Tokyo offers an abundance of photo ops. Whether you prefer classic or modern settings, Tokyo provides no shortage of possibilities.
Shibuya Scramble Crossing is one of the best places in Tokyo to witness an abundance of people, and Harajuku is also popular, featuring fashionable clothing stores.
1. Asakusa Sensoji
Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s world-famous Buddhist Temple that reveres Kannon Boddhisattva and offers prayers of good luck and health, attracts millions of tourists yearly. It is one of the city’s must-visit destinations, hosting thousands of tourists who pray here yearly.
Sensoji Temple is an absolute must for visitors to Tokyo and a great spot to take pictures, thanks to its traditional charm. From Kaminarimon and Hozomon gates to Goju no To the five-storied pagoda, there are ample photo ops at Sensoji Temple!
Sensoji Temple can be best enjoyed at night when visiting Nakamise Street shops close. Yet, the main hall remains open, allowing visitors to witness buildings illuminated against Tokyo Skytree in the distance.
You will also discover many Izakaya (Japanese-style bar) and local restaurants at night for even greater atmosphere enjoyment.
2. Meiji Shrine
Shinto shrine was established as an oasis in Tokyo’s concrete jungle in 1920 to honor Emperor Meiji (1852-1912), who helped build relationships between Japan and world powers during his reign (1852-1912). Adjacent to Yoyogi Park, this quaint spot provides a picturesque escape and remains one of the city’s top tourist spots today.
From New Year festivities and Joya-sai rituals through traditional Japanese wedding processions and Joya-sai ceremonies to Meiji Shrine offers something exciting year round! Plus, it provides plenty of stunning sights such as cedar forests, stunning Inner Gardens with blooming irises, and its supposedly lucky Kiyomasa’s well!
The shrine is located within Tokyo’s 5th largest public park, boasting ponds, fountains, and vast lawn areas. This spot provides a tranquil escape right in the middle of this megacity; many come here for walking or hanami (cherry blossom viewing) during spring.
3. Shinjuku Subway Station
Shinjuku lies on the western edge of central Tokyo and is an active district packed with various activities. This district serves as a business and government center, shopping hub, urban culture district, and tourist attraction.
At Shinjuku Station, you will find restaurants, department stores, and even a hotel, plus the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which boasts twin observation decks offering breathtaking views of the city below. There’s even an iconic statue of Hachiko, the Akita dog that famously waited outside Shinjuku station for nine years in memory of his dead owner – near one of its exits!
Giant shopping malls surround Shinjuku Station’s enormous train station, while Kabukicho – Japan’s largest red light district – and Golden Gai, an established nightlife area, can be found to the northeast. Shinjuku Station itself can be dauntingly confusing, with over 200 entrances and exits that may confuse visitors; nonetheless, it’s worth exploring this vibrant metropolis while taking photos to commemorate it all!
Harajuku, known for its eccentric culture of 21st-century Japanese society, is best known as an eclectic hub. Renowned for teenage street fashion and cute ‘kawaii’ shopping and cosplay culture, the city also has plenty to offer beyond physical space – and is well worth exploring as it encompasses so much more than simply its location.
At the core of Takeshita Dori is Takeshita Dori, a 400-meter-long street filled with shops and cafes explicitly tailored for young people. Takeshita Dori draws large numbers of teenagers daily – especially on weekends – which makes this street an enclave within the Takeshita Dori district.
Takeshita offers everything from clothing boutiques to thrift stores and themed cafes. There are plenty of places to grab quick snacks or beverages – such as Honey Mi Honey for Instagram-friendly meals or Purikura Land NOA’s massive Purikura photo booth for some photo fun!
If the main street becomes overly crowded, try heading down nearby Cat Street for more selective shops and eateries. Here, you’ll find more second-hand stores, trendy outdoor equipment brands, and Kiddy Land – an impressive six-floor toy paradise with six levels dedicated exclusively to kids!
5. Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower stands out in an otherwise skyscraper-packed city and has long been a photo op for locals and tourists alike. While the main observation deck may cost money, you can still gain great views from other vantage points around town without breaking the bank.
At night, it’s best to visit when the tower is bathed in its beautiful glow, drawing thousands of people each night who gather to watch its lights turn off at midnight – it is said that seeing them go off with someone special could ensure a lasting and fulfilling relationship!
Tokyo Plaza in Harajuku features many trendy shops with distinctive shopfronts and creative details that provide great photo ops. One fashion building at its entrance features an eye-catching kaleidoscopic design that mirrors and reflects colors found near scenes.
6. Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo offers many tall buildings to take photos at, but this landmark stands out as one of the best locations. Not only is it an iconic structure, but its unique perspective provides a fantastic picture opportunity with all the other tall buildings around it. Nighttime offers optimal lighting conditions.
Jukenbashi Bridge is another favorite among photographers, particularly at night when its reflection of Tokyo Skytree makes for spectacular images. A fisheye lens will enable you to capture both landmarks simultaneously.
Meiji Shrine is an elegant location that feels like walking through an ancient forest. It features several paths with traditional torii gates lining them and is one of the city’s most stunning spots.
Kabukicho may be known as Tokyo’s red light district, yet its lively nightlife makes for an engaging nighttime experience in an unforgettable atmosphere. Situated next to Shinjuku Station, it provides access to this hidden world, which recalls an era when Japan rebuilt itself through hard work and opportunity.
It boasts over three thousand bars, nightclubs, karaoke venues, massage parlors, pachinko rooms, and love hotels – as well as being known for hostess clubs and strip-tease venues – in addition to various establishments that provide services related to prostitution.
Kabukicho is an essential stop on any visit to Tokyo, and it is best advised that visitors engage a local guide for assistance when exploring its narrow alleyways and locating the ideal drinking spots. Furthermore, following touts into bars may lead to overcharging or credit card fraud if done unknowingly.
Kabukicho has several historic buildings and landmarks, including Golden Gai and Omoide Yokocho, packed with tiny bars full of character. Additionally, this district hosts many festivals, such as the Hanazono Grand Festival, in which two massive portable shrines from surrounding towns parade through on even-numbered years through the Kabukicho district.
Shibuya Scramble Crossing, known as the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing, draws tourists looking to capture a picture of it. You’ll also find many stores and restaurants here with fun storefronts or displays; one famous example being Angel Crepes of Harajuku, which has a delightful storefront featuring hundreds of fake crepe display boxes.
Mag’s Park and Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower make an excellent backdrop for modern architectural photography. At the same time, Dogenzaka offers narrow alleyway streets lined with cozy bars and restaurants, making for amazing scenes at nighttime with lots of traditional lanterns and neon signs.
Shibuya Scramble Square building, one of Shibuya’s newest landmarks, provides an excellent way to capture its energetic atmosphere, particularly during the evening rush hour when people return from work or school. Also located nearby is a memorial dedicated to Hachiko, the faithful dog whose dedication was acknowledged with this memorial.