Street Photography in Tokyo, Japan

My goal is to travel the world and document the everyday scenes on the streets. I was able to capture the beauty of the busy everyday life in the streets of Tokyo, and here are some of my favorite shots from my ‘Street Photography in Tokyo, Japan’ series.

Street photography is an art form that has been around for centuries. Today, it continues to evolve and grow into new forms. The best way to learn street photography is by practicing and experimenting. We hope these tips will inspire you to start shooting on the streets!

Here are some other inspiring street photography in Tokyo posts in case you’re interested:

Street Photography in Tokyo, Japan: My Collection

Street Photography in Tokyo, Japan
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN TOKYO, JAPAN: The Harajuku District in Tokyo is popular for shopping and for neon signs by shops and restaurants. There are also several crepe shops all over the area.

Tips for Taking Street Photography in Tokyo, Japan

Find Great Locations.

Tokyo is a big city, and every area or location can offer you different street photography subjects. You should never just walk up to a location and shoot without knowing what you’re doing. There are many ways to find locations in Tokyo that work well for street photography. One of the easiest ways is to use Google Maps. Simply type in “street photography tokyo” and then click on the map icon. This will bring up a list of places around Tokyo where people are taking pictures. If you see something interesting, check out the address and go there.

Don’t worry, Tokyo is a very walkable city! Who knows, you can take spontaneous interesting shots along the way to your actual destinations!

Shoot at Different Times of Day.

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN TOKYO, JAPAN: The facade of the Don Quijote Asakusa Building.

Tokyo is a city that hustles day and night, but the city transforms its vibes on different hours of the day. Another good idea is to shoot during different times of day. For example, early morning light tends to be softer than late afternoon light. Also, shooting at night gives you more opportunities to catch subjects unaware. Tokyo is known to have excellent scenes for night street photography given its busy districts, neon lights, and many people outside.

Take Advantage of Light Changes.

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN TOKYO, JAPAN: Inside the Meiji Temple in Harajuku.

If you’re planning to go out and shoot street photography, make sure you plan ahead. Assuming you visited Tokyo on a specific time of the year, I’m sure you did research on the weather patterns in the city. You should also consider what kind of lighting you will need. For example, if you’re going to shoot at night, you might want to bring along some extra flash units or activate your camera’s night mode.

Be Aware Of People’s Behaviors.

Street Photography in Tokyo, Japan
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN TOKYO, JAPAN: School girls walking on the streets of Harajuku after shopping.

Before you start shooting, you should familiarize yourself with the people and places you’re photographing. Have a quick research about the Japanese culture and etiquette. This means knowing where the best spots are to photograph people and knowing when to avoid certain areas. Also, you should try to find interesting angles and perspectives. Do a quick Google Image search of the area you wish to photograph then think of unique ways to capture photographs without looking like the common/cliche photos.

Capture Moments That Are Unique.

Street Photography in Tokyo, Japan
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN TOKYO, JAPAN: The crowd gathers as these orange cats play together at Hachiko Statue in Shibuya.

If you’re looking to improve your street photography skills, then you need to learn how to capture unique moments. You can do this by taking pictures at different times of day and during different seasons. As mentioned, morning hustle in Tokyo is different from the night hustle. Winter in Tokyo is obviously different than summer in Tokyo. Try to shoot in locations that aren’t well known so you can capture something new. Walking around alleys without consulting Google Maps can take you to unexpected sceneries and neighborhoods!

Also, here are some interesting videos about Street Photography in Tokyo, Japan:

Check out my other street photography collections from other cities of the world!

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