Tokyo Local - selection of off the beaten path

Off the Beaten Path

Kaori S.

4.96(53) reviews
English, Japanese (Native)
8 hours
Private tour (only you and your group)
Up to 6 people

This tour offers my favorite local visits or unusual experience in Tokyo. We can visit 2 areas you pick up from below in a leisurely pace. Also, these areas can be combined with regular sightseeing spots as optional. Feel free to ask me any arrangements with my other tours. Let's explore Tokyo with local eyes!


Check out what we are going to do.
Feel free to personalize this offer.

Meeting Point

At your hotel in Tokyo or any preferred area in central Tokyo

Select 2 areas for one day from below.

(A) Yanaka (Yanesen) - local downtown with people's ordinal life, retaining old atomospher

(B) Fukagawa - Fukagawa Fudoson temple's Goma fire ritual, Tomioka-hachimangu shrine related to sumo wrestling

(C) Gotokuji-temple - known as cat temple, popular for photo lovers

(D) Shibamata - very local town located north of Tokyo, Taishakuten temple known as sculpture temple

(E) Meguro-gajoen exhibition (only when exhibition is held) - Various art exhibitions at cultural important building with 100 staircase

Ending Point

At your hotel in Tokyo or any preferred area in central Tokyo

What to Expect

Please choose 2 areas for one day. One in the morning and one in the afternoon.

(A) Yanaka (Yanesen) - Stroll around local charming downtown with local people's life.

Tokyo was heavily damaged during World War Ⅱ. Yanaka, also called Yanesen, survived from fire by bombing. That's how this area retains old atmosphere. This town is also known as temple town and cat town. Having been loved by artisans, lots of small galleries and cosy shops can be enjoyed in the area. "Strolling around" is the way to explore this charming town.

(B) Fukagawa - Experience impressive buddhist Goma Fire ritual with Taiko drums.

We can experience special Goma fire ritual at Fukagawa Fudoson temple. It takes about 30~40min. We need to be quiet during the ritual. Will offer unusual experience. Not recommended for small kids, as it's part of buddhist training. We can also visit nearby Tomioka-hachimangu shrine, which is related to Sumo history.

(C) Gotokuji-temple - known as cat temple, popular for photo lovers

This quiet beautiful temple is known as origin of beckoning Cats, or Lucky Cats (Maneki-neko in Japanese). Interesting history with a cat and a samurai. Thousands of small cat dolls are offered in temple. Good photo spot. Located at west of Tokyo, making short excursion from busy central. Nearby Setagaya-hachimangu shrine has Sumo wrestling ring in the precinct.

(D) Shibamata - home to the movie series Tora-san, “It’s Tough Being a Man”

Located north-east of Tokyo, shitamachi(downtown) spirit is still surviving in this peaceful local town. Taishakuten temple boasts elaborate sculptures and beautiful garden.( admission : 400JPY) We can enjoy traditional street food such as green kusa-dango (Japanese mugwort rice dumpling) and hand-grilled senbei (rice crackers) on approach road to the temple. Historical Yamamoto-tei house offers beautiful break time with maccha green tea and some traditional sweets in a beautiful Japanese-stlye house with inner garden. (admission : 100JPY). Be noted taking off shoes is required for Taishakuten sculpture gallery and Yamamotei house.

(E) Meguro-gajoen exhibition (only when exhibition is held) - Various art exhibitions at cultural important building with 100 staircase

【Next Exhibition】 Hina dolls exhibition (Girls' doll festival) : Jan 24, 2020〜Mar 15, 2020

Hotel Gajoen is an unique historical hotel, holding Japanese cultural event throughout the year. Its 100 steps stair is designated as cultural property. 【Exhibition examples】Winter : Hina dolls exhibition, Spring : Cat Art exhibition, Summer : Japanese Illumination exhibition, Autumn : Flower Arrangement exhibition and such. Please ask me the event schedule to choose this spot. We can also visit nearby Hakkeien hotel's beautiful Japanese-style garden with some aged Bonsai plants.

Want to personalize this tour?

  • Our tours can be customized according to your needs and preferences
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Inclusions & Exclusions

What‘s included

guide fee, hotel pick-up, hotel drop-off

What‘s not included

transportation fee (you and guide), food and drink (you and guide), entrance fee (you and guide)

【Main fee】

(D)Shibamata - Sculpture gallery and Inner garden admission : 400JPY

Yamamoto-tei house and garden admission : 100JPY

(E) Meguro-gajoen exhibition :Admission adult ¥1,600, elementary & junior high ¥600(depends on the exhibition)

Transportation fee depends on hotel location and spots you choose. Basically not too expensive, in most cases, less than ¥1,500. I'll let you know the estimate when we decide the spots.

For this tour, we'll use different company's train lines. Welcome SUICA is recommended the best.

●Welcome SUICA for travelers (transportation IC card)

If you want the easiest way, Welcome SUICA will make you free from concerns, as it's available for most major trains and buses in major cities of Japan. Can be purchased only limited places in Tokyo district. Purchase at the airport is strongly recommended.

For more information for transportation system in Tokyo, refer to below blog.

"What's the best ticket for Tokyo transportation?"

Important Information

--- For Online tours --- ● I'm available from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm on JAPAN STANDARD TIME. ・Please be mindful of the time differences in the world. ● Zoom and device ・Please have Zoom installed into your device. ・I'll send you Zoom invitation after completing booking. * I'm afraid I cannot take any responsibility for connection failures due to the system that guide cannot control. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - For real tours, ● If tour starts/ends outside Tokyo My tours basically start from Tokyo and end at Tokyo. If starts/ends outside Tokyo, I need to ask you to cover my transportation fee to/from Tokyo. Thank you for understanding. ● About Car Use in Japan Guide fee doesn't include hired cars and transportation fee. Tour guides are not allowed to use their own cars by national regulation. Only certificated drivers with registered cars for business-use can offer paid transportations in Japan. Sorry for inconvenience.

(E) Meguro-gajoen exhibition is available only when exhibition is held.

Cancellation Policy

  • Free cancellation - 30 days prior to meeting time
  • 50% Refund - 15 to 29 days prior to meeting time
  • No Refund - Within 14 day(s) prior to meeting time


Sasibha S.

Feb 17, 2020

Caring Professional Friendly Guide ??

We spent the day with Kaori going off the beaten track in Nikkō. From the start, Kaori has been very responsive and clear in her communications. We knew exactly what to expect. We had a lovely day learning more about Japanese history and culture which was made fun because Kaori has a great sense of humour. She is very perceptive and caring as well. Thank you very much Kaori-San for a memorable day and many lovely photos - we only realised when we got back that we didn’t have one with you. Hopefully, we can spend some time together again on another off the beaten path trip and maybe we can take one then. Wishing you all the best.

Kaori S.

Thank you for giving me an excellent review on me and my tour, Sasibha-san. We had a really beautiful relaxing day in Nikko's great nature. Your requested spot in Nikko was a hidden gem of Nikko even for Japanese people. We (our driver and I ) also enjoyed this tranquil onsen village wth you. Your family is so warm, beautiful family to be with. I enjoyed talking with each of you. And I was amazed how experienced you are as traveler in Japan. I'm so happy you love Japan so deeply. I should have taken a photo all together! I'm looking forward to hearing you from again for another adventure! Take care. Hugs and kisses, Kaori


Rowena B.

Feb 14, 2020

Tokyo One-day as You Like

We really like our tour with Kaori. She was very accommodating. An excellent photographer. She brought us to a great place for lunch. That was an unexpected but surprisingly good choice. Kaori knows the history of the places we went really well. She taught us how to use the subway. We appreciate her for taking an extra hour in order for us to complete the tour.

Kaori S.

Thank you for giving me an excellent review, Rowena-san. I'm so happy you liked photos I took for you. And I'm also happy that you all liked okonomiyaki lunch. I hope your sister makes okonomiyaki and yakisoba well at home! I was impressed that you all are into Mori museum exhibition. I'm glad we could have enough time for you to enjoy the exhibition at your own pace. I'm really looking forward to your coming back to Japan and seeing you again. Of course, your families, relatives and friends are welcome anytime! Hugs and kisses, Kaori


Liz C.

Feb 6, 2020

Senso-Ji Temple Harajuku Meiji shrine Shibuya

Kaori was fantastic. We are a family of 6 travelling to Japan for the first time. Kaori made our first day in Tokyo so easy. We learnt how to navigate the rail system & experienced so many things & places just like the locals. Kaori set us up for the next few days with maps & train information. She was a blessing. We would recommend her to anyone travelling to Japan.

Kaori S.

Thank you for the kindest review, Liz san. And thank you for taking time for writing review while you’re still on holiday here. I’m glad to hear you feel easy to get around Tokyo after my tour. Your family are all bright and so friendly to me. I really enjoyed talking with each of you. I hope you have a lot of fun in skiing in Hakuba! Looking forward to meeting you again some day. Hugs and kisses, Kaori


Sulina Y.

Jan 18, 2020

Kaori 1st day

First day with Kaori was super good even though we just met, it was like we were best friends. We talked anything and she brought me to a shopping haven which was not in the itinerary for the first day and i was very grateful that she brought me there the "Nintendo shop" that was recently opened last Nov. 2019.

Kaori S.

Thank you for the warmest review even while we’re still having tours, Sulina san! For me, it felt like same. I’m so grateful you have been friendly and enjoying time with me since first time I met you at the airport. I’m happy you loved Nintendo shop. It was lucky for me to know your favorites as you happened to tell me you like Nintendo games. I’m sure we’re having a wonderful time today, too. Thank you for your friendliness. Hugs and kisses, Kaori

$263/ per group

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