell and to be specific, the quality of their merchandize. This is important if you want worry-free use, not all camera-lovers know how to repair old gear anyway.

Introduction:

Chikuka Camera (千曲カメラ) is one of the oldest shop in town which opened its doors in 1946. The shop is know for a lot of things such as the quality of their goods, the friendly and knowledgeable staff and what they have in the shop. It is not know for selling at bargain-level prices but their merchandize are all in great shape. If you want to buy a camera and just use it right out of the shop then this shop should give you that.

The shopfront is hard-to-miss if you’re in the area. Just like what the print at the awning says, they’re passionate about imported brands so this place should be on your list if you are looking for nondomestic cameras in Tokyo.

I knew this shop for years but I rarely visit it since they’re at the other side of Tokyo and they’re close on Sundays. If you live in the area you can visit them at 〒110-0015 Tokyo, Taito City, Higashiueno, 3 Chome−19−15 コモリビル. You can also check the map below to see where they’re at.

Their website is chikuma-camera.jp and they’re open 10:00AM to 6:00PM on weekdays. They’re closed on Sundays and it also depends on the owner’s mood so it’s best to contact them first before you go on weekends.

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The shopfront is full of stuff, some of the accessories I saw at one of the boxes appear to be rear. There are pouches of older Nikkors that were on display when I was there and they’re being sold for only $1.00 each.

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For Zeiss maniacs this shop is a must-go. They’re known to have some of the better selection of European gear in all of Tokyo. I do not know of any shop that has this much Zeiss-related gear in their inventory. They even have Robots, these are great cameras as they’re built very well.

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They’re also known for having a nice selection of Leicas, too. The inventory is not as extensive as other Leica-specialists but it’s a lot better than some shops that I know.

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They also have a nice selection of non-Japanese brands. American and European brands could be easily found here. It’s the best shop to go to if you’re in town and your looking for something that’s not made in Japan.

Here are some miscellaneous stuff that were all bundled into case. It can take you several minutes to see them all since they’re not organized in any way.

Of course, there’s no camera shop in Japan without Nikons. All of the items here are in excellent shape. You won’t find junks being sold in this shelf.

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Here’s some accessories for sale. I found a couple of rare things here on several occasions.

There used to be more stuff here, they had a well-stocked inventory of movie cameras and some of which were rare.

Since they’re known to be one of the shops with better cinema-related inventory look who decided to drop-by. He got an Arri, a nice camera for one of the nicest celebrities you’ll ever meet. The owner of the shop is very friendly, too. He’ll remember you even if you haven’t seen him for a while.

Despite being an institution and a well-loved place for many camera lovers this place will close its doors forever due to the pandemic and the age of the owner. The shop will be closed on June of 2021 after 75 years of solid business. There way too many mom-and-pop shops closing their doors lately, there are no replacements for them. Could you go to the websites of some of the biggest online retailers and talk to passionate people about cameras? We’re losing a huge part of our culture and what’s gone won’t be replaced so easily. Treasure your nearest camera shop while it’s still there, buy something from them even if it’s just a roll of film. See you guys next time and I hope that I can bring you better news about one of the most important camera shops in Tokyo. Ric.

Help Support this Blog:

Maintaining this requires resources and a lot of time. If you think that it has helped you or you want to show your support by helping with the site’s upkeep, you can make a small donation to my paypal.com at richardHaw888@gmail.com. Money isn’t my prime motivation for this blog and I believe that I have enough to run this but you can help me make this site (and the companion facebook page) grow.

Buy me a roll of film or a burger?

Thank you very much for your continued support!

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Helping support this site will ensure that this will be kept going as long as I have the time and energy for this. I would appreciate it if you just leave out your name or details like your country’s name or other information so that the donations will totally be anonymous. This is a labor of love and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. Ric.

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