Yodobashi Camera Opens in Kyoto
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Yodobashi Camera, a small chain of large camera/electronics stores, opened a new branch in Kyoto on Friday. They have about 20 branches around Japan now, with the main store in Tokyo's Shinjuku said to be the largest camera store in Japan. They have a branch in Osaka 45 minutes away by train (which I mentioned five years ago in an early post on my blog), but mentally it feels much further away, so it's wonderful for me that they have a branch in Kyoto. It's in the building immediately north of Kyoto Tower, which itself is just north of Kyoto Station, the heart of Kyoto.

The new store is absolutely huge. I went on the evening of the grand opening last Friday, and was stunned by the breadth and depth of what they carry. Got to play with a $13,500 Nikkor 600mm f/4 monster prime they had sitting out mounted to a D700 on a tripod, and a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 as well. I probably won't buy lenses here (even with the dollar so weak, they're somehow much cheaper in The States; the same $13.5k lens sells in The States for more than $3,000 less), but it'll be great for accessories like bags or lighting gear.

The nine-story building (seven above ground, two below) has everything from a supermarket in the basement to upscale eating, massage, clothes, etc. in the upper floors. (Yodobashi Camera, per sa, is only four of the floors, but it all feels connected.) There's a huge toy section that will certainly be Anthony's (want-to-) go-to spot. In the upper floors there's also a BørneLund (store with expensive European toys), though without the fun play zone that the store on Kawaramachi used to have.

Oddly, in the camera section there was a long cooler full of photographic film, as if it were still the 20th century, and enlargers and developer chemicals and stuff. It's difficult to believe that there's enough market to include this in a new store built from scratch, but there apparently still is. I suppose it might seem quaint to some, but just seems yucky to me. I have nice memories of my time in a darkroom doing my own film, but I have no wish whatsoever to repeat it.

Anyway, happy day for Kyoto camera geeks!

One comment so far...

I remember the store in Tokyo, huge, and all the high-end equipment right there. At the time, I was drooling in front of the Leica shelves.
Good shopping !

— comment by luc on November 8th, 2010 at 7:05am JST (13 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink
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