One of the best kept secrets is the view from the Tokyo, Japan Metropolitan Government Building.
For great photography shots of the city from 45 stories up, you can’t beat it! PLUS IT’S FREE. Go up in the Tokyo Skytree or the Tokyo Tower and you’ll pay $15-20 dollars for the privilege of seeing the same thing. Get there early because the line gets longer as the day goes on. One of the only good parts about jet lag and the time change (America to Japan) is that you wake up at 0400 (4 AM) in the morning. That means you’ve breakfasted and arriving at your first tourist destination as soon as they open. Hooray for no lines and the least amount of people who can possibly screw up your very important photographs.
To shoot at the Met, bring a set of barn doors to avoid reflections off the windows. If you’re hardcore, bring a small towel so you can wipe any smudges off the glass before you start shooting. Turn off any flash settings (the exception to this is when taking pictures of people posing in front of the windows.) With nearly a 360 degree view of the city, you have a myriad of choices to shoot from. On bright days shooting people in front of the windows is a challenge because of the super bright background behind them. Focus your camera on the people in your subject matter then lock it in by keeping your finger half depressing the shutter button while you reposition your shot to include the background. For simple point and shoot cameras, shoot at a more oblique (45 degree angle) angle to avoid exposure confusion by your camera.
There is some cool architecture that lends itself to photography so make sure you check all the windows for possible compositions.
One final thought. This is a working government complex so they close at 17:00 (5 PM). Plan your visit accordingly and add in the time you will be waiting in line.
I found the sign in the toilet way humorous so I included it here. Sit down toilets versus squat over toilets are a ubiquitous battle in Japan. Country folk come into the city and being less familiar with sit down toilets can become confused by them. Hence this sign.
And here’s a sneaky little tip…… Take the stairs down one floor to the restrooms and you’ll find another window to shoot from nearby. It’s a smoking area so you don’t have to jostle about with other photographers but you do get to enjoy some fine second hand smoke (laughs weakly). Don’t sit on the built in ledge. They’re watching you on CCTV and will come make you get down. This is a picture below from this window.