Best Photography Spots in Japan. Japan is a country that brings a variety of different pictures to each person. To one it might bring up images of skyscrapers, busy streets, delicious food, and anime. To another, Japan might bring them thoughts of ancient temples, beautiful landscapes, cherry blossoms, and majestic mountains. The cool part about visiting Japan is that it is all of that and much more.
There are incredible shots to capture in this country no matter where you go. Many of these places will make you feel like you’re in a completely different world, one full of wonder, unexpected beauty, and excitement.
Tackling an entire country can be difficult to do especially when there are so many different spots you could spend time exploring. If you’re looking for some ideas of where to start, this list of the best photography spots in Japan will help you out. It includes urban cityscapes and forested mountains so you can be sure to have a taste of all the country has to offer.
The gear we recommend is a good camera and the holy trinity. A wide-angle lens. 14-24mm or something similar. A 24-70mm or something similar and, of course, a 70-200mm or something similar.
If you do not have these particular lenses, do not worry; something similar will be just fine. It would be best if you also had a tripod.
Best Photography Spots in Japan
1. Shibuya Crossing
Located in Tokyo, this is one of the most iconic street crossings in the entire world and is recognized by people everywhere. This is a great location for motion shots and aerial views because of all the crowds that pass through.
2. Itsukushima Shrine
Located in Hiroshima, the gate of the Itsukushima Shrine sits right in the ocean and creates a beautiful image especially against the backdrop of a sunset, sunrise, or a peaceful day. At low tide, you’re able to walk out to the gate.
3. Mount Fuji
Located in Fujikawaguchiko, Mount Fuji can be photographed from many places and angles including right in the city of Tokyo. There are multiple views that create a stunning shot including the one of it reflected in Lake Kawaguchi.
4. Ashikaga Flower Park
Located in Ashikaga, this is a gorgeous garden with a bridge area that sits over the water. It has lots of wisteria hanging overhead and is brightly lit at night when they are in season. This makes it a beautiful place to walk through and photograph.
5. Fushimi Inari Shrine
Located in Kyoto, the torii gates that line the stairs up to the inner shrine at Fushimi Inari are commonly photographed and visited by people year-round. Many people will also rent traditional clothing to walk this path so you can capture some really elegant shots.
6. Great Buddha of Kamakura
Located in Kamakura, this giant Buddha statue is made completely of bronze and weighs over 121 tons. This was commonly photographed back in the day because of how close it is to Yokohama port.
7. Kyoto Station
Located in Kyoto, this is one of the busiest train stations in the city and is so massive that the main hall is 15-stories tall. It’s not just busy travelers and commuters that pass through here. There is also interesting architecture and fun decorations during various seasons.
8. Meiji Shrine
Located in Tokyo, the shine is a bustling place that always has rituals and celebrations going on. There is also an area of the shrine that houses alcohol delivered from brewing companies in the area. Just a shot of the decorated barrels makes for an interesting photo!
9. Hitachi Seaside Park
Located in Hitachinaka, this is a park that can take your breath away. On a good day there are blue skies, fluffy clouds, and endless hills covered in pretty flowers. This area feels like you are stepping into a dream and you’ll be rushing to document the memory.
10. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Located in Kyoto, this park is another common picture you might see from Japan. This is a well-known park that is filled with thousands of bamboo trees. Walking along the path takes you to another world and at the end, you can admire the Tenryu-ji Temple, one of the Zen temples in the area.
11. Takachiho Gorge
Located in Miyazaki, this area proves that Japan has a little bit of everything. You can find a beautiful waterfall along this gorge and it looks spectacular against the rest of the nature scene. You can rent a boat to get up close or use the trails at the top to catch a glimpse of the waterfall.
Best Photography Spots in Japan
12. Shirakawa-go Village
This village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a historical area that is made up of traditional Japanese houses. It’s beautiful in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom but also makes for interesting shots in other seasons.
13. Golden Pavilion
Located in Kyoto, this pavilion stands out among the surrounding green forest because it is completely wrapped in gold leaf. This creates a stunning and glowing effect that looks regal against the rest of the garden. When the lighting is right you can capture its reflection in the water.
14. Mount Yoshino
Located in Nara, this mountain is completely covered in cherry blossoms come springtime. In addition to the pretty scenery, there are also a number of shrines in the area that you can visit. Mount Yoshino is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
15. Blue Pond
Located in Hokkaido, the blue pond is a special body of water because of the bright colors it shows off due to the colloidal aluminum hydroxide that is in the water. Visit this area in the spring or the fall if you’re hoping to catch the pond at its brightest.
16. Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Say no more, this is a must to get some incredible portraits of monkeys.
Located in Kanazawa, this is a garden that was very meticulously designed and grown, taking over 200 years to completely finish creating. There are beautiful photo opportunities at all times of the year from delicate blossoms to colorful fall leaves.
Best Photography Spots in Japan
Located in Tokyo, this area of the city gives you the ideal modern and urban Japan shots. There is no shortage of lights, traffic, and signs that look vibrant whether it is day or night. This is a good opportunity to practice motion shots as well.
Located in Okinawa, this is an island completely surrounded by crystal blue waters and covered in sugar cane fields. This is a great place to go if you’re looking to capture underwater shots as well due to the popularity of snorkeling. There is also a lighthouse located on the island that makes for good shots too.
20 Kumano Nachi Taisha
Located in Wakayama Prefecture, this is the location of the tallest waterfall in the country. The forest itself is very beautiful and each year they hold the Nachi Matsuri Fire Festival here that also makes for a spectacular sight. You can capture torch bearers ascending the staircases and plenty of visitors.
These are the Best Photography Spots in Japan
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