Tokyo is an incredible city sprawling for miles filled with delicious food, incredible views and stunning architecture. These 13 Instagram worthy places in Tokyo will not only make for fantastic photo opportunities but will also be great experiences.
Since Tokyo is such a massive city, it can be hard to know what’s worth visiting and trying, but this guide will certainly get you started. Some of the best things I found in Tokyo were completely by accident and just by wandering around, so while I’m thrilled you’re reading this post, don’t forget to enjoy travel in the moment.
Alright, enough sap, grab your camera and prepare to read about the best photo spots in Tokyo.
Instagram Worthy Places in Tokyo
Located in the Asakusa district, this ancient Buddhist temple is Tokyo’s oldest. Built in the 7th century, it’s beautiful but also one of the busiest.
It ranks in the top 10 temples in Japan, so as you can imagine the crowds are quite something. With that being said, it’s still well worth visiting because of the bright colors, architecture and how well preserved it’s been.
Don’t forget to spend some time admiring the Shinto Shrine pagoda. Also note that while you can take as many photos as you want of the outside, no photos are allowed inside the temple.
Nakamise Shopping Street
Let’s just say, I spent more time shopping for chopsticks than Michael may have liked me to. In the end, I didn’t buy any here and bought some in Hiroshima instead. It’s still an awesome place to shop and take photos.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
This government building is totally free to go to the top where there’s an excellent 360-degree panoramic view of Tokyo. If it’s a clear day with little smog, you’ll just be able to make out Mount Fuji.
Mm, sounds delicious doesn’t it? Ha! I kind of love this name and the alley itself is far more appealing than the name makes it sound.
In this narrow pathway are a cluster of small bars and restaurants, lanterns and plants. Officially named Omoide Yokocho, or ‘memory lane’, the locals refer to it as Piss Alley.
Dating back to pre-war Japan, the alley was a prime location for cheap drinks and bars (much like today), but it also became a popular place for people to relieve themselves – hence the name Piss Alley.
Unfortunately, a fire broke out in 1999 and destroyed almost all of the shops and bars, but the local government decided to rebuild it exactly as it was so today it remains largely unchanged. Walking through this is like taking a step back in time, making it one of the most Instagram worthy places in Tokyo.
Shinjuku is one of the many districts in Tokyo, but also has some of the most impressive neon-light strips in the city. You think Times Square has a lot going on? It has nothing on Shinjuku.
Pretty much everywhere you turn, especially on the major roads, are going to have signs just like these. There are many things that come to mind when I think of Japan, and big neon light displays is at the top of the list.
Tokoyo Station is the main railway station in Tokyo and the busiest in Japan in terms of number of trains per day. But for me, it’s not the fact it’s the busiest station in Japan that I love – it’s the architecture.
Both inside and out, the station is gorgeous and has such detail and symmetry to it. It’s not typical Japanese architecture, and when I first saw it it reminded me so much of something and I couldn’t quite place what. Later on, I read that it was rumored to be modeled after Amsterdam’s central station, but apparently, that’s been proved false.
Whether it was modeled after Amsterdam’s station or not, it’s still an Instagram worthy place in Tokyo because of its exquisite detail.
One cannot go to Japan and not eat okonomiyaki, it’s simply impossible. I will admit, this isn’t so much an Instagram worthy place as much as an Instagram worthy thing but I’m throwing it in there anyway.
Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese food kind of like a pancake. There are different versions of okonomiyaki based on where you are in Japan, but the two primary versions use cabbage and noodles. You choose what kind of meat or vegetables go in it and it is sometimes topped with an egg.
You can get okonomiyaki in many places in Tokyo, but we went to one in the Tokyo Building Tokia near Tokyo Station, called Okonomiyaki Kiji.
Much like okonomiyaki, sushi is just something you must eat when in Japan, and it’s obviously Instagram worthy. I found my sushi in a shopping center and it was affordable and delicious and fresh.
Since this is Japan, you can easily find sushi anywhere, but if you go outside of the more touristy spots you’ll find ones that have mostly locals and fairer pricing.
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Near Tokyo Station is the Imperial Palace and while you can’t get anywhere near that, you can enjoy the beautifully manicured, landscaped Imperial Palace East Gardens. It’s got free admission and it’s a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.
I thought the gardens were beautiful, but it was really sprawling and we were already doing so much walking every day that I honestly didn’t feel like doing the whole thing. It’s a great Instagram spot in Tokyo, but take a look at the map and perhaps pinpoint just a few things you want to see rather than doing all of it, otherwise you may be there all day.
Located in the Shibuya district, this park is 134 acres and houses the Meiji Shrine. What I love so much about this park is that it’s right in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world, yet you have this peaceful and serene park with large walking paths right through a forest. You’d never have any idea that you were in the middle of Tokyo.
Sure, at the end of the day it’s just a park, but it was a nice reprieve from everything going on in the city. It gives you a place to recharge and reflect. Plus, it’s a pleasant way to get from one side if Shibuya to the other.
The park isn’t all trees and paths. We came across this shrine made of barrels of sake wrapped in straw. The sake barrels are offered every year to the enshrined deities (Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken) by members of the Meiji Jingu Nationwide Sake Brewers Association. They use this shrine to pray for the continuous prosperity of the sake brewing industry that maintains traditional Japanese culture.
In Yoyogi Park, you’ll fine Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. The shrine doesn’t include the burial site, as the Emperor is buried in Kyoto.
Built after the Emperor’s death in 1912, it was sadly destroyed by the Tokyo air raids of WWII, but was rebuilt through a public fundraising effort in 1958.
What I like about this shrine and what earns it a place on the most Instagram worthy places in Tokyo list is how quiet it is.
I was able to walk around and really enjoy the shrine, the buildings and peacefulness of the park. Quite a stark contrast to Sensō-ji.
Walk through Yoyogi Park and you’re close to where you’ll find Shibuya Crossing, another Instagram worthy place in Tokyo. So what makes the crossing so special? It was the first of its kind – one that stopped traffic in all directions and let people cross diagonally.
It’s still impressive due to its scale, but these days there are other similar crossings in the world so it’s no longer quite as miraculous as it once was.
Hitachino Brewing Lab (Old Manseibashi Station Remains)
How often is it that you get to hang out in a place that’s the remains of an old train station? Probably not too often, which is why the Hitachino Brewing Lab is one of the best photo spots in Tokyo.
For starters, the beer is delicious and well-priced, but it’s the location that’s really fantastic. There’s an indoor and outdoor seating area and if the weather’s good you must sit outside. You’ll sit just under the first arch of the Old Manseibashi Station Remains, closed in 1943.
It’s situated right on the river with an excellent skyline of the nearby buildings and neon lights.
Finally on our list of most Instagram worthy places in Tokyo is the Tokyo Tower, a communications observation tower in the Minato district. It’s the second tallest structure in Japan, only coming after the Tokyo Skytree. It was built in 1958 and houses a shopping center and themed amusement park for One Piece, a Japanese manga and anime series.
Tokyo has so much to see, but these 13 best Instagram worthy places in Tokyo will get you started. Have you seen something awesome in Tokyo? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!