Photography Industry Organizations in Japan

Organizations of corporate members in Japan’s photography industry. Compiled by Philbert Ono, last updated: Feb. 14, 2011.

Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) (Camera Eizo Kiki Kogyo-kai)
Address: 東京都千代田区一番町25番地 JCIIビル(5階)
JCII Bldg. 5F
Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 5276-3891
Fax: (03) 5276-3893
Remarks: Formerly called the Japan Camera Industry Assocaition (name changed on June 30, 2002). Consists of Japan’s major camera equipment and film manufacturers. One of the key organizations in Japan’s photo industry. Holds Japan’s largest camera show called CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show in Yokohama.

Import Camera Society (ICS) (Yunyu Camera Kyokai) 輸入カメラ協会
Address: 東京都台東区上野6-2-14 喜久屋ビル地下1階
c/o Kikuya Camera, Kikuya Bldg. B1F, Ueno 6-2-14
Taito-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
Phone: (03) 3832-2331
Fax: (03) 3839-0320
Remarks: This is an association of around 19 mostly used and antique camera shops. The association holds the antique camera fair (Sekai no Chuko Camera-ichi) at Matsuzakaya Dept. Store in Ginza from late Feb. to early March and at Isetan Dept. Store in Shinjuku in Sept. Used and antique cameras are sold to the public by a large number of dealers.

Japan Camera Industry Institute (JCII) (Nihon Camera Zaidan)
Address: JCII Bldg., Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 3263-7111
Fax: (03) 3234-4624
Remarks: Formerly called the Japan Camera and Optical Instruments Inspection and Testing Institute (Nihon Shashin-ki Kogaku-kiki Kensa Kyokai). Although its official name in Japanese has been changed to Nihon Camera Zaidan, it continues to use the old acronym of JCII by only slightly modifying the English name. It operates the Japan Camera Museum, JCII Photo Salon, and JCII Library in Tokyo. It holds workshops, lectures, and exhibitions. Mayumi Moriyama (Diet member) heads the organization.

Japan Color-Photo Finishers’ Association (Nihon Color Lab Kyokai Rengokai)
Address: 〒102-0082東京都千代田区一番町25番地JCIIビル6F
JCII Bldg. 6F, Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 3288-0337
Fax: (03) 3288-0338
Remarks: Association of color photofinishers organized into regional associations nationwide.

Japan Federation of Photo Dealers Association (Zen-Nihon Shashin Zairyosho Kumiai Rengokai)
Address: 全日本写真材料商組合連合会
M&C Bldg. 8th floor, Kanda Ogawa-machi 2-3
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 101-0052
Phone: (03) 5282-7170
Fax: (03) 5282-7191
Remarks: Camera and photofinisher retailers’ association.

Address: 〒103-0027東京都中央区日本橋1-17-12 日本橋ビルディング2階
Nihonbashi Bldg. 2F, Nihonbashi 1-17-12
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 103-0027
Phone: (03) 5255-6201
Fax: (03) 5255-6202
Remarks: For organizations in the movie and television technology industry.

Japan Photo & Video Accessory Association (JPV) (Nihon Shashin Eizo Yohin Kogyo-kai)
Address: 東京都千代田区一番町25番地 JCIIビル(4階)
JCII Bldg. 4F, Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 5276-3581
Fax: (03) 5276-3584
Remarks: Consists of about 75 manufacturers of photo and video equipment and accessories. Holds the annual Photo Next Show for pro equipment and photo industry people and publishes the Shashin Eizo Yohin Show photo accessory catalog.

Photo Imaging Wholesale Association (Shashin Ryutsu Shosha Rengokai)
Address: 東京都千代田区一番町25 JCIIビル
Ichibancho 25 JCII Bldg.
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 3261-8341
Remarks: Organization of sales companies, distributors, and wholesalers in Japan’s photo industry.

Joint PhotoImaging Enterprises Association International (JPEA International) (Shashin Eizo Keiei-sha Kyokai) 写真映像経営者協会
Address: JCII Bldg. 6F, Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0082
Phone: (03) 5226-7900
Fax: Same as phone
Remarks: Formed in 1973, this is a non-profit organization promoting global communication to contribute in depth to the development of photographic, optical and digital imaging indusry. The membership includes manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors, retailers, financial analysts, and journalists. It publishes weekly newsletters in English (Photo Electro News or PEN) and Japanese, provides governmental and trade statistics, and assists members to exhibit at Photokina (Germany), PMA (U.S.A.), etc.

Japan Photographic Studio Equipment Association (Nihon Eigyo Shashin Kizai Kyokai)
Address: 光陽モネカ内
〒101-0054東京都千代田区神田錦町3-20 アイゼンビル4F
Kanda Nishiki-cho 3-20 4th floor
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
Phone: (03) 3295-3401
Fax: (03) 3293-4332

Photo-sensitized Materials Manufacturers’ Association (Shashin Kanko Zairyo Kogyo-kai)
Address: 写真感光材料工業会
JCII Bldg., Ichibancho 25
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
Phone: (03) 5276-3561
Fax: (03) 5276-3563
Remarks: Association of photo film and paper manufacturers.

Photo galleries in Kansai, Osaka, Kyoto

A comprehensive English list of galleries, museums, and other exhibition spaces in the Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Shiga, Mie, Wakayama, Hyogo) which may show photography exhibitions is provided by Kansai Art Beat at the following Web page:

Venues by area in Kansai:

After a dormant period of a few years from mid-2008, Kansai Art Beat is again actively maintained as of May 2014. Photo exhibition listings are also provided:

Canon EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark II locking Mode Dial

Canon will offer a hardware modification of the Mode Dial on the EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark II. From Dec. 8, 2010 in Japan, you can have the Mode Dial replaced with a locking Mode Dial that has a button at the dial’s center to lock the Mode Dial’s setting. Whenever you turn the Mode Dial, you have to first press the button at the center of the dial. The locking Mode Dial is similar to the one found on the EOS 60D.

The cost will be 10,500 yen and you can have it done at any of Canon’s Service Centers in Japan. The modification will take about 10 days in Japan and there is no warranty on the locking Mode Dial. You will have to bear the cost of shipping or taking the camera to a Canon Service Center.

Payment for this modification is required even if the camera still has a valid warranty.

I have the 7D and from my experience, I haven’t had problems with the Mode Dial turning inadvertently. Significant force would be required to turn the dial by accident, but it is possible. This modification may offer peace of mind, but for me, it would be an extra step to turn the dial.

Official Canon announcement in Japanese:

Yodobashi opens in Kyoto

Yodobashi Camera has finally come to Kyoto with a megastore in front of Kyoto Station right behind Kyoto Tower. It opened on Nov. 5, 2010.

Called Kyoto-Yodobashi, the huge 6-story building looks similar to Yodobashi’s megastore in Akihabara and Osaka. Besides selling camera equipment and consumer electronics, the building also houses other shops and restaurants. Store hours are 9:30 am to 10 pm.

It will give major competition to BIC Camera also next to Kyoto Station.

Official site in Japanese:

Mutsumido Kyoto camera store bankrupt

Longtime camera store in Kyoto, Camera no Mutsumido (カメラのムツミ堂) has filed for bankruptcy. This comes before the opening of megastore Yodobashi Camera in Kyoto.

Camera no Mutsumido was founded in 1945 and has operated several branches in Kyoto. Selling mainly cameras, they expanded to sell electrical appliances and mobile phones. From Feb. 2003, branch stores started seeing red ink due to competition from large camera chain stores.

It’s sad to see a local camera store disappear after being in business for so many decades.

Japan Photos FAQ

by Philbert Ono

What’s Japan Photos at PHOTOGUIDE.JP/pix ?
It’s an ever-growing collection of tens of thousands of online photos and videos of Japan, organized mainly according to prefecture and city/town/village. It is to help promote travel to Japan and pique your interest in the places, things, events, and people the photos show. Be great if the pictures help you better understand Japan and see that it is much more than just Mt. Fuji, geisha, and cherry blossoms.

How are the photos organized?
Basically, there are top-tier categories such as the prefecture (all 47 prefectures of Japan), then secondary categories such as the city, town, and village. The secondary categories contain photo collections called albums (called “photo sets” at Flickr). Each album can contain up to 250 pictures of a certain subject or theme. Toward the top of the page, there are breadcrumb links (ex.: Home > Tokyo > Shinjuku > Album name) showing you exactly where you are within Japan Photos.

I also have theme-based categories such as festivals, people, sumo, and vintage postcards.

What kind of Japan photos are there?
They are mainly travel photos from all 47 prefectures. They intend to show what a place looks like or what happens at an event such as a festival. The photos are selected from among many and presented in a logical sequence. If it’s a festival, the photos are in chronological sequence. It’s more like a photo essay, and I avoid showing random, unrelated images.

Most of the photos were taken within the Tokyo-to-Osaka corridor since I live in Tokyo and most of my travels are done within this area. I always seek to visit other parts of Japan every year, especially places I’ve never been to.

Did you take all these photos/videos?
I took almost all of them. Those labeled with “Philbert Ono.” Photos not taken by me are labeled with the respective photographer’s name.

How can I post my photos on your Japan Photos site?
I welcome photo submissions if you have photos of Japan I don’t have or don’t plan to shoot. You should have at least eight photos of a subject in an understandable sequence. File names should be in numeric order. Images should be at least 500 pixels wide or tall for vertical shots. You send me the images and I’ll post them on the site. Contact me for more info.

How many photos are there in Japan Photos?
As of late 2018, there are over 61,000 photos and videos. This number constantly increases. Almost every month, I see a place or festival (matsuri) I’ve never seen before and shoot. It may take a while longer for me to upload the images though.

Do you sell your photos?
Yes, most photos are available for licensing if you want to use it for editorial purposes in a book, magazine, etc. Give me the URL of the photo(s) you want and make an offer. Contact me for more info.

Can I use your photo in my blog?
Yes, you can use the image as is for free, as long as the copyright notice is clearly visible. Keep a copy of the image on your own site and do not hotlink images from my site.

What does “Album viewed xx times” mean?
Indicates the number of times the album (thumbnail page) has been viewed since June 6, 2010 when the system started to count the album views. The number of album views is not accurate for albums uploaded before this date.

Any advice on how to take nice pictures?
I really don’t have any advice because the definition of a “nice picture” can be different to different people. Everyone has different preferences, objectives, and tastes. Other than the technical aspects, there are really no rules or formula for taking a nice picture. A blurry or grainy photo considered to be bad to one person might look artistic to another.

If the photo looks good to you, then that’s really all that matters. It doesn’t really matter what other people think unless you’re entering a photo contest. As long as you like the picture, then it’s a nice picture.

If you’re a beginner, take many photos of your favorite subject or theme. Then go home and pick out your favorite shots. Sooner or later, you will understand or recognize what makes a picture look nice or what types of shots you like. Studying common rules and theories about composition might help, but it really depends on your objectives and preferences.

The thing about photography is that, not every photo you take will be a masterpiece. Out of 200 shots, you may find only a few that you really like. So the trick is to shoot a lot, then you can yield a higher number of great shots. That’s the great thing about digital. You can afford to take a lot of photos and just delete the bad shots.

Also think of ways to increase your chances of taking nice pictures. In my case, I like to shoot on sunny days because it brings out vivid colors, so I try to shoot on sunny days when possible. If it’s a festival, I check the exact route, location, time, and what the highlights will be. Such detailed information is usually only in Japanese. My shooting location is also important. I may need to go early to secure a prime spot for shooting. In Shiga though, this is rarely necessary. Festivals are not terribly crowded except for major fireworks events. When I’m shooting, my greatest enemy (besides foul weather) is another photographer. Photography is such a popular hobby that there will always be photographers who get in my way or spoil my clear shot. Once upon a time, amateur photographers in Japan were mostly old, retired men. Now we also often see little old women carrying one or two big D-SLR cameras at festivals. They can get quite aggressive and ill-mannered at times. And of course, most everyone has a smartphone or iPad to take pictures with while holding it above their heads.

Most of the photos I put online are presented in a series, usually in an online album (photo set). They are arranged in a logical sequence to tell a story or to document a place or event. This sequence is often chronological, especially for festivals.

Photography has been a pivotal part of my websites ever since I went online. I love photography because it’s so universal like music, sports, and art. Everybody loves photos. The Internet was made for photographers and writers. And it’s so easy and accessible. For public consumption, I’m inclined to take pictures that serve a practical purpose. My travel photos help people understand a place or event and make travel decisions. I also believe in captioning my photos to promote better understanding of the subject or scene depicted. Many photographers think that the picture speaks for itself and don’t need captions. I disagree. A caption enhances the picture’s impact and the viewer’s understanding.

How do you organize and store your digital photos?
When you take as many photos as I do, having an easy and efficient way to organize, store, and find photos and videos becomes absolutely essential. My images are basically organized by date. First of all, the image file names contain the date with the year, month, and day (YYYYMMDD) it was taken. Then there’s a hyphen or underbar followed by a sequential number. For example, “20181011-1234.jpg”. I may also include keywords in the file name. For each event (festival, etc.), I create a separate folder for the images I shoot. The folder is also named with the date and a descriptive title. For example, “20181011-SportsDay”. These folders are then stored in a folder organized by month, named like “201810-PHOTOS” for photos taken in Oct. 2018. These month folders are then stored in a folder for the year named like “2018PHOTOS”. When I need to find a particular image, I search for the date or key words with my computer’s search function. The Japanese date format (YYYYMMDD) is much more efficient than any other date format.

I don’t use photo organizer applications like Apple’s Photos app (for amateurs and the worst there is), Adobe Lightroom, etc. They lock you into their system and make it difficult or impossible to switch to another system. Such applications can also be discontinued at the maker’s whim (like iPhotos and Aperture). After organizing my photos as above, I use Adobe Bridge for browsing through the photos and rating them or renaming them.

My images are stored locally on external hard drives. All my files are stored redundantly in different locations in Japan. So even if a disaster destroys my home, I still have the files stored elsewhere. I don’t use cloud services to store images because I have too many images to store and it takes too long to upload/download. I also don’t trust cloud services.

Are you on social media?
Yes. If you like to see travel photos of Japan, you can also follow my public posts at and Twitter (@philbertono).

Photo exhibition: Onna (Woman), Aug.-Dec. 2010

As part of their 60th anniversary celebration, the Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS) will hold a major photo exhibition called Onna (おんな), which means “Woman.” It will be an exhibition of photos of women by over 130 renown Japanese photographers (living and deceased) including Akiyama Shotaro, Araki Nobuyoshi, Ishimoto Yasuhiro, Kimura Ihei, Gomi Akira, Domon Ken, Nagashima Yurie, Hiromix, Nagano Shigeichi, Ninagawa Mika, George Hashiguchi, and Hosoe Eikoh.

The photos will span from 1945 to 2010, mainly showing women on the move and in action, displaying their “life force” and their will to live. The exhibition will be held in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Yokohama as follows:

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Basement 1st floor)
Aug. 14-29, 2010, 10 am to 6 pm (till 8 pm on Thu. and Fri), closed Mon.
Admission 700 yen

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art (Annex)
Sept. 14-26, 2010, 9 am to 5 pm, closed Mon.

The Japan Newspaper Museum
Nov. 13-Dec. 26, 2010, 9 am to 5 pm, closed Mon.
Admission 500 yen

A photo book (exhibition catalog) with the same title will also be sold for 2,800 yen.

Thanks to JPS for sending me a flyer and two complimentary tickets.

Official site and sample photos:

Web site revamping

Welcome to PhotoGuide Japan’s new NewsZONE section. Major changes have been made as follows:

  • The main NewsZONE URL has changed from to And what used to be at is now totally different.
  • PhotoWho’sWho (photographer biographies) has moved completely to It is no longer at PhotoCloseups also merged with PhotoLog.
  • PhotoBBS (message boards) has been shut down and most messages have migrated to this NewsZONE blog’s PhotoNews and PhotoLog categories.
  • The new PhotoNews category includes Japanese photography news, photo expo notices, exhibition notices, book announcements, etc. The PhotoLog category has my personal rants related to photography.

What’s New (what you’re reading now) is about the latest Web site updates at PhotoGuide Japan.

Some photography-related pages have also been transferred to this NewsZONE blog, such as PhotoRepairs, PhotoEvents, and PhotoFAQ.

Now that our NewsZONE section has been realigned and straightened out, next will be the revamping of DirectoryZONE still plagued with an outdated system and outdated information. So far, only PhotoRepairs has been revamped.

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