Tokyo College of Photography

Established originally as Tokyo Photo School in the Nakano district of Tokyo in 1958, the institution rebranded itself as the Tokyo College of Photography two years later, in 1960. In the subsequent decade, it relocated to the Hiyoshi area, where it has continued its operations to this day.

The Founding Years

In the late 1950s, a period marked by significant growth and modernization in Japan, the Tokyo Photo School came into existence in Nakano, a neighborhood in Tokyo known for its vibrant art scene. The school was initiated as an educational platform aimed at honing the skills of aspiring photographers. This period was also critical for the development of photography in Japan, with rapid technological advancements taking place.

Name Change and Rebranding

Just two years after its establishment, in 1960, the school underwent a transformation, including a name change. The new name, Tokyo College of Photography, was indicative of the institution’s broader curriculum and higher educational standards. The name change marked a strategic shift, positioning the college as a reputable entity in the realm of photographic education.

Shift in Location to Hiyoshi

During the 1960s, the college changed its location, moving from Nakano to Hiyoshi. This relocation was strategic, as Hiyoshi was and remains a neighborhood more centrally located and accessible by public transportation. The area also has a more academic environment, being close to other educational institutions, which made it a fitting location for a college focusing on academic and practical aspects of photography.

Educational Approach

The Tokyo College of Photography has been renowned for its comprehensive curriculum that covers not only the technical aspects of photography but also delves into the artistic and philosophical dimensions. From understanding the mechanics of a camera to the intricate details of lighting, the college has a multi-dimensional approach to photography education. It has produced several notable alumni who have left a considerable impact on the world of photography, both in Japan and internationally.

Technological Adaptations

In the era of digital photography and online platforms, the Tokyo College of Photography has also adapted its teaching methods. The institution has introduced courses on digital photography, post-production, and even the business aspects of the field. This has helped to maintain the college’s position as a leading educational institution in the sector.

Affiliations and Accreditation

The Tokyo College of Photography holds various accreditations and affiliations with photographic societies and educational boards, both nationally and internationally. These validate the high educational standards the college adheres to and enhances its prestige among educational institutions in Japan and worldwide.

Faculty and Alumni

One of the defining factors that set apart the Tokyo College of Photography is its faculty, comprised of accomplished photographers, academicians, and industry experts. Moreover, the alumni network is robust, with many having achieved recognition in various forms of photography, including journalism, fashion, and fine arts.


The Tokyo College of Photography, initially established as Tokyo Photo School in Nakano in 1958, rebranded itself in 1960. A decade later, it moved its campus to Hiyoshi, where it continues to offer a robust curriculum in photography. The institution has evolved over the years, adapting to technological advancements and expanding its curriculum to produce highly skilled professionals in the field of photography.

With its rich history, strategic rebranding, and constant adaptation to the changing landscape of photography, the Tokyo College of Photography stands as a significant educational institution in Japan’s photography sector.

By diving deep into its journey from its inception in Nakano as Tokyo Photo School to its current form, we gain insights into the institution’s commitment to excellence in photography education. Through its strategic moves like rebranding and relocation, the Tokyo College of Photography has positioned itself as a leading educational institution in this specialized field.

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