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Best Photo Tours in Tokyo

When it comes to photographing in Tokyo the options are endless, but if you're interested in the scenery, portraits, streets and fascinating landscapes ready to delight expert and amateur photographers, read on.

Carla Yaquer

Carla Yaquer

11 min read

Best Photo Tours in Tokyo

Photographic Tours | ©PhotoMIX Company

In some cities, neon museums are often tourist attractions and what's better than a museum? A city, and in Japan you can find it. It's Tokyo, the city of neon lights, extravagant cuisine, towering skyscrapers and colorful culture; a photographer's dream.

Around every corner you'll find a reason to take a great picture. It's like an endless walk that awakens the senses between innovation and tradition. If you are looking for the best photo tours to add to your list of things to see and do in Tokyo, this post is for you.

1. Photo tour in kimono in Asakusa - Tokyo

Around Asakusa| ©baldui
Around Asakusa| ©baldui

Take note of this kind of tours, especially if you visit the Japanese city when winter ends. Sensoji and its picturesque gardens will be in full bloom and you'll be wearing a kimono or hakama to look like an authentic Japanese.

Looking for an immersive experience among your thingsto see and do in Tokyo in spring? This tour has your name written all over it.

Your photo adventure will often start at a kimono store in Asakusa. After getting ready, the concrete jungle will lend its spaces for a beautiful photo shoot.

The tour usually passes by Sensoji Temple, the famous Nakamise Street, Azuma Bridge, the curious Sapporo Monument, as well as the Tokyo SkyTree.

In fact, this tour not only deserves to be among the best photo tours in Tokyo, but also among the most essential guided tours in the Japanese capital.

It is more than 3 hours of tour with a professional photographer and a guide, who dressed in traditional clothes, will explain the historical importance of the region to you and/or your group of maximum 6 people.

At the end of the tour, you can conclude the city tour by taking a ride aboard a rickshaw or traditional Japanese oriental rickshaw for an additional supplement.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 82 €.
  • Duration: 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Schedule: From 7:00 p.m. onwards.
  • What the tour usually includes: guide by professional photographer, kimono or hakama rental. Walking tour of Asakusa and its surroundings.
  • Means of transportation: on foot
  • Pros: it is an evening tour, usually offered at 19:00 hours which makes it convenient if you want to shop. The guides take you through the main streets and those less visited by tourists, so you can get to know the heart of Asakusa. In addition to the expertise of the professional photographer, the guides are usually historians or assiduous connoisseurs of Japanese culture.
  • Cons: Not available in English.

Book a photo tour in Tokyo

2. Tokyo city photo tour during daytime

Tokyo Tower| ©Melvinnnnnnnnnnn
Tokyo Tower| ©Melvinnnnnnnnnnn

The metropolis of Tokyo is a huge expanse of concrete that stretches for miles in all directions, with scattered urban centers. With this type of tour you will be able to capture with your camera the best scenery of Shimbashi and Ginza, such as the Tokyo Tower.

Another scenery often visited by this type of tour is Shibuya, where you will find the Cherry Garden, the iconic Meiji Shrine and the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a national park that will not leave you indifferent, among others.

You will be part of a group of up to 6 people, who will receive tips on photographic technique and composition from your local expert while capturing images to remember.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 160 €.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • What the tour usually includes: transportation to and from the hotel. Personalized itinerary, professional photographer's advice. Tripod (if necessary). Guide to know Tokyo.
  • Means of transportation: on foot.
  • Pros: You receive photographic advice. At the end of the tour, experts and novices will have explored the basic composition of images with extraordinary landscapes in the background.
  • Cons: Only available in English. Only transportation to and from the hotel is included, but not to the various stops along the itinerary. Schedule is often not flexible (often only offered at 10:00 am).

Book a daytime Tokyo photo tour

3. Tokyo night photo tour

Shibuya Crossing| ©Simon Desmarais
Shibuya Crossing| ©Simon Desmarais

Under the moonlight the city of neon signs comes to life. With this night photography tour you will receive tips on image composition and techniques to get the most out of your camera with artificial and natural night lighting.

As you visit landmarks in Shinjuku and Shibuya, such as the Shibuya Crossing, commonly known as Shibuya Crossing, or the lively nightlife district surrounding Japan's busiest train station in the Shinjuku district, your group of up to 6 people will capture the best images of the evening.

If the problem is the tripod, don't worry, you can rent it for a supplement in this kind of tours. Enjoy the experience and let yourself be carried away by this vibrant city.

However, in case you are visiting Tokyo in winter, I advise you not to forget to bring warm clothes, as you can get cold.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 160 €.
  • Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Schedule: From 7:00 p.m. onwards.
  • What the tour may include: guide by professional photographer. Night walking tour of Shinjuku and Shibuya. The possibility of renting a tripod for a supplement.
  • Means of transportation: on foot
  • Pros: during the night among the neon signs, traffic lights and moonlight, the photos will have unparalleled colors, textures and contrasts, perfect for a 24-70 mm lens, especially for the basic advice you will receive from your veteran professional photographer.
  • Cons: Not available in English.

Book a Tokyo Night Photo Tour

4. Photo tour + master class in Tokyo

Tokyo by Night| ©Keith Twyman
Tokyo by Night| ©Keith Twyman

Leave your photographic beginnings behind with this kind of tour. An expert professional photographer will take you by the hand to explain creative ways to take street photos in the night scenery of Tokyo's most colorful districts.

In addition to understanding the ideal settings for street photography, you will practice setting up panoramic shots of traffic, as well as the use of reflections, shadows and contrasting silhouettes.

This is a photography master class to get the most out of your camera at night, with or without a tripod.

The tour usually starts in Shinjuku, one of the busiest areas of Tokyo. There your small group of maximum 4 people will explore the smoky and bustling Omoide Yokocho, before diving into the pleasure district of Kabukicho.

After examining the environment from the gut, through the camera lenses, you will travel by subway to Shibuya, where you will visit an old building full of pipes and ducts, a scene straight out of cyberpunk cinema.

At the end, the tour ends in Dogenzaka, another neighborhood flanked by neon lights, perfect for capturing the passage through the Shibuya ditch.

Chalk this kind of tour up among your things to see and do in Tokyo at Christmas, when St. Nicholas Eve and New Year's Eve add a lighting extravaganza you'll want to capture on camera.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 234 €.
  • Duration: 3 hours.
  • What the tour may include: The advice and instruction of a veteran professional photographer in Japanese culture. The visit to different tourist attractions in Kabukicho, Shibuya and Shinjuku.
  • Means of transportation: on foot
  • Pros: the photography workshop alone is reason enough to take this tour. Add to that the guide through the famous and intricate streets of Tokyo, a guide to walk around the city at your leisure at the end of the tour, and pleasant company.
  • Cons: Not available in English.

Book a guided tour of Tokyo

5. Personalized photo tour of Tokyo

Omotesando Avenue| ©Tomoaki Saito
Omotesando Avenue| ©Tomoaki Saito

Tokyo is a metropolis that perfectly combines Japanese aesthetics and tradition with a futurism that is as retro as it is modern. The city seduces photographers with its neon lights, graffiti-filled alleys and smoky locals.

On this kind of tour, your experience is personalized. Let your operator know the sights you like or the kind of images you want to record with your camera and they will arrange everything.

When the day of the tour arrives, the adventure often begins at your hotel, where you will meet your photographer guide and then visit a diverse set of areas, from the famous Omotesando Avenue, the Shibuya crosswalk to intricate streets between Shinjuku and Shibuya with fantastic photographic appeal such as trendy Harajuku.

This type of tour is quite comprehensive. It is done on foot and you will walk for hours (wear comfortable shoes) to take photos at the appropriate time. As you walk around the city, your guide will share stories and anecdotes of the place.

Another interesting aspect of these tours is that it suits expert photographers who want to get the most out of their lens, amateur photographers with modest cameras, those who only carry smartphones or influencers.

My advice is to include this tour at the top of your list of things to see and do in Tokyo in 3, 5 or 7 days. After the advice received, you will be ready to explore the city on your own.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 395 €.
  • Duration: 6 hours.
  • What the tour may include: transportation to and from your hotel. Personalized itinerary, professional photographer's advice. Tripod (if necessary). Guide to know Tokyo.
  • Means of transportation: on foot.
  • Pros: It is complete. The groups are small (maximum 4 people) In the end the experience goes far beyond being just a photographic tour, it is an immersive tour of famous avenues and alleys treasured by locals and forgotten by the crowded tours.
  • Cons: Only available in English. Does not include snacks or transportation.

6. Photo session in Tokyo

Rainbow Bridge.| ©Gussisaurio
Rainbow Bridge.| ©Gussisaurio

Whether traveling alone, as a couple, with friends or family, it's hard to capture spontaneous photos while truly enjoying the moment, particularly when time is scarce, such as when planning to Tokyo in 2 Days: everything you need to know.

Don't leave it in the hands of a stranger on the street, the solution is simpler: hire the services of a personal photographer.

By choosing this type of service, a local photographer will take care of advising you to create the most convenient route to the sites of your liking and then goes with you or your group to take the pictures.

It will be 60 minutes in which you will be able to visit, for example, the gamers' paradise, Odaiba, where you can stroll through the fabulous National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or cross Tokyo Bay on the Rainbow Bridge.

Being a shorter tour and having a photographer at your disposal to immortalize the visit, this tour could well be part of the things to do in Tokyo with children.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 93 €.
  • Duration: 1 hour.
  • Schedule: to be agreed with the photographer.
  • What the tour may include: guide by professional photographer. 300 - 400 professional photographs. Retouching service up to 20 photos.
  • Means of transportation: on foot.
  • Pros: The photographer will be dedicated to you and/or your group for an hour, that allows you to focus on enjoying the trip leaving aside your smartphone or your personal camera. Route planning is facilitated, the photographer takes care of it. Flexibility in schedules. In addition, some operators offer the tour in Spanish.
  • Cons: Transportation is not included.

Book a gastronomic tour of Tokyo

7. VIP Photo Tour of the famous Japanese trio: Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo

In Kyoto| ©It's Hoy
In Kyoto| ©It's Hoy

The charm of Japan does not stay only in Tokyo, but extends to other cities such as Kyoto and Osaka. To master the photographic technique by getting to know the trio of Japan's most popular cities, this intensive photography workshop was created.

This is the most complete type of tour to get to know the main cities of Japan while immersing yourself in a 10-day photographic master class.

Tokyo

The experience usually starts in Tokyo. First of all, the group of maximum 10 people explores the streets of Ginza.

To start working on the concepts and contrasts of light, a few shrines, markets and temples are visited in the heart of the metropolis.

With the neon-lit streets of Shinjuku and Shibuya, the group will wander through the mysterious alleys where the light enters with a ghostly glow.

The neighborhoods of old Tokyo will also take center stage on this tour, as will the "shitamachi" or "lower town", where the houses date back to the post-war boom and their facades tell as many stories as the district's elderly inhabitants.

Kyoto

The tour changes cities to reach Kyoto, after a brief transit on the bullet train. There, traditionalism, conscious connection with the environment and nature converge. The surroundings of the Nazenji Zen temple complex are often visited.

The Nanzenji gardens are ideal for creating composite photos. Then continue through the moss-covered temples on the slopes of the mountains flanking the ancient capital, ending in less-traveled places.

Osaka

The group heads to the third city on the tour, Osaka, where you will learn about this ancient metropolis seemingly frozen in time.

It's time for Japanese gastronomy photography with Nikkei food. It is worth learning how to use contrasts and Osaka has what it takes to perfect this technique.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 3.100 €.
  • Duration: 10 days.
  • Schedule: all day.
  • What the tour may include: guide by professional photographer. Tripod for your camera. All breakfasts. Geisha photography session. Entrance to Mori Tower. Luggage transfer service between Tokyo and Kyoto. 10 nights hotel accommodation. Train ticket. Bullet train ticket between Tokyo and Kyoto. Tour and guide through the main cities and conglomerates of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.
  • Means of transportation: on foot, train and subway.
  • Pros: The guide will be dedicated to instructing you and/or your group in professional photography for 10 days, which allows you to develop skills as a professional photographer. The planning of the route is facilitated, the photographer of the chosen operator takes care of the task. The chosen operator will book the accommodation for you. Flexibility in schedules.
  • Cons: Offered in English or Japanese.

Tips for photo tours

Photographer| ©Md Iftekhar Uddin Emon
Photographer| ©Md Iftekhar Uddin Emon
  • This kind of tours are designed for you to explore the potential of your camera to the fullest to make the most of all its possibilities.

  • Always wear comfortable shoes for all these tours, as they are usually long and most of them are done walking or by public transportation.

  • Be sure to plan a daily schedule of activities with your tour operator so that you don't waste time in the city. Tokyo has a wide variety of postcard spaces, but it takes time to travel from one end to the other.

  • Try to opt for customized or small group tours.

  • Book well in advance for your photo tour. Spots sell out easily as this is a hobby for the Japanese and an attraction for tourists.

Book a photo tour in Tokyo

Places not to miss on photo tours

Senso-ji Buddhist Temple| ©mon_vitoria
Senso-ji Buddhist Temple| ©mon_vitoria
  • The Tokyo Skytree, an amazing 334-meter structure that is visible from almost the entire capital of Japan.
  • Odaiba, land of contrasts between gardens and technology and innovation.
  • The Tokyo Tower, the photographs there -especially if you visit it when the sun goes down- remind you of the Eiffel Tower at night.
  • The Senso-ji temple, a sacred space with breathtaking views at the end of Nakamise Street.
  • The Rainbow Bridge, an example of the use of renewable energy. Its multicolored lights are powered by solar panels.
  • The entrance of Tokyu Plaza Harajuku and its always busy street.
  • Shibuya Crossing, an iconic intersection you're sure to recognize from the seventh art depicting Japan.
  • Hama- rikyu Gardens, a 280-meter oasis that concentrates the natural beauty of Japanese culture.
  • Weekend cosplay at Yoyogi Park.
  • The traditional Omotesando Avenue.
  • The hectic Omoide Yokocho and its memory lane.