Kent

from what I've seen you're living in LF heaven. Just jump in and get one of the many good LF cameras. I personally chose a Toho (while I was in japan) after much deliberation. The Toho was my choice for lightness and the complete availability of movements. I'm left handed though, and can see that there has been design input from right handed thinking folk.

Some of the cheaper optics available (such as the Fujinons) seem to be more available there than anywhere else. A couple of trays, some D-76 and some of the bigger sake bottles from outside the 'izakaya' and you're set for processing and storage of chemistry :-) Contact printing is a peach with a small lamp from Tokyu hands and a set of VC filters from Yodobashi or Bic. I snagged a 5x7 photo frame from the local hyaku en shop took the glass out of the frame (sanded and taped around the sharper edges of the glass) and voila ... contact printing press.

I mainly focused on local architecture (some in my gallery) and just before deciding to leave I was considering selling hand made contact prints at my local coffee shop (in Nezu) as there seemed to be quite the weekend tourist focus on the historical parts of the area (more for the 'fun' than for needing any money .

If this at all helps, the biggest leap is the mind set. For less than 50 Euro I set up again my processing here in Finland and I put it together in Japan for about "go sen en".