Nishi-Shinjuku Junction and beautiful light trails

Nishi-Shinjuku Junction light trails

Nishi-Shinjuku Junction is another Tokyo giant octopus. Another is at Hakozaki. Both have so many ramps to make up their legs. It’s an incredible piece of engineering. I love this place for long-exposure photographs. You’ll have many beautiful light trails to brighten it up. You also get Tokyo Opera City in the background!

Under the concrete, so many cars, buses, and motorbikes make their way. At night, when the lights are on, the road is flooded with laser beams. It is very futuristic. So many scenes from Blade Runner or Ghost in the Shell coming flooding back.

How to photograph Nishi-Shinjuku Junction?

  • The position for this shot is in front of Yoshinoya. From there, you’ll be able to photograph all the traffic coming towards you as it turns left.
  • A low tripod is the best for this photo. That changes the angle of the light trails, making them look very high. You can also get a good view of Tokyo Opera City.
  • I also use a small aperture (f/14) to create starbursts.
  • For the best light trails, wait for the trucks and buses as they have cab roof lights.
  • The area is relatively narrow, so you might need a wide-angle lens. I used the Fujinon XF 10-24 mm F4 R OIS.

Are there any problems photographing there?

  • There is a railing on the corner. You’ll probably need to move your tripod around to get the best position.
  • The area has a lot of foot and bicycle traffic.

Where is Nishi-Shinjuku Junction?

It is near Hatsudai Station. Leave via North Exit or Number 2. Yoshinoya is only a short walk away, over the road. Click here to see it on Google Maps.

These photos will give you an idea of the area:

Nishi-Shinjuku Yoshinoya
Yoshinoya seen from under Tokyo Opera City.
Nishi-Shinjuku Junction
Tokyo Opera City seen from the Yoshinoya corner during daylight.

Wrapping up

Nishi-Shinjuku Junction is great if you like light trails, engineering, and concrete. Best of all, it is in Shinjuku. That means there is much to photograph, only a short walk away.