Connie R

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Connie R

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Mar082013

Tour/Activity

Tokyo Tower, Tea Ceremony and Sumida River Cruise Day Tour

Tokyo, Japan

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

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.

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