Kitamura l Okinawa Hai!

AAFES sells cameras but not any of the accessories – lenses or additional batteries.

I am not happy about that, but I got over it when I found Kitamura Camera (you can read this with Google translator). This place is awesome. Seriously, I felt like the heavens opened up and the angels began to sing. I think I’ve missed the camera stores in America where I can play with the cameras and lenses.


And their lenses – I’m in love. There was a particular lens that was about… er, 400000 Yen (or so) that I told my husband I wanted. He laughed at me. I think my Canon Rebel, Charlie, would love it – I even asked Charlie, and he said yes.

My husband said that Charlie didn’t get a vote.

Besides cameras, the store also has one of those dress-up in costume photo places (Mario Studio), will make photo prints for you, and fix your camera issues.

I knew what I wanted when I walked in the store. I had done my research: I knew the serial numbers, the prices that they would be in dollars and I even a picture just in case there was a language barrier.

The list came in handy, because it expedited the process, but I really shouldn’t have worried about the language thing. Most of the workers speak perfect English, they are very knowledgeable and the customer service rocked!

It turned out, I got everything I wanted, for less money (much less) than I would have spent online – even with the poor conversion rate. I am one happy girl. Best of all, it will only take a maximum of two weeks to arrive.

Kitamura Camera

Address: 2 Chome-2-1-1 Mekaru, Naha, Okinawa Prefecture 900-0004, Japan

GPS Coordinates: 26.2297443, 127.69734849999998


  1. Kitamura Camera is no longer in the location described by this article or the editor’s note. It is located on Hwy 58, across the street from Camp Foster, between the Hotto Motto and McDonald’s. This is the ONLY Apple authorized iPhone repair center on island.

  2. Does anyone know of any other camera shops on island. I gotta imagine in the land of nikon/canon there’d be a few more. Kitamura does rock, got a used nikon 50mm 1.2 there for a bargain, just curious about other shops to compare prices etc.

    • @ Ryan:
      There’s a Nikon store over in an older part of Okinawa. My buddy called the adjacent street “NBC Street,” but I’m not sure if that’s the actual name or a nickname or what. It was near Charlie’s Tacos, if that helps.

      I liked this Kitamura a lot, too, and their prices were great. I picked up a lens there for considerably less than it would have cost in the U.S. Also, the salespeople were super friendly and we communicated quite well despite me knowing no Japanese and them speaking basically no English.

    • Yes, they do accept Credit Cards and Debit Cards. I have used both Visa and Mastercards at Kitamura on 58.

      I have not bought anything from the other stores on Okinawa, but since it’s a large franchise I assume they all take cards.

      Below is the Store Locator to get map and phone numbers for every Kitamura camera store on the island. (A helpful note, there has been at least one English speaking worker at every store I have been to.)

      Google translate this page:

  3. Michael, it appears that the directions in the post are wrong anyway. There is no commissary on Lester. The author meant to say Foster. Anyway here are directions from Kadena Gate 1 the easiest way I know to put it. Exit Gate 1 and turn left to merge onto 58 South (heading towards Naha). Stay on 58 past Camp Lester on your left and make sure you are in the right hand lane. When you see the McDonald’s on your right across from Foster (which will be on your left) then you need to make a u-turn at the next light. Kitamura is beside the McDonald’s. You will never turn off of 58 and at this time there is no other McDonald’s on 58 between Kadena Gate 1 and the Foster Commissary gate. Hope you find it!

  4. It is expensive for some things, though you can find some gear here that’s cheaper than CONUS. For example, they’re selling a Canon 7D now for $1300 (with yen rate at 80). That’s at least $100 cheaper than you can find it anywhere online.

    • That is good information because I’ve been to Foster and Kadena inquiring about batteries and no one informed me that I could order one. I’m wondering if that has changed with the lithium batteries not being able to be shipped to FPO?!?!

  5. Wonderful service. I needed the sensor on my Nikon D80 cleaned. They have a send out service. It took 3 weeks. The price ended up being 1000 yen less than what I was originally quoted. I now have a much happier camera and clean pictures again.

  6. I have to say that I received some of THE BEST costumer service here today. We were looking around, and the Nikon d3100 that I bought on base, was on sale here for the exact same price (in yen) but with the extra 55-300mm lense. So I returned the original camera I purchased and bought the one at Kitamura. The man that rung us up was so helpful. First, he threw in a free Nikon Camera bag. Then he said that there was an extra 5000Yen discount if we traded in a camera. He went to the back and brought out an old beat up camera (he said it was a present for us) and he used it to give us the extra 5000Yen discount. After paying, the computer printed out 3 coupons, 1 for 20 free 4 x 6 pictures, one for a free 20 picture photo book, and one for a free large portrait from their studio where they dress you up. So all of this for only $120 more than we paid for way less on base. I left there SO happy!!

  7. I can add kudos to Kitamura. After arriving in Okinawa for a holiday visit with family, my first trip here, I realized that I forgot to pack the charger to my brand new point and shoot camera. I was particularly looking forward to shooting video with that camera to share with family back home.

    After explaining my dilemma to the kind sales person, who spoke only a few words in
    English, he offered to charge my battery for free. I ended up buying a new battery and asking him to charge both batteries to carry me thru the end of my visit. He was kind and gracious in helping me out.

  8. Deborah – Nikon D40s need AF-S lenses that have the auto focus IN the lens. They’re special. If you have a regular Nikon auto focus lens, it won’t work. That’s the problem.

    Kelly – If you didn’t buy the lens or the camera there, it’s likely that they won’t service it – I’d bet you spoke to someone who didn’t realize what you were trying to say…but who knows. I had my camera sent out for a cleaning from Kitamura and I hadn’t bought it there and they did it really cheaply. Where did you buy the lens? Who makes it? I’d guess you’re right and it was just that individual on that day. Usually customer service is great. Sorry for your experience!

  9. I went to this store with questions and the possibility of buying camera supplies. I walked away disappointed. They refused to help me because I didn’t buy the lens there. They would not let me try a lens on my camera. I asked about fixing something that may be broken and they just told me to send it to the manufacturer. I asked for another store which may be able to help and was pretty much ignored. I had been in there for another reason before and was treated much nicer. Hopefully it was just that day and those individuals.

    Does anyone know of another camera store?

  10. Deborah, as the above said, I bet that is the problem. Some lenses ‘hunt’ (that is what it is probably doing as in hunting to focus on something) more than others. Some are really quite noisy about it too! You could also keep it in auto focus and just recompose yourself even just an inch or 2 and that should solve it…another thing, if you are trying to focus on something with not much contrast to it (eg: horizon with not much difference between the sea/sky colours), the lens will again ‘hunt’ looking for a focus point…

  11. Hi Deborah. They do have English-speaking personnel at Kitamura. I’ve never taken anything in to get looked at, so as far as that goes I’m not sure. But it’s worth it to try and ask someone.

    As far as your problems with the focus, there are a few things that could be wrong. Unless you are using a macro lens, sometimes when you try to shoot up close, there will be problems with focusing. When that happens, I usually switch to manual focus instead of automatic. With the lens, it could just be that in general. What type of lens do you have and what’s the aperture on it? Another issue may be light. In low light settings, digital SLR sensors are really sensitive, and when there is a lack of light, the camera may have trouble focusing. You can always try to add more light to a subject, switch to manual focus, or set the camera up on a tripod. Also if there are objects blocking your subject, or too much free space around it, that may be another reason it isn’t focusing. The last thing is that your camera’s sensor or mirror may have dust inside it and need to be cleaned. I hope this helps. If none of these reasons seem to be the case, I’d go take it in. Also, check out your camera’s manual.

  12. I got a Nikon D40 nearly a year ago, and it doesn’t always take pictures. It starts whining like it’s trying to focus, but can’t. Does this store have people that speak english and are able to look at my camera to determine the problem?

  13. Hello,
    We’re still CONUS and I’ve been pricing Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55mm lense.
    I found it at Sam’s for $790. Dh states that I can pick it up over in Oki for less.
    Can anyone confirm? Thanks for the input.

  14. I love Kitamura! I’m a photographer, and when I first got here I was sad because I couldn’t find any camera stores. Luckily, someone on the photo group on the society helped give me directions to the place. I’m glad I can go there now and look at “real” cameras and accessories.