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Tokyo

Meet the locals

Our most recommended Tokyo Meet the Locals

Exclusive Tokyo Ramen Kitchen Experience

1. Exclusive Tokyo Ramen Kitchen Experience

Make delicious ramen in a real ramen shop. This ramen shop also happens to be one of Tokyo's best, having won several awards. You will feel like a true ramen chef during this unique experience. You will even get to see the giant pot of broth where all the magic starts. Like a pro, you will ladle the broth (seasoning and soup), massage the noodles ("temomi"), and then comes most fun part - shake the water out of the ramen noodles in a “tebo”. From here, you will place the noodles into the broth and then add toppings and arrange as you like. Finally, you will of course get to eat your ramen creation.

Tokyo: Tsukiji Outer Market Food and Drink Walking Tour

2. Tokyo: Tsukiji Outer Market Food and Drink Walking Tour

Explore the famous outer area of the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo on a guided tour. Learn about the culinary culture of Tokyo and what the top chefs do on their daily visits to the market. Enjoy a variety of traditional Japanese foods as you explore the market. After meeting your guide, begin your day eating and shopping like a local outside Tokyo's famous Tsukiji Market. Discover why so many of Japan's top chefs visit here daily to pick up the freshest ingredients. Navigate your way through the maze of seafood and learn from your guide about the market's history. Stroll past the many stalls and discover local Japanese foods. Watch as vendors carve massive bluefin tuna. Head to the vibrant stores selling the best quality foods at the outer market. Eat a variety of local foods, ranging from finger foods to delicacies. Learn from your knowledgeable guide the tips about local culinary culture. End the tour at an authentic sushi restaurant with a serving of fresh sushi before heading back to Tsukiji Station.

Tokyo: Off the Beaten Path Private Guided Tour

3. Tokyo: Off the Beaten Path Private Guided Tour

Explore Tokyo in your own way with a private licensed guide. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. If you want to experience authentic local life, the backstreets of Yanaka, Shibamata, Fukagawa, and Asakusa are recommended. This tour feature a morning pickup at your hotel in Tokyo, then a visit to any number of possible sites. You can customize your itinerary according to the specific places you want to visit. See a suggested itinerary below.  First stop is the Shibamata neighborhood, where many historical shops can be found. Some have even been there for over a hundred years. It’s a great place to sample some classic Japanese snacks and street food, such as senbei, soy sauce crackers, and chewy rice balls. Next, head to the Yanaka Ginza neighborhood. Even among locals, it’s a lesser-known area that retains its old-Japan charm. Edo-era shops and restaurants line a small shopping street. Though the shops include modern 100-yen stores, there are many handicrafts, ceramics, and street food stores too. If you’ve become a fan of Japanese food during your travels, Kappabashi Street is a place to bring home something to cook or serve your own Japanese food with. Kappabashi is a long street lined with kitchen shops, plus the occasional kitchen clothing or fake food store. Other popular places you could visit on this tour include the Nezu and Sendagi areas, the Fukagawa Edo Museum, and the Asakusa district.

Tokyo: Insider Sake Tasting Tour

4. Tokyo: Insider Sake Tasting Tour

Discover more about the uniquely Japanese drink of Sake on this tour. At your first stop you'll get an introduction to the history and production techniques of Sake, before you enjoy your first 3 samples. From here you'll explore Ginza district, including landmarks such as Kabuki Theater, before your next tasting stop. You'll get the choice between sampling 3 Sakes from local small-scale producers at one bar, or alternatively being treated to 3 varieties of Daiginjo Sake. At your final stop, you'll have the chance to try 3 more Sake types along with 2 delicious appetizers. Enjoy being surrounded by locals, and experience how the people of Tokyo like to unwind after work.

Tokyo: Ramen Tasting Tour

5. Tokyo: Ramen Tasting Tour

Embark on this tour, taste some ramen, and experience Ikebukuro, one of the most distinctive ramen districts.  Meet your guide and learn about the history and all the different types of this delicious meal.  Your first stop will be where the original Tsukemen was invented. This ramen restaurant with its wooden vintage interior is a must for all ramen lovers.  Learn from your local guide how ramen is ingrained in Japanese culture and enjoy a bowl of a classic Ramen.  Your next stop is a rising star in the ramen industry. This restaurant is a relatively new ramen spot and offers uniquely crafted ramen. Choose between modern types of ramen and pick according to your taste.  The final stop is a local, yet popular Tonkotsu ramen place. Tonkotsu ramen was created from boiling pork bones, this savory bowl is starting to become the 4th ramen after Shoyu, Shio, and Miso.

Tokyo: Japan's Cultural Curiosities Walking Tour

6. Tokyo: Japan's Cultural Curiosities Walking Tour

Your 3-hour Tokyo tour begins in the Ningyocho neighborhood, a district known for its timeless traditions and, as you’ll discover right away, tasty treats. The fragrance of cinnamon will lead you to a shop that specializes in Japanese sweets. Established in 1897, in the Meiji Era, this shop stays true to its origins. Visit an incense store that dates back to 1705, and learn about kōdō, the art of appreciating incense. You’ll also stop at a little gift shop that carries traditional Japanese items, from calligraphy tools to decorative wares. If you’re hungry by this point, that’s good, as you’ll be stopping at a snack shop from the Showa Era that features treats popular in the early 20th century, including candies, caramels, ramune soda, fish jerky, and bean paste snacks, to name a few. Next, you'll 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. Try sweet kawara senbei (made from flour actually, not rice), as well as salty rice crackers, a favorite in many Japanese households. Cross the street to a shamisen shop, and learn a bit about this traditional Japanese stringed instrument. Then head to a local tenugui shop, where they sell woven hand towels depicting Japanese scenes. Your Tokyo tour guide will next show one of the 8 temples in Ningyocho. Visit a shrine where virtue, longevity, learning, and wealth are worshiped. You can offer a prayer here, and wash a coin to ensure a prosperous life. Visit the nearby neighborhood of Nihonbashi, a hub for merchants during the Edo period. Today, it’s predominantly a financial district that’s home to trading firms and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Although Nihonbashi is very much a modern neighborhood, you’ll find many traditional Japanese shops hidden in its alleyways and even within its department stores. Stop at a seaweed shop, as well as an old-fashioned stationery shop that was established in 1946. Admire the display of calligraphy brushes, inks, traditional paints, handmade greeting cards, and little dolls. Check out a toothpick shop that has been in business since 1704 and that gives a little something extra special to buyers: each toothpick is wrapped in a piece of paper with a poem. You’ll also stop at a katsuobushi shop that can be traced back more than 200 years. Katsuobushi, or fish shavings, is used to make fish broth, the very essence of Japanese cooking. Lastly, you’ll visit a shop that makes golden leaves at 0.0001 of a millimeter, traditionally used for decorating ceramics, furnishings, and even food. The tour ends at the Nihonbashi information center, where you’ll get to taste a few more traditional Japanese sweets before saying sayōnara.

Japanese Street Food Tour

7. Japanese Street Food Tour

Try the delicious side of Shibuya, a place more known for being at the forefront of culture and fashion, and rarely known for its food.  This tour will show you the places to go in Shibuya, the places the locals go, so the next time you visit you can do so as a local. Get the chance to visit 5 food stops and try: Kobe Beef Skewers, Osaka Takoyaki, Hiroshima Okonomiyaki, 5 types of Sushi and Taiyaki (Japanese dessert). Nestled in the back alleys, these places are unforgettable and an experience you wont want to miss. End your journey with a tour of Shibuya Depachika (underground food market).

Tokyo: Sumo Experience and Chanko Nabe Lunch

8. Tokyo: Sumo Experience and Chanko Nabe Lunch

The sacred Japanese national sport of Sumo has a long history, and admirers all over the globe. However, for many people (Japanese included) it is difficult to grasp the deep meaning of the fights themselves, as well as the rituals involved. Here former professional Sumo wrestlers will teach all there is to know about this sport in English, and visitors can even face them in a (playful) duel. After the workshop Chanko Lunch will be served, a is Japanese-style hotpot, said to give a lot of stamina, and made by the wrestlers themselves. This activity will allow participants to get a deep understanding of the Sumo sport, and to interact with wrestlers from close-up. On Mondays this tour will take place in Asakusa, on Thursdays in Ryogoku.

Tokyo: Photo Shoot with a Private Vacation Photographer

9. Tokyo: Photo Shoot with a Private Vacation Photographer

The tour provider will organize the locations for your photo shoot based on your own unique requirements, whether it be a family getaway, a romantic trip or a livelier one with friends.  Once the details are organized, you will receive confirmation of all the information you need, leaving you to simply meet the photographer on location in Tokyo and let them work their magic, capturing your travels in a contemporary and candid style of photography. Your highly experienced Tokyo vacation photographers are handpicked local experts, who will share their knowledge of the city with you like an old friend. When your photo tour has finished, you will receive a link to your own personal online gallery (password protected) within 5 working days, containing your professionally edited images, all free to download. Create mementoes that will last a lifetime, and look back over your travels with fond memories.

Tokyo: Shinjuku Drinks and Neon Nightlife Tour

10. Tokyo: Shinjuku Drinks and Neon Nightlife Tour

Head to Shinjuku, Tokyo’s entertainment area, and join locals as you grab a bite and a drink on a walking tour in the evening. Taste local flavors as you try different drinks and snacks, learning about the area from your local guide along the way. Kick off your evening at a Japanese izakaya-style gastropub for their happy hour. As this is a favorite pastime of many Japanese, spend some leisurely time chatting with your fellow tour mates over drinks and snacks. Then, meander through Omoide Yokocho, a collection of alleyways full of tiny bars and eateries. Get a peek at the different type of food joints locals usually eat at, from yakitori restaurants and soba shops to cafes and bars. If you'd like to come visit again on your own time, Omoide Yokocho is a great place to sit and eat elbow-to-elbow with local businessmen. See how they unwind after working hours. Later on, reach Kabukicho, an area full to the brim with over 3,000 shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and karaoke. Awash in bright neon lights, Kabukicho is one of Tokyo’s most photogenic areas. With streets filled with people and music blaring from every corner, you are sure never to have a boring evening in Kabukicho. End your evening in Golden Gai, a compact neighborhood full of tiny bars that can usually only seat six to eight people at a time. It is here in Shinjuku’s most popular drinking spot where you will stumble upon one of your guide’s favorite bars and say kanpai (cheers!) over more drinks. From here, your guide can either give you directions back to your hotel, your next destination, or leave you chatting through the night with new friends.

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What people are saying about Tokyo

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 486 reviews

I met my guide at the designated meeting place near the station. She was early so we had extra time to get acquainted. I was the only on the tour so Kazumi was very flexible to my interests. She was informative, engaging, and warm - all along expressing her genuine love for the city and showing non-locals the insiders’ way around the market. She was prepared with literature, graphics and pictures. We had fantastic treats - exceptional quality of ingredients. I recommend this tour with Kazumi. One small recommendation: I would suggest shifting the tour time slightly to bridge the lunch time opening of some establishments in order to timely spread the tastings before, during, and after the lunch period.

Our photographer was Ivana and she did such a great job. She was able to take all the good shots in less than one hour and all the photos came out really fantastic. We will recommend this and also use it in our next travel destination without hesitation!

Had such an amazing experience learning traditional Japanese cooking today!! Sato is a great chef, great company and great tour guide. Best ramen and gyoza’s we’ve had (and first time making). Definitely recommend this cooking experience with Sato!!! :)

Brilliant, unique Tokyo experience. A must do if you’re a ramen or food in general fan! So cool to be in the kitchen. Guide & chef super knowledgeable & friendly. Delicious bowl of ramen at the end. 10/10

Thanks to Toshi-san. He gave us a lot of interresting information about the market during the tour. Arigato gozaimasu!