Tokyo: a mix of the ultramodern and historical
A traveler shares three photograph locations in Tokyo, Japan
My name is Patrick. I have a passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Through my website, I combine these passions and share my experiences. I aspire to be an example of how cultural exchange and traveling altogether is a great way to learn about the world, the people around you, and even yourself. https://www.zerodoctrine.com
Three photograph locations in Tokyo, Japan
With Tokyo being a diverse mega-city that has so many worthwhile places to see, it is no doubt that there are plenty of great opportunities for photography. However, on my last trip to Japan, there were three locations where I especially enjoyed photographing and taking in the atmosphere.
First up on the list of locations is the rooftop observation deck at the Asakusa Tourist Information Center. Located right across the street from the Kaminarimon Gate that leads to Senso-ji Temple, this information center offers a unique (and free) view of Asakusa. Head into the building and take the elevator to the eighth floor to snap some pictures of the historic Senso-ji Temple area.
You can see the entire walkway of Nakamise Shopping Street followed by the Hozomon Gate and Senso-ji Temple in the very back. Pictured in the back left is the five-storied pagoda of Senso-ji.
Looking out on the right side of the observation deck, you can get a great view of the Tokyo Skytree too!
As a helpful tip, the Asakusa Tourist Information Center opens at 9AM. I got there within ten minutes of the center opening, and there was nobody at the observation deck, so I would say that is a good time to go. I even went back in the evening and there was only one or two other people up there. With that said, regardless of when you choose to go, you should be fine to quietly enjoy the rooftop without crowds. For how many people that Senso-ji Temple attracts, this observation deck still seems to be somewhat of a hidden gem.
Next up on the list of locations is Kiriko Terrace. This is a freely accessible rooftop garden located on top of a shopping mall called Tokyu Plaza Ginza. The rooftop itself is beautifully designed and makes for a really nice place to sit and relax. I still remember getting up there and having a literal jaw-dropping moment at how exquisite this place looked.
My favorite part about this rooftop is the view down below on a crosswalk called the Sukiyabashi Crossing/Ginza Crossing. You can snap pictures from right above it as the cars pass by and pedestrians occupy the crosswalks. It is like a small-scale version of the world-famous Shibuya Crossing.
Tokyu Plaza Ginza opens at 11 AM. Just like when I went to the observation deck at Asakusa, I arrived shortly after it was opened and there was only one person at the rooftop garden. Believe it or not, Kiriko Terrace seems to be just as much of a hidden gem!
Last but not least, the final photography spot that really caught my attention was an alleyway called Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku. Omoide Yokocho translates to “memory lane” and was a black market in the late 1940’s. Now it is home to tiny counter-service eateries with various foods and alcohols.
The best time to visit Omoide Yokocho is at night, as that is when the area becomes most alive. The vibrant lighting elegantly decorates the alleyways and the people cram into the small restaurants for good food and drink.
This place had such a unique feeling of sociability and camaraderie that I did not experience anywhere else in Tokyo. Even if you do not decide to dine here, it is a special place to take in the atmosphere and watch people have a good time.
Between the two rooftops and Omoide Yokocho, these places capture a well-rounded mix of Tokyo’s rich historical past and ultra-modern present. I hope you enjoy my location picks and visit them on your trip to Tokyo too!
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