Monday, March 11, 2013

Tokyo Tour


library - 05422The Tokyo Tour is a fully guided, Level 2 walk suitable for anyone who is an occasional walker and can walk for more than one to two hours in comfort. Read more on tour levels below.
A two day (Two night's accommodation included only if booking the tour with accommodation. Please see below) city tour. Each day is a full day tour and starts, depending on the day’s itinerary, at either 9:00 am and finishes at around 5 pm. The maximum group size for this tour is 12 ~13 persons.
Walk Japan's two day Tokyo Tour explores what is perhaps the most enigmatic cities of the world. Tokyo is the epitome of the ultimate modern, metropolis - bullet trains glide across the city’s roof tops and past gleaming new skyscrapers; vast TV screens looming over intersections blast their messages down over teeming masses; the pride of Japan’s industry proudly display their latest innovative products to the ever receptive Japanese consumer; a network of freeways lace above and below the city carrying a neverending stream of vehicles; and the young, in unique and eclectic dress populate many of the fashionable city quarters. Tokyo, a city of over ten million souls, bustles 24 hours a day and, never seemingly satisfied with itself, restlessly keeps on rebuilding itself at amazing speed and on a vast scale.
Tokyo is a modern mega-city par excellence. It is also a puzzling place. Whilst its modern urbanscape is recognisable around the world, little is known of its past that led some 19th Century western visitors to call it ‘The Venice of the East’. Today, the city seems so modern that its history, a great and fascinating one, is almost always overlooked by both the Japanese and visitors from overseas. Our Tokyo Tour delves into the city’s history, beginning when it was called Edo and had at its core one of the world's greatest fortress citadels. We learn how Edo, once the site of a marsh 500 years ago, came to be the samurai military stronghold that dominated Japan for much of three centuries; how it nurtured its unique Edo culture, which along with Kyoto’s refined culture has had a great impact on Japan to this day; how rebuilding has always been a major feature of the city; how it came to be Japan’s capital; and how in the present can still be found clues to its unique past. Our fully guided, gently paced walking tour reveals the unique and fascinating history of the city from its feudal samurai origins through to the development of its modern visage.

Walk Japan’s Tokyo Tour focuses on the reasons for the city’s existence and how it came to be the centre of Japanese political and economic power. Looking at both the lives of the great and powerful and also the townspeople we delve into both Edo, its subsequent development into capital and ultimately megalopolis. We will learn how the samurai ran their city and also how the townspeople, living in their shadow, developed a culture that boasts kabuki theatre, print making and the floating world. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the greatest shogun, and the near 270 year Tokugawa family domination of Japan that Ieyasu began take centre stage in our walk through Tokyo. But we also focus on the lives of the not so great, including samurai foot soldiers, merchants, craftsmen and entertainers from feudal times to the present day.

We learn how Edo and Tokyo came to be the centre of Japan’s politics, economy and its day-to-day culture. We will visit some of the greatest historical sites of Tokyo; stroll through some quiet neighbourhoods that still impart a sense of the older city; and come to understand how much of modern Tokyo has its roots in a much concealed, but fascinating history.

Day 1 of Walk Japan’s Tokyo Tour introduces us to the city of the samurai, once centred on its military citadel and highly organised life. We will learn how Edo came to be and how it developed from a samurai stronghold to modern city.

Day 2 focuses on the less well-known but no less interesting city of its people, their way of life and how they interacted with the samurai, developed the Edo culture and how it changed with the city’s growth.

Walk Japan’s Tokyo Tour consists of a two day itinerary. However, it is possible to join the tour for one day only. On both days we meet at the day's starting point as indicated in the itinerary. Walk Japan provides detailed instruction on how to get to the start point. Please note that Tokyo’s transport system is very comprehensive and easy to use.

Each day ends at around 5 pm in either Ryogoku or Asakusa depending on the itinerary for the day. The Walk Japan tour leader will help arrange onward travel to your accommodation or other desired location. Please note, that after 5 pm the tour leader will also be available to introduce some of the myriad and excellent local restaurants, which are often less accessible for travellers from overseas.
Price: Tour with two night's accommodation JPY49,000 (JPY= Japanese Yen) per person, single person supplement JPY5,800; Tour without accommodation JPY30,000 per person, single person supplement not applicable.
For customers joining our Nakasendo WayWinter Nakasendo Way and Summer Nakasendo Way tours we offer the Tokyo Tour at the special prices of: Tour with two nights' accommodation JPY42,000 per person, single person supplement JPY5,800; Tour without accommodation JPY26,000 per person, single person supplement not applicable. Please use the currency converter on the right-hand side of this page to find the current rate in your local currency.
 For customers joining from the Nakasendo Way tour.
Please note that Day 1 of the Tokyo Tour is the same day as the last day (Day 12) of the Nakasendo Way. The latter tour finishes after breakfast. Correspondingly, the first of the two night’s accommodation included with the Tokyo Tour falls on the last day of the Nakasendo Way tour and your hotel booking will run on consecutive nights.

For customers joining from the Winter and Summer Nakasendo Way tours
As for the Tokyo Tours after a Nakasendo Way tour (see above), the included two nights' accommodation is for the nights of Day 1 and Day 2 of the Tokyo Tour. However, as the night of the last day; Day 6 of a Winter Nakasendo Way tour and Day 7 of a Summer Nakasendo Way tour is not included in the Tokyo Tour  - i.e accommodation does not run consecutively - please let us know if you would like us to book accommodation for you at the Tokyo Tour hotel.
What is included and not included? A fully guided tour including local travel from tour meeting point to finishing point as noted in the itinerary. Entrance fees and tea indicated in the itinerary on Day 1 are included. For tours with accommodation both breakfast and accommodation for 2 nights are included. Lunch, dinner and drinks are not included. For tours without accommodation breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and accommodation are not included.
Group size: The maximum group size is 12~13 people. We have no minimum size. If we accept a booking we guarantee to run the tour.
Please see the Itinerary for this tour and Tour dates for dates and availability. This two day tour starts on at 9 am on Day 1 and finishes at 5pm on Day 2, the final day. To coincide with the Nakasendo Way these tours start on a Sunday and finish on a Monday (early March to mid-June; and early September to mid-November); to coincide with the Winter Nakasendo Way these tours usually start on a Wednesday and finish on a Thursday; and to coincide with the Summer Nakasendo Way usually start on aSaturday and finish on a Sunday.


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