Skip to main content

Top Places To Photograph In Tokyo

A vibrant city full of noise, character, colour and fascinating culture, Tokyo has it all. The capital of Japan is the perfect place for photographers both tourists and locals. The result is a highly competitive and well equipped scene, where almost certainly theres a person with a camera standing next to you. Here’s my top photogenic places in Tokyo and how best to explore on foot.Keep in mind, its hard to hit all these spots for magic hour or getting the perfect light. The travel time between these places can be 1 hour on a metro, so keep in mind to start early, charge your batteries and know your route. They have potential to yield incredible, unforgettable photos.

1. Shibuya Crossing

The world’s busiest pedestrian crossing surrounded by neon lit buildings. One of the better spots to capture the lights of Tokyo. With around one million people crossing the street here everyday there are endless photographic possibilities.Shibuya Crossing has appeared in countless ads, promotional photos, music videos, films and television shows. It’s not unusual to see a film crew here.

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya CrossingShibuya Crossing

2. Tokyo City Hall & World Trade Center

Ok if you’re looking for great views of the city, skyline and the perfect sunset or long exposure in Tokyo then look no further. Here you have two options, and time wise it would be difficult to do both. While the Skytree (see below) offers the highest skydeck in Tokyo, there are two better options for photographers. One is the Tokyo City Hall at the Shinjuku metro stop (5 min walk). The giant building looks like something directly out of Gotham city and the best part is its observation deck is free! However this means a lot more people, fussy staff and obstructed views. Meanwhile at the World Trade Center at Hamamatsuchō is about 7 dollars to enter, and the views of Tokyos “Eiffel Tower” and Mt.Fuji is simply superb. Less people. More glass and tripods are allowed. Perfect for your timelapse shooting.
top views of tokyo photography
Views from the World Trade Center in Tokyo with Mt.Fuji in the distance

3. Yoyogi Park

Tokyo’s large city parks offer tourists a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Situated between Shinjuku and Shibuya, two of Tokyo’s largest and most colorful neighborhoods is Yoyogi Park, the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon. Yoyogi Park tends to attract actors practicing their lines, fashion, musicians, dancers and party people. It’s a free spirited place. And nearby Harajuku allows you to spot the most unusual and spectacular Tokyo girls.


4. Tokyo Skytree

The tallest structure in Japan by a wide margin with observation decks at 350 and 450 meters. Completely glass covered. However, the price tag is hefty.  The tower itself has well designed dynamic lighting and is often half stuck in a cloud. However the better photographs come from outside the tower itself either in the popular tourist spot of Asakusa or at night time from your hopefully high rise hotel building.

5. Mt. Fuji

Ok so this ones not so much a Tokyo hot spot (even though you can see it from a clear day). The best option is to get on a train, bus or Shinkansen to nearby Lake Kawaguchiko to get up close and personal with Japans most iconic picture. Its a whole day trip if you leave before midday, so come prepared and soak up the nearby landscape.


6. Odaiba

Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay. Over the years, the government has spent enormous sums of money building it up and linking it with infrastructure. Now it’s essentially an entertainment and shopping island. Extremely tacky and lacking much cultural significance it still remains an interesting place for photographers, shoppers and tourists. The area affords a good view of Tokyo Bay and Rainbow Bridge and is perfect for a Sunday afternoon.


7.  Shinjuku Underground

Tokyo’s busiest metro station is a hive of activity, particularly during rush hours. A great place to snap people, timelapse or soak up the efficient Japanese culture. The famous bullet trains (Shinkansen, pictured below) are the main attraction to get from A to B and get outside Tokyo.


8.  Akihabara – Electric City

Possibly the greatest of all Tokyo districts, you can find everything here from arcades, maid cafes, cat cafes, bars, shops, camera gear, technology and those crazy Japanese advertisements.