If you want beautiful light trails in Shinjuku, there is a place in Nishi-Shinjuku for you. It is a pedestrian bridge that offers a great view of Ome-Kaido (Ome Road) towards Kabukicho. From it, you will be able to enjoy a stunning light show.
As the cars approach Kabukicho, their light combines with that coming from the neon signs. Even with the naked eye, the scene is quite incredible. But, its beauty is fleeting. The cars appear and disappear so quickly. Only a photograph can keep the beauty of the scene forever.
Tips for taking these photos of light trails in Shinjuku
- You can use a tripod on this bridge.
- At the bottom of the hill, before Kabukicho, is an intersection and railway bridge. If you time things, you should be able to capture a train as well
- The area can be quite bright. Some might find a neutral density filter helpful to regulate the light
Problems to be aware of on the bridge
- Even though the bridge is wide, keep your gear close to you. It wouldn’t be a good idea for someone to trip over it.
- The bridge will sway due to large amounts of traffic passing under it. It will also do the same when many people walk past. Try to keep an eye out for them, as nothing is worse than unwanted blur in your picture.
- If you use filters, avoid fumbling anything, as the road and cars are below. That will cause a disaster.
- The Shinjuku Labi building near Kabukicho is closed. Now the area looks a little bare. Hopefully, something will be there soon.
- Under the bridge is some construction work, which has been going on for some years. If you use a wide-angle lens, a lot of that will probably enter your frame.
- It is quite a popular place with photographers, so be prepared to share your space with others.
There aren’t major problems with the site. Just be careful with gear and attaching filters. If something went over the side, that could get you in heaps of trouble. That is the only I think.
Where is this place?
The bridge is on Ome-Kaido (Ome Road), in Nishi-Shinjuku. From JR Shinjuku Station, it is about a ten-minute walk. If you are walking underground, Exit A18 is the closest. Here is a map:
Nishi-Shinjuku Station, on the Metro Marunouchi Line, is also close. Leave via Exits E8 or C13. From either, it will be about a five-minute walk. Here are a few area shots:
I love this bridge. It is one of the best places in Tokyo for light trail photography. The lights of Kabukicho are incredible.
And the site is easy to find. Once you get to it, the scene is simple to photograph. You should get something memorable. The Shinjuku light show never stops. Hopefully, this photo guide will be helpful for anyone wanting to take this picture.
For more light trail photography articles, look at:
Actually, I took these photos in January 2021. When I look back at them from 2022, I feel they look pretty overprocessed. Do you agree or not?
If you have any comments or questions, leave them below. And for those with advice or experience about this place, tell me that too.