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Home > Recommended Courses > Free Guided Tours for Foreign Tourists

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Free Guided Tours for Foreign Tourists 

The Metropolis of Tokyo has been offering guided tour services by Tokyo sightseeing volunteers so that travelers from overseas may relish the charm of Tokyo more.
Our tour guides speak English, Chinese, Korean, German, French, Italian, or Spanish, and they will take you to various attractive spots in Tokyo.
We are offering 10 different guided tours which start from Shinjuku(Tokyo Tourist Information Center Head Office at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings) and visit major sightseeing spots in Tokyo. They are full of attractions in Tokyo such as visiting shrines and streets, experiencing a tea ceremony, and exploring the Musashino area which is richly endowed with nature.

Available languages

English・Korean・Chinese・German・French・Italian・Spanish

Tour days and time

1:00 p.m. on Monday - Friday (no tour offered on national holidays and during year-end/new year period)
*Morning tour (10:00 a.m.) also available for route 2, 8, and 9

Tour starting point

Tokyo Tourist Information Center Main Office at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Shinjuku)

Tour registration desk

Tokyo Tourist Information Center Main Office
1st Floor, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building No.1, 2-8-1 Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Tour guide service basic information

*Our tours are conducted mostly on foot.

*The maximum size of each tour group is up to 5 persons.

*Each tour is accompanied by 2 volunteer tour guides.

*Tour participants are responsible for tour guides' transportation fees and facility admissions. There is no charge for guiding service provided by the tour guides.

*Cost indicated below is for a tour with 1 participant and 2 tour guides. The tour cost per person may vary depending on the number of participants in each tour.

*Among the participants,there must be at least one person over 20 years old.

*Note that some facilities included in the route may be closed on the day of your tour.

How to register for tour guide service

  1. To apply for the tour, fill in and send an online application form (link to the form is provided below).
  2. On the form, please include your two choices of the date for the tour.
  3. Applications can be made a month in advance and are accepted until three days before the tour date of your first choice. We may not be able to organize a tour for late applications.
  4. We will notify you whether or not we can provide the tour within five days of your application or by the day before the tour date of your choice at the latest. Please make sure to include your contact information in Japan in the application form.
  5. In case of cancellation, please notify us by the day before the tour date at the latest.
  6. Please note that the tour might not be available on the day of your choice owing to circumstances.
  7. Participants are required to pay their own transportation fees, facility admissions, and other necessary costs for the guided tour.
  8. Payment for the tour cost must be made in Japanese yen.
  9. Participants are also responsible for transportation fees and facility admissions for two accompanying tour guides. Transportation fees for the tour guides include the fare of their return trip from the dismissal point back to the starting point of the tour. There is no charge for guiding services provided by the tour guides.
  10. The Tokyo Tourist Information Center Head Office will be closed between December 29 and January 3. Your application for guided tours cannot be processed during this period.
  11. All of our guided tours start at 1:00 p.m. Morning tours that start at 10:00 a.m. are also available for route 2, 8, and 9. Participants of the tour are required to check in at the tour registration desk no later than 10 minutes before the departure time.
  12. Please follow the directions of your tour guides during the tour.
  13. Participants are required to sign a consent form regarding exclusion of liability prior to the tour.

1 Strolling in Gardens and Experiencing a Tea Ceremony

Departure time 1:00 p.m.

Duration of the tour about 3 hours

Cost3,100 yen(Breakdown : 1,860 yen per participant plus 1,240 yen for the two tour guides)

You will explore the "Shinjuku Gyoen National Park" which used to be an imperial domain and had been an agricultural experimental station at some point in the past. Shinjuku Gyoen National Park is an enormous garden with an exceptionally wide variety of plants, which is rare in this metropolis. Its western-style gardens are also a must-see as well as its Japanese garden. At the "Hotel Okura", you will also have a chance to experience a tea ceremony which has been brought to international attention as a form of composite art that includes Japanese aesthetic feeling and philosophy.

2 Streets of Shinjuku and Basement of Department Store

Departure time 10:00a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

Duration of the tour about 2 hours

Cost0 yen

In this route, you will explore Shinjuku, one of the greatest commercial avenues in Japan, where eating and drinking establishments, department stores, and theaters stand side by side.
In the South Exit area, you will drop by trendy spots as you experience the hustle and bustle of the crowded businesses and shopping streets. In the East Exit area, you will visit the first basement level of Isetan Department Store, which is famous for its gourmet food stalls. You can have first hand experience of the Japanese gastronomic culture that focuses on food directly delivered from the producing areas all over the world.

3 The Asakusa Route

Departure time 1:00 p.m.

Duration of the tour about 3.5 hours

Cost1,300 yen(Breakdown : 260 yen per participant plus 1,040 yen for the two tour guides)

In this tour, you can enjoy the atmosphere of vibrant "Asakusa" which once was a flourishing downtown area representative of Tokyo.
People started to gather in Asakusa centering on Sensoji Temple long before the Edo Period (the 17th Century), and it was once a flourishing downtown area representative downtown of Tokyo. The atmosphere of modern Japan still remains strong here. Asakusa simply is a must-see spot in Tokyo. This is a route where you can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of old downtown "Asakusa".

4 A town of Sumo with the Atmosphere of Edo

Departure time 1:00 p.m.

Duration of the tour about 3 hours

Cost2,730 yen(Breakdown : 690 yen per participant plus 2,040 yen for the two tour guides)

You will learn about the tradition and the history of sumo wrestling, a Japanese national sport, at the Sumo Museum. You can also relish grateful taste and experience history and culture of the Edo period at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
This is a route where you can enjoy the charms of Edo and learn about the transition from Edo to Tokyo.

5 The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace and the Outer Garden

Departure time 1:00 p.m.

Duration of the tour about 3 hours

Cost990 yen(Breakdown : 190 yen per participant plus 800 yen for the two tour guides)

Although they are located right in the center of the metropolis, the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace and the Kitanomaru Garden still have vast green areas. It is fair to say that they are a place of recreation and relaxation for Tokyo, an overcrowded city which continues to move with massive energy. Plenty of historic buildings remain in the gardens, so you can appreciate both Japanese trees, plants, flowers, and the beauty of traditional Japanese architecture and gardens.

6 30 minutes from Shinjuku; Journey to Enjoy History and Nature

Departure time 1:00 p.m.

Duration of the tour about 3 hours

Cost2,860 yen(Breakdown : 700 yen per participant plus 2,160 yen for the two tour guides)

After only a 30 minute-train ride from the heart of Tokyo, you can experience a face of Tokyo different from its gaiety. That is its history and nature.
In this route, you will follow a quiet path where spring water flows and visit buildings with old architecture of a distinctly Japanese style. Since this path is very intricate and is like a labyrinth, it would be difficult to visit this route without a tour guide.

7 Historic Gardens and Seaside Regions Accessible by Automated Train

Departure time 1:00 p.m.

Duration of the tour about 3 hours

Cost3,540 yen(Breakdown : 800 yen per participant plus 2,740 yen for the two tour guides)

First, you will enjoy wandering around in Ginza, which has been creating plenty of trends as a modern town since it instantaneously began adopting western culture in the 19th century. Then, you will savor a tranquil stroll in the greenery-rich Hama-rikyu Gardens which has a 350-year history.
After you take a ride on the unmanned train, "YURIKAMOME", you will also enjoy taking a walk on the seashore in the Odaiba-kaihin Park.
This is a tour where you can enjoy both the center and the oceanfront of Tokyo.

8 Exploring the Streets of Harajuku and its Shrine

Departure time 10:00a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

Duration of the tour about 3 hours

Cost650 yen(Breakdown : 130 yen per participant plus 520 yen for the two tour guides)

"Harajuku" is a trendsetting town for various fashions from casual to trendy. In this tour, you will explore the typical streets of Harajuku.
After exploring this town which is full of energy, you will spend some quiet time at a shrine where you can experience beautiful scenery, Japanese history and culture. This is a route where you can experience both stillness and motion at the same time.

9 Japanese Street and an Oasis in the Heart of the City

Departure time 10:00a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

Duration of the tour about 2.5 hours

Cost1,950 yen(Breakdown : 510 yen per participant plus 1,440 yen for the two tour guides)

You will be satisfied with the beauty of the Japanese gardens in the Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens. The Gardens are designated as a special scenic beauty spot by the Japanese government. After enjoying the beauty of the Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, you will stroll through the quaint area of Kagurazaka where you will find stone-paved streets here and there. This is a route where you can savor the beauty of Japanese gardens and streets which still have a flavor of good old Japan.

10 Japanese Architecture and tour of the Diet Building

Departure time 1:00 p.m.

Duration of the tour about 3 hours

Cost860 yen(Breakdown : 160 yen per participant plus 700 yen for the two tour guides)

In this tour, you will take a walk from Marunouchi through the Hibiya and Kasumigaseki area. This area has been playing the role as the center of politics and the economy in Japan since the Meiji Period (the end of the 19th century). Because urban development here began in the early 1900's, many important buildings for modern Japanese architecture still remain in the area. The Diet Building is one of them.
While you appreciate the modern Japanese architecture, you also can visit the inside of the National Diet (except when the Diet is in session).

Our 40-minute tour is designed to introduce various must-see spots throughout the Metropolitan Government Buildings. Tours are available for travelers from overseas and are offered by our volunteer tour guides in three languages.

Available languages

English, Korean, Chinese

Tour days and time

10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Monday - Friday(no tours offered on Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building inspection days, holidays, and the year end/New Year holidays)
*Registration closed at 2:30 p.m.

Tour starting point

Tokyo Tourist Information Center Main Office at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Shinjuku)

Tour registration desk

Registration is taken at the tour starting point. No advance reservation accepted.

Route

Tokyo Tourist Information Center→Tokyo Wonder Wall→Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Building→Observatory

Why not enjoy views of Tokyo from 202 meters above the ground? Tokyo sightseeing volunteer guides provide this guide service, which is for foreign tourists visiting Tokyo from overseas, in English.

Available languages
English
Tour days and time
Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. (no tours offered on Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building inspection days, holidays, and the year end/New Year holidays)
* Reception is open until 2:30 p.m.
Time required
approximately 20 minutes
Location
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building No. 1 (45th Floor)
South Observation Deck Volunteer Desk
* Advance reservations are not available
Tour content
Scenery information, explanation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building as an architectural structure, sightseeing information, etc.

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Tokyo sightseeing volunteer guides offer guide services to foreign tourists, using their experience and know-how gained from their activities as sightseeing guides during unique walking tours. These tours allow you to experience the various attractions of Tokyo, including the area around Haneda Airport (which is attracting a great deal of attention due to the opening of the International Terminal), and the Akihabara area that is especially popular among foreign tourists.

Click here for the routes recommended by sightseeing volunteer guides

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