Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

Marunouchi Lights Up

Marunouchi is a commercial district in Tokyo, just across from Tokyo station.  It is filled with tall glass and steel skyscrapers that are filled with businesses, shops and restaurants.  Quite a trendy area if you ask me.  And in mid-November every year it becomes even trendier as Naka-dori (Naka street), one of the streets there is lit up by over one million champagne-coloured LEDs.  I really like the colour and to be honest, I prefer it to the pink of the Southern Terrace light up in Shinjuku.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the light up in Shinjuku too, but the brighter champagne colour just seems to be better in my opinion.

Marunouchi also seems to attract far more people.  One reason might be is that there is just more to see and do in the area.  Shinjuku’s Southern Terrace, while it is in Shinjuku, just doesn’t really have anything in the immediate area except Krispy Kreme.  Naka street has a lot of restaurants, food trucks and shops which probably explains the difference in the size of the crowd.  There is always a constant flow of people the through the area.

As for the photography, I was more pleased with the results I got in Marunouchi than those in Shinjuku.  In Shinjuku I shot everything handheld, but as the area was a little darker, the shots I got weren’t that great.  This time I decided to take along a tripod to do long-exposures.  I thought that due to the very nature of that type of photography the pictures might be a little different especially with cars leaving light trails and the “ghosting” of people as they walk by.  However, things didn’t go entirely to plan as the wind was very strong and it was bitterly cold.

Anyway, I quite enjoyed it and I could hear a lot of very positive comments about the event as I walked through the crowd.  If you are in Tokyo but haven’t seen the Marunouchi lights yet, there is no need to worry as they will be on every night until February 19, 2017.  I’m not sure where I’ll be shooting the next light up event.  I’ve heard some good things about Roppongi and Shiodome, so it’s highly likely I’ll be heading there.  However, things can change so we’ll have to wait and see.