This Tokyo history tour in Shiba is based around the graves of the Tokugawa Shoguns. Clients who take my Tokyo History Tour – Ueno often book this for their second day tour with me.
Tokyo History Tour
Walk city streets and float down rivers spanning more than 1500 years of history. This Tokyo history tour shows you some must-see spots, but we’ll spend most of our time uncovering the city’s secrets, many of which are even unknown to locals.
|heritage tourism, history tourism; tombstone tourism; cultural tourism, tokyo history tourism|
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We’ll start out in a popular historic district to see Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple, where we’ll learn about Shinto and Buddhism. Next, we’ll hop on a waterbus and travel down the Sumida River, the most important river in the capital and disembark at the ruins of the shoguns’ seaside villa to enjoy the traditional Japanese gardens and tea houses. After a late lunch (to beat the crowds), we’ll hop on over to Zojo-ji, a funerary temple of the shо̄guns which is part religious and cultural complex and part public park with a stunning view of Tokyo Tower, a symbol of Japan’s miraculous post-war economic recovery. One of the most comprehensive Tokyo history tours available in English. Guaranteed.
There is so much crammed into this tour that I can’t fit it all into the description. Of course, we’ll go at your pace (except for the water taxi; need to be punctual for that), and discard what we don’t need and focus on your edutainment!
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- Asakusa Culture Center
Designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect, Kuma Kengo, offers an aerial view of the Senso-ji temple complex
The Great Gate that marked the entrance to the Zojo-ji temple complex for normal people
The private backdoor entrance to Zojo-ji reserved for the shogun’s entourage
- Dentsu HQ
The world’s largest advertising agency which in 2015 became famous for literally working its employees to death
- Graves of the shо̄guns
Remains of 6 samurai rulers and one imperial princess
- Hama Rikyu Gardens
Former seaside villa of the shо̄guns, famous for tidal moats and saltwater ponds, tea houses for feudal lords, and a variety of seasonal flowers including cherry and plum blossoms
- Maruyama Kofun
One Tokyo’s hidden surprises, this prehistoric shell mound (midden) was enlarged to become a 5th or 6th century burial mound for a local warlord
- Senso-ji temple complex
Established in the 7th century, this is the oldest Buddhist temple in capital, its history is closely linked to the growth of the city
- Shiba Tosho-gu
This enshrinement of the 1st shо̄gun was built by his son in the early 1600’s and features a cherry blossom planted by his grandson in the mid 1600’s
- Ride a Waterbus
Forget the subway, we’ll ride up the Sumida River taking the same route the shoguns.
- Zojo-ji temple complex
Funerary temple of the shoguns and one of the most important active temples in the city today, visited by Ulysses S. Grant, first US president to visit Japan; also 3 gates survived WWII and are meticulously preserved
- Go up Tokyo Tower and survey the city from above
- Cosplay karaoke in a private room (Daimon area)
- Pop over to Shiba Grand Shrine (one of the Tо̄kyо̄ 10 Shrines Pilgrimage)
- Noodles at a family-owned shop established in 1789 in the posh Azabu district; easily one of the Top 3 soba shops in the country
- Dinner at the exclusive Tofu-ya Ukai tо̄fu restaurant and garden (dress code, during cherry blossom season and autumn foliage season, it may require 3 to 12 months advance booking)
- Visit Zojo-ji’s small, private collection – featuring a scale model of the destroyed mausoleum of the 2nd shogun (recently “discovered” in the British Museum and returned to Japan)
- Visit the decrepit cemetery of the lords of Nanbu Domain (great for photographers)
- Halloween street-drinking and/or private karaoke in Roppongi
- Enjoy a nightcap in the exclusive top floor bar of Toranomon Hills with a view of the city and Tо̄kyо̄ Bay (dress code; all ages OK with accompanying adult)
Starts at ¥55,000
(covers up to 5 people!)
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Why Not Build your own day tour?
Here’s a secret. All my tours are customized in one way or another. If you need a private tour or someone to make things smoother, or if you’re gathering contents and shooting video and need a fixer, I’m sure I can help out and get you sorted.