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It was a very good tour and it provided an excellent introduction to Tokyo. First stop was at the Tokyo Tower which provided an excellent view of how large Tokyo is. Second stop was for the Tea Ceremony. Our group was split into two where one group went for the Tea Ceremony while the other group visited the nearby Mitsuo Aida Museum. Afterwards, the two groups switched places.
Lunch consisted of a bento box and Shabu-Shabu which was quite filling and very tasty. After lunch, we stopped at the outside of the Imperial Palace. Next, we visited the Hama-rikyu Gardens which was a peaceful break from the city. The Sumida River cruise was next. It was quite crowded on the boat. Last stop was at the Asakusa Nakamise Shopping Street for some souvenir shopping.
This was our first introduction to the city. A good guide, well informed about Tokyo. The trip down the Sumida River was relaxing after riding on the bus.
KEVIN C Australia
This is wonderful tour to take as you get to see Tokyo in a short timeframe. Although it rained for most of the tour the sun came out as we cruised on the Sumida River.
Our tour guide was wonderful
Our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us lots of useful information about Tokyo throughout the trip, he even taught us how to count to ten in Japanese. The trip was a great way to see some of the sights of Tokyo. The world trade centre and Asakusa were particularly good. The boat trip was ok but a bit boring. However it was nice to say that we had sailed on the Sumida river. We would definitely recommend this short trip to anyone visiting Tokyo for a few days.
The Tokyo Tower has some lovely views.The Tea ceremony was short and sweet. The Sumida River Tour was great. Nothing like a map to follow along and figure out where you actually are in huge disorienting city. Oh please be aware when the tour is finished up you get your self back to the hotel. There will be 2 drops offs and the Tour guides are awesome getting oriented with maps and plan.
My wife and I really enjoyed this tour of Tokyo. The visit to the top of the World Trade Buildsing was really marvellous with a full 360 degree view of Tokyo from 40 floors up! The brief stop at the Imperial Gardens was very enjoyable, with some super views of the outer de moat area of the Imperial Palace. We loved the tour's inclusion of a Shrine and street market where there were lots of tempting Japanese souvenirs.... The Sumida River cruise was a wonderful way to end the tour with spectacular views of the Tokyo waterfront. The guide was a lovely person, highly informative and willing to answer all kinds of questions put to her!
For us, this was a super introduction to Tokyo.
This tour is highly recommended. If you've been to the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building and any other significant highrise, then the views are similar. If you want a free view of the city, I'd recommended the Tokyo Government Metropolitan building in Shinjuku since the observatory deck is free and gives you a similar view.
The tea ceremony was a good experience if you want to observe and participate in one of Japan's traditions. You only get a sampling of the tea - which is green and frothy, but as with most Japanese teas, has a bitter after taste. When attending this ceremony, participants are asked to be respectful and abide with the local tradition. The teahouse is also surrounded by a garden, so it's best to go there during Spring or Fall. There is a 300+ and 500+ year old bonsai tree on the premises, so make sure to ask the tour guide if you are interested in seeing them.
The lunch was one of the highlights of the tour - it states a "BBQ" lunch, so don't be deceived if you are used to the concept of an American BBQ. It's actually a hibachi-style lunch, a la Benihana, but not with the volcano or cutting shows. The food is freshly prepared in front of you, so it's definitely worth the experience and was the best lunch out of all 3 tours I took in Japan.
The Sumida River cruise started at the Port of Tokyo to Asakusa, where you will be given about 50 min to an hour to browse around the local shops and bakeries. Most of the vendors do not accept credit cards, so if you want to shop for souvenirs and sweets to take home, make sure you have enough yen on you. Since there is a limited amount of free time in this shopping area, make sure you have a plan of action since the tour bus leaves timely.
Lastly, the tour ends at Tokyo station, and you are responsible for finding your own way back. The guide will help you with directions but you will need to have enough money to return by train/subway. Overall - it was a good tour if you are short on tiime.
Chris Hord Australia
This was our first time to experience tea ceremony in Japan. It was a very different experience for us and we were also very lucky to see a pre-wedding shots for Japanese with traditional Japanese wedding dress. Make sure to check out the spaceship cruise in Sumida River.
The tour guide was great and obviously knows Tokyo very well. My sister, nephew and I enjoyed the tour. Tokyo Tower allowed a great overview of Tokyo. I loved the Tea Ceremony. Watching the Tea Master perform a long-standing ritual provided insight into the culture of Japan. The tea--using a bamboo whisk to mix gave the tea an interesting frothy texture and delightful taste. Cruising the Sumida River was a relaxing way to end a long and busy day.
It is a pleasure way to explore some of the better known sites in Tokyo if you have limited time. The Tea Ceremony session is obviously one that can be enlightening if one is open to observing, respecting and coming to agreeing to disagree about the purposefulness of the elaborate rituals of preparing tea.
For me, it is humbling and a good way to appreciate how hard people have to work to keep their tradition going forever and ever.
The lunch is great and the tour guide most knowledgeable and effective in her English explanation.
The Sumida River cruise was a bit disappointing due to overcrowding and we did not get the top deck to view the surrounding sights. Still, it is a tiny bit vs. the overall experience.
A day tour to take if you have limited time in Tokyo.
I would have given a 5 stars rating except that we had rain on the Sumida Cruise and couldn't take clear photos of the Sakura on the banks and because of the rain the tour had to be modified. It would have been nice if the weather was better.
The tour was great. It is a good opportunity to know iconic places in Tokyo.: Tokyo Tower and Sumida River Cruise and also a close look to Japanese culture and traditions during the Tea Ceremony. Highly recommended.
Again this tour was rushed all day long. I thought we would participate more in the tea ceremony. They barely gave us enough time to tour the tower before we had to run to the bus. I am glad I was not there during the height of the tourist season or I would have been left somewhere. Sumida River cruise was nice and we were let off on a shopping street with all little stands where we were able to shop. The lunch on this tour was by far the best. They cooked a full meal on a stone at our table. It was wonderful.
Catherine C Philippines
This tour covers most of Tokyo's attractions especially if you have limited time. It starts at the Tokyo Tower where you can have a panoramic view of Tokyo's Skyline then go to Happo-en Japanese Garden and participate in a Japanese Tea Ceremony which was something unique for me. The Happo-en Garden is quite an attraction in itself being a favorite venue for Japanese weddings.. From there we went to have lunch in Chinzanso Tokyo Garden Hotel located somewhere in the outskirts of the city with beautiful sakura in the garden and lining the Kanda River at the back. We had a taste of Japanese barBQ done right in front of us on our table! And we were all made to wear an oversized bib! Had to have pics taken!. From there, we went around to the Imperial Palace grounds to have a photo stop notwithstanding the rain. Then we hurried to the pier for our Sumida River Cruise. Although it was raining, the view on both sides were still visible. It was just too crowded for comfort!. We were glad to disembark near the ASAKUSA to see the temple and the busy Nakamise St where we bought some souvenirs in a hurry. The Tokyo Skytree can also be seen from Asakusa.. After that we were dropped off in GINZA for shopping and /or go back on our own to our hotels.
I had already taken the Panoramic Tokyo Day Tour the day before and this one recapped a few of the places we went to. The new additions that were different from the day tour was the viewing from the observation floor of the World Trade Center building and the boat ride up the Sumida River. The one plus about this tour was it wasn't as rushed as the Panoramic Day tour. Just because it wasn't so rushed was a big plus and in many ways more preferable to the day tour. However, the afternoon tour did not go to the Meiji Shinto shrine which was quite beautiful and deserves a repeated viewing.
This was a well organised trip. We had an absolutely fantastic Tour Guide who kept us on track the whole day and was extremely informative. We were lucky whilst at the Tea Ceremony it was the first Saturday in June so there were 2 wedding ceremonies with bride, groom and wedding party in traditional wedding clothes. The only down side to the day I felt was the Sumida River Cruise, it was not worth having on the trip as all we were seeing were the same buildings from the river that we had seen all day, and if there was commentating on the boat I did not hear it. But over all well worth the money and i hope I am as lucky if I book with Viator again.
Overall this was an exceptional experience and certainly worth the money if it's your first visit to Tokyo as it was for us. Certainly Viator couldn't help that the day was overcast and occassionally rainy, but that only impeded the views and not fun of the day. Despite the weather, Tokyo Tower was still quite thrilling. The tea ceremony and surrounding gardens were beautiful and engaging. Our lunch at the Four Seasons was delicious. The only reason I did not give this review 5 stars was the Sumida River Cruise which I found disappointing and unimpressive. I suppose when one books a river cruise, you expect some level of scenic appeal. This had none. I felt like we were cruising down an industrial waste stream. Anyway, the tour would have been that much better without the cruise in my opinion. Our guide was wonderful though. Great sense of humor and very personable.
good thing we chose the afternoon tour as it was bright and sunny. we were able to see the skyscrapers along the sumida river. the guide was good, gave us lots of information from the start till the end of the tour. He was also friendly and smiling face. :-)
The trip was great. We had a wonderful, knowledgeable guide. My least favorite section of the tour was the Sumida River Cruise. The boat was jammed and I didn't (couldn't) take pictures. I especially enjoyed lunch and the location.
This was a very good day tour. Guide was knowledgeable and personable and we were able to see the major sights in Tokyo. Tea ceremony and lunch were also very enjoyable. We were only in Tokyo for 4 days, so this was perfect. Only disappointment was the cancellation of the Sumida River Cruise due to windy conditions and high tides.
Brent W USA
Nice trip, especially if you're short of time. The guide was excellent. I've lived in Tokyo for almost three years and she told me things about the city I didn't know. Lunch choice was great. Sumida River cruise wasn't much. You simply sit on a people barge with hundreds of your Japanese friends and ride up the river. Scenery on the river isn't much to look at. Tokyo tower was nice.
Ginny S USA
This tour was worth it. The tour guide was quite informative and spoke English well. She also used good visual aids to make sure we understood what she was talking about. here was a Women's marathon the day of our tour and we ended up waiting 50 minutes at one block because of this. Due to this we missed our scheduled Sumida cruise and had to take the next cruise out. What this meant is that we ended up having less time at our last stop stopping at the Asakusa shopping arcade. However, the overall tour was very good and I would recommend this tour for anyone traveling to Tokyo for the first time.
Michelle M M Canada
First of all, our guide was amazing; he was funny and down to earth and gave a great informative overview. The only problem that we encountered was time. We seemed to be too rushed. Half an hour at the Tokyo Tower was not enough, as well as the visit to the Imperial Palace. But the tea ceremony was wonderful, and the lunch was very relaxed and highly enjoyed! An hour at the shopping and temple just after the Sumida river cruise would have been less rushed, but I still immensely enjoyed this tour, and I do realize that travel time to each destination depends on traffic, therefore altering the time at each site. Thank you to our wonderful guide!!
World Trade Centre views spectacular. Too many buses and people to even get close to the Imperial Palace, a real disappointment. Fortunately the previous day we were able to park and walk to the moat and gate for photos. Sumida River Cruise very pleasant, but only a few blossoms were out and we did not see the city lights, as I expect to do. Our guide was a lovely Japanese lady and very professional with Hato Bus Tours.
The tour was just OK. I would have liked spending more time at Nakamise street and skip the Sumida River cruise. For most of the cruise there was nothiung of much interest to see and then finally about 5 minutes of the cherry blossoms.
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