PhotoRepairs FAQ (Read Me First)

Updated: May 12, 2023

NOTICE: Camera service centers in Japan have been closing. The information here may be outdated.

For English information on repairing your camera in Japan according to manufacturer, click on the links below.
CanonCasioEpsonFujiFilmKenko-TokinaKodakKonica-Minolta |Kyocera/ContaxMamiyaNikonOlympusPanasonic LumixPentaxPolaroidRicohSigmaSonyTamronIndependent Repair Centers

How to Repair Your Camera in Japan
Almost all the official information from camera makers on how to repair your camera in Japan is in Japanese. If you can take your camera to a camera service center in Japan, you can probably somehow communicate with the staff in simple English.

However, in recent years, most camera manufacturers have closed their service centers in provincial cities (Sapporo, Sendai, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, etc.). So now the service centers are concentrated only in the largest cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Unless you live in these cities, you will have to send in your camera (or lens) for repair. There is usually an online form or a phone number to request the pick-up and delivery of your camera for servicing. However, the online form and telephone support are only in Japanese. If necessary, find someone to help you communicate in Japanese.

If you bought your camera in Japan, you can also take your camera to the retailer in Japan to request repair. If you purchased an extended warranty, you will have to take your camera to the retailer (not the camera maker) for any repairs under the extended warranty.

Besides camera repairs, you can also have your camera cleaned and inspected for a few thousand yen. If you want a detailed inspection, it can cost around ¥15,000. For a camera overhaul, it can cost at least ¥60,000.

If your camera is five years old or older after it has been discontinued, you should check with the manufacturer on whether it is still repairable. They usually provide an online list (or search form) of cameras and other products that can no longer be serviceable due to a lack of spare parts. Digital cameras are especially difficult or impossible to repair without spare electronic parts.

For older cameras or classic cameras, you can try repairing it at an independent camera service center.

PhotoRepairs FAQ

What is PhotoRepairs?
PhotoGuide Japan’s English list of camera repair centers in Japan organized according to camera manufacturer. This is where you can find your nearest camera service center in Japan or find out how to send in your camera for repair.

Note: Repair centers sometimes close or move, so you might find outdated information here. Contact us if you find any outdated information so we can correct it.

I live outside Japan and I need to repair my camera or lens in Japan. Can you help me?
Camera repair centers in Japan do not accept camera repair orders from overseas. They will not ship your repaired camera overseas. You need to be in Japan to receive your repaired camera. You need to contact your dealer or authorized camera service center in your country/region. Or you can visit Japan and have it repaired here. But your warranty might not be valid in Japan. If you are outside Japan and want to repair your camera in Japan, you will need to find a friend in Japan who can accept your camera, give it to the camera repair center in Japan, then ship the repaired camera to you. In this case, contact my friend Bellamy who offers such a service:

I bought my camera outside Japan and it’s still under warranty. Can I repair it for free in Japan?
In the case of Nikon, camera bodies and accessories (flash, etc.) have only country-specific warranties. So the warranty will be valid only in the country where you bought the camera. Only Nikkor lenses have worldwide warranties. As for Canon, both camera bodies and lenses have country-specific warranties. Most other camera makers would have similar warranty conditions. Whether your warranty is valid or not in Japan, you can still have your camera checked out at any repair center in Japan for free. They can tell you what’s wrong and give an estimate for the repair cost. If you bought your camera at a US military base in Japan, it will likely be considered as a purchase in the US.

I don’t speak any Japanese. Will the people in Japan understand me?
Major camera repair centers in Japan will usually have someone who can understand English. Just speak slowly and don’t use any difficult words. However, telephone and online support are only in Japanese.

How long does it take to repair a camera?
It usually takes one week for digital cameras. Certain manufacturers offer a quick repair service or same-day service depending on the camera model, the type of repair, how early in the day you bring in your camera, and how busy they are that day. Call to check. If you are a tourist visiting Japan, you will need to make sure whether the camera will be repaired fast enough while you’re here. Call to check.

Also, if you are registered at a pro service center, you can get it back much faster and at cheaper rates. To be eligible to receive services from a pro service center, you must register and show proof that you are a full-time pro photographer.

What about cleaning my D-SLR’s sensor?
You can usually have it cleaned on the same day you take it in. But if they are busy, it may require overnight service. Best to take your camera earlier in the day, by early afternoon so it will be ready the same day. Or you can call them to ask how long it will take. They might charge for cleaning the sensor, especially if the warranty has expired.

How much will it cost to repair my camera?
For expensive SLR equipment, expect to pay an arm or leg or both. Compact digital cameras usually cost around 8,000 to 13,000 yen to repair. Most service centers have a Web page listing their repair prices (in Japanese only). You can also ask by phone for an estimate.

Can I pay by credit card?
Note that camera repair centers do not accept credit cards. Prepare to pay in cash. Even when you send in your camera for repair, it will usually be delivered to you C.O.D. so you will have to pay the delivery person in cash upon receiving the repaired camera.

How should I send my camera to a repair center in Japan?
If you live in Japan, you should first check the manufacturer’s website on how to send in your camera for repair. (Information will be in Japanese only.) They usually use a courier service called takkyubin (宅急便) available at most convenience stores. Or go to a post office and request Yu-Pack. You fill out the address label with the address and stick it on to the box. You will then receive the receipt that has the package tracking No. in case it gets lost. Better to not send anything via parcel post or regular mail.

What are independent camera service centers?
These are companies that are independent from camera manufacturers. They specialize in repairing old (classic) and discontinued cameras and often manufacture their own spare parts after the camera maker runs out of parts to fix your camera.

In other words, if your camera is too old to be repaired by the manufacturer, then you can take it to an independent camera repair center if it’s worth repairing.

I forgot to bring my warranty card!
If your camera is a new model introduced less than a year ago, it will be obvious that it is still under warranty (usually 1 year), so they will likely repair it under the warranty even if you don’t have the warranty card. But try to bring the warranty card just in case, especially if you have an international waranty.

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Philbert Ono

Owner, operator, and Webmaster of PhotoGuide Japan ( and PHOTOGUIDE.JP.

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