Tokyo is and always will be much too large to cover completely on foot, but the sheer size of the city should not put you off walking. There are many distinct districts that are ideal for exploring on foot. Tokyo does specialised walking tours well. There is something for all tastes, be it history, nightlife, culture or even just sake.
Here at TravelMag.com we have done the leg work to bring you the best five walking tours in the world’s most populous city (38 million people!). We based our choices on a number of factors including duration, value for money and previous guest reviews.
FROM: $89/per person
Get a crash course on the rich tradition of Japanese architecture on this scholar-led walking tour. The three-hour trek winds around some of the city’s most famous neighborhoods, including upscale, lively Roppongi and fashionista haven Harajuku. You’ll visit both modern and historic Japanese architectural marvels, including earthquake-resistant skyscrapers, ancient shrines and modern urban developments.
From $132/ per person
Explore the streets of Shibuya on this 3-hour food tour which invites you to try quintessential local dishes such as kobe beef skewers, osaka takoyaki, hiroshima okonomiyaki, sushi, and taiyaki. During the tour you’ll get to see parts of the city way off the tourist trail, including quaint local food stores and street stalls. You’ll also get to stop for pictures at the most famous cross walk in the world. The tour comes to an end with a look around the Shibuya Depachika underground food market.
From $68/ per person
If you are into trees and booze then this could be the perfect tour. Naturally there is more to it than that. Starting in the gorgeous traditional Japanese garden Kyu Shibe-rikyu, the tour ambles towards the Meishu Centre for sake tasting, where it is possible to choose from around 40 varieties of Japan’s national drink. Finally, hoping that one has not imbibed too much, the tour ends with a commanding view over the city from the observatory deck of World Trade Centre Tokyo.
From $58/ per person
Explore Shinjuku, one of the busiest and most energetic areas of Japan, on this 2.5-hour might tour. Meeting in West Shinjuku, you’ll head to the East side where you can chat to your guide, enjoy a drink and soak in the pulsating atmosphere. Other highlights will include a trip to the Observation Deck by Tokyo Metropolitan Government for an amazing night view of Tokyo, a visit to an ‘Izakaya’ – a Japanese style pub – where you can tuck into a light meal and sample another local speciality drink, and a chance to see some of the sites where the classic 1954 movie Godzilla was filmed. The tour finishes at around 9pm.
From $53/ per person
If you want a walking tour but hate large groups this could be ideal. Group sizes never exceed 12, which for a city with the population of Tokyo will quickly become a good thing. Based in the Ningyocho and Nihonbashi districts the three hour tour is great for learning more about old-world Tokyo. Of special interest are the old shops that have been selling their wares such as musical instruments and calligraphy materials, or an incense store which has been in operation since 1705. The tour also includes samples of traditional treats like bean paste snacks and fish jerky, which are much more delicious then they sound.