Shopping: Gokurakudo (Shinjuku)

Hello, everybody! I will give you a tour around one of my favorite shops. I seldom come here in recent years due to its location being a bit inaccessible to me. Despite that I always find myself buying stuff from them each time I visit, their inventory is certainly impressive by local standards.

Introduction:

Gokurakudo (極楽堂) has been in business for some time now. The owner is known by everyone in the hobby, he could speak good English so it’s not hard for many non-Japanese speakers to communicate with him. I told him that I would make an article about the shop but it took me years to do so since I left my old job some years ago which was located close to them. It was started in celebration of everything “Contax“, from Carl Zeiss to the Japanese “Contax” brand by Yashica/Kyocera. It also specializes in screw-mount lenses from every manufacturer. They’re one of the shops that have transitioned well into the current online economy which helps a lot in the current pandemic situation.

This is shopfront, it’s difficult to miss because of the blue sign. When the shop is close, the shutter has a sign that says “Only Contax” in big, bold lettering. The shop itself is small but it is packed with goodies.

This shop is one of the few that transitioned online successfully and their website is updated regularly. Because of that I won’t show close-ups of what’s inside each display since it’s a lot easier to just check what you want through their site. Click on this link to get to the main shop’s site and this link for the adjoining shop.

You can find them at this address:  1-1-8 Toyama, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 162-0052. It’s a couple of minutes walk from the nearest station or you could just take the bus and stop just a few meters from the shop. For those who are not familiar with the area you can check the map above. Operating hours vary and they are closed on Mondays so check their site to know if they’re open or not.

The display at the front shows mostly Zeiss-related things from the early Cold War years. I have bought plenty of stuff from this display.

This display is filled with Japanese “Contax” bodies along with Yashicas and other things related to them.

This display is filled Zeiss lenses made in more recent times together with the ones made by Cosina.

This shop also specializes in other European brands such as Taylor Hobson and Voigtländer. The quality of the products range from junks to mint-condition.

Housed in this display are older lenses from the 1950s and 1970s such as the “zebras” and all-silver lenses. The display at the top has a couple of Japanese “Contax” bodies.

Here’s the other part of the same display, this shop is packed to-the-brim with things that you won’t find elsewhere in Tokyo so it’s worth visiting if you’re in the area.

There are plenty of accessories here, too. Some of the items appear rare and in great condition.

I love this part of the shop since it contains rangefinder lenses from Nikon and other brands, too. There’s a nice row of Carl Zeiss Sonnars at the front, some of which are priced reasonably.

There’s also a dedicated display for Nikon and Leica lovers here as well but you’ll also see some Minolta and other stuff all bunched-up in this display.

This is the shop beside it called Fotoborse (フォトベルゼ), it’s basically their other shop that sells mostly other things. It has everything that didn’t quite fit the “Contax-only” theme of the other shop.

This display contains an assortment of things without any themes or groupings.

This display has cine-lenses and other stuff packed-together. Nikkors and Takumars can be found here along with the more odd ones from smaller manufacturers.

Their prices range from cheap, reasonable to up-scale depending on condition and rarity. It’s hard to find a bargain as the staff are all familiar with current trends.

If you love Pentax this shop has plenty of things for you, too!

Please visit them when you have the time and I promise you that you won’t waste your time. This shop is know for a lot of things apart from specializing in the “Contax” brand and the shopkeepers and owner are very friendly as well which helps make this shop popular with many people who love vintage camera equipment. Please support them because it’s one of the few mom-and-pop shops around and it will be beneficial for everybody for them to continue as custodians of everything “Contax” here in Japan.

Thanks for following my work, if you liked this article please share this with your friends so it will get more views. This site earns around $0.40 a day, we are totally reliant on views. You could also support this site, it helps me offset the cost of maintenance and hosting. You are also helping me purchase, process and scan film. This site promotes the use of film so we are all in this together. See you again in the next article, 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.

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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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