This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Tokyo is a massive metropolis with many corners to explore. But with its array of parks, frenetic markets and ancient shrines in stark contrast with gleaming skyscrapers, it can be difficult to know where to begin. To best capture the city’s famous, colorful cuisine and distinct aesthetic, grab your camera and head to these iconic — and seriously photogenic — Tokyo spots.

1. Meiji Shrine

Located next to Harajuku Station, the Meiji Shrine is a quiet respite for overwhelmed travelers. Originally built and dedicated in 1920, this shrine exalts the spirits of the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Millions of visitors flock here to participate in the first prayers of the New Year — so if you’re visiting during that time, be prepared for crowds.

A post shared by Tara Milk Tea (@taramilktea) on

2. Sensō-ji Temple

Sensō-ji Temple is a five-story Buddhist temple located in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. According to legend, two brothers retrieved a statue of Kannon, goddess of mercy, from a nearby river, which they returned to the waters. Yet the statue came back to them. The temple was built shortly after in the 7th century, and remains Tokyo’s oldest temple.

3. Ueno Park

Originally a part of the Kaneiji Temple, Ueno Park is now a beautiful green space that has been open since 1873. A variety of museums are accessible from the grounds, including the Tokyo National Museum, the Museum of Western Art, Ueno Zoo and the National Science Museum. Visit between late March and early April to photograph the park’s 1,000-plus cherry trees in bloom during cherry blossom season.

A post shared by ayu (@hogisienne) on

4. Tokyo Tower

Clearly modeled after the Eiffel Tower, this building is the second-tallest structure in Japan, standing more than 1,090 feet above the Shibakoen district of Minato. Originally constructed as a communications tower, Tokyo Tower also has an observation deck from where you can capture panoramic views of the skyline. But the tower is also an arresting sight. Swing by in the evening to admire (and Instagram) the illuminated structure.

5. The Scramble

Considered the world’s busiest intersection, Shibuya Crossing (or The Scramble) is an assemblage of crosswalks, flashing lights and hurried commuters. Rumor has it that a great view of The Scramble can be found from the glass-front Starbucks on the second floor of the Q-front building. Just be sure to arrive (and order your coffee) during rush hour to see the most impressive surge of foot traffic.

A post shared by c.yee🌈 (@c.ye_e) on

6. Tokyu Plaza Omotesando

Designed by Hiroshi Nakamura, the shopping center at Tokyu Plaza Omotesando is every fashion-fiend’s dream. One of the most impressive characteristics of the marketplace, however, is the gorgeous mirrored archway. The stairway into the plaza is framed by a faceted collection of mirrors, each one reflecting a distinct streetscape. Visitors can also head up to the sixth floor-terrace to shoot a few photos of the Harajuku district below.

7. The Soho

Located in the Odaiba district is the Soho, a 13-story office building with conference and dining rooms, fitness facilities, a top-floor bar, rooftop terrace, and even showers. This is a perfect space to visit if you’re a remote worker, but it’s also fun to explore as a tourist seeking eye-catching Instagrams. Play with contrast to emphasize the vibrant, colorblocked hallways.

A post shared by YUMA YAMASHITA (@yuma1983) on

8. Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills is one of the largest building development projects in Tokyo, and it’s crowned by an impressive 54-story skyscraper. The building, named for the architect Minoru Mori, is home to several corporations including Google Japan, Lenovo, and The Pokémon Company. Visitors, however, can check out the Mori Art Museum on the 53rd floor, and take scenic shots from the observation decks on the 52nd and 54th floors.

A post shared by tsumizo (@tsumizo) on

9. Rikugien

If you are traveling during autumn, plan a trip to Rikugien garden. Rikugien, meaning “six poems garden,” is home to miniatures depicting scenes from famous poems. A network of walking paths meander along waterways and rolling hills, and wind around maple trees that turn fiery red and orange in the fall.

10. Golden Gai

This system of six narrow alleyways in the middle of booming Shinjuku is home to a variety of micro bars and boutiques (some of which serve only regulars, and guests of regulars). But if a bar has a menu displayed outside, it’s open to all. Drop by in the evening for a plate of barbecue chicken, and snap a few photographs of the streets’ glowing neon signs.

A post shared by Average Tokyo (@averagetokyo) on

11. Todoroki Valley

Todoroki’s lack of landscape design makes it a refreshing, laid-back break from the otherwise orderly city. Bridges and statues adorn the walking paths, and travelers can happily stumble upon hidden tearooms and shrines. Buy a sweet kuzumochi cake from the Setsugetsuka tearoom and set up a picnic while you Instagram the untamed space.

A post shared by Kana Morita (@nakatarimo) on

12. Tsukiji Market

A staggering variety of seafood is sold here — just note that the wholesale area of the market is a place of serious commerce with a strict set of rules. Don’t show up in sandals or high heels, don’t obstruct the traffic or touch anything that isn’t yours, and don’t bring your bags or suitcases inside. Do, however, take advantage of the Instagram-worthy dishes you’ll find on sale in the outdoor market.

Photo of a woman taking a photo of Ueno Park in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.