A great car spotting place in Tokyo: Jingu Gaien

Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Two cool gents in a Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

Where is a great car spotting place in Tokyo? There are many. Daikoku Parking Area is a favorite of many. Mine is Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue. This place comes with a caveat though. That means it is shootable for a very short time per year. Why?

That’s right. Everyone goes there when the ginkgo trees turn yellow. Once that happens, it is one of the most popular spots in Tokyo to enjoy a day out. It is a fashionable and trendy place. Most importantly, amazing and even rare cars parade along the avenue.

Lancer rally car
A Lancer rally car making its way along the avenue.

What is Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue?

Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue is about 300 meters long. In autumn it is one of the most popular places in Tokyo. Why in that season? Because the tree leaves will turn yellow. They are spectacular on a sunny day.

Ferrari Dino 246
Italian cool - a Ferrari Dino 246.

There are 146 ginkgo trees about 9 meters apart along the avenue. In autumn, walking under them can be like walking through a yellow-roofed tunnel. It is a beautiful place.

People go there for many reasons. Some go there for dates. Others go to enjoy some time out with their families. It’s popular with photographers. Jingu Gaien means different things to different people. But if you want to be seen it is the place to go.

Jaguar XK120 open 2-seater
A Jaguar XK120 open 2-seater.

Why is Jingu Gaien a great car spotting place in Tokyo?

  • Your photos should be awesome with the yellow Ginkgo trees as a background on a sunny day.
  • It is the place to be seen. In autumn, it seems like every fashionable Tokyoite is there.
  • The above draws people with cool cars. What more can I say?
  • Driving is most enjoyed in beautiful and fun places. Jingu Gaien is that.
Bandini 750 sports car
A rare Bandini 750.

What cars can you see there?

Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue is a great car spotting place in Tokyo. You can see so many incredible vehicles. Over the years, I’ve seen:

  • American muscle cars
  • Classic cars
  • Hotrods
  • Limousines
  • Motorbikes
  • Three-wheel cars 
  • Vintage cars

What cars did I see in 2023?

  • Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA
  • Alfa Romeo Giulietta coupe
  • Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote coupe
  • Alvis TD 21 sports saloon
  • Bandini 720 coupe
  • Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic Spider convertible
  • Chevrolet Coupe
  • Fiat Arbath 850
  • Heinkel Kabine
  • Jaguar XK120 open 2-seater
  • Maserati Indy
  • Messerschmitt KR200
  • MG MGB sports car
  • Porsche 356 convertible
  • Porsche 911 Targa
  • Riley Sprite sports car

This is only a partial list. I wish I could remember everything I saw. Next time, I should take a notepad to write down everything so I don’t forget.

Ferrari 365 Daytona
Ferrari 365 Daytona.

My new car spotting tool

I often see cars I don’t know. For example, the Rilley Sprite. 2023 was the first time I saw one. How can I identify something so rare? It’s possible thanks to a web tool. What is it?

Lancer Stratos
A Lancer Stratos.

Do you know Google Lens?

Google has given us image recognition technology that is available on your smartphone. It identifies objects using visual analysis based on a neural network. Now I can check instantly any car I photograph on the internet.

This technology has been out for a while. Actually, it’s been out for the last six years! I finally got around to using it. Call me slow. Anyway, it is so useful.

Porsche 356 convertible
A classic Porsche 356 convertible.

Car photography tip for Jingu Gaien

Try shooting in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky. Why? Because due to the trees’ height, shadows appear on the road in the morning and afternoon. The cars won’t be at their best. Photograph them when you have lots of light.

Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote
An Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote.

Wrapping up

Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue is a great car spotting place in Tokyo. So many cool vehicles go there. And they are all being driven. With the trees in the background, your photos should look great.

The only thing to remember is that it happens in autumn. That means you only have a couple of weeks. And the cars will be there mainly on weekends. Keep that in mind! Anyway, good luck getting some cool shots.

Maserati Indy
A Maserati Indy.

Camera gear used for “A good car spotting place in Tokyo”:

  • Camera Body: Fujifilm X-T3
  • Lenses: Fujifilm XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR and XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

When did I take these photos?

24 November, 2023

For more car-related articles, look at:

Japanese website about Jingu Gaien supercars (but not in autumn!)

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