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Walking tour of Tokyo

We had a day tour of Tokyo with Ciara - she told us so much about Tokyo & was happy to adjust to... read more

Reviewed January 17, 2020
Steph C
,
Ku-ring-gai, Australia
via mobile
Outstanding, interesting and off-the-beaten path

We have friends who live in Japan who recommended this group for our joint vacation tour. Our... read more

Reviewed October 10, 2019
Ricky C
,
Houston, Texas
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Reviewed October 10, 2019

We have friends who live in Japan who recommended this group for our joint vacation tour. Our friends told us it would be immersive and non-touristy.

It was, as my wife puts it, the vacation of a lifetime. Everyone we met, from the staff member who greeted us at Tokyo Station to the drivers and guides we met along the way was simply outstanding.

Never would I have thought to tour a flatware factory or an abandoned temple or to ride electric bikes through the sake rice fields, but that's what we did.

And we'll do it all again one day.

Don't expect 5 star American style hotels, instead, expect 5 star ryokans, exotic meals and fantasy views.

My wife commented that it felt like we were living in a James Bond movie. Without the villains.

Just go. You'll love it.

Date of experience: September 2019
1  Thank Ricky C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2019

Just spent 4 days in Gifu Prefecture with 80 Days and my fabulous guide Ciara Blount on a Journey into the Art of Katana. It was so well organised and I had access into the homes and workshops of the master Craftsmen to get a really good understanding of the life and times of the Samurai warriors. At no stage did I ever feel rushed, in fact, I felt that I was the centre of attention everywhere we went. I got to use the Katana at an event that was arranged for me. !
But it was not all about the Samurai...We visited the Tokugawa Art Museum and the oldest standing castle in Japan, the Inuyama Castle, Monet's Pond, and we spent a wonderful night in Mino and went round all its amazing shops. I had a Meditation Session with a gentle Buddhist Monk.
The accommodation was great, the food was sublime, and the people in the rural area are so welcoming. Thanks 80 Days and Ciara !!
Definitely, a Must-Do if you come to Japan. This is a quality Tour put together by a professional group of people

Date of experience: July 2019
3  Thank mdalton2674
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2018 via mobile

This tour was an amazing event that I highly recommend!
The tour started with an enjoyable bike ride to the Kashima shrine that involved a route through the beautiful Japanese neighborhoods, along a gorgeous river, past the crossroads in the rice fields, and across a bridge during sunset. We ended the night of the first day with a group barbecue where we were able to select our ingredients and prepare our own specialty foods.
The next day we were taken to a Japanese festival in the town of Sawara where the locals push impressively decorated shrines through the streets and perform traditional dances for the public audience. You too will have the opportunity to learn and perform traditional festival dances with the locals where you can become involved in the historical festivities just as we did!
If you are planning to attend this once in a lifetime opportunity you should prepare by dressing in active clothing appropriate for the season and if attending the summer festival stay properly hydrated.
You will be filled with fun memories in this tour due to the events listed above and you will also have the time of your life!

Date of experience: August 2018
3  Thank Ray M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2018

This is truly a genuine and off the beaten path travel experience! Highly recommended!
Sawara is a small, old merchant town that is a hidden gem. Its center of Edo-period, traditional wooden Japanese houses and shops, is protected as Important Cultural Property and is so well preserved you get the feeling you are in another era, or in a period drama! (as we were told by the locals, it has actually often been used as a shooting location for period dramas!).
The calm Ono river elegantly flows through its center and you can go on a boat ride and experience how it was to travel by boat back then. Our boat trip took us under small bridges, as we went by colorful, flowering front-yards of houses by the river. We complemented this by walking along the river and seeing all the beautiful shops and stores, where you will get this old merchant town vibe, and find a range of affordable, handcrafted traditional local items, and taste local delicacies.
Our accommodation in nearby Katozu was another amazing experience in itself: A 130 year old, recently rennovated Japanese family house, interiors and atmosphere completely preserved with tatami floorings and sliding doors. And while walking around the house was another time-traveling experience, the brand new, spacious and well equipped kitchen and bathroom, ensured our stay was practically smooth and enjoyable as well. After settling down at the house, we went for a bike tour to Kashima Shrine, cycling through endless rice fields and farm houses, and along the river in the Itako area. We reached Kashima shrine just before sunset, so we could enjoy the temple and forest without being crowded. Upon return to the house we enjoyed a barbeque at the garden, surrounded by peaceful rice fields and had a good nights' rest for the upcoming highlight of our trip, the Sawara Grand Festival! We took part in the festivities of this 300-year old festival, during which groups of locals pull elaborate, huge wooden floats with huge dolls of historically/culturally important figures across the narrow town streets. On the floats were also musicians, and we were taught how to and danced traditional local dances to uplifting folk tunes as we danced our way through town all together! The locals were simply wonderful people, amazingly friendly and inclusive, they kept giving us drinks and sake, to encourage and thank us for participating and pulling along! I dare say, this is one of the most genuine cultural experiences I 've ever had!

Date of experience: July 2018
Review collected in partnership with this attraction
3  Thank harry k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2018

The tour was a phenomenal experience. The first day we got to walk around the town the town of Sawara. It was a beautiful town and you could feel the historic culture by just being there. Later that day we went on a bike ride to visit the Kashima Shrine. The experience was great. We got to visit the shrines that were built to honor the Shinto religion, as well as see the beautiful deer that live on the location. The next two days were spent participating in the festival of pushing the shrines. Overall it was a great experience that I would highly recommend!

Date of experience: July 2018
Review collected in partnership with this attraction
2  Thank ramseymeyers72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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