In the eastern Japan, Kamakura is one of the best (if not THE BEST) places to witness the deapths of Japanese history. While Kyoto is a capital established by aristocrats, Kamakura is a capital built and nurtured by samurai worrior class. Its culture is simple and dynamic. My guiding point is History, Culture, Natural Beauty and Zen spirit, not to mention authentic Japanese food of your preference (or choice in any ways)!! I would like you to see the unique historical sites of over 800 years.
At your hotel or at JR Kamakura Station
I will pick you up at your hotel in Tokyo but if you would like to start the tour at JR Kamakura Station to save your touring time, I would be happy to accomodate. It means you will come to JR Kamakura Station by yourselves (which is easy) and meet me there. That way, you will have 11 full hours in Kamakura. Or if you feel comfortable with me picking you up at your hotel and escort you to get to Kamakura, I can do that also. It will be your choice. Duration of time from any hotel in Tokyol to Kamakura using public transportation is 1.5 - 2 hours and one-way public transportation cost is approximately 1000 Japanese Yen (J. Yen) which is about US$8.
Start Kamakura Sight-seeing from JR Kamakura Station
Depart JR Kamakura Station and walk to one of Japan's most prestegious Shinto Shrines, Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine. We will see the magnificent facilities of The Shinto Shrine and I will walk you through Shinto rituals. (10:30 - 11:30) . Admission Free.
Enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine at this 100 year old restaurant. You could enjoy Tempura of all sorts, Soba (Buck Wheet Noodle) and variety of Donburi (Meats or Seafood or Vegetables cooked on top of seansoned rice in a bowl). Budget J. Yen 2500 (US$20)
700 year old Buddhist Temple - famous for its gorgeous bamboo forest (2000 bamboo trees). At this temple, you could enjoy Maccha (Powdered Green Tea) session viewing traditional Japanese Garden. Admission only→J. Yen 300 (US$2.50). Plus J. Yen 600 (US$4.50) if you sit and enjoy the green tea. This green tea session is available subject to seat availability.
Great symbol of Kamakura. Unlike its equivalent, the great Buddha of Nara, this sits in the open air, making it visible from afar as well as up close. I will take your pictures with this handsome great Buddha behind you. Admission J. Yen 300 (US$2.50)
This is the only temple in Kamakura that commands a scenic beauty of the ocean (Pacific). The main hall enshrines Japan's largest carved-wooden statue - the 11-headed goddess of mercy. The pathway extends vertically for several levels of sites of interest, including gorgeous hydrangers (more than 2000 blossoms) in late spring to early summer. This temple is like a theme park with a hidden cave in which you could adventure finding secret small Buddhism statues and Japanese gardens. Admission J. Yen 400 (US$3)
Depart JR Kamakura Station heading back to your hotel in Tokyo at about 19:00. If you wish to finish the tour in Kamakura at 19:00, not at your hotel in Tokyo, you could do so which will give you the time to visit Enoshima Island with me. My #1 concern is your satisfaction, so we do not need to worry too much about some extra time. If we should visit Enoshima, the admission will be J. Yen 1,100 (US$8).
At your hotel or at JR Kamakura Station
You will witness the essence of an old fort that was establised as the first military capital of Japan. Kamakura offers you the flavor of the old capital with rich samurai culture and history as well as the natural beauty. Unlike the famous old capitals of Nara and Kyoto, Kamakura is facing the ocean, which makes its defense capability very solid, especially as it is protected with mountains in 3 directions behind it. Natural beauty and history are key words of Kamakura.
Guide fee, hotel pick-up
Transportation fee (you and the guide) (Public transportation fee for the guide is Yen 2,500 which is payable in cash at the end of the tour)
I can guide you if you pay my transportation fee.
We do lots of walking, so your tour guide would like to know when to rest. Your comfort and satisfaction is our #1 key. Also please note that the time schedule described above may fluctuate depending on the situation such as traffic and/or crowdedness of each site.
We hired Tom for our first two days in Tokyo. Tom speaks fluent English, is communicative, kind and cordial. Our second day was excellent, with lunch at a delicious restaurant in Asakusa! Tom took care of booking a tea ceremony for us and it was an unique and immersive experience into the Japanese culture. We were able to visit several places in Tokyo calmly and peacefully! Thanks, Tom! Now we have a friend in Tokyo! We hope to return soon!
After carrying out a lot of research about Tokyo, my husband and I decided to hire a guide - the city is huge and has an efficient public transport system, but it is confusing for first-time visitors. After we hired Tom we were able to share everything we would like to visit on our first two days in Japan. Tom carefully took care of every detail and on our first day in Tokyo we noticed not only the attention and care given to the details of the sites we were visiting but also his kindness and affection towards us. The tours were pleasant and we were able to visit beautiful and different places in Tokyo at great times, without a crowd of people. Tom took us to excellent restaurants!!! Tom was helpful and willing to help us in any situation that might arise while we were in Japan. At the end of our first day in Tokyo, Tom was even kind enough to help us reserve our seats and times on the bullet trains at Tokyo Station. I hardly recommend his tours! Thank you for everything!
Tom was amazing. We had a big group of us and I had specific sights we wanted to visit in Tokyo, and he accommodated our needs so well!! Thank you so much Tom for looking after us on our first day in Japan! We had the best time :)
Jody from Tom, I really appreciated your kind words about my tour. You and everyone in your group were so nice that whatever I did for you was purely the reflection of how nice you were. I hope we will meet again. I am wishing you nothing but the very best for you and yours. Sincerely, Tom
We were originally going with another family that are very familiar with japan, but it turns out they were not able to go due to family reasons, then it left me with my wife, kid and an older aunt and uncle couple. I am not a big fan of researching and planning but at the same time has a demanding wife. Then I decided to hire a guide so I can be off the hook. And am glad I did. Tom was amazing, we booked him for 2 days, we told him what places we want to go and he planned the whole itinerary for us in advance, and also made reservations for us as well for restaurants we want to try out. When the day came, Tom was so accommodating and was paying so much attention to details to make sure everyone was taken care of. On day1 he even took us to dinner and even helped us ordered food before taking off. Then day2 he went totally out of the way for us to the car rental place just to make sure I was able to pick up the car for our next day mt fuji trip. Also, japan has a very well developed metro system but quite complex for a newbie, Tom prepared all info needed and made sure we know the system well enough and can commute on our own for the rest of the trip, and now we are. Tom also takes really good pictures too and he literally put together an album for us and even did a day summary for us with pictures after each day. Bottom line is that we did the critical sight seeings needed and now I can just relax and enjoy the rest of my trip. My kid was crying after saying goodbye to you and kept saying he misses you. Thank you Tom.
To David and a beautiful family - Joyce, Jayden, Wella and Berry from Tom H., I truly appreciate your kind words - I am not sure if I deserve such generous comments. In fact, it is me who really enjoyed those two days which I will continue to cherish for a long time. We tour guides say it really is a luck what kind of people we meet in a given tour. The moment I met you at about 8:30 at the Metropolitan Edmond Hotel, I knew I was very lucky and after those wonderful 2 days, my first impression has been more than proven. For me, those two days were not "work" but a quality time that is actually difficult to experience only because there are rarely such warm hearted people whom you would enjoy being around. I will print some of the pictures we took together, frame them and review when I need to brighten up my mind. All of your family including yourself radiate natural pleasant feelings which create smiles in the people around you and for those two days, I was a lucky person who had an opportunity of being around you. I always wonder what makes human minds "warm" - I'm not quite sure what it is but I am convinced that positive mental attitude and consideration on others would be the key. I really enjoyed the natural smiles from you and your family along with affection all the family members were showing each other. This time I prayed for your safe journeys three time - at Yasukuni Shtrine, Sensoji Temple and Meiji Shrine. Now please let me pray for the wonderful journey of each member of your family in her and his lives and of course for you David. I really appreciate you. With love, Your friend, Tom