Private Tokyo: Made In Japan Shopping Tour: Cultural Curiosities

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  • No booking fees
See Itinerary
  • duration 3 hours
  • tour type Group
  • minimum participants 2
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
map
  • Starts Tokyo, Japan
  • Ends Tokyo, Japan
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Time travel back to oldworld Tokyo on a private tour with your own local guide
  • Wander through back alleys and uncover hidden shops that have stood for centuries selling handcrafted goods
  • Snack on tasty traditional treats, from candies to crackers
  • Learn about classic Japanese arts like music, calligraphy, and incensemaking
The Private Tokyo: Made In Japan Shopping Tour: Cultural Curiosities tour starts and ends in Tokyo. The Private Tokyo: Made In Japan Shopping Tour: Cultural Curiosities is a walking tour that takes 3 hours.

No, we don’t have a time machine, but you might think we do once you step back into Tokyo’s past! On this private Tokyo tour, you’ll explore hidden shops that sell traditional items not commonly found in modern-day Japan. With your own local guide to show you around on this private experience, you'll sample old-world sweet and savoury snacks, learn about the art of incense, visit a seaweed seller, and see a side of the city frozen in time, far from the bright lights of downtown.   
This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers. 
CUSTOMER REVIEWS ABOUT URBAN ADVENTURES
5 - Excellent
Based on 802 reviews
Mrs. Eunice's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Mrs. Eunice
  • On Mar 26 2016
“Itzal was wonderful, spoke good English, and really gave a flavor of Mexico City with her knowledge.”
Mrs. Judith's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Mrs. Judith
  • On Mar 28 2016
“Olivia is an excellent tour guide and provided insight into the current and past political climate in Hungary. She took us to many little eateries and shops beyond the typical tourist destination that enhanced our tour experience.”
Mrs. Francis' review for another Urban Adventures tour
4 - Very Good
  • Mrs. Francis
  • On Nov 17 2015
“The guide came with two friends who were supposed to be trainees. She did spend a lot of time talking to them rather than to us. Also she left us 30 minutes early and did not even show us inside the red square. It was a bit disappointing as she was so good the day before on the metro tour.”
ITINERARY

Spend your day with us browsing for traditional souvenirs and goods – made right here in Japan! Gain some insight to the foods and snacks that Japanese people eat and the typical items they use in everyday life.

We’ll start the tour in the neighbourhood of Ningyocho, a district known for its old traditions and, as you’ll soon discover, some very tasty treats. We’ll visit a number of shops that have been around for over 100 years, many of which are still family-owned and operated and specialise in unique goods made right here in Japan.

To kick things off, we’ll try some Ningyoyaki cakes, a true Tokyo specialty. This is a small sponge cake with sweet red bean filling, and made in different shapes. We’ll visit a bakery that has been around for 110 years, where the father and son welcome guests with open arms and enjoy sharing their knowledge about their cakes and craft.

We’ll also visit a shop that specialises in a traditional snack: senbei (rice crackers), a favourite in many Japanese households, which is happily gluten and dairy free.

From there, we’ll head to a local tenugui shop, where they sell woven hand towels depicting different traditional Japanese scenes. These towels are used for many things from wiping your hands to wrapping gifts, tea towels and decorations.

Your Tokyo tour will next lead you to one of the eight shrines in Ningyocho. We’ll visit a shrine where virtue, longevity, learning and wealth are worshipped. You can offer a prayer here, and wash a coin to ensure a prosperous life.

Once we’ve exhausted Ningyocho, we’ll visit another neighbourhood nearby, Nihonbashi. The district of Nihonbashi was a hub for merchants during the Edo period. Today, it is predominantly a financial district that houses trading firms and even the Tokyo Stock Exchange. And although Nihonbashi is very much a modern neighbourhood, it features many traditional Japanese shops hidden in its alleyways and even within its department stores.

We’ll visit an old-fashioned stationery shop that was established in 1912. You’ll get to browse through the display of calligraphy brushes, inks, traditional paints, handmade greeting cards, and little dolls that tie into Japanese wedding and New Year’s customs.

We’ll also discover a toothpick shop that has been in business since 1704, where you will be able to check out delicate handmade toothpicks, plus other handmade items carved from Kuromoji or Lindera umbellata trees. 

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change. As most of the shops we visit are small, family-owned businesses, they sometimes unexpectedly close or alter their hours for the day. In such a case, we'll visit other nearby shops or attractions that still keep with the theme and essence of the tour.

(If you’d prefer to travel as part of a regular group experience, please book our Cultural Curiosities group tour.)

This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers. 

Tour photos by Ben McNamara

WHAT'S INCLUDED
Guide
  • Local English-speaking guide
Others
  • Food samplings.&Nbsp;
WHAT'S EXCLUDED
  • Additional food and drink
  • souvenirs and items of a personal nature
  • tips and gratuities for the guide. 
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes
CANCELLATION

Cancellation for this Private Tokyo: Made In Japan Shopping Tour: Cultural Curiosities 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.

Payment

Full payment of 135 USD is required to confirm this tour.

Travel Insurance

Private Tokyo: Made In Japan Shopping Tour: Cultural Curiosities 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.

Visa

For this Private Tokyo: Made In Japan Shopping Tour: Cultural Curiosities 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 :

Mechanical clock tower near McDonald's in Ningyocho (note there are 2 clocks — meet by the one on the same side as McDonald's). In Japanese: Ningyocho Karakuri Yagura Edo Rakugo.

Meeting end point :

Mitsukoshimae Station (Ginza Line, Hanzomon Line)

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.
NEED HELP OR HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THIS TOUR?
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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