8 Photogenic Spiral Staircases in Tokyo

8 Photogenic Spiral Staircases in Tokyo guide book for photography in tokyo

There’s nothing more photogenic than a spiral stairs when taking architecture photos. The perfect geometry of spiral stairs make it a subject that almost guarantees a perfect picture. This seemingly perpetual circular stairs is a perpetual trend on Instagram and a superb spot to shoot portraits. The photogenic element of these circular stairs has long been widely exploited by photographers and movie-makers alike. Due to their elegant circular shape, spiral staircases give a romantic element to the space compared to traditional stairs.

Unfortunately, Japan does not have many spiral stairs compared to Europe there are some in Tokyo which are worth your time. At LensTokyo we find the best spots for you so you won’t have to spend your precious travelling time looking for spots! Here are 8 of those instagram worthy spiral staircases in Tokyo. Just be careful not to drop your phone or camera into the stairwells!

Apart from the photography spots mentioned in this article, we have another article covering 7 MORE Photogenic Spiral Staircases in Tokyo so be sure to check that one out too!

The red dragon

Doesn’t this picture with its bright red and zigzags remind you of a Chinese dragon? It sure looks like one to us.

When photographing curves, especially when the subject is a spiral stairs, make sure you capture the sweeping lines to give the picture a natural and dynamic feel. The use of wide angles lens comes heavily into play here because they exaggerate the contours of the twisting stairs.

The stark and vibrant color of this spiral staircase definitely leaves an impression on you. This is probably the most well-known spiral staircase in this list. It is located in a building constructed in the 1960’s, near the city center and can be accessed very easily. The building has two spiral staircases, of which one is shown in the above picture. The other stairs is blue in contrast and is located in the staff’s section of the building and is not accessible to the public. This photography spot is located in a very touristy district of Tokyo and you might even pass near by not even realizing that theres a photogenic spot right besides!

the black void

There are two spiral staircases in this building but this is our favorite out of the two. The X in the middle and the dark contrast between the reds and the blacks make this a great location for a picture.

Many staircases are designed in such a way that gives them an obvious symmetry. This photography spot in Tokyo is of one of those spiral stairs. You can exploit this symmetry by placing yourself in the middle of the line of symmetry and composing the image so that the becomes the main point of interest in the picture.

The building that houses this spiral staircase is designed by a very famous architect and acts as a hub for contemporary performing arts in Tokyo. It has two spiral stairs inside shown in pictures above and below. The circular one in the below picture is better known but we, at LensTokyo, like the top one better. The colors red and black along with the X in the middle make this a very photogenic stairs.

This is the other spiral staircase in the building. The polka dots and the irregular shape of the staircase is unique. The space is lit dark so there is no ample light.

the black gear

Definitely one of the coolest pictures you can get in Tokyo. The spiral staircase is located in a very unlikely park. It would be nice to go shoot again with a model this time.

The building that houses this spiral stairs was designed by the same famous architect as the previous spiral stairs. The building has a green rooftop, this stairs connects the outside of the building to the green rooftop. If you are interested in architecture this place is a must.

This location is located in a park. The park itself is one of the hidden tourist destinations and is popular for the ginkgo trees during fall season. So apart from coming here to get the picture of the spiral stairs you could plan to take pictures of the ginkgo trees as well.

The snail

This building was also designed by a famous Japanese architect. The spiral stairs are located inside a school, you are free to enter and take pictures of the building as long as you don’t take pictures of the students. This stairs is triangular in shape. It is a very photogenic stairs where you can position your model or partner on the stairs and take a picture from above.

The architecture is renowned for this building. One of the highlights of this architecture is this spiral staircase.
The architecture is renowned for this building. One of the highlights of this architecture is this spiral staircase.
The pastel blue and the white divided by the brown. A photogenic spot to take pictures with a model or your partner.
The pastel blue and the white divided by the brown. A photogenic spot to take pictures with a model or your partner.

The concrete one

This place is located at a distance 3 hours from the city center by train. So it is definitely a little far for a lot of people. It is inside a dam where you can visit only on the weekends. The scale of the space is enormous and is surrounded by a lot of beautiful nature. If you want to get out of the hustle bustle of the city to somewhere more serene and to taste a bit of the nature of Japan this place is perfect.

Below is a picture of what it looks like around this dam. The air is cleaner and even during winters the green is vibrant. Take a break from the city life for a few hours to get refreshed. To get access to the dam just go to the information counter located right next to the dam (free).

The spot is surrounded by nature and is slightly out of the city of Tokyo. If you want to get away from the busy ambience of Tokyo for a few hours this spot is worth your trip.

The retro one

This spiral staircase is located right in the middle of Tokyo. The building was constructed during the 1970s, and is one of the oldest buildings in the area. It has a retro charm to it and is considered to be an important historic building by many architectural critics.

The spiral stairs itself is very small and narrow. The above picture was taken at the bottom of the stairs, while the below picture was taken at the top. The elevator is unique because it too is very old.

The building which houses this spiral staircase was built almost 40 years ago. Surviving many of Tokyo’s natural disaster it still stands today.

The grandeur

When taking a picture of the spiral stairs it is tempting to only think of two viewpoints; from the bottom or from the top. However, you can create images that are much more interesting and unique when you take the time to come up with less obvious and unique angles or viewpoints like below image.

This building is a shopping mall located very near to a busy station. The mall it self is big and the spiral stairs is located in corner of the building, not a lot of people use this stairs and is a hidden photography spot in Tokyo. The stairs are big in diameter and has a grandeur to it. Position your model, partner or friend on one of the steps and take a picture either from the top or the bottom. The compositions are endless here!

The space this spiral staircase entails is designed in a way to let light in through the sides. The space is big and depending on your creativity has the potential to create a worthy picture.
The space this spiral staircase entails is designed in a way to let light in through the sides. The space is big and depending on your creativity has the potential to create a worthy picture.

The chandelier drops down right in the middle of the spiral staircase. The long protruding chandelier acts as leading lines in the picture above.
The chandelier drops down right in the middle of the spiral staircase. The long protruding chandelier acts as leading lines in the picture above.
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