Edo History Tours in Tokyo

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Tokugawa Ieyasu became Shogun in 1603, ushering a 200-year reign known as the Edo period—a time of peace and rapid economic growth known as the last period of traditional Japan. Here are some options for exploring this critically important period in Tokyo’s history.

Edo History in Tokyo
Tokyo started out as a fishing village called Edo. When Tokugawa Ieyasu moved the Shogunate here in 1603, the town began to thrive. During the 260-year Edo period, Tokyo enjoyed unprecedented economic and cultural growth, transforming into a city of more than a million people—one of the largest cities in the world—by the mid-18th century. It would later be renamed Tokyo and declared the capital of Japan.

Ways to Experience Edo Culture in Tokyo
Edo history and culture are on display throughout Tokyo if you know where to look.
  • A good place to start is the Fukagawa Edo Museum, which offers an eloquent introduction to the rise and fall of the era.
  • The historic Fukagawa neighborhood is home to the 300-year-old Fukagawa Fudoson Shrine and several workshops selling Edo glass and Edo-dyed cloth. Explore it on a walking or cycling tour.
  • No visit to Tokyo would be complete without a stop at the Edo Castle, built in 1457 and occupied by the Tokugawa shoguns throughout their reign.
  • A short day trip from Tokyo (and popular among families with kids), Edo Wonderland lets visitors become a citizen of Edo for the day. Walk through a recreated Edo-era town and interact with townspeople in period costume.
  • Within a short distance of nearby Nikko National Park sits the Nikko Toshogo Shrine, a monumental mausoleum honoring the first Tokugawa shogun.
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Tours & Activities (3)
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Edo Kagurazaka Walking Tour and Standing Bar Experience

Explore the faded grandeur and cobblestone streets of Tokyo’s Kagurazaka neighborhood during this 3-hour guided walking tour. Over the course of your excursion you’ll check out the unique architecture and intriguing history of this former geisha district that’s chock-full of shrines and other points of interest. Your walking tour of Kagurazaka also includes a one-way subway ticket from Shinjuku.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$60.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$60.00 USD

Experience Edo Tokyo Walking Tour

Ideal for history buffs, this 4-hour walking tour transports you back in time to Tokyo’s prosperous Edo era, which spanned from1603 to 1868. Alongside your guide, you’ll visit the ancient Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine, delve into Edo history at the Fukagawa Edo Museum, and enjoy the botanical beauty of the Kiyosumi Teien gardens. On this small-group tour, limited to six people, you’ll receive personalized attention from your guide.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$74.00 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$74.00 USD

Half Day Walking Tour To Find Edo Culture Including Ukiyoe in a Sumo Town Ryogoku

Get an in-depth insight into local Japanese culture on this private walking tour of Ryogoku, the historic center of Japanese sumo wrestling. As you walk through the streets, you guide introduces you to the best concepts of sumo and takes you to see some sumo stables. You can also visit the Sumida Hokusai Museum, dedicated to the famed ukiyo-e (woodblock) painter, and the Edo-Tokyo Museum, which focuses on the history of Tokyo.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$118.00 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$118.00 USD


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