Tokyo’s secret photo spots! Places you should visit for Japanese landscape shots

Senbon Torii: A line of red gates

Tokyo sometimes appears like a huge and unique city with crammed streets and Blade Runner-esque neon-lit streets, but you will also find traditional Japanese views and landscapes in Tokyo. In this article, we would like to introduce some hidden gems within walking distance from Nagatacho Station and Akasaka-mitsuke Station. So let’s go out and take some cute pictures while making great memories!

Hie-jinja Shrine

Stairs and escalators leading up to Hie Jinja

With a history of about 800 years, Hie-jinja Shrine is believed to be a so-called “power spot,” bringing luck to people who wish to find a partner, to those who are already or are going to be married, and to those raising children. Being very popular in this matter, many people hold their (traditional) wedding ceremony at this shrine.

High-tech Japan: A shrine visit using an escalator!
The shrine is located on a small mountain. When you head towards the precincts you can use the shrine’s outdoor escalators.

When you go through the gate and look closely around the precincts you will find some monkeys! OK, there are no real monkeys, but some really cute monkey statues. Especially the lovely statue of a mother monkey and her child on the left side of the main hall is said to bring good fortune to pregnant women, or women who want to get pregnant. Hence, a lot of people go up to the statue to gently pet the monkeys. Also, that’s why Hie-jinja Shrine is very popular among women and couples.

Statue of a mother monkey and her child next to Hie Jinja main hall

Amulets and Ema (wooden wish plates) with monkey designs
The shrine’s amulets and votive pictures are very cute with monkey shapes and monkey drawings!

Also, there are some hidden spots in the precincts you should definitely visit. The senbon torii of Sanno Inari Shrine, which is located within the grounds of the Hie-jinja Shrine, is a must-see! Senbon torii means “one thousand (or “many”) shrine gates”. Usually, the red gates are gifted to a shrine by people who are thankful for the blessings they received. The most famous shrine with senbon torii is Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. But if you don’t have the time to travel there, why don’t you visit the beautiful red gates of the Sanno Inari Shrine in Tokyo?

Me, walking through the Senbon Torii
Not many people know about Sanno Inari Shrine’s senbon torii. Therefore it is not as crowded as Kyoto.
Hie-jinja Shrine
2-10-5 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
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A Japanese garden with a waterfall

Hotel New Otani Tokyo is well-known for its gorgeous Japanese garden. The view from the hotel cafe overlooking the garden is stunning! But to fully immerse in nature’s beauty you have to take a walk in the garden with its special atmosphere!

Why don’t you take a walk in the garden after a relaxing tea time?

A stroll in the Japanese garden

You can take a stroll in the Japanese garden without staying at the hotel. There is no admission. It is a garden full of “Japaneseness”, such as a red bridge, a typical Japanese koi fish pond, a stone garden, and a lot of stone lanterns. The garden is full of various trees that each show their beauty in different seasons, such as cherry trees in early spring and maple trees in fall.

Tranquility and natural beauty

The layout of this Japanese garden has been carefully designed and maintained. Wander around the winding paths and you will feel like hiking through a forest.

The highlight of the Japanese garden is an impressive waterfall! As you approach the waterfall, you will only hear the sound of the splashing water and the wind swaying the trees. This garden is so impressive that it makes you forget the hustle and bustle of the big city. It’s really amazing!

One of the garden’s highlights is the big waterfall
Hotel New Otani Tokyo

Japanese garden:
4-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
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