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Tokyo Meet the locals

Our most recommended Tokyo Meet the locals

Tokyo: Tsukiji Outer Market Food and Drink Walking Tour

1. Tokyo: Tsukiji Outer Market Food and Drink Walking Tour

Explore the famous outer area of the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo on a guided tour. Learn about the culinary culture of Tokyo and what the top chefs do on their daily visits to the market. Enjoy a variety of traditional Japanese foods as you explore the market. After meeting your guide, begin your day eating and shopping like a local outside Tokyo's famous Tsukiji Market. Discover why so many of Japan's top chefs visit here daily to pick up the freshest ingredients. Navigate your way through the maze of seafood and learn from your guide about the market's history. Stroll past the many stalls and discover local Japanese foods. Watch as vendors carve massive bluefin tuna. Head to the vibrant stores selling the best quality foods at the outer market. Eat a variety of local foods, ranging from finger foods to delicacies. Learn from your knowledgeable guide the tips about local culinary culture. End the tour at an authentic sushi restaurant with a serving of fresh sushi before heading back to Tsukiji Station.

Tokyo: Tsukiji Fish Market Discovery Tour

2. Tokyo: Tsukiji Fish Market Discovery Tour

Spend your morning exploring Tsukiji Fish Market, the largest market of its kind in the world. The wholesale portion of the market where the famous tuna auction takes place has moved from the original Tsukiji site, a few kilometers across the water to Toyosu, but Tsukiji still is the best place to check and try all the products sold in Toyosu. Start by wandering through Tsukiji’s outer market brimming with vibrant food stalls and retail shops. This is the place to be if you’re looking for the freshest and dare say, most delicious sushi breakfast one could ever hope for. With over 2,500 tons and 450 types of fish coming through the market every day, you’re bound to come across some foods and fish you’ve never seen before. Squid jerky, anyone? Or perhaps scrambled eggs on a stick? No matter what kind of unusual snacks you may encounter, Tsukiji promises to be an experience for all five senses. Along the way, your tour guide will explain about the history of the market, all the different seafoods on offer, the legendary tuna auction (not included in the tour) and what a typical day is like for all the vendors who work inside the inner markets. Stop to sample a couple of fresh foods and you’re free to try any additional snacks at your own expense that may catch your eye or make you drool. Of course, it can be difficult to know where to start so your guide will point out some recommendations as well. Once you’re finished snacking, make your way to a nearby sake shop for a tasting and be introduced to Japan’s beloved beverage of choice. Learn how to taste the difference between different sakes and about the role it has played in Japanese culture. Be sure to make your favorite known. As tour groups are prohibited from entering the inner markets, you’ll be left at the door to Tsukiji’s inner markets, where you can go explore on your own. Watch your step because things can “get a little fishy” as you carefully maneuver through the market’s chaotic, narrow and wet streets. Though visitors are not allowed to take photos inside the inner market, you won’t forget this extraordinary experience. But before you go off on your own, don’t forget to ask your local guide for tips on where else to visit during your stay in Tokyo.

Tokyo: Yurakucho, Ginza & Shinbashi Food Tour

3. Tokyo: Yurakucho, Ginza & Shinbashi Food Tour

Start the tour in Gado Shita, a lively restaurant district nestled underneath the train tracks and step into narrow, lantern-lined streets to get a taste of 70s-style Japan. Here, you’ll enjoy typical snacks and starters at local izakayas frequented by locals. Move on to Ginza, exploring high-end, specialty goods, like a $400 melon and visit a famous Sembei (rice cracker) shop which dates back to the early 1800s. Complete your evening by wandering through Shinbashi’s nearby maze of eateries, izakayas and standing bars. The tour finishes with one last bite - dessert, of course.

Tokyo: Shibuya District Street Food Tour

4. Tokyo: Shibuya District Street Food Tour

Discover the popular eats in Shibuya on a guided walking tour, a place more known for being at the forefront of culture and fashion, rather than its cuisine. Uncover hidden gems known only to locals as you eat at 5 food stops. Experience a part of Shibuya that no tourist will ever see on their own with the most delicious food only locals usually get to taste. Try a variety of sweet and savoury dishes at restaurants well off the beaten path. End your journey with a tour of a Shibuya Depachika (underground food market).

Tokyo: Private Cherry Blossom Experience

5. Tokyo: Private Cherry Blossom Experience

Celebrate Japan’s favorite time of the year in Tokyo’s most colorful parks, and take in the pink prettiness of cherry blossoms, or sakura, as they’re known here. Join a local host and take part in hanami, or cherry blossom viewing in popular public spaces like Shinjuku Gyo-en, a stunning garden in the heart of Tokyo’s financial district, or wander around the nearby Imperial Palace, where ancient architecture is accentuated by the bright blossoms. You could head south for the cherry tree-lined banks of the Meguro River, where you can admire the blossoms by day or by night. If things are getting crowded, your host might lead you to hidden gems like Koishikawa Botanical Garden, where cherry blossoms aren’t the only plants in bloom. Wherever you go, your host will be on hand to give you an authentic sakura experience! You will be contacted within 24 hours to discuss your interests and requests, so that you will be paired with a like-minded local host. A bespoke itinerary will be built based on what you would like to see and do. Depending on where the best blossoms are at the time of your viewing, your host will decide two hanami locations for you, including both a famous park, as well as a small garden and shrine.

Tokyo: Sumo Experience and Chanko Nabe Lunch

6. Tokyo: Sumo Experience and Chanko Nabe Lunch

The sacred Japanese national sport of Sumo has a long history, and admirers all over the globe. However, for many people (Japanese included) it is difficult to grasp the deep meaning of the fights themselves, as well as the rituals involved. Here former professional Sumo wrestlers will teach all there is to know about this sport in English, and visitors can even face them in a (playful) duel. After the workshop Chanko Lunch will be served, a is Japanese-style hotpot, said to give a lot of stamina, and made by the wrestlers themselves. This activity will allow participants to get a deep understanding of the Sumo sport, and to interact with wrestlers from close-up. On Mondays this tour will take place in Asakusa, on Thursdays in Ryogoku.

Tokyo: Bar Hopping Tour in Shibuya

7. Tokyo: Bar Hopping Tour in Shibuya

Your tour begins in front of one of Tokyo’s most iconic sites, the Shibuya Crossing. This frenetic pedestrian crossing is the busiest in the world. Use the opportunity to take photos surrounded by the buildings of Shibuya as hundreds of people cross the street. At the first bar you’ll get a taste of Japanese beer alongside local grilled delicacies. Afterward, follow your guide through a ‘yokocho’ (indoor alleyway) down a street that is home to 30 ‘Izakayas’ (Japanese bars). You’ll encounter plenty of locals as they unwind after work. Izakayas tend to be small, intimate bars, but on this tour you’ll have reserved seating for enjoying local food and beverages. Follow the bar crawl through various stops as you sample world-famous Wagyu beef, Sake, beef sushi and melt-in-your-mouth Kobe beef. Vegetarian/vegan menus are also available.

Tokyo: Shinjuku Drinks and Neon Nightlife Tour

8. Tokyo: Shinjuku Drinks and Neon Nightlife Tour

Head to Shinjuku, Tokyo’s entertainment area, and join locals as you grab a bite and a drink on a walking tour in the evening. Taste local flavors as you try different drinks and snacks, learning about the area from your local guide along the way. Kick off your evening at a Japanese izakaya-style gastropub for their happy hour. As this is a favorite pastime of many Japanese, spend some leisurely time chatting with your fellow tour mates over drinks and snacks. Then, meander through Omoide Yokocho, a collection of alleyways full of tiny bars and eateries. Get a peek at the different type of food joints locals usually eat at, from yakitori restaurants and soba shops to cafes and bars. If you'd like to come visit again on your own time, Omoide Yokocho is a great place to sit and eat elbow-to-elbow with local businessmen. See how they unwind after working hours. Later on, reach Kabukicho, an area full to the brim with over 3,000 shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and karaoke. Awash in bright neon lights, Kabukicho is one of Tokyo’s most photogenic areas. With streets filled with people and music blaring from every corner, you are sure never to have a boring evening in Kabukicho. End your evening in Golden Gai, a compact neighborhood full of tiny bars that can usually only seat six to eight people at a time. It is here in Shinjuku’s most popular drinking spot where you will stumble upon one of your guide’s favorite bars and say kanpai (cheers!) over more drinks. From here, your guide can either give you directions back to your hotel, your next destination, or leave you chatting through the night with new friends.

Tokyo: Private Japanese Cooking Class with a Local Chef

9. Tokyo: Private Japanese Cooking Class with a Local Chef

Cooking local food is the best way to get to know Japanese culture. Learn how to cook these meals at a little cute apartment in Shinjuku. The menu changes depending on the day of the week. You will cook one of the menus below with 2 to 4 items. The weekly menu schedule is below: SUNDAY, MONDAY, TUEDAY (Morning class : 10:30AM-1PM / Evening class : 6PM-8:30PM ) Standard meal days - Menu: teishoku, donburi, obento, tonjiru and rice ball WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY (Morning class : 10:30AM-1PM / Evening class : 6PM-8:30PM ) Heavy food days - Menu: curry rice, okonomiyaki, gyoza, ramen, rice burger, kara-age, yakisoba. SATURDAY (Morning class : 10:30AM-1PM / Evening class : 6PM-8:30PM ) Real home-sushi day - Menu: temaki-sushi, bara-chirashi-sushi. An optional short trip (1PM-3:30PM) takes place everyday after the morning class. You will go to several amazing places which are not found in your guide books.

Evening Hanami (Cherry Blossom) Experience with a Local

10. Evening Hanami (Cherry Blossom) Experience with a Local

Cherry Blossom season in Tokyo is so beautiful, and even more so in the evening when lanterns and lights turn the tree-lined streets into a magical fairyland. Nakameguro is a trendy, beautiful neighborhood, very famous for its 2 kilometer route along the Meguro River/Canal. This entire route is lined with cherry trees and it must be seen in person to really get a feeling for how beautiful the sakura (cherry trees) are. Join this tour walking along the canal and around the vibrant restaurant and shopping areas. Taste local treats and beverages, explore the history of the district and finish up with dinner at an amazing Udon noodle based pub that features local seasonal dishes, Japanese rice wine and other of course amazing handmade noodles.  Sakura season is short, about one month from the first tiny buds to the finish of the season with the peak time lasting only two weeks. It is impossible to predict exact dates each year but this tour will be offered during the time period most famous for the Hanami celebrations. With your guide, learn about the area, the meaning and reason behind the sakura season, and taste local specialties that are bound to be pleasing to the eye and to the palate.  Nakameguro is a very fashionable district with many small boutiques, and during the sakura season, there are lots of stalls selling yummy snacks and street food. 

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What people are saying about Tokyo

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 486 reviews

We had a street food tour with Haruka and Laura and it was outstanding. We loved the food we ate, learning about the history and customs, and seeing various spots! It was one of our favorite parts of our trip and our guides were extremely friendly and gracious. Definitely recommend!!!

Satoru-san is an amazing instructor! Great conversations and all around very thoughtful and carefully curated lesson for individuals with various preferences. Would highly recommend this activity to all individuals from any skill levels. Thank you Satoru-san! どうもありがとうございます

Lets just say that it was one of the best decision we made in planning our trip to Japan, the best part is that our photographer speaks english and was very accommodating, it was a wonderful experience!

I can’t believe we cooked this ramen and it’s so good. Learned good stuff from this experience. Thank you Sato for being patient with us. Would definitely do this again in our next visit

Comprehensive and illustrative insights on the market and Japanese food - we really enjoyed it!