I bet that the one thing you would not leave behind during traveling abroad is your camera. Of course! You just NEED to take a picture of everything. I mean everything that will make you remember your trip. Food shots, check! Shoefie, check! Instagrammable wall, check! Selfie, double check! Having had traveled around Tokyo for two years, I was able to compile my personal list of the things and places that will give you the feels and not to mention, picture perfect background for your travel photography portfolio. So read on shutterbugs! And prepare your next poses when you come to the land of the rising sun! Tip: bring extra battery and memory card for your camera, better safe than sorry!
Because Japanese architecture is simply top notch, combining the serenity and uniqueness of the past with the avant-garde design of today’s modern world.
1. Meiji Shrine
A Shinto shrine built to commemorate the late Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken, this shrine was built to reflect the traditional nagare-zukuri (streamlined roof) style with the primary use of Japanese cypress and copper. It hosted a lot of foreign dignitaries from all over the world.
What makes it the best photo spot: It houses everything you can think of when you say Japan. From tori poles, barrels of sake, prayer walls from the visitors, main yard and parks, you will go crazy with the amount of pictures you will take!
Train Station to Get off: Harajuku Station or Meiji-jingumae Station
An artificial island in the middle of Tokyo Bay, Odaiba at present is a bustling metropolis. It is now a fully developed commercial, residential and even recreation area. It is most popular among locals and travelers alike as a shopping and sightseeing destination.
What makes it the best photo spot: It houses a 115 meter ferris wheel, an exhibition hall of Toyota, Tokyo Leisure Land which is a 24 hour karaoke and bowling facility, Venus Fort – Venice themed mall, Rainbow Bridge which connects the island to Tokyo, a replica of Statue of Liberty, and the UFO-like Fuji Building.
Train Station to Get off: Daiba Station
The home of the famous Roppongi Hills, this place houses many foreign embassies in Japan and is famous for its nightlife parties. Here you can find bars, strip clubs, cabarets, hostess clubs and many other forms of entertainment.
What makes it the best photo spot: They have amazing picture perfect view at night. With the blinking lights and signs of the many entertainment companies, you will have tons of fun doing light paintings!
Train Station to Get off: Roppongi Station
4. Tokyo Dome
A giant stadium that can accommodate up to 55,000 people in capacity, Tokyo Dome is also called “The Big Egg” or “Tokyo Big Egg”. This stadium already hosted several events from concerts, basketballs, footballs and of course, pro-wrestling.
What makes it the best photo spot: It is a work of art. The architecture features a style called thin-shell structure with the roof an air-supported structure. Tip: make sure you capture the entire dome, it makes a good panorama photo too!
5. Tokyo Station Hotel
It is a European style hotel that opened in 1915. With its magnificent architecture and state of the art facilities, this Hotel is among the top-rated hotels by Forbes Travel guide, Trip Advisors and World Luzury Spa Awards.
What makes it the best photo spot: The façade is simply stunning! Whether it be daytime or night time you can not go wrong taking a photo in front of this building. Not just the façade, when you get inside, the hotel is very luxurious and worthy for a regal photo-shoot with you and your friends.
Train Station to Get off: Tokyo Station
The people makes the country. Japanese are known all over the world for being extremely polite, kind and courteous. It is fun to take snaps of their daily lives, especially if you are into those black and white candid shots.
6. Scramble Crossing of Shibuya
An event famous on its own, the Shibuya Crossing witnesses thousands of people going to and from the many directions of this intersection. Packed with students, couples, commuters, shoppers and workers, you can see the dynamics of how they cross when the stoplights turn red.
What makes it the best photo spot: It makes you feel that for a moment, you are part of something big. The experience alone humbles you. Like an ant in the big universe, you can feel that you are a part of something grander than your own little world. Take a snap along the crossing to help you preserve the moment, and the feeling.
Train Station to Get off: Shibuya Station Hachiko Exit
7. Harajuku Station
It is a railway station in Shibuya, Tokyo. Conveniently located along Takeshita Street, one of the famous streets in Harajuku, this line brings passengers to one of the many shopping streets famous to both locals and tourists alike.
What makes it the best photo spot: The station itself features European architecture. Here you can find the most extreme teenage culture that Japan is famous for. With its over the top fashion and make up, you better take a picture with one of these fashion forward Japanese teens dressed up in Harajuku Style.
Train Station to Get off: Harajuku Station or Meiji-jingumae Station
This district is famous for a temple called Senso-ji. Currently one of the major entertainment district in Tokyo, it is, ironically one of the areas that houses a lot of religious establishments. With each temple celebrating at least one festival a year, you will never get tired of sightseeing in here!
What makes it the best photo spot: If you are lucky, you will be able to witness one of the festivals they have. You will be totally immersed in Japanese culture.
Train Station to Get off: Asakusa Station
These days, a trip would never be complete without taking food shots. May it be on the streets, convenience stores or even at fancy restaurants, food shots are undeniably part of every travelers goal when in Japan.
9. Tsukiji Market
Simply the biggest wholesale fish market in the world, Tsukuji Market remains one of the major tourist attraction for both locals and tourists. Here you can witness bidding wars for the freshest tuna, if you wake up early. As in very early.
What makes it the best photo spot: You will be exposed to the wonderful and colorful world of seafood. You will see fish bigger than a man. Or fresh live creatures from the deep blue sea for sale to restaurant owners and big commercial food establishments Aside from that, they have tons of restaurant that offers the freshest sushi and other seafood you can possibly think of.
Train Station to Get off: Tsukiji Station
10. Golden Gai in Shinjuku
Yes it is famous for both its architecture and nightlife. It gives you a glimpse of Tokyo’s recent past through narrow lanes and tiny buildings. This area is also the meeting place of famous directors, artists, academics and even actors.
What makes it the best photo spot: If you want to go crazy food tripping, Golden Gai may be the place for you. It has a lot to offer – from ramen to okonomiyaki and even Western food. Grab a bite for takeout and take a picture with it with the alleyway as your background – totally professional photographer material.
Train Station to Get off: Shinjuku Station
11. Yurakucho Sanchoku Inshokugai Ginza
A dining complex that is home to numerous izakaya style restaurants, Yurakucho Sanchoku Inshokugai Ginza is one of the to go to places by foodies from all over. With regional specialties available for eats, the products here are obtained directly from the farmers and fishermen. Best part, it is open 24 hours.
What makes it the best photo spot: Tons and tons of food varieties! It does accommodate foodies everywhere so you will never get tired or bored of the food choices they have! Splurge on ramen or sushi or dumplings; go ahead, you do you. Your tummy will thank you later.
Train Station to Get off: Yurakucho Station Ginza Exit
Tokyo is no doubt a photoholic’s haven. Everywhere you go is practically picture perfect as long as you have the right angle and attitude, you will go home with happy memories and a couple of SD cards full of amazing photos.