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GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

The 9 Best Tokyo Food Tour Experiences According To Local Guides

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by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Akane N.

Last updated : Jun 18, 202410 min read

Food & Drink

Trying to get to know Tokyo through a Tokyo food tour? That’s a great idea! Taking a sightseeing tour is fun, but add local food into the mix, and you’ll be able to have a whole new perspective of Tokyo. You can try interesting new foods or experience making something by yourself. In either case, it’s something you can only experience here, in person. 

 

It’s an experience you can tell your friends and family about back home, instead of just showing them pictures of famous sightseeing spots you visited. Also, if you’ve already visited Tokyo before, food tours are another way to enjoy what this city has to offer. Need to check out a few tours right now? Head to our Tokyo Food & Drink tours page!

 

 

The 9 Best Tokyo Food Tours According To Local Guides

 

Many Japanese foods have now started to become part of the English vocabulary. “Sushi”, “tofu”, “tempura”, and “ramen” are probably some of the most known words. “Sukiyaki” is a name of an English song, “mochi ice” is a delicious dessert combining “mochi” with ice cream, and “miso” soup and “natto” are becoming popular health foods in some parts of the world like Europe. When eating Japanese food in Japan, you’ll find everything from food stands and fast food stores to centuries old restaurants serving a course meal of “washoku” or Japanese food.

 

You can eat cheap, or you can spend an exorbitant amount of money on one meal. Many restaurants specialize in one dish, for example “tempura” or “yakiniku” (Japanese style BBQ). And then there are “izakaya” restaurants serving bits of this and that to go along with alcoholic beverages. This is where Japanese people go if they want to go have a drink. There is so much more to learn about Japanese culture, through food, if you’re interested. 

 

Tsukiji Fish Market 

 

Have you ever heard of Tsukiji Fish Market? It’s one of the largest fish markets in the world. It’s also a famous sightseeing spot in Tokyo. Likewise, it was divided into the inner market and the outer market, but the inner market was moved to the Toyosu area and was reopened as the new Toyosu Market in October 2018. The Tsukiji Outer Market is still open in its original location and still as popular as ever.

 

You can enjoy seeing the busy market and try some delicious fresh sushi as well as other food products. The tours below will take you to the Tsukiji fish market. The local guide will help you through the maze of stores and explain about what they are selling. They can also advise you on what to try, because there are so many stores you’re sure to feel overwhelmed.

 

Experience Making Sushi or Tofu 

 

Another type of food tour in Tokyo is one where you can experience making something. Making sushi and of course eating it is one of the popular activities that most visitors enjoy. It’s enjoyable for the kids as well as adults, and it’s an experience you’ll only be able to have in Japan. Sightseeing is of course a big part of visiting a country or city for the first time, but experiences that make an impression on your taste buds as well as your nose, eyes, and ears are one of the things that people tend to remember best about their trips.

 

According to your preference, you can choose to go to the Tsukiji fish market and experience making sushi, or you can opt to visit a local Japanese home and experience making and eating homemade sushi. Sushi that you have in stores and the sushi that local people eat at home is quite different in shape and size. At a store, the sushi is the sushi you are probably imagining in your head; a slice of fish on an oval-shaped bit of rice. At home, we make “temaki-zushi” which literally means hand wrapped sushi.

 

We put some rice on a palm sized piece of “nori” or seaweed paper and then put whatever slice of fish we want on top. Then we wrap the rice and fish in the “nori”, dip the end in some soy sauce, and eat it. I suppose the taste is generally the same, except the difference of having the “nori” there or not. But at home, you get the choice of adding other ingredients like cucumbers or sesame seeds or even more than one type of fish in your “temaki-zushi” since it’s your own creation. In that sense, it’s quite a fun meal.

 

There’s also a tofu making experience where you’ll visit a tofu factory and learn how tofu is made. Tofu is now known all over the world as a healthy food made from soybeans. Experiencing how it’s made can make for a great activity you can tell people about when you get back home.

 

More food tours: Tokyo Private Food & Drink Tours 

 

Wagashi (Japanese sweets) and Sake (Rice Wine)

 

Another highlight of a Tokyo food tour is about experiencing what you can only see and experience in Japan. Have you ever heard of “wagashi”? It literally means Japanese sweets. It’s a type of sweet that is not only delicious, but also beautiful to look at. Many of them are shaped like flowers. It almost looks like an artificial food sample and not something that you can actually eat.

 

Many of these sweets use a bean paste inside and are made out of a batter of rice powder and also sugar. They don’t use any oil or products made out of milk, so they’re very healthy. Their taste is not as sweet as those of western sweets, and are made to go with green tea. It’s really amazing to see the professionals shape these beautiful and delicate “wagashi” so carefully. It’s not something you can experience easily, and not many Japanese people have had the experience of seeing “wagashi” made right in front of their eyes.

 

Sake is another one of Japan’s products that have spread worldwide. If you like drinking alcohol, you’ll definitely enjoy visiting a Sake brewery to learn about the process of making Sake and also tasting the different kinds of Sake that they make there. And you’ll appreciate having a guide with you to translate what the brewery staff says.

 

Other Food Tours 

 

If you’re interested in Japanese food in general, I recommend food tours which will let you experience more than one type of food. For example, fast food in Japan comes a lot cheaper than in other countries. Lunch menus are especially beneficial as they are delicious as well as cheap. You can enjoy lots of types of Japanese fast food like ramen, udon, and soba noodles, or “tendon” (tempura rice bowl), or “gyudon” (beef rice bowl) for about 10 USD or less if you know where to go.

 

There are also lots of Japanese sweets or snacks to try while staying in Japan, like “osenbei” (rice crackers often flavored with soy sauce) or “taiyaki” (fish shaped baked batter cakes with sweet red bean paste inside), etc. Since you’ll find a lot of food stores, especially in a city like Tokyo, trying to figure out which are the ones that taste the best is impossible. But if you’re with a local guide, you don’t have to worry about it. They can take you to stores that have a good reputation even among the local Japanese people.

 

 

 

All the guides at GoWithGuide create their own tours, so all the tours are unique. So if you look through the website, you will be able to find other food tours that interest you. You can also communicate directly with the guide to ask questions or convey requests, for example what you want to eat or experience, before actually booking a tour. 

 

Most of the tours are walking tours, created so that you can use the public transportation system while sightseeing and get a feel for getting around the city. It’s also an experience that will give you insight on how the local people move around during their daily lives. The city of Tokyo is like a web of train systems, so you can go almost everywhere by train.

 

However, there is also the option of hiring a private car and driver for your tour or just to get around. This is an option that will help people with disabilities or elderly people also enjoy touring the city. The car can take you right up to the stores/restaurants you want to visit, so it’s very convenient. You can also catch a taxi, but sometimes if it’s rush hour or the weather is bad, you just can’t find one. So having a private car just for you is pretty nice.

 

Take a look at the guides’ profile videos to see what kind of person they are. The reviews they got from other customers also will help you pick out a great guide. At most tour agencies, you aren’t able to choose your guide or see what they’re like before the day of the tour. But having a pleasant companion during your tour is an important aspect in having a great day. And having a guide who really understands what you’re looking for will make the tour so much better. Try all the different kinds of unique Japanese food and enjoy touring the city of Tokyo!

Tokyo Tour Guide - Yasuro C.

Yasuro C.

4.80 / 5
(64 reviews)
Japan

Hello, my name is Yasuro (Mr). I was born and brought up in Kansai, graduated from a univ in Kobe city, after moved into Kanto, 30 years in Tokyo, 2.5 years in Nagoya city, 7.5 years abroad (KL & S'pore) as a rep of a construction company and I got the National Guide Certificate in 2011. My hobbies are making Haiku poems, singing various songs (voice-training for 18 years), playing the folk-guitar, trekking in mountains like Takao and Okutama in the West of Tokyo, visiting museums like in Ueno Park and travelling around Japan to make Haiku poems. Thank you for your attention.                                                                                                                                 

Tokyo Tour Guide - Grant A.

Grant A.

5.00 / 5
(15 reviews)
Japan

My name is Grant I lived more than 10 years in Japan. I graduated University and translation school in Tokyo. I am fluent in Japanese. I have a degree in Asian studies and have expert-level knowledge of Japanese culture and history. I have memorized the JR rail system across all of Japan, I use the same train timetable calculators as the station staff, and I have experience using bullet train passes that are exclusive to foreign visitors. I can optimally navigate the Tokyo underground and maximize value from a Tokyo metro pass and also understand Tokyo above ground which will allow for seamless transitions between different metro stations and landmarks with minimal backtracking. *There will be a price revision at the end of June* My tour fee is Half-Day Tour: 20,000yen for 1-5hours Full-Day Tour: 40,000yen for 5-10hours The time transiting to and from your hotel for pick up or drop off within Tokyo 23wards does not count towards the time. I am also able to guide historical sites and cities such as Kyoto, Kanazawa, Nikko, and Kamakura on request if you pay my rail fare.                                                                                                                                  

Kanagawa Tour Guide - Kaneo U.

Kaneo U.

4.98 / 5
(43 reviews)
Japan

I’m so excited to have a chance to show you around my favorite spots in Kanagawa prefecture. I was born in Kanagawa. I spent my whole school life, including university, here in Kanagawa. I worked as a high school English teacher here for 40 years. I love Kanagawa so much. We have many interesting tourist spots, like Hakone, Kamakura, Enoshima and Yokohama. I got my tour guide license in English in 2009. I am still an English teacher. To give an interesting and impressive lesson to young high school students, I’ve learnt and gathered many kinds of information. I also have a license to teach social studies, so I have a wide range of knowledge about Japanese culture and history. I’m sure to provide you an interesting tour.                                                                                                                                 

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