Rolleiflexes and Leicas seem to be pretty damn expensive there at least.
I did get a 50mm for my Hasselblad pretty reasonable though.
Generally, it seems that Japanese brands are the most reasonable priced items over there, but it may vary a lot with the currency exchange-rate I suppose.
For film, it may be worthwhile buying in japan if you favor 220 slide film.
For cameras, the prices are generally no cheaper than here. However, because there are so many places selling used film gear over there, you may be able to find the odd good deal.
I don't plan to buy a new camera there, but it is always fun to look. I might buy some film there, especially if there are things one can't get in North America, e.g. large format
220 films would be interesting, the only ones available in North America are Portra 160 & 400.
I think tax rates makes local products more expensive than US. Your best bet is to find pn55 polaroid film ,AGFA Scala and AGFA Brovira Portriga papers. Otherwise all Kodak Films are better than fuji IMO.
I see at Yobodashi carries Velvia 50 4x5 (8x10 too) - not easy to get at any price in North America
Also what about these Oriental papers? I might have to bring some back to try...
But beyond shopping, are there any locations people recommend with great architecture or nature?
Oh man, i found places in Tokyo that will blow your mind. There are camera dealers in what look like normal apartment blocks, off the street with no street view shop window. Row upon row, cabinet upon cabinet of every film camera you have ever seen, every accessory or lens you could ever imagine.
I bumped into a guy (Dave) in the Leica store in Ginza (the guy who runs the shoottokyo blog) - he took me to camera shops on Harumi Dori in Ginza that will leave you peeing in your pants. Look him up, he's a nice guy and ask him for some directions. I bought by Leica M7 there.
Otherwise go to BIC Camera in Ikebukoro, it'll also blow your mind. There is still a lot of film equipment to be had (new mamiya's, all manner of lenses and filter systems) - basically anything you could ever want AND MORE.
There are a multitudes of Japanese gardens in Tokyo that you can stroll and enjoy.
The new "Sky-tree" is a very impressive structure, much much bigger than the Eiffel-copy they have in the center of Tokyo.
Google a bit to find the locations (like "temples tokyo", "gardens tokyo" etc).
You can get a pretty good skyline view of tokyo from Odaiba ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odaiba ), which has a ferris wheel and a few strange buildings and stuff.
If you are there on a Sunday, go up to yoyogi-park to watch Elvis-people and young girls dressing up in cosplay-costumes.
IMO, the people and styles of Tokyo is one of the coolest things to photograph there ^^
I think my best advise to you to own a radiation dosimeter , especially for sea foods , rice and meat.
Lets not get carried away in paranoia. I come here 2 times a year for the past 4 years and it's all fine. I've came here right after the tsunami when all the other foreigners ran away too.
Originally Posted by Mustafa Umut Sarac
I just arrived here this morning and did my rounds around shops. It's a toy wonderland. For now I bought 35 rolls of 120 film and maybe more to come.
As for places to shoot, everything. People, buildings etc, it's all unique. For first timer I would recommend Asakusa.