Capturing Tokyo Skytree Laser Beams: A Photographer’s Guide

Tokyo Skytree is a popular place for photographers. There are so many pictures of it on the internet. Many of us try to find new angles to photograph it. Maybe one underutilized place is Azumabashi Pedestrian Overpass.

The pedestrian bridge is a brilliant place for Tokyo Skytree photos. We only need to look at the photo to see why. Its car light trails are great. They look like laser beams racing toward their target.

All you need is a tripod for some long-exposure photographs. It is so easy. The road seems to go straight to the tower. In reality, it doesn’t but it seems to.

Please note:  A major road passes under you here, so be careful if you use filters. If you fumble and drop anything, it might fall onto any cars passing underneath. Also, the bridge is quite narrow, so be aware of anyone wanting to get past.

How do I photograph these Tokyo Skytree laser beams?

  • Camera location: on Azumabashi Pedestrian Overpass
  • Tripod used: Yes
  • Camera used: Fujifilm X-T3
  • Lens: Fujifilm XF 10-24mm (Version 1)
  • Number of photos taken: Six

Do you need to take multiple photos?

No, you don’t. You can do it with one photo. But to get light trails in both directions, you need longer exposures. If you struggle to do this, use an ND filter.

Camera Settings: 

  • Shutter speed: It ranged from 31 to 36 seconds.
  • f/16
  • ISO 200

Film Simulation:

  • Eterna

Notes on processing:

I made basic edits in Lightroom, then used Photoshop to stack the photos into one. After that, I transferred it back to make more minor changes.

Where is Azumabashi Pedestrian Overpass?

It is about one kilometer west of Skytree. The address for map applications is:

Kiyosumi-Dori, 1 chōme-9 Azumabashi, Sumida City, Tokyo-to (in Japanese —> 東京都墨田区吾妻橋1-9). Do you need a map? Yes, see it here on Google Maps.

Nearest train/subway stations:  

  1. Asakusa Station (Ginza Line):  Leave by exit 4. The walk is roughly 500 meters.
  2. Honjo-Azumabashi Station. Leave by exits A1 or A3. The walk is roughly 400 meters.

Location photos

Azumabashi Pedestrian Overpass bridge
The Azumabashi Pedestrian Overpass bridge.

Notes on lenses

First, I tried my 16-55mm. But even at 16mm, the field of view was too narrow. So changed and used my Fujifilm 10-24mm. The extra width gave a better result. That allowed me to include the buildings along the road. 

Wrapping up

Azumabashi Pedestrian Overpass is great. You can get the laser beams (i.e. light trails) converging on Tokyo Skytree. And, from what I’ve seen on the internet, it seems to be an underutilized place. Few photographers seem to go there.  But if I’m wrong, please correct me.  You can leave questions and comments below.

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