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15 Spots in Tokyo Every Photographer Should Know

Whether you're a professional photographer or simply a shutterbug, here are some top photo spots you shouldn't miss.

By 4 min read

In Tokyo, every street, structure and moment holds a story. It’s a city where ancient temples stand next to high-rise buildings and where peaceful gardens coexist with energetic urban life.

Whether you’re a professional photographer, visual storyteller or simply a shutterbug, here are 15 spots in Tokyo that you should know.

1. Japanese Garden at Shinjuku Gyoen

Photo:
A peaceful garden in the middle of Shinjuku.

Begin your visual narrative in a peaceful oasis: the Japanese Garden at Shinjuku Gyoen. Teahouses, small bridges, koi-filled ponds and meticulously pruned bonsai trees photograph beautifully amidst tall city buildings. Take lovely pictures here any time of year.

6-1-1 Sendagaya, Shibuya City, Tokyo - Map

2. Alleyways of Omoide Yokocho (Memory Lane)

Photo:
An alleyway filled with small Japanese pubs.

Omoide Yokocho, also known as Piss Alley, offers a nostalgic glimpse into Tokyo’s post-war era.  Tucked away in Shinjuku, these lantern-lit alleyways, tightly packed stalls and smoky ambiance make for fantastic photos. Capture Japanese street food culture and travel back in time with every click of the shutter.

1-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo - Map

3. Glass Tunnels at Tokyo International Forum

Photo:
Perfect symmetry.

If you have an eye for modern architecture, enjoy the day photographing the Tokyo International Forum, an exhibition and concert hall said to resemble a ship or whale. Its atrium has glass ceilings and tunnels that slice through the building like crystal caverns—perfect for creating dynamic compositions.

3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo - Map

4. Shibuya Crossing from Hachiko Square

Photo:
No trip to Tokyo would be complete without a visit to Shibuya Crossing.

Who hasn’t heard of the organized chaos that is Shibuya Crossing? For a view that’s less likely to have you trampled on, head to Hachiko Square, where the loyal dog Hachiko’s statue stands. Can you freeze a moment in time when a thousand strangers cross paths?

2-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo - Map

5. River and Trains at Ochanomizu

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Trains crisscrossing all throughout the city.

Ochanomizu, or “tea water,” is said to have been named after the nearby Kanda River. Trains race along bridges, criss-crossing over this peacefully flowing stream. Challenge yourself to capture the moment when all three trains pass by.

4-1, Kanda Surugadai Kanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo - Map

6. Secret Staircase by Tokyo Tower

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Can you find the not-so-secret staircase?

From all sides, Tokyo Tower is waiting to be captured. But have you explored the not-so-secret secret staircase nearby? As you descend these steps, two walls border the tower in perfect symmetry—a great spot for your model to stylishly lean against. This low vantage point creates a distinct view of the city’s red-and-white landmark.

4-5 Shibakoen, Minato City, Tokyo - Map

7. Lakes, Fountains, and Trees in Yoyogi Park

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Rest your feet after a day of shopping.

Yoyogi Park is a popular choice for models and cosplayers seeking the perfect backdrop for their creative photoshoots. Here, the stillness of lakes, rhythmic flow of fountains and tree leaves swaying gently in the wind create a picturesque setting.

2 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo - Map

8. Takeshita Street in Harajuku

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All things kawaii start from Takeshita street.

A riot of colors, fashion and youthful energy, Takeshita Street in Harajuku is sensory overload. As a photographer, you’ll be intrigued by quirky boutiques, colorful signs and an eclectic crowd that provide an endless stream of opportunities for street snaps.

1 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo - Map

9. Torii Gate Stairs at Hie Shrine

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No time to go to Kyoto? Head to Hie Shrine instead.

Hie Shrine’s torii gates (traditional Japanese gates) create a path of spiritual tranquility. Ninety vibrant red gates form a tunnel along the stairs—a striking contrast against the greenery that surrounds them. If there’s no time to visit Kyoto, capture its essence at Hie Shrine.

2-10-5 Nagatacho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-0014 - Map

10. Rainbow Bridge and Statue of Liberty in Odaiba

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Catch the Rainbow Bridge all lit up.

Odaiba, an island in Tokyo Bay, is home to the Rainbow bridge and distant cousin of New York’s Statue of Liberty. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the bridge lit up in rainbow colors at night. Head over to the observation deck to get a dose of Americana and photograph this fusion of cultures.

1-4, Odaiba Marine Park, Daiba, Minato City, Tokyo - Map

11. Sensō-ji and Nakamise View from Asakusa Culture Center

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Asakusa from a bird’s eye view.

A bird’s-eye view of Sensō-ji Temple and Nakamise Street can be seen from the 8th floor of the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center. From here, you can capture Tokyo’s oldest temple, its thriving market town and the people passing through.

2-18-9 Kaminarimon, Taito City, Tokyo - Map

12. Rooftop View at Tokyu Plaza Ginza

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Night views in Ginza.

Luxury and Ginza go hand in hand, and atop Tokyu Plaza Ginza, you’ll discover a priceless rooftop view. Gazing down upon the chic streets of this fashion-forward district, you can photograph the ebb and flow of cars and pedestrians as well as an impressive city skyline.

5-2-1 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo - Map

13. Tokyo Skytree Reflection at Jukken Bridge

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Tokyo’s tallest tower.

One of the world’s tallest towers, Tokyo Skytree, is just waiting to be captured. For an interesting shot, take a night walk across Jukken Bridge. From there, frame the surrounding trees, the warm glow of streetlights and the illuminated reflection of Tokyo Skytree upon the tranquil Sumida River.

5-15-4 Narihira, Sumida City, Tokyo - Map

14. Cherry Blossoms and Colorful Trains in Nakano

Photo:
Straight out of a Ghibli movie.

With a cheerful yellow train and soft pink sakura trees, you’d think you were in a Ghibli film. Travel to Nakano during March to photograph the sakura trees in bloom. Can you capture the essence of spring and a colorful train in motion?

5-32 Arai, Nakano City, Tokyo - Map

15. Fish Stands and Food Stalls at Tsukiji Outer Market

Photo:
Get shopping!

With its vibrant fish stands, food stalls and lively atmosphere, the historic Tsukiji Outer Market is a feast for the senses. Let your camera become an extension of your taste buds, capturing the flavors of premium fruits, vegetables and seafood on display.

4-13 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo - Map
When exploring Tokyo through your camera lens, you become a skilled observer, storyteller and historian of the everyday and extraordinary. In addition to famous landmarks, taking portraits of individuals, street scenes, and candid moments of daily life can add depth to your visual narrative. So, grab a camera and begin photographing your way around Tokyo.

What’s your favorite photo spot in Tokyo? Do you prefer Osaka? Share with us in a comment down below!

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