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Old July 13th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #1
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Moving to Japan, looking for camera shops

Well, it turns out that I'm going to be doing an extended stint in Japan with the JET Program in less than two weeks. While I've got my trusty HV30, sticks and some assorted lenses, I'm going to be hunting down an HVX or PMW-EX1 along with lights and such soon enough. As such, just wondering if anyone knows of any good places in Tokyo, since I'm only about an hour north of it.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #2
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Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera in Shinjuku (the Tokyo skyscraper district) are your best bets. You can have a look there when you do your orientation in Tokyo for the Jet Programme. However, you should be advised the camera prices are about 20 to 30 percent higher in Japan than Stateside. I would consider buying before you come.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 11:28 AM   #3
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Oh, I hear you and am aware of the price difference. The only problem is that I've pretty much stocked up all I can before worrying about being able to survive the first month before the first good ol' paycheck rolls in. Not to mention going over baggage weight restrictions. :)

Thanks you very much advice though. I'll definetely be hopping a train to Shinjuku come the 27th.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 06:18 PM   #4
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Just FYI, I have recently priced out those 2 cameras you mentioned. The HVX-200 will run you about 550,000 to 600,000 yen. The PMW-EX1 is more expensive and is about 670,000 to 750,000 yen. Good Luck.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:36 PM   #5
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Out of curiosity Mark, where did you price them out? I visited Bic and Yodobashi's sites and, possibly due to my utterly shot kanji skills, was only able to find the PMW-EX3 (850,000 yen or so, yikes) and the HVX looked like it vanished off the face of the earth.

Appreciate the hand again.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 09:14 PM   #6
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The best prices on cameras will be from Japanese e-tailers. It is usually free shipping on any item within Japan (unless it is going to Hakkaido or Okinawa). Yodabashi and Bic's websites don't usually show the cameras (both still and video) that they have available. You really have to go to their stores and see for yourself. Some good japanese e-tailers are Rakuten, Kakaku.com, Amazons japanese site (not the english language site because it only sell books and dvds). However to order from these sites not all of them will accept credit cards as a payment option and if they do it must be a japanese credit card. As the japanese do not generally use credit cards very much and usually pay for everything in cash getting a credit card that has a high enough limit for a onetime payment in the 600,000 yen or higher range would be a problem especially for a foreigner with no ties to Japan or assets. You can do payment options on a credit card like if you have a 200,000 limit you can choose to make smaller monthly payments on the item you purchased like ten monthly payments of 100,000 yen or the like. But again that depends on your card and the company. Most japanese go this route on large purchases if they use a credit card. The other option given is to make a bank money transfer. I am not sure how good your Japanese is so this could range from an easy 5-10 minutes at the atm to taking a few hours off of work and getting someone to help you like your supervisor. A word of advice would be if you have to get someone from your work to help you with this I would wait a month or two for everything to do with your job and living in Japan to be settled before asking for help to buy a "luxury" item. Enjoy your stay.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 12:13 AM   #7
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There's a cool video shop in the shopping mall in Nakano too. It sells second hand video equipment, so you might have a chance of finding a bargain (probably no ex1 though).
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Old July 27th, 2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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Just stepped into Yodobashi Camera last night. Turns out the place is right across from my hotel building! In any case, it looks like exactly the kind of toy shop I will be needing (the mark-up nonwithstanding). Will check out Bic and the Nakano shop in due time. Thanks again, Mark and Brian!
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Old July 27th, 2008, 07:57 PM   #9
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try these shops,

system 5 (kanda)

Shirakura (gotanda)

Video Kinki (shinjuku)

I recommend you buy a copy of the video alpha magazine when you get there to get some awesome prices of cameras
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Old August 1st, 2008, 02:35 PM   #10
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Last time I was in Tokyo I went to the new Yodobashi camera store in Akihabara. Tremendous! They have the "kid in a candy store" concept down pat!

When I was living in Japan people used to ask me to get Japanese cameras for them, but I always told them they'd get better prices in Hong Kong or LA or New York
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