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Six of my favourite places to shoot in Tokyo

Recently someone said to me that I should put put up a list of my favourite places to shoot in Tokyo.  The more I thought about it, the more I realised that it was a hard question to answer. Insanely hard.  Tokyo has so many great places to shoot and to make a list of favourites is very hard. Why is it so hard?  Well, the number of places is enormous, and even the time of the day can affect the decision. For example shooting during the middle of the day is obviously very different to shooting in the evening or night.

So I think the only thing to do is make a temporary list.  It seems the easiest thing to do. I mean, the more I shoot of Tokyo, I might see something I want to add to the list in the future.  And let’s just add one more thing, street photography isn’t included in this list at all. Street photography, I think, is an entity entirely to itself and there is no way I’m going to put that topic here.  And lastly, all these places have their own full articles on the website, so if you want to find out more, just click the links.

Aoyama Cemetery

A long-time favourite of mine for many years.  The cemetery is huge with some amazing tomb architecture.  A very famous place in Tokyo to visit for cherry blossoms, but no hanami parties are allowed.  You could spend hours there looking at all the graves.  Aoyama Cemetery even has a section for foreigners.

Aoyama Cemetery during the cherry blossom season of 2018

Hama Rikyu Gardens

Extremely beautiful and no wonder it had chosen to be the residence for one of the shoguns, and later a palace for the Imperial Family.  Hama Rikyu is now a park filled with lots of history and many hidden places to explore. The central ponds are where ducks used to be hunted.  Lots of things to photograph both inside the the gardens as well as outside! Nearby are the the skyscrapers in the Shiodome district, Rainbow Bridge is also visible as is Tokyo Tower.

The main pond of Hama Rikyu with the skyscrapers of the Shiodome area behind

Shinjuku

The busy heart of Tokyo.  Lots of people, lots of shops, buildings and trains.  For nighttime this is a photographer’s paradise as there are many walkways and pedestrian bridges to shoot from.  The neon lights of Shinjuku at night are incredible.

The Mode Gakuen Building seen from Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku Gyoen

A big park with French, English and Japanese gardens, close to Shinjuku station.  Another place to spend hours in, walking and enjoying the sights. One of the best places in Tokyo to see cherry blossoms, Shinjuku Gyoen offers something for every season.

Shinjuku Gyoen, cherry blossoms, the NTT DOCOMO Building and one kid running free

Tokyo International Forum

If you are looking for some architecture to shoot, this is the place.  Tokyo International Forum has leading lines, symmetry and size. As it is near Yurakucho and Tokyo stations, you have easy access to this incredible building.

Tokyo International Forum - an architectural photographer's dream

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

With two great observation decks that are free to enter, this is one of the best places to shoot from in Tokyo.  In one direction you have Mt. Fuji, in another you can look out over Shinjuku and in another you can see Tokyo Bay in the distance.  The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a fantastic place for those who love landscape/cityscape photography.

Mt. Fuji seen from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at sunset

Those are my favourites, for the time being.  How about yours?