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10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo

Headed to Tokyo? Pad out your Instagram with these top Tokyo places

Mar 20 2019By Pat Kay

Headed to Tokyo? Pad your Instagram out with arguably the 10 most Instagrammed places in Tokyo.

I’m writing a full travel and photography guide on Tokyo, which includes details on how to make the best out of over 50 different locations, including photography tips, the best times to shoot, seasonality changes for each location and way more, plus general travel tips for getting around Tokyo, day trips and experiences, food, accommodations, language tips and more. So, if you’re looking to get a a little more out of your travels, venturing out into roads less travelled, look out for it over the coming months 😊.

In the mean time, here’s the 10 most Instagrammable places in Tokyo.

  • Kabukicho - 10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

    1) Kabukicho

    Price – Free

    Address – 1-chōme-23 Kabukichō, 歌舞伎町 Shinjuku City, Tōkyō-to 160-0021, Japan (https://goo.gl/maps/AB12nYDasi22)

    Operating hours – Open 24 hours

    Website – NA

    Kabukicho is essentially the red light district of Tokyo. Home to people from all walks of life from the typical reserved Japanese person to the… not so.

    It features one of the highest densities of neon lights in all of Tokyo, with crowded streets lit up from the pretty signs of bars, restaurants, karaoke places, and of course, the varying degrees of adult entertainment.

    It’s a little tourist-trappy, but it’s not nearly half as bad as some other countries such as Thailand. It’s very much worth the visit and diving into the culture here.

  • Shibuya crossing - 10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

    2) Shibuya crossing

    Price – Free

    Address – 2 Chome-2, 2-chōme-2 Dōgenzaka, Shibuya City, Tōkyō-to 150-0043, Japan (https://goo.gl/maps/11XVcTmfQ8r)

    Operating hours – Open 24 hours

    Website – NA

    The world’s busiest crosswalk in the world’s busiest city.

    At peak times, Shibuya crossing has literally thousands of people walking across it every two minutes. Walking it yourself for the first time is certainly one of Japan’s most surreal experiences and something you’ll never experience anywhere else in the world.

    Ultimately, it’s just a crosswalk. But the sheer amount of people makes it a spectacle in and of itself, with hundreds of businesses surrounding the crossing offering many different vantage points while stopping for a bite to eat or drink.

  • Sensoji - 10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

    3) Senso-ji

    Price – Free

    Address – 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan (https://goo.gl/maps/gNFUZDkPVWu)

    Operating hours – Open 24 hours

    Website – senso-ji.jp

    Sensoji, built in the year 645 is Tokyo’s oldest temple. It was built for the goddess Kannon, the goddess of mercy, and it’s one of Tokyo’s largest, most popular and most vibrant temples.

    To arrive at the Sensoji temple, you have to enter through a large gate called the Kaminarimon (Thunder gate).

    From here, the path to Sensoji is a 200 meter long street of shops known as Nakamise. These are tiny shops that sell little trinkets, souvenirs, little snacks and drinks. They’re very cute and you might even find one of your favourite snacks here. It’s worth stopping at a few.

    Past Nakamise lies the main hall of the temple, alongside a 5-storied pagoda. You’ll often find people paying their respects, with a little shop selling incense for you to try for yourself.

  • Omoide Yokocho - 10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

    4) Omoide Yokocho

    Price – Free (Unless you want to eat, which you should)

    Address – 1 Chome-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan (https://goo.gl/maps/q1bu9kGEFNx)

    Operating hours – Open 24 hours

    Website – shinjuku-omoide.com

    I call this place “Instagram Alley”. Because, well, you’ve certainly seen a photograph from it before.

    Omoide Yokocho means “Memory Lane” in Japanese. It’s a chaotic and energetic series of alleyways that’s rich in tiny restaurants, lights, sounds and smells. Oh gosh, the smells.

    It’s a Yakitori haven. A place for ramen. Yakiniku. Think Izakaya’s – bars with little nibbles to eat on – all crammed into tiny spaces in wider than the shoulders of a few people. Classic Japan.

    Like its cousin in Kabukicho, Golden Gai; Omoide Yokocho maintains a post war, Showa-era looking decor and has an incredible amount of ambience.

    It’s a highly recommended place to visit for cultural immersion, and the best part? Once you’re done experiencing and capturing the space, you can sit down to enjoy a delicious meal.

  • Golden Gai - 10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

    5) Golden Gai

    Price – Free

    Address – 1 Chome-1-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan (https://goo.gl/maps/ZEy6h7qHfNp)

    Operating hours – 24 hours

    Website – goldengai.jp

    Golden Gai is quite a special place in Tokyo. It’s a series of 6 small alleyways and home to 280 bars and restaurants crammed into a tiny space located on the border of Kabukicho.

    It’s a dimly-lit, scruffy looking, but charming area. A rare location that has kept its post-war era looks and is in stark contrast to its neighbouring neon flashiness next door.

    The compactness and somewhat rough and unpolished vibe of Golden Gai is similar to what you’ll find at the nearby Omoide Yokocho, however Golden Gai is a place you go for drinks, rather than Yakitori.

    With doorways barely larger than shoulder width, Golden Gai’s numerous pubs and taverns are a popular watering hole among locals and tourists alike, with many businesses hopeful to entice passing people with happy hour drinks and small nibbles in their occasionally themed taverns (look for the photography one, it’s pretty cool).

    I’d prefer a small tavern to drink at here, rather than one in the neighbouring craziness of the neon light area of Kabukicho.

  • Toyku Plaza - 10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

    6) Tokyu plaza omotesando mirrors

    Price – Free

    Address – 4-chōme-30-3 Jingūmae, Shibuya City, Tōkyō-to 150-0001, Japan (https://goo.gl/maps/iyEDXeP18wM2)

    Operating hours – 11am – 9pm

    Website – omohara.tokyu-plaza.com

    The insane entryway to Tokyu plaza Omotesando Harajuku is most certainly something you’ve seen in Instagram many times before.

    The entry to the plaza is filled with a multitude of mirrors, all facing in slightly different directions, giving a “crystal universe” effect upon entering the trendy plaza.

    It’s somewhat of an icon in this area now, and a popular destination for tourists too. It’s not uncommon to see a line of people waiting up the top to take the classic image you’ve probably seen before.

    Have your own go at it though, of course. After all, it’s different when you’ve captured it yourself.

  • Roppongi Hills - 10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

    7) Roppongi hills observatory

    Price – 1800 yen + 500 yen for Sky Deck

    Address – 6 Chome-11-1 六本木 Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-6108, Japan (https://goo.gl/maps/BRgmdWcZVRH2)

    Operating hours – 10am – 11pm (Sky deck from 11am – 8pm)

    Website – roppongihills.com

    For a classic view of the sprawling Tokyo city skyline, the view at Roppongi hills observatory is one of the best – especially for viewing the Tokyo tower.

    It’s a proper observatory here, with a viewing deck that’s quite crowded. However it also does have a “Sky Deck”, which is essentially the rooftop helipad from which you can view the city for an extra 500 yen.

    Underneath if you have some extra time, there’s also an art museum you can visit.

  • Tokyo skytree - 10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

    8) Tokyo Skytree

    Price – 3100 yen

    Address – 1-chōme-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida City, Tōkyō-to 131-0045, Japan (https://goo.gl/maps/kERJWgtbRxu)

    Operating hours – 8am – 9pm (Last entry at 8pm)

    Website – tokyo-skytree.jp

    Tokyo Skytree is officially the tallest tower in the world, and the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa. It stands at a height of 634 metres (2080ft) and it is insanely tall. It’s a lot larger in person than it is in photos.

    Of course, with a structure this tall, it has a great use for broadcasting, and it’s used as a beacon for all major Tokyo television and radio channels. It also has some great restaurants at the top. And while that’s great, the main thing here is that it’s an observatory.

    And what an observatory it is, delivering a 360 degree vantage point of what is arguably the best cityscape view in all of Tokyo.

    It’s this kind of view, in the tallest tower in the world, that shows you just how large of a city Tokyo is. You can barely see the end of the city, it sprawls as far as the eye can see. Unreal.

    Although it is quite expensive to enter the observatory, it’s certainly worth it. If not for the cityscape view, then to say that you’ve been atop the tallest tower in the world.

  • Teamlab borderless - 10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

    9) TeamLab borderless

    Price – 3200 yen

    Address – Japan, 〒135-0064 Tōkyō-to, Koto City, Aomi, 1-chōme−3−8 お台場パレットタウン (https://goo.gl/maps/Ee6TbvY5h1H2)

    Operating hours – 10am – 7pm

    Website – borderless.teamlab.art

    Borderless, teamLab’s permanent exhibition-slash-museum, contains over 50 immersive artworks spanning digital and physical, audio and visual in a gigantic 10,000 square metre, uniquely designed space.

    It’s the result of what happens when technology and art combine in innovative ways, and for teamLab, it’s the culmination of 17 years of experience, with new and old works curated and created by the self-proclaimed ultra-technologist group.

    With such experience behind them, it’s no wonder they can easily fill the giant space. The exhibition is organised into 5 main areas: Borderless world, Athletics Forest, Future park, Forest of lamps and EN tea house. An organisation that houses the 50+ artworks.

    It’s an experience you won’t get anywhere else in the world, a spectacle of light and technology. Somewhere definitely worth Instagramming over.

    Some notable artworks:

    • Forest of resonating lamps
    • Crystal world
    • Universe of water particles where people gather
    • Floating nest
    • Memory of topography
    • Light cave

    The “Forest of resonating lamps” is perhaps the poster-child for the entire borderless experience, and is essentially the hardest to get in to. Expect to queue to get in, unless going really early.

    Also upon entry, only expect a short 2-3 minute experience, although you can line up again if you like.

    The rest of the exhibition isn’t like that though, just the Forest of resonating lamps.

  • The SoHo - 10 of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo - Pat Kay Away

    10) The SoHo

    Price – Free

    Address – 〒135-0064 Tōkyō-to, Koto City, Aomi, 2-chōme−7−4 (https://goo.gl/maps/6Vef3De6ftR2)

    Operating hours – Private property

    The SoHo is a private apartment block of colourful apartments in Odaiba.

    It’s a pretty commonly visited place on Instagram and is now quite popular, especially considering that its a private residence that you need an entry key to get in to.

    There’s a good reason (and good intention) that people sneak in to this place though. Its varying levels of apartments are adorned with a rainbow of different colours decorating the place, giving The SoHo a unique look not really found anywhere else.

    This guide is not instructing you to go there, as it’s illegal to trespass on private property. If you’re invited on the property, that’s a different story, though. Go at your own risk if you aren’t.

  • So, where to first?

    Now that you know the top spots to go in Tokyo, where to first?

    Let me know in the comments below or over on Instagram.

    If you enjoyed this article, please consider checking out my preset pack!

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    Check them out at shop.patkay.com.

    Thanks for the support.

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