As one of the busiest cities in the world, exploring Tokyo can be cumbersome for many travelers. Considering the number of things to see and places to visit in Tokyo, it will come as no surprise that many tourists would fly out of this captivating country with so many things on their bucket list still left unchecked.
Guided tours are the way to go if you want to steer clear of the pains of losing something in the translation or going around in circles. Whatever is your jam--food, shopping, history, etc.--to make your travel plans easier, we’ve broken down a list of the best guided tours in Tokyo that you can take:
1. Tokyo Sightseeing Tour - Viator
What better way to experience an incredible city like Tokyo in action than to see it from a bird’s perspective? This half-day tour will bring you to a fascinating 360-degree view of the city right before sundown at the Tokyo Skytree. Standing 634 meters high, it’s not only the tallest structure in the whole of Japan, it’s also the tallest free-standing broadcast tower and second tallest structure on earth.
Tokyo Skytree has two observations decks. The Tembo Deck houses gift shops, restaurants, cafes, touch-enabled screens, and a terrifying glass floor. And the cherry on top? A stunning view of the Tokyo skyline. The higher deck, Tembo Galleria, is where you can witness Tokyo’s sprawling urban center 450 meters above sea level.
That’s just the highlight of it all. For JPY6,800 (US$62), this group tour will also bring you to Tokyo’s top tourist attractions and neighborhoods, including the Imperial Palace Plaza (to get a glimpse of Japan’s imperial history), National Diet Building, State Guest House, Ginza (for entertainment, shopping, and eating adventure), Akihabara (to see neon-lit buildings and buy electronics goodies), and Asakusa (to visit Sensoji Buddhist temple).
2. Tokyo Food and Drink Tour - Japan Wonder Travel
For true-blue foodies, Japan couldn’t be more perfect to satisfy your cravings for all types of the dining experience. In Tokyo, the Sunamachi-Ginza district has a vast selection of food and drinks with a zingy, peachy palate.
Here you’ll find family businesses that are running for over 60 years whose food recipes have been passed down for generations. It’s the best place to try world-famous authentic Japanese dishes like tempura, sashimi, ramen, miso soup, yakitori (skewered chicken), Oden (hot pot)...you name it. Meet locals and have a street kampai (Cheers!) party with a cup of sake (rice wine).
Stretching 670 meters long, Sunamachi shopping street takes you to a laid-back experience right within the metro. Despite Tokyo being a technologically advanced city packed with people rushing off their feet, Sunamachi offers a different side of Tokyo which still has a traditional way of living. For JPY9,000 (US$82), you will get to experience all these in a group of eight people.
If Japan’s gastronomic finesse doesn’t excite you as much, I don’t know what will.
3. Tokyo Cycling Tour - Tokyo Miracle
Exploring new cities are best done by foot. But bicycles wouldn’t hurt either. In this three-hour group tour, you will be able to see varying aspects of Tokyo in two wheels for JPY6,000 (US$55). You can choose to see the central part, riverside, or cityside.
Fee includes tax, insurance, water, guide and rental for the bike and helmet.
Depending on which side of Tokyo you choose, you may pass by Ginza, Nihonbashi, the Imperial Palace, Akihabara, the Ryogoku Sumo Hall, Tsukiji fish market, various shrines and bridges, and a lot more.
4. Tokyo Sumo Tour - JTB Sunrise Tours
Who doesn’t want to have a first-hand experience of watching sumo wrestlers in action? This iconic, millennia-old cultural expression in Japan is one of the top things to do in Tokyo. For JPY9,700 (US$88), this tour will transport you to Ryogoku Kokugikan (the Sumo Hall) to witness the Grand Sumo Tournament.
Prior to watching the tournament, guests will be toured around the Sumo Museum which houses tons of awe-inspiring collections of memorabilia. Get to know the ceremonial apron called kesho-mawashi that only six division professional sumo wrestlers can wear.
5. Tokyo Free Walking Tour - Tokyo Localized
If you want to see both new and old Tokyo in the best angle possible, venture on a free walking tour where you will get a closer look at Japan’s history, culture, food, religion, and way of life. Organized by certified local guides, this three-hour tour guarantees you the most informative walking tour you’ll ever take in the city.
Unlike other free walking tours in Tokyo, this one makes your experience more efficient, forking at least six tourist spots in one tour. That includes Kanda Myojin, Akihabara, Arts Chiyoda, Ameyoko shopping arcade, Ueno Park, and Yushima Seido. Best of all? It’s FREE! Though your tip would really go far.
Favorite Tour in Tokyo
Do you have plans to take one of these guided tours in Tokyo? Which tour do you think you’re joining? We’d love you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
And if these tours in Tokyo are something you’ve found interest in, your family and friends might as well. So don’t forget to share it!
Tokyo Localized provides visitors and travellers to Tokyo with a unique perspective of this great city, what makes us unique is that our tour guides live and work in Tokyo, have a passion for this city and love meeting and welcoming new faces. Find out more about our Unique Day and Night Tours of Tokyo - we can't wait to meet you!