Jun 25, 2018

Taking up photography in Japan

Gallery - Photos in Tokyo

My love affair with photography actually started on my first trip to Japan in 2012. Equipped with an iPhone 5 with an 8MB camera (which I thought at the time was super state-of-the-art!) I wasn't prepared for the sensory overload that would engulf me the second I arrived at Shinjuku Bus Terminal. Since then, taking and sharing photos has become a real part of who I am. To me, there is nothing better than exploring new and old places with my trusty Nikon.

People take up photography for a multitude of reasons, and that reason may change the longer you take photos and find that certain indescribable 'thing' that encapsulates your photography style. I took up photography because I'm deeply nostalgic. I love to look back on photos I've taken during times in my life and feel the energy of that time surrounding me. Embarrassingly, I regularly scroll through my own Instagram to re-remember times that I've had. I'm a sucker for sentimentality.

Since then, my reason for photography has developed (pun not intended), and taking photos has enabled me to see the beauty in the little things; the way the light settles in a small alleyway, a butterfly delicately resting on a leaf, somebody slowly walking to work on a crisp, autumn morning. When I take photos, I'm in that moment. I'm experiencing that tiny fragment of space and time totally and utterly and completely. It's the closest to zen I think I'll ever get.

Besides the spectrum of intangible benefits, it's becoming easier and easier for budding photographers to buy inexpensive cameras, lenses and editing programs. I use a Nikon D3200 and edit using the free versions of Lightroom and VSCO (through the iTunes store).

I've included a couple of my favourite photo spots in the Shinjuku/Shibuya area:

  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
  • Rikugien Garden
  • Kabukicho and the back alleys of Shinjuku
  • Meiji Jingu, Harajuku (especially the Inner Garden which is ¥500 to enter)
  • Sangenjaya and the Carrot Tower (with a free viewing area where you can catch a glimpse of Mt Fuji on a calm, sunny day)

Living in Japan has inspired me to take more photos and to experiment with editing styles, and I think it's a wonderfully creative and inexpensive hobby to have. Let me know your favorite place to take photos!

Taking up photography in Japan photo



Hellooo! I'm Lisa from Melbourne, Australia. I moved to Tokyo in May 2018 with no idea what I was getting myself into. I now work with kids and adults teaching English, and in my spare time I love to wander around with my camera. You can find me on Instagram at @lisagoestotokyo