5 Epic Photography Spots in Omotesando and Harajuku
Harajuku and Omotesando is known as the one of the most stylish and hip places areas in Tokyo. It is unlikely that you will miss this place in your Tokyo itinerary when you visit here. Also known as the champs-élysées of Tokyo, this area houses many international brands and shops. So naturally this area also houses a lot of unique architecture and photography spots. While Omotesando caters towards the haute couture end of the spectrum, the Harajuku area caters more towards the youth fashion. Harajuku is known as ‘the capital of Japanese pop culture’ where stylish and trendy streets are cramped with fashionable boutiques and restaurant. Once away from the main road you enter a luxurious residential area that is popular for expats living in Tokyo.
In this article we will introduce you to some of the most iconic and secret photography spots around this area. We will focus on spots where you can take portraits and pictures of your partner or friends while in Harajuku and Omotesando. Wide angle lens are recommended to capture the surrounding environment as much as possible but not necessary.
The escalator itself is short but the mirrors on the sides and the single lighting in the space makes it look very futuristic and cool. Although the escalator is small the mirrors on the top and sides make the space look more bigger. The pitch black space combined with the upward direction of the escalator make you feel like you’re venturing into space. The white florescent lights pushing you into outer space. This is a very fun and photogenic spot you definitely should visit if you have the time! It is also a spot that is used by many local Japanese Instagrammers and photographers.
This is definitely one of the most fun spots in Harajuku, not to mention the most photogenic. The building has interactive displays and games on every floor of this multistory building. Two of these displays are the most photogenic and an experience you will not get else where.
Position your model, partner or friend to stand in the middle of the room or up the escalator and take pictures of them! This spot is highly recommended if you are a person who likes pictures to post on instagram. It is a spot that is used by many Japanese Instagrammers and photographers. Taking the camera inside is allowed but because you only have one minute inside the room we do not recommend taking a tripod inside. The interactive displays and games are all for free.
The apartment moderna
This is a super unique building near Omotesando. You can access it from Harajuku area or Omotesando area, but the Omotesando station is comparatively closer. It was built over 30 years ago but the design seems as if it was built recently. It is used as an apartment building. You are allowed access to the courtyard which is located in front of and before the main entrance.
There is a table or a pedestal inside the courtyard. Position your model on the pedestal, either stood up or sitting down, and take a picture by pointing your camera upwards with the building in the background. Like all other spaces in Japan, this space is smaller than you might imagine, so having a wide angle lens to essential to make the most out of this location.
The Broken reflections
Omotesando features many cutting edge buildings designed by renowned architects from around the world. There are tens and maybe hundreds of architectural gems in this area. One of those cutting edge buildings is this building shown in the picture.
The most famous spot in the Harajuku area is this entrance to a shopping mall. Hence, whatever time you go it is most likely to be crowded. Except in the mornings right after the shopping mall opens at 11am. The only problem is that in the mornings the light is not as contrasty and pleasant compared to night. So if you value less people in your frame you should go in the morning, otherwise taking the picture at night is preferable. Because its a famous spot and there will likely be tourists already taking a picture here, you might have to wait for the perfect shot.
The neon rabbit
Harajuku is a place for youngsters and a place for fashion. Much like Soho in New York. There are a number of local apparels brands in this area with cute store fronts. Away from the main road, walking in the twisting alleys of Harajuku you will find many intriguing shops around you. One of those shops is this one.
It is unique and stands out because of its pink neon light. Unlike other big cities of the world, Japan does not have a lot of this type of neon signs displayed in front of its shops. Making it difficult to take a picture like the one above. Remember to take your sunglasses with you for this shot!
the White leading lines
Along the narrow streets that lead away from Omotesando, you will find many charming boutiques created by young artists, many of them really worth your time. These small alleys feature many places to sit back and relax over a good food or drink.
This spot is located in one of those narrow alleys in the Harajuku area and is a stairs that leads up to a shop. The leading lines and white wood like texture give this spot as reason to come back to. Because there are only limited lights during the night, it is better to take a picture in the day time. Wide angle is recommended but not necessary. It is an apt spot to take a cool portraiture of your partner.