Tokyo in Pics


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

Tokyo at Night - Sensoji

Do you know Sensoji?  If no, then you should know it is probably the most popular temple in Tokyo.  It is home to the Sanja Festival and Nakamise street.  Sensoji pulls huge crowds practically every day of the year.  Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), the main entrance, is always crowded with people trying to get selfies or group photos.  Nakamise – lots of little shops and stalls all trying to get people to buy something.  Then the Hozo gate and the main hall beyond.  People everywhere, all the time.  Sensoji is synonymous with crowds.  It can be hard to get a good photo there.

The main hall of Sensoji after dark

Night is different though.  When it starts to get dark and the shops close, the crowds leave.  It is the best time to shoot Sensoji.  The darkness brings out the colours just a touch more and of course the fewer people the more space you get to place your camera and tripod.  More importantly, the city feels as though it is further away.

The Hozo gate and pagoda behind - this is a 4 shot panorama

When I started shooting there, I was happy to see a few people at least had remained.  With them moving while the shutter was open, they appeared to “ghost” across some images and disappear completely in others.  Sensoji is such a great place for this type of photography, long exposure.  One night I’m hoping to shoot there in the snow, but as it doesn’t snow in Tokyo often I might have to wait a while to capture such a shot.

The pagoda at Sensoji

The only think I regret that night was that, the previous day, I had set my camera to turn off after thirty minutes of non-use.  That meant as the Fujifilm X-T2 has an electronic viewfinder, it constantly uses it battery power, so with the camera constantly on the camera was gradually but constantly losing power.  So, after I had taken about eighty pictures I noticed the battery indicator was red, meaning my power was almost out as was my time.

If you want to see Sensoji’s website, you can see it here and if you want to see some pictures from the Sanja festival you can see them here.