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My favorite street photo from Shinjuku

My favorite street photo is from Shinjuku.  From the first time I saw it, it fascinated me.  It was of a person walking out of one of the Marunouchi line’s entrances in Shinjuku at night.  The scene is so thought-provoking.  I needed to photograph it myself.  But, where was it?

woman leaving Shinjuku subway surface exit at night

Shinjuku has a lot of subway surface exits.  In the beginning, I thought it would be a hopeless task.  But the frame has enough information to find it.  All it took was Google maps and time.  It didn’t take long.  In the end, I finally nailed the location!

I love it when someone leaves this exit at night.  You just need to be there when no one else is in view.  That can be tricky as this area is close to Shinjuku’s west exit.   A lot of people walk past it.  You need patience. 


The light above the stairs is like a beacon in a harbor.  It guides people in and out as a lighthouse does for ships.   Am I overly romantic in my thoughts?  I might be, but that is how I see it.

I always feel a touch of sadness whenever one person enters or leaves this entrance.  There isn’t much in the area to do at night.  Why are they by themselves?  Do they have friends?  Were they the only person who had to do overtime?  Do they have a job that needs them to work odd hours?  My mind becomes filled with possibilities.  It is one of the most melancholy scenes I’ve ever seen of the streets of Tokyo.

Whatever the case, this place is one of the best photo spots in Shinjuku.  The walkway above this subway entrance provides such a great vantage point.  It is one photo spot that exudes emotion, mainly loneliness.  

Black and white photography reinforces those sad feelings.  It forces the eye to focus on the pool of light, the person, and the light.  The whole scene is very stark.  It’s stark and lonely, but I love it.

I rate this as my best photo in the street genre anyway.  It makes me want to do more street photography.  Tokyo, and especially Shinjuku, is a great place for it.  Now I need to make to do it!

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If you have any questions or comments about this picture, please leave them below.  I would love to hear from you.

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