Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Omoide Yokocho Shinjuku 2
Tokyo

The 10 Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo You Need To Visit

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February 11, 2020

The 10 Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo – Japan is a country full of bright city lights, high-rise buildings and colourful neon sign boards that can be seen a mile away; it’s also home to hundreds of religious shrines and temples, and historic structures such as ryokans and castles that have stood the test of time; and let’s not forget the spectacular mountain regions encapsulating central Japan and the stunning coastline that surrounds the island.

What we’re trying to say is, Japan is a very beautiful country, and Tokyo absolutely shines as its capital. Every corner you turn, you will find something even more amazing and interesting to capture. Modernity in the major city is often juxtaposed by small aspects of traditional Japan still thriving in corners and alleyways, presenting a gorgeous and unique landscape for photography.

With so much to see and so much to capture, comes the (new)age old question: however, could you choose where to take photos for the gram?

In this highly sought-after list below, we’ve listed our top 10 most instagrammable places in Tokyo, one of the most instagrammable cities in the entire world. We hope you enjoy this read!

1. Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing 1

I mean, how else would you start of this list?

A popular place for people of all ages to capture a photo depicting them in Tokyo, this crossing absolutely soared to new heights after the famous scene in the 2006 movie The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift. You’ll find the Shibuya Crossing, nicknamed the Shibuya Scramble, busy and packed with locals and tourists alike at any time of the day, yes, even in the AMs!

Shibuya Crossing 2

This is probably the most popular spot in the entirety of Tokyo for a number of things: it’s undeniably unique, you won’t be able to find this experience anywhere else; it’s right in the middle of the city, so you can access it very easily; and it’s essentially a given these days if you’re traveling to Tokyo. Really, if you want to prove to anyone and everyone that you’ve been to Japan, show them a picture of you standing at the Shibuya Crossing and you’ll hear a collective “Ahh!”.

2. Omoide Yokocho

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Omoide Yokocho Shinjuku 2

A prime example of traditional Japan thriving in modern times is the Omoide Yokocho located smack bang in the middle of Tokyo. A yokocho is essentially alley way located off of a main strip, and is usually filled with bars, restaurants, and pubs. Omoide Yokocho is rated one of the most popular yokocho in Tokyo alongside Golden Gai, but it’s arguably the better looking one. It’s main entrance (near Uniqlo in Shinjuku) is framed with sakura blossoms all year round, and it looks particularly pretty at night when the slim alleyway is lit up with signage and lanterns.

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Omoide Yokocho Shinjuku 2

Here, you can expect to dine in yakitori, kushiyaki, ramen, and a host of other delicious Japanese meals. However, if you’re in a large group, we recommend going during off-peak times as the alley is definitely on the skinny side and the restaurants are rather on the small side.

3. Tokyu Plaza in Omotesando

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Tokyu Plaza Omotesando 1

Omotesando next to Harajuku is one of the most aesthetic suburbs in all of Tokyo. It’s home to a host of events and places to take nice photos, including Cat Street and the Commune 2nd food truck area, however, Tokyo Plaza which is located right at the busy intersection of Meiji-Jingumae takes the cake.

Tokyo Plaza Omotesando is a multi-story shopping centre that hosts a variety of shops catering towards young and fashionable teens and ladies. It also boasts some adorable cafes and restaurants, and its Starbucks cafe on level 6 offers one of the best views of Tokyo, especially at night when its open-air terrace is lit up.

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Tokyu Plaza Omotesando 1

The star of the show, however, is the entrance to Tokyo Plaza Omotesando. You will need to take two escalators up towards the shopping mall, and when you stop and take a look back and around, you’ll see that the entrance is framed with hundreds of mirrors, creating a crazy kaleidoscope-type vision. The best place to take a picture would be at the top of the two escalators looking back out on the street. Be warned though, many others will have the same idea so please just be mindful that you are not blocking people from using the escalators!

4. MORI Building Digital Art Museum by teamLab Borderless

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Digital Art Museum Team Lab 1

This digital art museum is a baby compared to the other museum veterans on this list (in terms of age), however, it’s an absolute monster and holds its ground. TeamLab completely blew the fish out of the water with this installation in Odaiba that is now permanent and is welcoming literally hundreds of people through its doors daily to experience its multisensory exhibition.

For those who are still unaware, an art exhibition opened up in 2018 in Odaiba Tokyo where artforms are displayed in a digitized manner. There are multiple rooms and displays to visit whilst there, and most are receptive of the human touch making it a fun experience for people of all ages. It’s set in a dark, windowless building, but the bright and colourful displays are jaw-dropping and will leave you speechless. It’s a museum unlike any other, and Tokyo is the perfect place to experience it. Definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo!

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Digital Art Museum Team Lab 1

Even now, almost two years on, there will be lines right out the door of visitors waiting to experience this museum. If you would like to attend, we highly recommend that you book tickets online here to ensure you secure a spot. This is a very popular activity and during peak holiday season, there isn’t a guarantee that you will be able to get in on the day if you decide to go last minute.

5. Akihabara

Akihabara Otaku 2

Global otakus, Akihabara is the place for you. Known as the electronics town of Tokyo, Akihabara (also known as Akiba) is famous for its high-rise buildings dedicated to electronics, numerous independent stores selling manga and anime, and shops dedicated to Japanese animation merchandise.

Akihabara Otaku 1

Once you step out of the station here, you will be bombarded with images of anime and manga characters plastered all over the walls and buildings. You’ll also likely come across females dressed in maid costumes beckoning you into their shop. No, this isn’t anything shady, they actually work for maid cafes, where customers are greeted, served, and entertained by maids their entire time there. You can book your visit to the Maidreamin Cafe in Akihabara here.

On Sundays, the main strip of Akihabara, Chuo Dori, is closed off to traffic from 1:00pm – 6:00pm, making it the perfect time to take an epic photo on the street of the colourful buildings.

6. Yuyake dan dan in Yanaka Ginza

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Yuyake dan dan in Yanaka Ginza

This may be a niche spot, but for those who actually get a nice photo here, you’ll be very impressed. “Yukake” means sunset in Japanese, whilst “dandan” means steps, and yep, you’ve got it, it’s actually a staircase that looks like something straight out of an anime, especially during sunset. In fact, there is an anime called “Yukake Dandan” that follows the life of a teenage girl and a cat whose friendship blossoms during their time spent right at a staircase modelled after this popular one located in Yanaka Ginza.

This staircase actually leads to the 175m long lively Yanaka Ginza shopping street near Nippori Station. There are restaurants and shops selling a wide range of things, and makes for a very pleasant and peaceful few hours of exploring. We highly recommend arriving before sunset, exploring the little street and then head to the yuyake dandan for a gorgeous sunset photo.

By the way, if you are looking to explore more spots in this neighbourhood, make sure to read this blog spot: Yanesen Tokyo.

7. Sensoji temple

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Sensoji Temple Asakusa 3

If you’re looking for a bit of Old Japan right in the middle of Tokyo (the concrete jungle), then a visit to Sensoji Temple in Asakusa is where you need to be. Sensoji Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple located in the middle of the city, and it’s regarded as one of the most colourful and aesthetic. It’s also the oldest recorded temple in all of Tokyo.

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Sensoji Temple Asakusa 2

There are actually multiple places to take photos within the grounds of the temple. Just before you approach the temple, you will enter the outer gate called the Kaminarimon. You will then need to walk through a shopping strip called Nakamise that’s over 200m which sells souvenirs, traditional snacks and clothing. Once you pass this strip, you will encounter the main hall and a 5-storied pagoda which is where you can take some gorgeous shots (outside, not inside unfortunately!).

One cool activity to do in Asakusa is to dress with a Kimono (Japanese traditional dress) and get pictures in Senso-ji temple. You can book a Yukata online here.

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Sensoji Temple Asakusa 1

If you’re in Tokyo during May, Sensoji Temple is where the annual Sanja Matsuri, one of Japan’s biggest Matsuri (festival), is held. It’s an absolutely massive celebration from Friday until Sunday, and usually welcomes hundreds of people.

8. Gundam Robot in Odaiba

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Gundam Robot Odaiba 2

Regardless of whether you watch anime or read manga or not, the Gundam Robot is sure to impress you. I mean, where else in the world can you actually see a life-size robot that’s almost 20-metres tall out in the open? Not only that, but if you schedule your visit during the right time, you’ll actually see this robot transform from its ‘unicorn’ mode into its ‘destroy’ mode! There probably isn’t anything quite as Japanese-y as taking a photo with a robot more than 10 times your size and showing your friends back at home.

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Gundam Robot Odaiba 2

The robot transforms during the day at 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, and 5:00pm. At night, the robot lights up and there’s a show every 30-minutes from 7:30 until 9:30.

For more places related to anime in Japan, make sure to read our article about Anime in Real Life >>

9. Takeshita Street in Harajuku

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Takeshita Street Harajuku 1

Takeshita Street is one of the cutest streets in all of Tokyo. Unlike the aforementioned alleys where traditional Japan prevailed, Takeshita street is one that celebrates the modern and distinct fashion and lifestyles of the Harajuku community in the most fun and interesting manner. The street itself is a colourful burst of neon pink signs, colourful fairy floss, and artistic graffiti, and so much street culture it hurts.

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Takeshita Street Harajuku 1

Takeshita is almost always crowded from the early morning when the shops open their doors all the way until night time when the last of the crepe stores serve their last order. A picture in the middle of this busy, messy, colourful street is always fun, but if you’re looking for something unique, keep your eyes peeled for the people dressed in colourful costumes and wild Harajuku outfits – you’ll know it when you see it!

10. Gotokuji temple

Gotokuji Temple 3

Tokyo’s resident ‘Lucky Cat’ temple, Gotokuji temple holds a special place in the hearts of Tokyoites, and if you’re a cat lover, this would be a dream picture opportunity. Gotokuji temple is a Buddhist temple that is the apparent birthplace of the maneki-neko, or the waving cat figurine. All around the temple you will encounter small references to the maneki-neko, and visitors will often leave Gotokuji with a cat figurine after making a wish.

The highlight of the temple would be the small corner of the temple where hundreds of maneki-neko figurines are placed in multiple rows, creating a visually stunning photo opportunity. This place is particularly busy during celebrations such as lunar new year.

Most Instagrammable Places in Tokyo Gotokuji Temple 2

Gotokuji is also part of our best autumn spots in Tokyo so if you are visiting Japan during that period, don’t miss it out!

After reading this list of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, you are now spoilt for choice as to where and what you can visit in Tokyo for amazing photos. Where you go will obviously depend on your preference, but if we were to give you some advice, it would be to try and visit all the aforementioned locations! They are all so vastly beautiful and yet also so very different, so trust us when we say, you’ll be getting a whole new experience from each location.

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