Tokyo Tower: 10 Best and Hidden Spots to Take a Picture
This 333m tall tower, known as the Tokyo Tower, is probably the most famous landmark in Tokyo and should be at the top of your list of destinations. Built in 1958 it acted as a symbol for post-war Japan’s revival. It not only offers a perfect panoramic view of the largest city in the world but also many facilities and shops inside to enjoy with your partner, friends or family.
The tower was painted orange and white to meets aviation safety regulations. Hence, the orange tower when laid against the black city scape is at an acute contrast during the night. Even though Tokyo Tower has not gained the romantic allure of Paris’s Eiffel Tower or The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, Tokyo Tower historically was a great step towards development in post-war Japan and served as the nation’s unifying desire to rise to the top. Showered with decades of admiration from both locals and tourists, Tokyo Tower is now not only a telecommunications/broadcasting tower but an icon of the city. Here are some secret spots in Tokyo to take pictures of the iconic tower that it is today.
Pro Tip: The local urban legend says watching the tower’s lights turn off exactly at midnight brings good lucks to couples. So it might be worth going there at midnight!
The one in yebisu
One factor that makes the Tokyo Tower stand out against the myriad of buildings is the color. This particular shade of orange is called ‘‘international orange’’ and was painted to abide by aviation laws. The tower glows bright orange amidst the dark buildings surrounding it. It is repainted every five years by 4200 workers and by hand!
This observation deck is perfect for taking a picture of the Tokyo Tower from a distance. The observation deck is located on the 38th and 39th floor along with some restaurants. The observation room itself is small but the good thing for photographers is that you can use a tripod here. You can see the Tokyo Tower at a distance for mounting your camera with a telephoto lens and a tripod would give you the perfect shot.
Through the buildings
It is important to note that the lights used during the daily light up at night is different for summers and winters. During summers the Tokyo Tower lights up using a cool tone white light while during winters the tower lights up using warm tone orange lights.
As you can see from the scale of the Tokyo Tower in this picture, the spot is very close to the tower itself. There are many spots like this where the tower sticks out through two buildings, but this location is the best out of all the spots because the tower sticks out enough so you can see more than half of the top. The tree at the foreground adds depth to the picture too.
The white christmas
Please note that the white illuminations on the trees are only available during Christmas season. So if you happen to visit Tokyo during the end of December the white lights will be there to create a stark contrast with the blueish foreground and orange tower.
The picture is shot from a pedestrian bridge located not too far from the tower. It is a famous spot for the locals enthusiasts to take a picture during Christmas seasons. Hence, there is usually a young crowd of people taking pictures with their smartphones for Instagram. Using a tripod is difficult at times due to the crowd but you can use a Gorillapod.
the classic tokyo tower spot
The location has been flooded on by Instagram by influencers. The stairs and the walls act as leading lines towards the Tokyo Tower, along with the minimal amount of color directs the eye to the Tokyo Tower. This picture was taken on a rainy day so the sky is white but having it blue would be nice too.
The above picture was taken with a wide angle lens. Wide angle lens is recommended at this spot. But any other lens would works fine too like below pictures.
As this spot is famous for the locals, and because only one person can take a picture here at a time, there is usually a line of people waiting to take a picture here. Especially during the night when the tower lights up orange. During the day there is comparatively no line of people. Aim for the weekdays and rainy days to go here to avoid the crowd.
The straight line
This spot is also a well-known spot for the locals. The leading lines of the path direct you directly towards the tower. Because the sunset towards the tower from this location it is a perfect spot to take the tower with the sunset. Because it is photogenic as it is, any time of the day would produce a beautiful image. During the night the street lamps light up creating an orange light space which is equally as beautiful as the sunset picture.
This park is located somewhat near the Tokyo Tower and is a great spot to take a break and take in this view of the Tokyo Tower with surrounding greenery. The spacious photogenic park is especially beautiful during spring when hundred of cherry blossom bloom.
This picture was taken on a pedestrian island right in the middle of a junction. Because it is an island there is not a lot of space, but using a tripod is possible as long as you don’t block the path of other pedestrians. Using a small tripod or a GorillaPod to limit the space you occupy is recommended.
The above picture was taken with a wide angle lens so it might seem that the Tokyo Tower is afar, but when you are physically at this spot the Tokyo Tower loom over you. Capture the Tokyo Tower along with the light trails from the cars.
the old and the new
This temple was built in the year 1393, it was commissioned by the Tokugawa clan almost 600 years before the Tokyo Tower was built. And yet you could argue it is as, if not more, beautiful than the Tokyo Tower. Although it was partially reconstructed in the 1970s, this temple has withstood numerous historic earthquakes and bombings and still stands tall to this day. Inside the temple, there are several halls, including the Hondo (the main hall), which provide stunning traditional sights. We can’t recommend this temple enough for people who like the aesthetics of old Japan.
This spot is unique because it highlights the old with the new, giving a context to the picture with Japanese history. Although the Tokyo Tower might not be ‘new’ but compared to the temple it is. This spot and hence the picture, display fragments of the Edo Period and Post-war Japan.
Outside the temple there is one road that leads up to the Tokyo Tower. This spot is also good if you like the leading lines and perspective in your pictures.
The light trails island
This spot is our personal favorite. It is taken on a pedestrian island in between two roads. The island is very narrow, barely enough for one person. You will have to fold down the tripod to a small footprint to set up a tripod here. GorillaPod and table tripods will work too.
The location itself is at a distance from the Tokyo Tower. You will have to take a number of shots to have the perfect light trails in your picture. Some compositing may be required. Wait for the perfect vehicle to pass through, usually a bus or a truck suits the best to capture a picture like above.
From the restaurant
This location is inside a restaurant not too far from the Tokyo Tower. The restaurant is cheap and the food is good so we recommend visiting here not only for the picture but to take a break and enjoy some food. But please note that you cannot set up a tripod inside the restaurant so it is probably better to go here during the day time when you wont need a tripod. There are not a lot of spots where the Tokyo Tower can be viewed from this height, making this spot a one and only.
The tower reflection
As mentioned in this article’s intro, the Tokyo Tower creates a stark contrast with the surrounding cityscape especially at night. While the cityscape is black and grey, Tokyo Tower is bright and orange. And positioned in the heart of the city in close proximity to other buildings, this makes Tokyo Tower a good subject to shoot with its surrounding context.
One of the spots is the above location. During the night the tower reflections onto the shinny surfaces of one of its neighboring buildings. It is a unique picture and spot that not a lot of people know about.