Uonami Light Trails: The Complete Photo Guide

Tokyo neon is beautiful. Many photographers, including myself, adore it. Luckily, there is no shortage of it in this city. There are so many good places to find it. And there are some not-so-well-known places, too. One of them is Uonami.

It is in Shiinamachi and is standard Tokyo fare. Shrines and temples are nearby. The shopping arcade has shops that don’t attract many customers. Let’s get back on target, taking photos!

Uonami is a fish restaurant. More precisely, it is a sakaba. From what I understand, that word describes no-frills Japanese-style restaurants/bars. They are very down to earth and nothing fancy. The sake is good, and the food is cheap. It is old-world Japanese style. The word izakaya is more common now. These places are quintessential Tokyo.

Then, there is a neon signboard above Uonami. That is for Sakae Constructions. The topmost one is for Actis Real Estate.

At first glance, it might look like the three layers are one building. They aren’t. The top one is on the building behind. When I first saw it I thought they were all together. It’s an easy mistake to make, especially at night.

The neon is beautiful. And there is a lantern in front of Unonami that beckons customers. That adds a nice touch. The building is old. Rain would make it look like a scene from Blade Runner. Couldn’t you imagine Edward James Olmos walking there with an umbrella?

If you wait, the occasional car or taxi will pass the building. Bicycles are there, too. Everyone leaves light trails at night. That is the time to shoot this place.

Where is Uonami Sakaba?

It is at the Seibu-Ikebukuro line’s Shiinamachi station.

Click here to see it on Google Maps.

Area photographs

Shiina Bridge
Shiina Bridge.
Shiina Bridge deck
The Shiina Bridge walkway.

How did I take this photo?

  • Near the building is the Shuto Expressway. One of its bridges is the perfect place to take this photograph. Place your camera there, and you will have a great view.
  • I took nine long exposures and stacked them in Photoshop.

What gear did I use?

  • Camera:  Fujifilm X-T3
  • Lens:  Fujifilm XF 16-55 mm F2.8 R LM WR

Wrapping up

The Uonami photo is a mini-scene from Blade Runner. For me, it is one of the must-take under Tokyo neon photos. I must admit, though, my version of it isn’t perfect. It is a little over-exposed in some areas. Fewer clouds in the sky would have been better, too. So expect to see a new version here one day!

To see more light trail photographs, look at:

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