Discover Japan: Japanese Garden & Handicrafts Shopping


Yoko T.

4.79(82) reviews
English, Japanese (Native)
6 hours
Private tour (only you and your group)
Up to 5 people

Curious about the history of ancient Japan and its rich traditions in handmade crafts? This private walking tour is perfect for you. After visiting one of the Japanese gardens of your choice from: East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, Hamarikyu Gardens, or Koishikawa Kourakuen, we will visit Nihonbashi, the commercial center of Edo-Tokyo from more than three hundred years ago. You will surely be amazed by the variety of handmade Japanese traditional crafts and the richness of Japanese history.

Meeting Point

At the lobby of your hotel in Tokyo

9 AM: We will visit one of the three: East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, Hamarikyu Gardens, or Koishikawa Kourakuen, which are considered the best Japanese Gardens in the city.

10:30 AM: Drop in the souvenir corners of Nihonbashi Information Center, which sells products from Nihonbashi's historical and famous shops that you won't be able to find anywhere else!

11:00 AM: Nihonbashi Bridge, a twin arch bridge made of stone more than 100 years old

11:30 AM: Nihonbashi Toyama Store - A shopping center for food, crafts & gifts from Toyama prefecture, where you can see the famous sculpture of Inami originally from Toyama Prefecture. *Closed from Dec.31 to Jan.2

12:00 PM: Visit Hakuza Nihonbashi, Gold Leaf Store, where handbags, earrings, and cosmetics get a golden touch! *Closed on New Year's Day

12:30 PM: Explore Ibasen Fan Store (founded in 1590), a sophisticated shop of 400-year traditional paper fan *Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, Dec.28-Jan.4

1:00 PM: Ozuwashi Traditional Japanese paper store, where Washi - UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Objects is displayed with a large variety of patterns and designs. (founded in 1653). *Closed on Sundays, Dec.28-Jan.3

1:45 PM: Mitsukoshi Department Store *Closed on Jan.1, 23, and Feb.20

2:15 PM: Visit Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square and/or Kobuchicho of Kabukiza and enjoy the delicacy and intricacy of all various designated handicrafts (Closed from Dec.29 to Jan.3)

3:00 PM: End of tour.

Ending Point

At your hotel or the places you prefer

What to Expect

You can see one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in Tokyo. Please choose one among East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, Hamarikyu Gardens, or Koishikawa Kourakuen. For your information, the former two are more spacious than Koishikawa Kourakuen, but all are all beautifully landscaped. After the garden walk, we will stop by a nearby free observation deck.

We will take a Tokyo Metro-Subway ride to Nihonbashi, a traditional commerce area from more than 300 years ago that blends traditional charm with ultra-modern architecture. At the Nihonbashi Information Center, you can find all Japan-related souvenirs and many fancy ones for your loved ones. Walking a few minutes will lead us to the historical Nihonbashi Bridge, an icon of Tokyo's traditions behind gleaming facades. We will see some beautiful intricate sculptures at a nearby store. We will also visit a gorgeous Gold Leaf store, which has its origin in Kanazawa, produces a wide range of these precious gold leaves and creates a wide variety of craft objects. Even though fans are sold at many souvenir shops, Ibasen has wonderful collections that the Japanese will also buy. Visiting Ozuwashi Traditional Japanese paper store, you will find that the place is not only a store but it has its own gallery and museum with historical materials on display, which will surely make you amazed at the Japanese paper and traditions. After another metro-ride, we will visit the Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square or Kobuchicho of Kabukiza, either or both based on your interest.

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Inclusions & Exclusions

What‘s included

Guiding fee, hotel pick-up in Tokyo, the guide's admission fee for the Japanese gardens.

There is no admission fee for the East Gardens.

What‘s not included

- Transportation fare for you and the guide. We might buy a Metro One day Pass at 600 yen at the beginning of the tour.

- Meals, snacks, drinks, admission fee (Hamarikyu Gardens/Koishikawa Korakuen: 300 yen, over 65 years old: 150 yen) 

Important Information

It will be first booked, first served basis, but could you make inquiries before booking?

If you're interested in TOKYO, MOUNT FUJI, or NIKKO, please check the tours before you make inquiries. (Some transportation for Mount Fuji or Nikko might be fully booked if you do last minute booking.)

I could also guide KYOTO, HIMEJI etc. if you will cover my transportation fare round trip from Tokyo.

If you'd like a car chartered, please check the PRIVATE CARS TOUR by yourself.

It's concerned with your budget, so I'm afraid I cannot make arrangements for that, but I will be happy to guide you with the car you chartered.

It's impossible to make quotes without knowing the spots you would like to visit.

Nikko and Mount Fuji are approximately two hours on Limited Express from Shinjuku or Asakusa.

Tokyo is not a compact city, but a huge one.

If you have difficulties with stairs, please tell me in your message. Thank you.

The East Gardens will be closed on Mondays and Fridays, so please choose Hamarikyu Gardens or Koishikawa on those days.

On Sundays, we cannot visit Ibasen and Ozuwashi, but we can visit some other stores instead. It’s possible to add a lacquerware shop and some others and the craft shop of Mitsukoshi Department Store.

Choosing Sato Sakura Museum, having a Japanese painting collection including cherry blossom pictures, at Nakameguro or the National Museum of Modern Art at Takebashi instead of a Japanese garden is possible except Mondays as long as you pay the admission fee of you and your guide. (Sato Sakura Museum: Adults 500 yen, Over 70 years old 400 yen/ the National Museum of Modern Art: Adults 500 yen, College Students 250 yen)

Sato Sakura Museum will be closed from December 29th to January 4th, January 9th, and February 13th). Starting after your lunch is also possible.

Suggestions, requests are welcomed. Please make inquiries by sending me messages.

Cancellation Policy

  • Free cancellation - 8 days prior to meeting time
  • 50% Refund - 3 to 7 days prior to meeting time
  • No Refund - Within 2 day(s) prior to meeting time


Doug J.

Jan 20, 2023

Delightful day in Nikko with throughly prepared Yoko

Had a wonderful day with Yoko. Prior to meeting she made it perfectly clear what we could expect during the day, especially in terms of physical demands. She went out of the way to make sure my wife’s seafood allergy was accommodated. Yoko promptly responded to any and all questions and worked with us to arrange train transportation. Having spent her early childhood in the US she was particularly easy for us to understand as we can sometimes struggle with accents. And she came prepared with materials to help explain topics we discussed. With that level of preparation we would definitely book another tour with her.

Yoko T.

I really appreciate you writing a great review so promptly after that stair trainings.:-) It was such a great delight for me to enjoy my favorite Nikko with the two of you. It was the first time to know that Commodore Perry was taught in American High School history classes. Both of you were so lovely and sweet that I really enjoyed traveling with you. Thank you for asking your daughter about her visit to Nikko during the Yayoi Festival. Her description was detailed that now I could keep that in mind. I hope you could see Mount Fuji from TMG building and enjoy the rest of your stay. Thank you again for everything!!

Rhoda O.

Jan 12, 2023

Yoko is Amazing!

We're so grateful to Yoko and her expertise around the Mt Fuji area. She took so many wonderful photos for us so that we could remember the moments forever. We had the absolute best time touring Mt Fuji and are very glad we decided to have Yoko be our tour guide. She speaks English fluently as it is practically her first language and of course she speaks fleunt Japanese too. She was so funny and warm and welcoming to us. Thank you, Yoko!

Yoko T.

Rhoda and Dean, I appreciate you choosing me as your guide and writing a great review. It was such a lovely day that I could have the privilige of meeting both of you who are intelligent, polite and sweet. I was amazed how Dean taught me a lot of things which I never notice before. Rhoda, you're so beautiful inside and out so it was a great pleasure for me to spend a day with you. Thank you again for everything. Oshiawase-ni!!お幸せに!!


Benny B.

Jan 9, 2023

See Tokyo with Yoko

We had a great experience touring Tokyo with Yoko.She recommended in advance the important places to see and it was very successful.She shared her historical and cultural insights.She was able to show us the beauty of Tokyo. I highly recommend this experience.

Yoko T.

Thank you so much for writing a review so soon. You were so lucky to make the tour day on Coming of Age Day so we could see many 20 year old ladies in beautiful kimonos. It was also nice a mother of one of them enjoyed talking with you, too. I was happy that both of you could walk a lot and take a lot of pictures we visited. I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay and Thailand, too. Thank you again!!

Karma G.

Dec 22, 2022

Very helpful!

Yoko did a lot of work to figure out where we should go both before, during and after our tour. She provided us suggestions for where to visit even in Kyoto - very attentive. thanks much!

Yoko T.

Thank you for booking my tour and taking the time to write a review. It was nice to meet your great family. I hope you can watch the Ghibli movie that Micaela loves so much and come again to visit the Spirited Away onsen next time. Please enjoy the rest of your trip. Please say hi to everyone!! Thank you again. Best wishes, Yoko

$192/ per group

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