7 More Photogenic Spiral Staircases in Tokyo

7 More Photogenic Spiral Staircases in Tokyo guide book for photography in tokyo

Spiral staircases are not just a delight to the eyes but a very photogenic subject to take pictures of as mentioned in the previous article. By their very structural nature, they are full of features which make up an intriguing picture, such as leading line, rhythm and geometry. Lines, patterns and geometry are compositional elements that have long been used by photographers and artists alike to enhance an image’s visual experience.

Staircases and especially spiral stairs have these compositional elements in abundance, which makes them a great subject to take pictures of. Photographing these stairs are largely about applying tried-and-true composition techniques to an often-overlooked subject. By doing so, it will enable you to find some hidden gems where most people wouldn't even think of looking.

In the previous article we covered 8 Photogenic Spiral Staircases in Tokyo so be sure to check that one out too!

The eye

This location is located near the big station and the stairs itself is very small so its most likely that you will pass by it without noticing. The staircase is shaped like an eye and because the outline of each stairs is a zigzag it makes the location even more cooler. It is one of those stairs that is located in a busy area but hardly anybody uses. Because it is located partially outside, the lighting changes dramatically depending on the time of day you shoot this. Above picture was taken at night white the bottom pictures were taken during the day. The picture taken during the night is our favorite because the orange light in the middle looks similar to a pupil inside an eye. Make sure you know what style of picture you are going for before planning what time of the day you will visit this spot.

Named after it's shape, The Eye is an ovular staircase that is scarcely used. Depending on the time of day, the lighting here changes drastically so choose wisely when to visit this spot.
Named after it's shape, The Eye is an ovular staircase that is scarcely used. Depending on the time of day, the lighting here changes drastically so choose wisely when to visit this spot.
This image was taken minutes before sunset. You can see the image has a strong blue hue to it.
This image was taken minutes before sunset. You can see the image has a strong blue hue to it.

the renaissance stairs

Because the building that houses this spiral stairs has about 15 floors everyone who comes to this building usually uses the elevator rather than the stairs. It’s a shame because this is exactly where the real architectural and photographic gem of the building lie. The floor of the stairs are illuminated by diffused white light while the surrounding is dark and metallic. Usually when photographing spiral stairs one of the problems photographers encounter is the lack of lighting in these spaces. But because the stairs themselves are installed with indirect lighting this spot is a must for every photographer visiting Tokyo to try out. There are renaissance-like murals on the walls, combined with the white lighting, they give this space a distinct ambience. A very famous and popular spot for many instagrammers especially in Tokyo.

The staircase is solemnly used because there is an elevator in the building. Making this a great location to take pictures.
The staircase is solemnly used because there is an elevator in the building. Making this a great location to take pictures.
Another epic spot in the downtown area of Tokyo. The floor is lit up by lights and the walls display an unique art.
Another epic spot in the downtown area of Tokyo. The floor is lit up by lights and the walls display an unique art.

the Purple cube

This spiral stairs is located inside a buddhist temple. The building is not designed in a traditional sense of a temple. The building was design by a famous Japanese architect and was constructed using white concrete. The building was designed to be a step towards modern temple designs. This spiral stairs is hardly ever used but is extremely photogenic. The purple and white boxy shapes continue downwards perpetually, the colors almost casts you into a hypnotic state. You will have to register your name before you enter the temple but it is free for the public. The stairs is located behind a door near the reception and anybody is allowed to come here and take pictures. Another very famous spot for instagrammers living in Japan and visiting Japan.

The purple carpet gives this spot a certain luxury vibe. The staircase is located in a religious building but is solemnly used.
The purple carpet gives this spot a certain luxury vibe. The staircase is located in a religious building but is solemnly used.
Access here is free and definitely worth it if you are in the vicinity. This spot is famous amongst Japanese instagrammers.
Access here is free and definitely worth it if you are in the vicinity. This spot is famous amongst Japanese instagrammers.

the colorful shell

This stairs is located inside a building that was built in the 1970s. And is one of the oldest buildings in the area.The unique tear-drop shape of the stairs and the vibrant colors, especially the teal color on the walls, make this a very photogenic spot to take pictures. The tear-drop shape also creates an eerie illusion through perspective. It is also a great place to take pictures of your model here. The stairs look drastically different looking up the stairs and looking down.

Looking from below the staircase forms a very unique shape. Somewhat resembling a tear drop.
Looking from below the staircase forms a very unique shape. Somewhat resembling a tear drop.
The green wall on the side and the ovular staircase makes this location and this picture a delight to look at.
The green wall on the side and the ovular staircase makes this location and this picture a delight to look at.

The white museum

This spiral staircase is built inside a museum. The museum is a part of an art university located in the city center. Because it is museum, depending on the exhibition entering this space will require you to buy a ticket. Sometimes the exhibition is free so its worth checking before you go.

Located in an artsy school, the campus has several buildings that are designed in detail. Amongst those design elements was this staircase.

The hotel gem

This spot is located inside a hotel but don’t worry you are allowed access to take pictures here very easily. The stairs are located right in front of the entrance. You are allowed to take a picture here but are prohibited to go above the 3rd floor. If you feel uncomfortable simply ask the guard at the entrance for the directions of the spiral stairs he will guide you with typical Japanese kindness.

The staircase is located inside a luxury hotel. This picture was taken at the hotel past sunset. Hence there is not a lot of light.

tokyo’s center spiral

Located in the center of Tokyo, this spiral staircase is a path between two exhibition halls. The building materials; brick, wood and steel make a great composition.

These two spots shown in the top and below pictures are located inside the Tokyo Station. Both are images require a wide angle lens to capture the space. And both entail the unique architecture that Tokyo Station has to offer. The above spiral stairs is located inside a museum so you will need a ticket for the exhibition to enter this space. There are two highlights of the gallery in Tokyo Station, one is the spiral stairs shown in the above picture, and the other is the 100 years old bricks used in the second floor exhibition space. Here you can enjoy the architectural attractions the building has to offer with exhibitions of various themes.

Like many buildings in Tokyo the station was severely destroyed during World War II. The original ceiling was damaged but reconstructed later with using the same design. As seen in the above picture, there are 8 eagles at the top and below that in circular green backgrounds are the animal reliefs at 8 locations. The keystone at the top of the arches are inspired by 15th century military commander’s helmet. All these design elements and ornaments combined make this ceiling a great look up.

One of the older and famous buildings in Tokyo. The Tokyo station is a three-storied magnificent Renaissance architecture with 3 large (like the above) domes in the north, south and center.
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