Shooting the Dark Side of Tokyo: 10 Night Photography Spots

When the sun sets in Tokyo, the city blinks neon and takes on a new identity—one that leads you to lantern-lit alleyways, unexplored vantage points and shots unseen in the daylight. Here are our 10 favourite Tokyo spots for night photography shots.

The Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow bridge connects Tokyo to the man-made island of Odaiba. Powered by solar energy, the bridge’s light show changes with the seasons and special occasions, with its signature rainbow colours on display in December.

It only takes around 20–30 minutes to cross the Rainbow Bridge on foot and is a great way to get a different angle of the Tokyo skyline and explore the less frequented Odaiba.

Location: Minato City, Tokyo 105-0000, Japan

The Soho Odaiba

The Soho is definitely one for the gram.

A collaborative workspace in Odaiba, The Soho offers captivating architectural facets that look great during the day, but stunning during the night. Featuring 13 floors of rainbow coloured doors, The Soho is a must-see if you’re crossing the bridge and on the hunt for some unique architectural shots.

Location: 2 Chome-7-4 Aomi, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan

Sensoji Temple

Sensoji is one of the most famous and photographed of Tokyo’s temples, but its true majesty doesn’t reveal itself until after dark. Slow shutter-speeders will enjoy the dramatically-lit Buddhist temple and five-story pagoda in the heart of the history-rich Asakusa.

Location: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan

Tokyo Disneyland

Bright lights. Smiling faces. Nostalgia in motion. The iconic theme park has all the ingredients you need for a magical night shoot. Sunshine and motion sickness during the day. Snapshots and motion blur during the night.

Location: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0031, Japan


Shibuya might just be the most well-recognised ward in Tokyo. The centre for youth fashion and culture, Shibuya is painted in neon glory and offers the eyes a sensory experience too good not to be caught on camera.

Once you’ve taken your obligatory Shibuya crossing snap, stray from the path and go get lost amongst the small neighbourhoods, such as Nonbei Yokocho, to explore and shoot Tokyo’s energetic nightlife.

Location: Shibuya

Tokyo Station

Servicing major JR and Shinakansen train lines, Tokyo Station is a grand, red brick building that gets beautifully lit in the evening. Said to be based on the design of Amsterdam Centraal Station in the Netherlands, the iconic facade is a must for your Tokyo photo collection.

Location: 1 Chome Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Metro Government Building

Known simply as “Tocho” in Japanese, The Tokyo Metro Government Building is the centre of government for all 23 wards of Tokyo and also serves as a giant city hall.

An unbeatable view can be had from the 45th-floor observation decks (North and South observatory) which both close at 11pm.

Location: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 163-8001, Japan


A buzzing playground that stays up around the clock, Shinjuku is bursting at the seams with things to shoot. Shinjuku station sees millions of commuters bustle to and fro daily, moving between countless cafes, bars and skyscrapers.

Bathed in neon, the area of Kabukicho—Tokyo’s red light district— is a favourite among nighttime photographers and midnight revellers.

Location: Shinkuju

Omoide Yokochu

Literally translated to “Memory Lane”, Omoide Yokochu is a bustling alleyway that is home to small wooden stalls and izakaya stands. Masked by the smoke and scent of grilled yakitori, the iconic laneway is a tantalising treat for the senses.

Location: 1 Chome-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

Golden Gai

A true gem of Tokyo, Golden Gai is a fragment of old Tokyo that miraculously thrives among the commercial and entertainment district of Shinjuku.

Golden Gai consists of tiny, narrow alleyways lined by almost 200 boutique bars, each catering to their own specific clientele. Despite its appearance, this tiny corner of the city is actually warm and friendly. Just be sure to look out for signs that do not permit photography.

Location: 1 Chome-1-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan

Heading on a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun? Make sure you have the skills to snap awesome photos while abroad in Japan. Sign up to our ‘Travel Photography with Richard I’Anson’ today and learn from one of the world’s most-awarded travel photographers.

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