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Japan's Cultural Curiosities

On this unique walking tour you'll wind through back alleyways and visit hidden shops to get a true cultural taste of traditional Tokyo.

Japan's Cultural Curiosities

Trade the fast-paced side of Tokyo for a calmer side, one that very few people get to see! On this 3-hour tour, you will visit centuries-old, family-run businesses and see the arts, food and Japanese customs that have persevered throughout the ages.

Your adventure centers in the neighborhoods of traditional Ningyocho and the more modern Nihonbashi. During your outing, you will visit a shop that has been specializing in Japanese sweets since 1897, where you will get the chance to try a small sponge cake filled with sweet red bean filling. After which, you'll make another stop in a gift shop for traditional souvenirs such as calligraphy tools and decorative wares then head to snack shops and sample long-beloved foods such as caramels, fish jerky, Ramune soda, bean paste snacks, and sweet and savory rice crackers. Visit a shamisen shop to learn about this beautiful Japanese musical string instrument and view woven hand towels depicting street scenes at the tenugui shop. We'll also visit a shop that specializes in a traditional snack: senbei (rice crackers), a favorite in many Japanese households, which is happily gluten and dairy-free.

Other shops on the tour sell seaweed, stationary and toothpicks. Pick up some fish shavings for your fish broth at the 200 year-old katsuobushi shop. Round your shopping out with a special store that sells paper thin golden leaves for ceramics, food and more.

Along the way take a break at one of the local temples where you can visit the shrine, offer up a prayer, and wash a coin for a prosperous life.

Your tour concludes with some sweets at the Nihonbashi information center.

Step back in time with this small tour through the traditional side of Tokyo.

Starting At
 
Tour Type
Group
 
Group Size
Small
 
Activity Type(s)
Cultural, Active, Walking
 
Tour Duration
3 Hours
 
Activity Level
Moderate
 
Tour Leaves From
An approximately 25 minute taxi (not included, approximately $18 US each way) is required to reach your departure location.
 
Food/Beverage Provided
Snacks, Beverage
 
Special Instructions
Comfortable, weather appropriate clothing. Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and comfortable walking shoes. The tour includes a brief visit to a small shrine. Modest dress is highly recommended - shoulders covered, and pants or a skirt that covers the knees.
 
Restrictions
Guests must be able to use public transportation as described and be in reasonable health to walk on this tour. Guests must be a minimum of 6 years old in order to participate. Not wheelchair accessible.
Location Overview
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About Shore Excursions Group
ABOUT US
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.

We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.

Our Approach
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.

Our Tours
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.

Our People
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.

Our Owners
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.

Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.

Michael Bonner
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.

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Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.