Yanaka Historical Walking Tour in Tokyo's Old TownFeel the ordinary day of locals in the Tokyo's old town★★★★★
- 3.5 hour tour
- Small group tour
- English speaking guide
What makes this tour unique
- Close to Shinjuku, explore Yanaka, an accessible town that will give you the old-town-experience, neglected by most tours
- Visit Nezu Shrine through the vibrant red torii gates and learn from a local about traditional Japanese views on religion
- Enjoy painting Japanese beckoning cats called "Maneki neko" in an old-house cafe
- Explore a vast locals-only market that dates back to the 40's and sample the most popular Japanese snacks and dishes, chosen by the locals
Tips and recommendations by our official guides
There are many different aspects of Tokyo. Populated, modern downtown areas like Shinjuku or Shibuya are becoming major symbols of Tokyo and big destinations for travelers.
While those districts have much to offer, there are some historical, culturally-rich districts right in the center of this vibrant city. There is a place where you can become a part of the deep, local lifestyle and soak up Tokyo's old neighborhood: the Yanaka District.
Yanaka is one of Tokyo's most charming and traditional districts. The neighborhood survived the attacks of WWⅡ and endured all of the big earthquakes of Tokyo. Because of its resilience, Yanaka remains intact as it was decades ago, bringing an air of nostalgia and rustic charm.
Throughout the walking tour, you will see the ongoing daily activities carried out in the market, and enjoy local snacks and street foods in the backstreets.
To begin, we'll head to Nezu shrine, the oldest shrine in Tokyo, to take amazing photos of the torii gates and gain some insight into Japan's traditional religion, Shintoism.
Afterwards, we'll pass through residential areas where many locals live. There are plenty of charming local shops and stalls to explore along the way! We'll stop by one local cafe for an hour break to craft a lucky cat statue (painting experience).
To round out the journey, we'll partake in delicious food sampling in Yanaka Ginza, a shopping street which best represents the flavors of old Tokyo. Here, you'll find shops selling delectable food and snacks. We can enjoy the local deli foods.
One characteristic of this walking tour is getting to know how the Japanese actually live from a local guide!
I would recommend this tour to any traveler who is interested in seeing a different side of Tokyo and in witnessing the deep local lifestyle.
Let's window into a whole different side of Tokyo!
Feel the Shinto vibe as you cross a vibrant red arch in Nezu Shrine, a portal into another world
After meeting at Nezu station, we'll head for Nezu shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Tokyo. You may recognize it, as it's a place famous for its tunnel of vermilion torii gates, also seen at Kyoto's Fushimi Inari shrine. While your guide shares cultural and historical tidbits about Japan, we'll take great photos in and around the tunnel. You can learn how one can pray at shrines and how to behave at them.
Craft a lucky cat for your travel memory in a cafe of an old folk house
After a nice long walk, we will rest in a cafe with a drink and sweets. This is the first cafe in Japan that provides workshops to craft lucky cat statues that bring luck and happiness. Paint a cat statue with your favorite color and patterns, and make your cat keep your memories from Japan for good.
Sample a variety of local foods as you stroll around Yanaka Ginza and find yourself in a cozy house that serves Soba lunch, a food engrained in Japanese culture
We'll stroll through a residential area where you can get a sense of real, local lifestyles. You can pop into small places such as antique stores and sweets shops that line the streets. A great meal awaits you at a local restaurant that serves authentic Japanese food. Soak up the authentic lifestyle that contributes to the nostalgic atmosphere!
Outside of Tokyo Metro Nezu Station Exit 1
- Your guide will be holding a red/orange sign saying "Magical Trip"
- When arriving at Tokyo Metro Nezu Station, go to Exit 1 and up stairs to ground.
- Your guide will be waiting just right in front of upstairs
- - Yanaka Cemetery
- - Nezu Shrine
- - Yanaka Ginza
- The restaurant industry faces difficulty in hiring restaurant staff and training them due to many restaurant staff having to quit or having gotten laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, food and drinks at some restaurants may be served late making the tour last longer than originally scheduled. We kindly ask for your understanding
- Any age is accepted. The tour is free for children under 6.
- Please note that there may be other participants.
- You do not need to pay for the guide's food and drink.
- Out of respect for other guests and to ensure the best tour for everyone, we must start the tour on time.
- You will not be able to join the tour, get a refund or reschedule if you are late for the tour and miss the group.
- For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the tour starting time.
- Free date/time change up to 24 hours till the tour starting time (depending on availability).
Photos from the Recent Tours