Laser beams lead to Tokyo Skytree photo guide

Have you seen the laser beams of Tokyo Skytree? No? They are a real thing. There are pictures of it on the internet. Well, I know the place to photograph them. You can capture them from Azumabashi Pedestrian Overpass. It’s an awesome photo.

The pedestrian bridge is a brilliant place for Tokyo Skytree photos. It is the perfect spot for light trail photography. The beams look like laser bolts racing toward their target.

I’m sure you’ve seen Star Wars. X-Wings and Tie fighters flying low over the Death Star, shooting laser beams at each other. That is one of the coolest scenes from sci-fi history. And you can recreate it.

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.
  • You could also saturate the laser beams to bring out their colors more.

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

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.

For more articles about Tokyo Skytree, look at:

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