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Great places to shoot in Tokyo - the domed ceilings of Tokyo Station

High above the floors of Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi gates, both south and north, are some domed ceilings.  They are the very best of old world style. You enter the concourse area and just look straight up to see them.  In my opinion, they ooze chic. I don’t think there isn’t anything to match them in the city.

The domed ceiling of the Marunouchi north gate


They might look old, but in reality they are modern creations.  You have to remember that what we enjoy today was heavily damaged during World War Two.  After the war the station underwent rebuilds, upgrades and extensions over the years. And, of course, the Marunouchi gate areas were rebuilt.  The latest one rebuild, in 2012, brought the domes back to their pre-war condition. I think the bringing them back to what they once were was a great idea as the design is so classy.  


They are truly beautiful - well-lit so, even though they are quite high, you can see a lot of detail.  What can you see? The octagon-shaped ceiling spaces under the domed roofs have an eagle looking to the left, just like the original did.  And there are eight of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. They are very beautiful, very symmetrical and, dare I say, identical.

The domed ceiling of the Marunouchi south gate

Apparently, when the reconstruction was being done, some of the original relief work still remained in the dome under the duralumin ceiling and that was used in the restoration.  It involved the partial removal of some of the original plaster that remained and reinforced with some chemical process. However it was done, the end result was fantastic.


I think the ceilings offer a great photo opportunity.  And, I also think they are very Instagrammable, especially as you don’t need any special gear.  Whatever you have, just point straight up and take the picture, end of story. Nothing difficult at all as long as you use a wide angle lens, which will allow you to get more of the ceiling in the picture.  If you use a long lens, you will be more limited to the centre area.

Remember there are two domes, so if you want to shoot both you need to walk about one hundred meters to the other one.  If you want to see Tokyo Station’s website to do a little more reading, you can see it here. Oh, and if you think there is some better architecture in the city than these ceilings, please let me know as I’m always willing to learn more!

Equipment for this shot:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T2

Lens - Fufjilm XF 10-24 mm f 4 R OIS