We joined this tour on our 3rd and final full day in Tokyo. We thoroughly enjoyed it. We had travelled around Tokyo on our own the previous 2 days, but this tour covered alot of ground, provided some respite from the heat and was thoroughly interesting. Our guide Junko was excellent. Her English is impeccable, and she gave good explanations of where we were going and what we would see. She tought us about the customs and even taught us a few words of Japanese. She did a good job of managing the large group, and keeping us together. She even wrote out some directions for us in Japanese at the end of the tour. The tour was diverse and very interesting. First stop was at the Tokyo Tower. We had a clear day, with good views. The Happo-en garden was beautiful, with a wonderful assortment of bonsai trees. It was interesting to see the rituals of the tea ceremony. A wonderful bonus was seeing 3 bridal parties in the garden that day, some in traditional dress, some in white gowns. Lunch was at a beautiful hotel, with an extensive garden, with more brides! The BBQ was delicious [Oishi]. We walked around the Imperial Palace, and saw what we could of the manucured grounds and buildings from the gate.Through the GInza, and all the fancy shops. Then it was on the river on a short cruise, past some interesting sights, to Asakusa Cannon Temple via the Nakamise shopping street. The shopping street was interesting, lots of small shops and stalls, with samples of snacks and lots of kimonos to try on. The temple and the pagoda are beautiful. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour. It was the perfect of our time in Tokyo. It would have been very difficult, especially in the heat and himidity, to cover as much ground as we did in one day on one's own.
We started out at the Tokyo tower, then went to the imperial palace, a drive through Ginza, a temple, and left at the electronics district. The tour guide did a great job of explaining what we were seeing and answering questions. The temple is a good place to pick up traditional souvenirs at prices slightly cheaper than available at the airport.
Doing what: Tokyo Morning Sightseeing Tour
All very interesting and good value for money. They even dropped us to the Ginza area after the tour.
Our guide Ms. Junko was not only helpful, but well informed and had detailed insight regarding the shrines and temples that we stopped to visit. The tour was enjoyable and entertaining while the guide shared history and details about the areas in which we were moving around. I would prefer to have removed from the list of highlights, the nakamise shopping street and Ginza shopping district because those are only observed momentarily from the bus and would not consider those "highlights of the tour". 8.5 hours seems like a lot however getting to one place to another consumes a lot of time, so strolling and admiring the visiting places are down to a bare minimum, it felt like we were rushing everywhere. On the plus side you do get to relax and cool down at the end while you do the Tokyo Bay cruise, so it was all very positive.
A super busy and lively shopping area. Tons of stores you can find anywhere, but also interesting tea shops, stationary stores and restaurants. A great place to look for funny everyday Japan souvenirs.
This tour was the best of the four tours we undertook. Here again the palace was closed. The tea ceremony was enjoyable with the Japanese Garden, the cruise did not appeal. The shopping could have been at Ginza rather than this cheap location.
Overall I enjoyed this tour around Tokyo. The Meiji Shrine was the first shrine I visited while in Tokyo and was great to see, plus there was a traditional wedding happening at the same time so that was great to see. The Imperial Palace East Garden was interesting to visit and the Asakusa Kannon Temple was great.
There are some things that were a little disappointing with the tour. The guide was a little standof-ish, which considering the amount of people on the tour was probably just something that happens. The Imperial Palace gardens were a disappointment after seeing some of the other sights of Tokyo. The Tokyo Bay cruise was fairly short and you didn't really see that much (luckily there was another wedding on the boat to captivate people).
Also, though it is listed as a Western-style lunch, it was still disappointing to eat Western food while in Tokyo. One of my reasons for going to Japan was to try the local cuisine. And then finishing off the tour in Odaiba, while great cause I got to see the Statue of Liberty and Gundam statue, was another let-down cause there wasn't much else to do.
I would have liked more time in Asakusa, especially since that was a tourist spot with shopping opportunities, and maybe a stop in Ginza instead of just driving by and saying it is the upmarket shopping area.
I know there are a few criticisms there, but with some modification this could be a really good showcase of Tokyo, and after spending several days there, there is just so much interesting stuff to see.
This is a really good tour and a good way to become familiar with some of the landmarks that make up this great city.
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