Glass Dry-plate Photography,
a Precious Technique for Recording History and Tradition,
Has Arrived in Japan

Only a few places in the world
are capable of glass dry-plate photography.

Photography techniques that have documented the greats
Glass dry-plate photography is a precious technique for recording history and tradition.
From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, glass dry-plate photography was the most commonly used type of photography, prized for its superb resolution and power of detailed description. Images of many of history’s most illustrious figures are preserved on glass dry plates. Among these is Shigenobu Okuma, founder of Waseda University.

In glass dry-plate photography, a glass plate is coated with photosensitizing agent and exposed to light to develop the image. This process is labor-intensive and time-consuming, requiring specialized knowledge and skill. For this reason, only a handful of photography studios worldwide are capable of handling this type of photography today.

Today most photography is done using film or digital technology. As a consequence, the traditional photographic technique of glass dry-plate photography evokes a unique feeling of historical gravitas.
Capturing a moment on a glass dry-plate and passing it on to future generations
Glass dry-plate photography can capture a life in a single instant. Looking at the finished photograph, we feel a gravitas, depth and sense of life that digital photographs cannot convey. If the photographs are preserved as prescribed, they preserve valuable works for future generations to enjoy.

Each completed glass dry plate from Okazaki Photo Studio is presented in a specially built box of paulownia wood. We hope you will keep it always as a precious memory of your time in Japan. Please make glass dry-plate photography by Okazaki Photo Studio a part of your trip—you’ll be glad you did.

Our process from reservation to presentation

  • ガラス乾板の厚み

    1. Make a reservation using the reservation form, then visit our studio.

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    2. We will take a photograph using a thick glass dry plate. The image on the ground glass is inverted.

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    3. This is the image captured on the glass dry plate. Printing takes one week.

  • ガラス乾板の厚み

    4. The glass dry-plate photograph is presented to you in a specially built paulownia box, just as in Japan’s Meiji era (1868–1912).

Customer testimonials

  • ガラス乾板の厚み

    To commemorate our daughter’s 10th birthday, we had Okazaki Photo Studio take a photo of her with her beloved hamster. It isn’t easy taking a picture of a hamster. They keep squirming and don’t know to look at the camera! But the photographer was a pro and didn’t miss the split-second chance when it came along. The photo session was a success and we now have a beautiful photograph with depth and appeal that no digital photo could match.

  • ガラス乾板の厚み

    These days you can take all the photos you want and see the results in an instant. Glass dry-plate photographs are old-school. You and the photographer breathe as one until that split-second when the shutter is released. Our hearts pounded with excitement as we waited for the shutter to click. When we saw the finished product, it took our breath away. Now seeing ourselves captured on the glass surface brings back a flood of memories. Thanks to Okazaki Photo Studio for taking the time to do such a great job.

Photography fees

Fee for one pose
Large-business-card size (90 mm × 65 mm)
1 photograph: ¥49,500
(Includes specially built paulownia box, one baryta (barium hydroxide)-adjusted photograph and one glass dry-plate photograph.)

•To allow for sufficient preparation, customers who reserve a month or more in advance receive a 10% discount.
•The photographs are presented to you in a specially built paulownia box, just as in the Meiji era.
•Please allow one week for presentation.
•Photography is limited to one group per day. Booking is available online, but if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly by telephone.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have kimono or samurai costumes we can wear for the photography session?

Generally we ask customers to prepare their own apparel for the photography session. Rental costumes can be arranged through one of our partner shops, but customers are asked to reserve the costumes themselves and rent and change into them before arriving at the studio.
1) Mode Marié, a brand-name-dress, wedding-dress and costume rental shop in Tokyo
2) Rental Kawaguchi

How long does it take from the day of the photography session till the photograph is complete?

We ask you to give us one week. However, in rush cases we can complete development in as little as three days.

We’re not sure we can return to your studio to pick up the photograph when it’s ready. Can you ship it to us at the airport or to our address overseas?

No, we regret that we can’t ship photographs to the airport or overseas.

What can we receive in the paulownia box?

In the specially built paulownia box you receive one baryta (barium hydroxide)-adjusted photograph and one glass dry-plate photograph.

We’d like more photographs. Can you provide reprints?

Please let us know at the time of your photo session. The fee for each reprint is ¥3,300. We regret that we cannot provide reprints after you return to your home country.

Okazaki Photo Studio, One of Tokyo’s
Longest-serving Photography Studios

Established in 1929 in Shinagawa City, Tokyo, Okazaki Photo Studio is one of Tokyo’s longest-serving photography studios. This studio, managed by the same family for three generations, has been photographing the Gotanda Itchome district and its people since the early days of modern Tokyo. Much loved by the local community, Okazaki Photo Studio aims to continue to serve lovers of fine photography for many years to come.

Okazaki Photo Studio is easily accessible by public transit, with quick and convenient connections from Haneda Airport and Asakusa. Even if you are coming from far away, you will find our studio easy to get to.

Okazaki Photo Studio serves a wide range of needs, including portrait, family and wedding commemorative photography. As a studio with a long and proud history, we are delighted to offer high-quality photography and attentive service. Count on us to produce photographs that will furnish you with memories for a lifetime.

Feel free to visit our studio at your convenience.


From Gotanda Station on the Toei Asakusa Line, walk 6 minutes from exit A3.
From Gotanda Station on the JR Yamanote Line, walk 4 minutes from the east exit.
From Gotanda Station on the Tokyu Ikegami Line, exit and walk 4 minutes.
The studio is situated on Sony-dori, facing the main road.

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM and Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM
Closed: Sundays and public holidays (May operate daily during especially busy periods.)