The Best Photography Tours of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan's busy capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional. Tokyo's neon-lit streetscapes still look like a sci-fi film set - and that's a vision of the city from the 1980s. Tokyo has been building ever since, pushing the boundaries of what's possible on densely populated, earthquake-prone land, adding ever taller, sleeker structures. Come see the utopian mega-malls, the edgy designer boutiques from Japan's award-winning architects, and the world's tallest tower - Tokyo Sky Tree - a twisting spire that draws on ancient building techniques. Tokyo may be forever reaching into the future but you can still see traces of the shogun's capital on the kabuki stage, at a sumo tournament or under the cherry blossoms. It's a modern city built on old patterns, and in the shadows of skyscrapers you can find anachronistic wooden shanty bars and quiet alleys, raucous traditional festivals and lantern-lit yakitori (grilled chicken) stands. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding woods. The Imperial Palace sits amid large public gardens. The city's many museums offer exhibits ranging from classical art to a reconstructed kabuki theater. Tokyo has more Michelin stars than any other city and Japanese cuisine has been added to the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage list. But that's not what makes dining in Tokyo such an amazing experience. What really counts is the city's long-standing artisan culture. Tokyo's vibrant food culture is legendary, and is one of the many reasons why people flock to the Japanese capital. With so much to see, do, and taste, Tokyo is a great place to experience, and there are several options for photography tours to help you get some great photo opportunities during time here.
Experience the fascinating nighttime environment of Tokyo during a 2.5-hour, small-group photo adventure with a professional guide. A professional photographer will guide you and teach you the necessary camera settings and skills along the way. You will begin in the Shinjuku district, a bustling evening district that surrounds Japan's busiest railway station. Admire some of Tokyo's neon lights as your guide offers photo tips and insider knowledge about the area. Set up your tripod for long-exposure shots of the urban traffic, capturing the light trails of passing cars. After getting your fill of colorful Shinjuku's traffic and back alleys, you will journey by train at your own expense to the nearby Shibuya. Train your camera lens on the crowds of people that flock to this Tokyo district of nightlife and youth culture, admiring the glowing signage of the area's many entertainment, drinking, and dining venues. Finish your photo trip at the famous Shibuya Crossing, memorialized in the 2003 film "Lost in Translation," as you watch thousands of Japanese people pass though the busy intersection. End your trip with your camera full plenty of great images to share with family and friends back home.
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Take a photographic trip through the lesser-known sights of Tokyo as you learn composition and technical tips to take your camera skills to the next level. Start your photography excursion by meeting your guide at Shimbashi station, and head to the Shiodome business district where you will photograph steel and glass towers by the morning light Here you will work on composition skills-how to frame a scene. You will also learn how to craft a story in your photos by using the environment and the people within. Continue your photo-taking journey through Ginza, exploring the tiny back alleys and hidden pockets peppered throughout the area. During the day, you will encounter cooks and wait staff, as well as salarymen, going about their daily work. Eventually, you will arrive at Yurakucho where you will photograph the interior of the immense Tokyo International Forum. Here you will find numerous photographic challenges which will allow you to create dramatic images.
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Meet up with your instructor in the afternoon in front of Tokyo's Hie Shrine. Throughout the course of your trip your host will not only show you to each location, but also offer personal feedback on your images to improve your work. Start by capturing a few shots of the Hie Shrine's collection of red gates and purification fountains, learning from your instructor how to capture an emotional mood and focus on traditional temple elements. Then hop on a train for the short ride to Yushima Seido, a local Confucian temple. This black-clad religious site offers a stark contrast to the bright-red elements of your previous shooting location, offering a great opportunity to experiment. Make the last photo stop of the day at Kanda-myojin, another shrine that's gained popularity with entrepreneurs and businessmen praying for success. The shrine's wonderful mix of visitors, ranging from women in traditional kimonos to 'otaku' heading to nearby Akihabara, offers the perfect setting to gain more experience adding human elements to your imagery. Your excursion will end here.
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Experience the concept of cosplay at Studio Crown in Tokyo, and dress up in a Japanese anime character costume for a personal photoshoot. Avail of the services of a professional cosplayer to help you with your make-up and bring your character to life. Then, after a 40 to 60-minute makeover, strike a pose for your photoshoot. Pose for pictures in your costume for 20 minutes. Choose 6 digital images and 1 Polaroid-style photograph to keep as unique souvenirs. Add additional images upon booking if you want a more complete portfolio.
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