Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023

Tokyo, the vibrant capital of Japan, is a city that effortlessly blends tradition and modernity, creating a captivating visual tapestry at every turn. From its towering skyscrapers to its tranquil gardens, Tokyo is a paradise for photography enthusiasts seeking to capture the essence of this dynamic metropolis. With a rich cultural heritage and a ceaseless spirit of innovation, Tokyo offers an array of captivating locations that serve as perfect backdrops for striking photographs.

In this article, we will explore the best places to take pictures in Tokyo, highlighting the city’s diverse landscapes, iconic landmarks, and hidden gems that promise to awaken your creativity and leave you with awe-inspiring imagery. Whether you are an amateur photographer looking to hone your skills or a seasoned professional seeking new inspiration, Tokyo’s unique blend of ancient traditions and futuristic cityscapes is sure to provide you with an abundance of photogenic opportunities.

From the bustling streets of Shibuya, where neon lights and a sea of pedestrians converge, to the serene gardens of the Imperial Palace, where time seems to stand still, Tokyo’s neighborhoods offer a captivating mix of contrasts. Delve into the traditional neighborhoods of Asakusa and Yanaka to capture the essence of old Tokyo, or venture to the futuristic Odaiba district, with its futuristic architecture and panoramic views of the city skyline. The interplay between the traditional and the contemporary is a theme that runs deep in Tokyo, and it presents a captivating narrative for photographers to explore.

Beyond its urban landscapes, Tokyo also boasts a collection of breathtaking natural scenery. The cherry blossoms that bloom each spring paint the city in a soft pastel palette, creating an ethereal backdrop for photographs. Additionally, the vibrant autumn foliage that blankets Tokyo’s parks and gardens during the fall months offers a kaleidoscope of colors that will add depth and warmth to your images. From the expansive grounds of Ueno Park to the meticulously manicured gardens of Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo’s green spaces provide an idyllic setting to capture the beauty of nature within the city.

As you navigate through Tokyo’s photographic wonders, you’ll encounter iconic landmarks that have become symbols of the city’s identity. The iconic Tokyo Tower, a symbol of the city’s modernity, offers panoramic views from its observation decks that are sure to take your breath away. The architectural marvel of Tokyo Skytree provides a modern counterpart to Tokyo Tower, offering an unobstructed vista of the cityscape. Other landmarks, such as the historic Senso-ji Temple and the contemporary Rainbow Bridge, offer a glimpse into Tokyo’s rich cultural heritage and its ever-evolving skyline.

With its blend of ancient traditions, innovative architecture, and natural wonders, Tokyo presents an irresistible playground for photographers. This guide will take you on a visual journey through the best places to take pictures in Tokyo, showcasing the city’s unique charm and inviting you to capture its essence through your lens.

Top 10 Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo

Tokyo, the bustling capital of Japan, is a photographer’s paradise, offering a plethora of captivating locations to capture stunning images. From towering skyscrapers to tranquil gardens, Tokyo presents a remarkable blend of traditional and modern scenery that appeals to photographers of all levels. In this guide, we will explore the top 10 best places to take pictures in Tokyo, highlighting the city’s most iconic landmarks, picturesque neighborhoods, and breathtaking natural settings. Whether you’re seeking vibrant street scenes, serene landscapes, or architectural marvels, Tokyo has something to offer every photographer eager to capture the city’s unique beauty. Get ready to embark on a visual journey through the lens of Tokyo’s most photogenic spots.

S. No

Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo




Taito City


Shibuya Sky



Omoide Yokocho

Shinjuku neighborhood


Tokyo Skytree

Sumida Ward


Team Lab

Odaiba, Toyosu


Meguro River

Meguro neighborhood


Takeshita Street in Harajuku



Tsukiji Fish Market




Chuo City


Rainbow Bridge

Tokyo Bay


1. Senso-ji (Taito City)

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

Senso-ji, located in the Taito City neighborhood of Tokyo, is an iconic and historic Buddhist temple that dates back to the 7th century. It is the oldest and most revered temple in Tokyo, attracting millions of visitors each year. As you enter through the grand Thunder Gate (Kaminarimon), you’ll be greeted by a massive red lantern and a vibrant shopping street known as Nakamise, offering a wide array of traditional snacks, souvenirs, and crafts.

The main hall of Senso-ji, called Hondo, is a magnificent structure that houses the temple’s primary object of worship, a golden statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. The hall is adorned with intricate carvings and colorful decorations, creating a visually stunning backdrop for photography.

Exploring the temple grounds, you’ll discover tranquil gardens, pagodas, and smaller shrines, each with its own unique charm. The five-story pagoda is particularly picturesque and provides an excellent vantage point for capturing panoramic views of the temple complex and the surrounding neighborhood.

Senso-ji is especially captivating during festivals like Sanja Matsuri when the streets come alive with processions, traditional music, and vibrant costumes. Photographers can capture the festive atmosphere and the unique cultural traditions that have been celebrated for centuries.

2. Shibuya Sky (Shibuya)

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

Located in the heart of Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s most vibrant and energetic neighborhoods, Shibuya Sky offers a thrilling and panoramic perspective of the city. Situated on the top floors of the Shibuya Scramble Square building, this observation deck provides visitors with stunning 360-degree views of Tokyo from a height of 230 meters.

The highlight of Shibuya Sky is its open-air deck, which allows photographers to capture unobstructed views of iconic landmarks such as the famous Shibuya Crossing, the Tokyo skyline, and the surrounding neighborhoods. The deck’s glass floor panels add a unique element, providing an exhilarating sensation as you look down at the bustling streets below.

The best time to visit Shibuya Sky for photography is during twilight hours, as you can capture the transition from daylight to the vibrant city lights illuminating the Tokyo skyline. The deck’s futuristic design and sleek architecture also make for interesting compositional elements in your photographs.

Shibuya Sky offers various photography opportunities throughout the year, including seasonal events, special light displays, and fireworks festivals. Whether you’re capturing the hustle and bustle of the Shibuya Crossing or admiring the city’s urban sprawl, this elevated vantage point provides a breathtaking backdrop for stunning images.

3. Omoide Yokocho (Shinjuku neighborhood)

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

Tucked away in the bustling Shinjuku neighborhood, Omoide Yokocho, meaning “Memory Lane” or “Piss Alley,” offers a nostalgic glimpse into Tokyo’s past. This narrow alleyway, lined with tightly packed, retro-style eateries and izakayas, exudes a sense of old-world charm and authenticity.

Omoide Yokocho is especially captivating for photographers seeking to capture the atmospheric and intimate essence of Tokyo’s traditional nightlife. The narrow alley, adorned with lanterns and red paper lanterns, creates a maze-like setting that transports visitors back to a bygone era.

The alley’s smoky ambiance, wafting scents of grilled yakitori, and the sounds of lively conversations provide a rich sensory experience to document through photography. The intimate spaces of the tiny eateries, with their cozy counter seating and narrow entrances, offer excellent opportunities for candid shots of locals and visitors engaged in animated conversations and enjoying traditional Japanese cuisine.

The best time to photograph Omoide Yokocho is during the evening when the lanterns and paper lanterns illuminate the alley, casting a warm glow and adding a touch of nostalgia to the scene. The combination of dim lighting and bustling activity creates a unique ambiance that is ideal for capturing the essence of Tokyo’s vibrant street culture.

Photographers can focus on capturing the intricate details within the alley, such as the rustic wooden façades, hanging lanterns, and the mouthwatering dishes displayed at each eatery. The play of light and shadow in this confined space adds depth and intrigue to your images.

4. Tokyo Skytree (Sumida Ward)

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

Tokyo Skytree, located in the Sumida Ward, is a towering architectural marvel that has become an iconic symbol of the city. Standing at a height of 634 meters, it is not only the tallest structure in Japan but also one of the tallest towers in the world. The tower was constructed with cutting-edge engineering and design, combining traditional Japanese aesthetics with modern technology.

Visitors to Tokyo Skytree can ascend to the observation decks located at 350 meters and 450 meters, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Tokyo’s skyline. On clear days, Mount Fuji can even be seen in the distance. The observation decks are equipped with large windows and glass floors, providing visitors with an exhilarating experience.

Besides the observation decks, Tokyo Skytree houses an array of entertainment, dining, and shopping options. The lower levels of the tower feature a multi-level shopping complex called Tokyo Solamachi, where visitors can explore a wide range of stores offering traditional crafts, fashion, and souvenirs. Additionally, there are various restaurants and cafes serving both Japanese and international cuisine, allowing visitors to indulge in culinary delights while enjoying the stunning views.

5. Team Lab (Odaiba)

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

Team Lab is an innovative art collective that has gained international recognition for their immersive and interactive digital art installations. Their exhibits are known for combining cutting-edge technology, light, sound, and visual effects to create mesmerizing and otherworldly experiences.

One of the prominent locations to experience Team Lab’s creations is Team Lab Borderless in Odaiba. This expansive exhibition space features a series of interconnected rooms filled with stunning digital artworks that blur the boundaries between art and reality. Visitors can wander through immersive installations that respond to their presence and movement, creating a unique and ever-changing experience.

In addition to Team Lab Borderless, another popular exhibit is Team Lab Planets, located in Toyosu. It offers a more fluid and immersive experience, with visitors walking through various rooms that simulate different environments such as water, forests, and meadows. These installations utilize projectors, mirrors, and soundscapes to create a dreamlike atmosphere, inviting visitors to engage with the artwork on a sensory level.

Team Lab’s exhibits have captivated audiences with their innovative use of technology and their ability to transport visitors into fantastical worlds of light and color.

6. Meguro River (Meguro neighborhood)

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

The Meguro River, flowing through the eponymous neighborhood in Tokyo, is a picturesque waterway that exudes tranquility and natural beauty. One of its most enchanting features is the row of cherry trees that line its banks, turning the area into a magical spectacle during the cherry blossom season.

Each spring, usually in late March to early April, the Meguro River becomes a prime destination for hanami (cherry blossom viewing). The blooming sakura trees create a canopy of delicate pink flowers that stretch for approximately 4 kilometers along the river’s course. This scenic landscape attracts both locals and tourists who gather to picnic, stroll, and enjoy the ephemeral beauty of the cherry blossoms.

Photographers flock to the Meguro River during this time to capture the enchanting scenes. The combination of the gently flowing river, the vibrant cherry blossoms, and the surrounding greenery create a harmonious and captivating composition. Whether photographing close-ups of cherry blossoms or capturing the river’s reflections, the Meguro River offers endless opportunities for stunning nature photography.

Beyond the cherry blossom season, the Meguro River maintains its charm throughout the year. The riverside pathway is ideal for leisurely walks, lined with small shops, cafes, and restaurants. In the evening, the trees are beautifully illuminated, casting a soft glow along the water’s edge, adding a touch of romance to the atmosphere.

7. Takeshita Street in Harajuku (Harajuku)

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

Located in the vibrant Harajuku district, Takeshita Street is a bustling pedestrian street that has become synonymous with Tokyo’s youth culture and fashion scene. Stretching approximately 400 meters, this iconic street is lined with an array of trendy boutiques, quirky shops, vibrant street food stalls, and unique cafes, all catering to the latest fashion trends and pop culture.

Takeshita Street is a vibrant and energetic hub, drawing in locals and tourists alike who come to explore its eccentric fashion styles, including cosplay, Lolita fashion, and streetwear. The colorful storefronts and eye-catching displays create a visually captivating environment, making it a prime spot for street photography. The lively atmosphere, with its constant flow of people, provides endless opportunities to capture candid shots of fashion-forward individuals and vibrant street scenes.

Visitors can also indulge in delicious street food such as crepes, cotton candy, and various Japanese snacks, adding to the sensory experience of Takeshita Street. The narrow side streets branching off from the main thoroughfare offer additional hidden gems and quirky shops waiting to be discovered.

8. Tsukiji Fish Market (Toyosu)

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

Formerly located in Tsukiji, the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market has moved to the Toyosu area. It remains one of the largest wholesale fish and seafood markets in the world, offering a fascinating glimpse into Tokyo’s vibrant culinary culture.

At Tsukiji Fish Market, photographers can immerse themselves in the dynamic and bustling atmosphere as fishmongers, and vendors carry out their daily activities. The market is famous for its early morning tuna auctions, where gigantic bluefin tunas are sold to the highest bidders. Capturing the intense bidding process and the sheer size of the fish can result in captivating images.

Beyond the auctions, the outer market at Toyosu boasts an array of seafood stalls, sushi restaurants, and shops selling culinary delights. Photographers can focus on capturing the vibrant colors and intricate details of the fresh seafood on display, as well as the skilled chefs expertly preparing sushi and other traditional Japanese dishes.

9. Hamarikyu (Chuo City)

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

Hamarikyu Gardens, nestled in Chuo City, offers a serene escape from the bustling city streets. This traditional Japanese garden, originally built as a villa for a feudal lord, showcases the harmonious blend of nature and architecture, making it a picturesque destination for photography enthusiasts.

The garden features meticulously manicured lawns, meandering walking paths, and beautifully arranged seasonal flowers, providing a tranquil setting for capturing the beauty of nature. Its centerpiece is a large tidal pond called Shioiri-no-ike, which is connected to Tokyo Bay. Photographers can capture reflections on the water’s surface, surrounded by lush greenery and traditional teahouses.

Hamarikyu also boasts several photogenic spots, including a picturesque peony garden, a plum tree grove, and a charming tea house on an island in the pond. The changing seasons offer unique opportunities, with cherry blossoms in spring and vibrant autumn foliage in fall.

10. Rainbow Bridge (Tokyo Bay)

Best Places to Take Pictures in Tokyo 2023: Top 10 Essence of Japan

Stretching across Tokyo Bay, the Rainbow Bridge is an iconic symbol of the city’s skyline and connects the Shibaura Pier area to the Odaiba waterfront. This suspension bridge is a captivating sight, especially at night when it is illuminated with an array of colorful lights, living up to its name.

Photographers can capture stunning panoramic views of Tokyo Bay, the waterfront, and the cityscape from various vantage points along the bridge. The contrasting lights and reflections on the water create a magical ambiance, making it an excellent spot for long-exposure photography.

For a unique perspective, visitors can explore the pedestrian walkways that run alongside the Rainbow Bridge. These walkways provide an elevated viewpoint and allow photographers to capture the bridge itself, as well as the surrounding cityscape and Tokyo Tower in the distance. Additionally, the Odaiba Seaside Park located near the bridge offers a picturesque setting with lush green spaces and waterfront views.

Photographing the Rainbow Bridge during sunrise or sunset adds a touch of natural beauty to the scene, as the soft light bathes the bridge and creates a warm, golden glow. The changing colors of the sky during these times provide a stunning backdrop for capturing the bridge in all its splendor.

Which is the Best Place to Take Photos in Tokyo?

Senso-ji, located in the Asakusa neighborhood of Tokyo, is undeniably one of the best places to take photos in the city. This iconic Buddhist temple, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, holds immense cultural and historical significance, and its visually stunning architecture and vibrant atmosphere make it a photographer’s dream.

As you approach Senso-ji, you are greeted by the colossal red lantern known as Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate). This gate marks the entrance to Nakamise Shopping Street, a bustling pedestrian street lined with traditional souvenir shops and food stalls. The vibrant colors, intricate details, and lively activity along this street create a perfect opportunity for capturing street photography and candid shots of visitors immersed in the cultural experience.

Beyond the shopping street, the main hall of Senso-ji stands proudly, displaying exquisite craftsmanship and intricate details. The impressive five-story pagoda adjacent to the main hall adds to the temple’s grandeur and offers a striking focal point for photographs. The intricate architectural elements, including the vibrant reds, elaborate carvings, and gold accents, create a visually captivating backdrop for capturing the essence of traditional Japanese design.

Throughout the temple grounds, you’ll find peaceful gardens, tranquil ponds, and serene spaces that provide a stark contrast to the bustling atmosphere outside. These areas offer opportunities for capturing serene and contemplative shots, incorporating the natural beauty and calming ambiance of the surroundings.

Visiting Senso-ji during traditional festivals or events, such as the Sanja Matsuri, can enhance your photography experience. The temple becomes even more lively and vibrant, with participants dressed in traditional attire and engaging in cultural performances and processions. These moments provide a rich tapestry of visual opportunities, allowing you to capture the essence of Japanese traditions and celebrations.

The iconic red color scheme, the mix of ancient architecture and modern elements, and the blend of cultural activities and serene spaces make Senso-ji an incredibly photogenic location. Whether you’re capturing the temple’s exterior, exploring the intricate details of its structures, or documenting the lively street scenes and festive events, Senso-ji offers an abundance of opportunities to capture the spirit and beauty of Tokyo’s rich cultural heritage.

What are the Best Locations for Capturing Traditional Japanese Culture and Heritage in Tokyo?

When it comes to capturing traditional Japanese culture and heritage in Tokyo, several locations stand out as ideal spots for photography enthusiasts. These places offer a glimpse into Japan’s rich history, traditional arts, and cultural practices, providing ample opportunities to capture the essence of Japanese heritage.

1. Meiji Shrine: Located in the heart of Tokyo, Meiji Shrine is a serene oasis dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. The shrine is surrounded by a lush forest, providing a peaceful and photogenic setting. The grand torii gate at the entrance and the majestic shrine buildings with their intricate architectural details make for striking subjects. Visitors can also witness traditional wedding processions, which offer a glimpse into Japanese wedding customs and attire.

2. Asakusa and Senso-ji Temple: Asakusa is a neighborhood known for preserving the old-world charm of Tokyo. At its center stands Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple. The vibrant Nakamise Shopping Street leading up to the temple is lined with traditional shops and food stalls, offering endless opportunities for capturing street scenes, colorful storefronts, and bustling crowds. The temple itself, with its imposing red gates, pagoda, and serene atmosphere, provides a captivating backdrop for traditional Japanese architecture.

3. Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum: This open-air museum in Koganei Park showcases preserved and relocated traditional buildings from various periods in Tokyo’s history. From samurai residences and merchant houses to old shops and temples, the museum offers a glimpse into the architectural styles and daily life of the past. Photographers can capture the intricate designs, wooden facades, and serene gardens that represent traditional Japanese architecture.

4. Kabukiza Theatre: Kabuki is a traditional Japanese performing art that combines drama, dance, and music. The Kabukiza Theatre in Ginza is a hub for experiencing this art form. Photographers can capture the elaborate costumes, expressive makeup, and dynamic stage performances of Kabuki actors. While photography inside the theater may be restricted during performances, the vibrant atmosphere and traditional architecture of the building itself provide excellent photo opportunities.

5. Yanaka District: Yanaka is one of Tokyo’s few remaining neighborhoods that have preserved their old Edo-era charm. The narrow lanes, traditional wooden houses, and tranquil temples and cemeteries create a nostalgic atmosphere that is perfect for capturing traditional Japanese scenes. The historic Yanaka Cemetery and the picturesque Yanaka Ginza shopping street are particularly popular spots for capturing traditional architecture and daily life.

6. Tokyo National Museum: The Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park is the largest and oldest museum in Japan, housing a vast collection of traditional Japanese art and artifacts. From exquisite paintings and sculptures to delicate ceramics and textiles, the museum offers countless opportunities to photograph traditional Japanese art forms. The grand architecture of the museum buildings and the serene surroundings of Ueno Park also make for beautiful compositions.

7. Traditional Tea Houses and Gardens: Tokyo is home to several traditional tea houses and gardens where visitors can experience the art of tea ceremonies and immerse themselves in serene natural settings. Places like Hama-rikyu Gardens, Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, and Happo-en Garden offer breathtaking landscapes, meticulously maintained gardens, and traditional tea houses, providing both cultural and visual delights for photographers.

These locations showcase the time-honored traditions, architecture, performing arts, and serene environments that are integral to traditional Japanese culture. By capturing the essence of these places through your lens, you can create evocative images that reflect the beauty and heritage of Japan.

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

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