Lonely Planet Experiences Private Tokyo Tour: Get in the Spirit: Tokyo’s Temples & Shrines

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • duration 3 hours
  • tour type Group
  • minimum participants 2
  • age requirement 6+ yrs
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts Tokyo, Japan
  • Ends Tokyo, Japan
  • Attend a Buddhist fire ceremony
  • Visit a famous shrine with close ties to the sumo wrestling world
  • Take a stroll through an elegant, beautifully manicured Japanese garden
  • Discover the differences between Japan’s two primary religions
The Lonely Planet Experiences Private Tokyo Tour: Get in the Spirit: Tokyo’s Temples & Shrines tour starts and ends in Tokyo. The Lonely Planet Experiences Private Tokyo Tour: Get in the Spirit: Tokyo’s Temples & Shrines is a city sightseeing tour that takes 3 hours.

Through a visit to a Buddhist temple and a Shinto shrine, you will gain a fascinating insight into the two dominant religions of Japan. After an enlightening experience, which will include witnessing the famous Goma fire ritual, we’ll cool off at a traditional garden. If you want a deeper understanding of the role of religion and ritual in Japanese culture, this is a private tour you won’t want to miss.

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5 - Excellent
Based on 802 reviews
Mr. Sally's review for another Urban Adventures tour
4.5 - Excellent
  • Mr. Sally
  • On Nov 15 2015
“In spite of a very wet tour, our guide was enthusiastic and we all had a fabulous time - who cares about rain when there are great wines and food to savour.”
Ms. Pat's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Ms. Pat
  • On Jul 05 2016
“Tokyo's Cultural Curiosities is a really interesting and varied tour. An excellent way to see some old parts of Tokyo which otherwise would be difficult to find or even know existed. Meg was an outstanding guide - knowledgeable, fun to be with, generous with her time and able to quickly understand my interests. She also gave me some great tips for things to do in the rest of the time I was in Tokyo. Thank you Meg and Urban Adventures. Pat”
Mrs. Rachael's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Mrs. Rachael
  • On Jan 03 2016
“it was great to see a different side of new york, away from the major hub and usual tourist sites, trying new and exciting cocktails, soaking up the true stories and sites of a bygone age of prohibition”

Join us on this private off-the-beaten-track tour for an introduction to the two main religions of Japan.

To kick things off, we will start at the very active Fudo-do Temple. With the stunning temple grounds as our backdrop, we’ll learn how Shintoism and Buddhism, Japan’s two primary religions, coexist. We’ll discover the differences between the two and how they represent the whole spectrum of life.

We’ll watch a unique Buddhist ceremony known as a Goma ritual, held in the main temple hall. The ceremony involves burning a special kind of firewood as an offering to the principal deity, Fudo Myou.

When the ceremony ends, you’ll have a bit of time to explore the other floors of the temple, such as the trippy prayer corridor with 9500 miniature crystal statues. Talking is not allowed inside, so your guide will explain a bit beforehand about some of the things you can expect to see, and will answer any questions you have when we leave the temple.

From Fudo-do, we’ll stroll over to Hachiman Shrine, which is best known for its close ties to the sumo world. The shrine is said to be the birthplace of Kanjin-zumō (founded in 1684) and the origin of current, professional sumo. The grounds are adorned with sumo-related stone monuments, and when a sumo wrestler reaches the highest rank, known as yokozuna, there is a dedication ceremony done at the shrine.

Our last stop will be Kiyosumi to admire a traditional Japanese stroll garden. There has been a garden of some form here since the early 18th century but it was Iwasaki Yataro, the founder of Mitsubishi, who shaped it into the tranquil spot we know today. Yataro rebuilt the gardens for the pleasure and enjoyment of his employees and as a place to entertain important guests. 

At the end of your private tour, we can leave you to explore the rest of the gardens or we’d be happy to walk you back to the train station. Before you go, don’t forget to ask your local guide for hints and tips on where else to visit during your stay in Tokyo. 

  • Transportation by subway to Kiyosumi Garden
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • One charm or amulet souvenir.
  • Entrance fee to the garden
  • Food and drinks
  • souvenirs and items of a personal nature
  • tips/gratuities for your guide. 
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Cancellation for this Lonely Planet Experiences Private Tokyo Tour: Get in the Spirit: Tokyo’s Temples & Shrines tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date - full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.


For any tour departures within 23 January 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 23 January 2021, a deposit of 100% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 0 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Lonely Planet Experiences Private Tokyo Tour: Get in the Spirit: Tokyo’s Temples & Shrines tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Lonely Planet Experiences Private Tokyo Tour: Get in the Spirit: Tokyo’s Temples & Shrines tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Meeting start point :

Monzen-Nakacho Station, exit 5, in front of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ bank. Accessible by the Tokyo Metro Tozai line and the Toei Oedo line.

Meeting end point :

Kiyosumi Shirakawa Station (Toei Oedo Line and Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line).

Lonely Planet extras
  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop
COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour follows established guidelines that are in line with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ framework against COVID-19.
  • This tour follows the local government(s) recommendations for gatherings and group sizes.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing is highly encouraged on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected.
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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