Araki was born in Shitaya-ku (now Taito-ku), Tokyo. Araki graduated from photography faculty at Chiba University and worked at advertising agency Dentsu as an commercial photographer. Here, Araki met his future wife, an essayist Yōko Araki. After they were married in 1971, Araki published a book of pictures of his wife taken during their honeymoon titled Sentimental Journey ( Yōko died in 1990). In 1972, Araki resigned from Dentsu and became a freelance photographer. His works are held in numerous museum collections including the Tate and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
2008 - Austrian Decoration for Science and Art
2011 - Ango Award
2013 - Mainichi Art Award