Tokyo’s organized chaos provides an enchanting tapestry of street scenes, perfect for long-exposure photography and light trail capture techniques to produce breathtaking photos of energy on the streets.
Tokyo offers photographers a picturesque visual landscape filled with ancient temples and futuristic skyscrapers, including iconic blooming cherry tree shots at historic landmarks or experimenting with long-exposure photography at summer festivals.
Akihabara, Tokyo’s bustling center of anime and otaku culture offers unparalleled opportunities for urban photography. Be sure to visit during both day and night hours for optimal photos of this vibrant location.
Autumn (September to November) is an ideal time for visitors to Tokyo when its trees display gorgeous hues of red and gold leaves. Tokyo’s skyline provides beautiful vantage points for exploring cityscape photography. Try shooting towers from different angles or with different shutter speeds for captivating results.
Moreover, Tokyo’s gardens and parks make the perfect places for pictures. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden features traditional Japanese, English, and French garden landscapes to create an idyllic ambiance, while Ueno Park features cherry blossoms during spring, museums, and temples for your enjoyment.
Tokyo’s mix of traditions, innovation, and nature provides photographers with an irresistible backdrop for photography. From Shibuya Crossing’s bustling heartbeat to Meiji Shrine’s ancient gravel paths – here are the 8 best places to take pictures in Tokyo to stimulate your creativity!
1. Omoide Yokocho
Omoide Yokocho (also known as Memory Lane) can be found within Shinjuku and provides the perfect place for photographing cozy bars and restaurants. It is one of the premier locations for photographers looking to capture Tokyo’s vibrant street culture.
This maze of lantern-lined alleyways provides an authentic glimpse of life as it was years ago; packed with traditional shops and izakayas where you can capture incredible shots of Japanese beer and food, Omoide Yokocho provides photographers with an excellent way of doing just that.
The street bustles with life; from salarymen with their ties loosened to people taking in the atmosphere. Conversation hums softly in the background while grills sizzle seductively nearby.
Shinjuku Station is only a short walk away and features the area once known as Piss Alley; this has since been rebuilt to better reflect the character of its surrounding neighborhood.
Piss Alley, popular among Tokyoites as one of its more offbeat photo locations, should be explored after sunset for maximum lively atmosphere and great street photography opportunities.
This intimate bar area boasts cozy, intimate bars filled with locals and tourists. The one-of-a-kind lighting and wooden fronts of each bar give this area its special charm, making this space suitable for portraiture as well as more detailed shots.
To experience all that this neighborhood offers, the ideal time is the evening when the streets come alive with lanterns and tavern lights – stay long enough and you might see men in suits ushering passers-by into izakaya bars, or drunk salarymen staggering down alleyways!
2. Golden Gai
Capture Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife by taking pictures at nighttime, as neon signs come alive and the vibrant streets come to life after dark. Shinjuku or Ginza offers great spots to snap Instagrammable shots – and provides endless picture opportunities.
Golden Gai’s charming alleyways are home to some of the city’s smallest drinking dens. Come dark time, men in suits will welcome salarymen into bars or other illicit establishments.
Begin a photographic adventure through Tokyo’s bustling heart! Be inspired by ancient temples juxtaposed against modern skyscrapers or taken by its vibrant markets that boast vibrant colors. Tokyo provides an endless tapestry of images.
Visit in the early morning or late evening when lighting conditions are soft, making photos easier. Plus, crowds will be smaller so you’ll have time to fully experience everything without becoming overwhelmed by people.
Golden Gai may look like an unsophisticated part of town, yet it attracts an impressively sophisticated clientele who frequent its numerous izakaya bars. Patrons sit around old riquiqui counters sipping spirits while discussing movies, jazz music, and rock songs that they enjoy.
There are themed bars (music, movies, and even hospital-themed) while others serve a range of drinks and food. There are also small theatres that present comedy or dance performances. Golden Gai is best enjoyed during evening visits when its paper lanterns illuminate.
No matter your taste or culinary interests, Tsukiji Fish Market is an Instagrammer’s dream. Not only is it the largest fish market in the world but it is also a living tapestry of Japan’s culinary culture. A feast for your eyes indeed; just be mindful not to take pictures inside stores or vendors without their permission!
3. Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Centre
No matter your photographic skills, Tokyo offers stunning places and scenes for taking unforgettable images. Its combination of historic and futuristic attractions presents plenty of photo opportunities.
Asakusa is an enchanting neighborhood bursting with memories from years gone by, from Kaminarimon Gate to Nakamise shopping street and everything in between. No wonder it inspired Kengo Kuma to design the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Centre across from Kaminarimon; with its jutting planes and open terrace observation deck offering unparalleled views of this historic neighborhood.
Kengo Kuma created an eye-catching structure consisting of eight interconnecting houses called the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Centre that stands out amongst its counterparts with its dynamic appearance and shape. Completed in 2012, this unusual landmark looks as if its layers have been stacked one atop another like LEGO blocks stacked one upon the other – giving its design an air of mystery and intrigue.
Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa is another attractive tourist and local photo spot alike, boasting bustling shopping streets, stunning paper lanterns, and one of Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temples – Senso-ji is particularly enjoyable during cherry blossom season (April to May) or autumn (autumn). However, winter (December through February) offers just as many opportunities to take beautiful and memorable pictures!
4. Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Tower
No matter your passion – Instagramming or otherwise – the Tokyo Skytree is one of the best spots in Tokyo to take pictures, especially at sunset. An iconic landmark that towers over its surroundings and can only get more stunning as the day passes by – try visiting early with a wide lens to ensure optimal compositions!
It is one of Tokyo’s premier spots for taking photos, with its charming alleyway lined with small restaurants and cafes providing an authentic experience. If possible, plan to visit early or late in the day to find less crowds; bring along a telephoto lens for this photo spot as well!
Moreover, visit Tokyo Tower’s iconic landmark to capture stunning images of Tokyo at night – it will create an eye-catching contrast against the dark skies! The best time is during evening hours when its bright lighting creates an eye-catching scene against a dark background.
At 333 meters tall, Tokyo Tower stands as an icon of Japan’s recovery following World War II. A popular photo spot both day and night with its striking light show at nightfall. Additionally, two observation decks provide breathtaking views over Tokyo – even Fuji-san can be seen clearly!
5. Yoyogi Park
One of Tokyo’s largest parks, Ueno is an ideal way to relax between visits to trendy Harajuku and lively Shibuya. Renowned for its vibrant cherry blossom and ginkgo trees in spring, Ueno also features many flower gardens and ponds as well as sports stadiums dating back to the 1964 Olympic Games.
Yoyogi Park is a beloved destination among young people due to its fashionable stores, street art displays, and performances. On weekends especially, many young Harakuju girls, cos-players, and jugglers gather here in costume to shop, socialize, and have fun!
The Yoyogi Park hosts events all year long, from musical performances and food festivals to sports competitions and sporting tournaments. It also houses an outdoor stage used during the 1964 Olympic Games as well as its large sports stadium used during that event.
At Yoyogi Event Plaza you’ll find various cultural celebrations dedicated to traditional Japanese music and dance as well as Thai, Brazilian, and Okinawan celebrations showcasing Japan’s vibrant history and heritage.
Odaiba, an artificial island in Tokyo Bay, boasts a wealth of cutting-edge attractions that attract both residents and visitors. Ranging from digital art museums to panoramic views that reveal Tokyo’s sprawling silhouette, Odaiba provides visitors with an ideal glimpse into Tokyo’s vision for its future.
Tip – Take advantage of angles and reflections to capture the distinctive architecture and fashion-forward designs in this eclectic neighborhood. Street scenes as well as people will work well.
Harajuku is an ideal spot to capture quirky Tokyo fashion trends, outrageous styles, and elaborate costumes. Additionally, Harajuku provides ample photo opps of unique shops and back streets that make up this famed district.
Are you in search of an unforgettable photo op with iconic landmarks as the background? Visit the Telecom Center Building 21st-floor observation deck to get stunning shots of both Tokyo Sky Tree and Tower set against vibrant city lights!
7. Shibuya Crossing
Shibuya Crossing, one of the world’s most photographed landmarks, offers incredible photo opps for tourists and locals alike. Attracting all types of people ranging from salary men and women to cosplay enthusiasts dancing the cosplay dance moves at its center, its busy intersection is always full of energy and life. Although you can take some great shots from the street level of this incredible sight, for the ultimate effect shoot it from above.
Shibuya Crossing is more than a traffic intersection; it’s an incredible spectacle of human activity. Stretching between Yoyogi Park’s entrance and Harajuku shopping districts, this crossing serves as a hub of fashion trends and people moving at high speed.
Get above the action for an elevated perspective. Although crowd photography from the street level may work, capturing more dynamic shots by looking down from above is much more effective. A good place to do this would be the second-floor Starbucks at QFRONT building which offers large windows providing an aerial view of what’s going on below.
Tokyo offers no shortage of captivating scenes for photographers to capture in its vibrant streets, tranquil gardens, and traditional neighborhoods. Be mindful to respect people’s privacy; keep an eye out for candid shots that capture its dynamic energy; be on the lookout for moments captured by landmarks like Tokyo Sky Tree which provide photographers with stunning photographic opportunities.
8. Senso-ji Temple
Senso-ji, one of Tokyo’s best-known temples, should be on every photography enthusiast’s bucket list. The shrine’s main hall houses an image of Kannon Bodhisattva that was miraculously plucked out of the Sumida River by two fishermen in 628. Additionally, Senso-ji’s iconic torii gates and pagoda serve as iconic tourist and photography sights at its entrance.
One of the best times to visit is early morning or evening when there are fewer visitors present. Additionally, the five-story pagoda stands as one of Japan’s second tallest structures – a truly breathtaking sight!
At the temple, you will also find the famous o-mikuji (oracle) stalls which offer divination services for a small donation. Here, oracles use sticks to select answers from one of 100 drawers, while visitors must shake labeled sticks for answers.
Asakusa’s surrounding area is an intriguing mixture of modern and ancient culture, with remnants from the Edo period still evident on its streets. Nakamise Street offers great street scene photography opportunities; lined with traditional shops and izakaya restaurants it makes a fantastic backdrop. If you want something truly magical in your photo, be sure to visit in the evening when lantern-lined streets glow softly under paper lamp light!
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