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February 9, 2023

Top 5 Places to Photograph in Japan

From picturesque surreal shrines soaring across the water to the never-ending lights of Tokyo’s famous crosswalk, there’s an insurmountable amount of beautiful locations to see. 

Need a trendy photo for Instagram, or a TikTok with a breathtaking background? Then Japan is your place! Grab your camera and let’s take a look at the top 5 places to photograph in Japan!

Number 5: For The Nature Lovers

Located in Niigata prefecture between Yuzawa and Tokamachi are Kiyotsu Gorge (清津峡) and the tunnel of light. 

Long hexagonal structures of rock and lush greenery form the walls and exterior of the canyon, accompanied by the Kiyotsu river rushing and spilling its way around the landscape. 

The Tunnel of Light overlooks the canyon with three individual viewing points, and a panoramic view at the end of the canyon, which includes a reflecting pool that mirrors the beauty of the canyon. 

Photographed by Susann Schuster

Number 4: For the Hustlers and Busy City Goers

Located in Tokyo, Shibuya Crossing ( 渋谷交差点 ) has been a significant hotspot for photography throughout the years. 

Advertising boards are scattered around the surrounding buildings, illuminating the intersection with vibrant neon lights. When the crosswalk lights turn green, the crossing is flooded with enormous crowds, creating an unforgettable view.

Photographed by Denys Nevozhai

Number 3: For The Studio Ghibli Fans

Miyajima, or Itsukushima Island ( 厳島 ), is home to the famous Itskushima shrine and gate. Ranked as one of Japan’s top 3 views, it is a definite must-see! 

The bold red colors and location above the water give the shrine a fantasy and fairytale look. Especially during high tide, the shrine appears to be levitating above the water.

Photographed by Beau Swierstra

Number 2: For the Japanese Architecture Enthusiasts

Kyoto is home to many historic buildings, which include Kiyomizu-Dera ( 清水寺 ) and the many homes and stores of the Gion district ( 祇園 ). 

Kiyomizu-Dera is a Buddhist temple known for its impressive architecture and stunning view of Kyoto. Gion district is known for its traditional wooden townhouses. 

Taking a stroll through the Gion district to Kiyomizu-Dera will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time!

Photographed by Sorasak

Honorable Mentions For The Top 5 Places to Photograph in Japan

Some of the many locations that couldn’t make it on the list include: 

Itoshima ( 糸島市 ), Nara ( 奈良市 ), Osaka Castle ( 大阪城 ), Hitachi Seaside Park ( 国営ひたち海浜公園 ), and Shirakawa ( 白川村 ).

The Number 1 Spot to Photograph: For The Hikers and Athletes

Nothing screams Japan quite like Mt. Fuji ( 富士山 )! 

Located approximately 100 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, this active volcano is Japan's tallest peak. 

Capture its beauty and grace from the outskirts, or take a hike to the top and snap a photo up there. The choice is yours, but ultimately you’ll have no regrets!

Photographed by Catriona Palo

Not Interested in The Top 5 Places to Photograph in Japan?

There are so many locations to visit and photograph that weren’t on this list! Come to Japan and create your own top 5!

Need help starting your journey?

Study with us in sunny Fukuoka or snowy Hokkaido! Meiji Academy offers in-person Japanese language classes combined with cultural activities and fun events for an unforgettable experience!

Can’t travel to Japan (at the moment)?

Meiji Academy also offers Japanese Online Lessons!

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