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    How much is a tour guide in Tokyo? An example half-day tour with City Unscripted

    By Hana Furuhashi

    June 22, 2023

    How much is a tour guide in Tokyo? An example half-day

    Are you trying to plan a trip to Tokyo and wondering if hiring a private tour guide is worth the money?

    Do you want to uncover the hidden gems and cultural insights that you know Tokyo offers, but aren’t sure how to access?

    Are you wondering what really sets local tour guides apart from the commercially guided tour options, and if hiring a private tour guide is going to be the right choice for your Tokyo adventure?

    If you are asking yourself any or all of these questions, then congrats! You are well on your way to having the most unforgettable experience that Tokyo can offer you.

    Planning a trip to Tokyo is no easy.

    • What, exactly, is a local private tour guide going to cost me?
    • A half-day in Tokyo with City Unscripted
    • Ready for more? Book with City Unscripted today!

    This complex and bustling metropolis offers an endless array of sights, sounds, and experiences to discover, and having the right guide by your side can enhance your exploration tremendously.

    From finding the hidden treasures tucked away in narrow alleyways to navigating the vibrant local markets. A knowledgeable local by your side is the only option in Tokyo. We'll match you with the best private tour guide Tokyo has to offer to unveil this city's subtle secrets and provide a deeper understanding of its rich history and culture, no matter what side of it you want to see.

    Local tour guides who truly know the city of Tokyo are the type of guides who possess an intimate familiarity with the city's neighborhoods, enabling them to lead you to off-the-beaten-path destinations that are often overlooked by the more conventional tours companies.

    These types of commercial tour guides tend to stick to the tourist-y, cookie-cutter itineraries that may allow you to see a lot in a short amount of time, but don’t let you do the deeper dive a local can offer up for you.

    Whether you're interested in immersing yourself in traditional arts, indulging in delectable street food, or delving into the fascinating world of Japanese craftsmanship, a private tour guide can curate a personalized itinerary that caters to your interests and ensures a memorable and authentic experience in Tokyo. 

    I have lived in Tokyo for many years now and love to introduce newcomers to my host city.

    Working for City Unscripted has allowed me to not only meet fascinating and curious travelers from all over the world, but to also work with some amazing local Tokyoites who all love this city as much as I do.

    With our local expertise, enhanced language skills, and insider knowledge, a private tour guide from City Unscripted can open doors to exclusive opportunities and create connections with locals that go beyond the surface-level tourist experience that other tour companies will be limited in giving you.

    This may all sound appealing to you, but there’s that one question that still remains, right?

    Tourist on a tour with a private guide

    What, exactly, is a local private tour guide going to cost me?

    When planning a big trip - particularly to a place full of activities like Tokyo - you have many different expenses to consider. 

    From how to get there to where to sleep, all the many costs can certainly add up. 

    On top of that, budgeting for shopping, entertainment, dining out and seeing all the sights will definitely add to your expenses and can feel a bit overwhelming if you are trying to figure it all out on your own.

    This is where a local tour guide can really come in handy.

    With City Unscripted, a typical half-day tour will cost you around $110 USD per person for 3 hours, while full day tour prices can be closer to $250 per person for up to 8 hours.

    All of the tours can be customized by you and your local guide and the price will decrease per person the more guests that you add to your group.

    When it comes to planning an adventure to a dynamic and culturally rich city like Tokyo, investing in a private tour guide is a decision that can greatly enhance your travel experience while also helping you come up with a realistic budget and stick to it.

    While there are plenty of self-guided options available, these often lack the depth, insider knowledge, and personalized attention that a local private tour guide can offer. 

    And, as mentioned earlier, many of the large commercially-run tour guide companies lack those same qualities as well.

    By opting for a local guide in Tokyo, you gain access to a wealth of expertise, allowing you to make the most of your time and resources while here.

    When you choose to see travel with one of our local private tour guides, we can customize your itinerary, focusing on the specific attractions, neighborhoods, and activities that interest you the most. 

    This tailored approach not only saves you time and energy but also ensures that you have an immersive and unforgettable journey through the city.

    Want to see a City Unscripted local guided itinerary for yourself?

    Let’s look at a customizable half-day tour itinerary that myself or any of our City Unscripted local guides would be happy to introduce you to.

    A half-day in Tokyo with City Unscripted

    Below is a good example of a half-day private tours that any local City Unscripted tour guide can easily design for you.

    Though this itinerary will in no way hit all the highlights Tokyo has to offer, it will give you a taste of what this city holds, and the many diverse sights there are to see.

    Private guide and tourists at Senso-ji Temple, Japan


    We will start your day in Asakusa where you will immediately be immersed in the rich cultural heritage of Tokyo. 

    I love to start half-day tours in Asakusa with newcomers to Tokyo because this is the spot where you can witness the harmonious coexistence of old and new. 

    Senso-ji Temple, with its ornate gates and tranquil gardens, stands as a testament to centuries of devotion and spirituality. While exploring the temple grounds, you'll have the opportunity to participate in traditional rituals, such as purifying yourself with incense and offering prayers at the main hall.

    After Senso-ji Temple, we can embark on a leisurely stroll down Nakamise Shopping Street, a bustling thoroughfare that has been catering to visitors for centuries. The narrow street is lined with a myriad of shops, each offering its own unique treasures. 

    From immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you browse through a variety of traditional snacks, handicrafts, and souvenirs to indulging in the mouth-watering flavors of freshly made taiyaki or savoring the aroma of yakitori grilling over charcoal, you’ll surely find this street to be as charming as I do!

    Continuing our journey, we’ll make our way to Kappabashi Street, an intriguing destination known as Tokyo's "Kitchen Town." This bustling haven is all about chefs, restaurateurs, and food enthusiasts. You'll be captivated by the rows of shops showcasing an extensive range of kitchenware, from exquisite knives and utensils to intricately designed tableware.

    And – even if cooking isn't your passion – Kappabashi Street offers a captivating glimpse into the culinary world. The sheer variety of products and the bustling atmosphere make it a fascinating place to wander and soak in the vibrant energy.

    Here, there is truly something for everyone, from aspiring chefs seeking professional-grade tools to curious travelers looking for distinctive souvenirs.

    Toshogu Shrine, Japan


    From Kappabashi Street, we'll make our way to the nearby Ueno Park, a verdant oasis in the heart of Tokyo. 

    As we step into the park, you'll immediately feel a sense of tranquility wash over you and feel what so many other locals and travelers have felt in this natural escape from the bustling city.

    Within Ueno Park, a hidden gem awaits us: the Toshogu Shrine. 

    Nestled among the trees, the shrine's ornate architecture, intricate wood carvings, and vibrant colors make it a captivating sight. As we explore the shrine, I will share with you the stories and legends associated with the shrine, deepening your understanding of Japan's rich cultural heritage and why this spot is still so revered even today.

    After immersing ourselves in the serene beauty of Ueno Park, we'll venture back into the city’s energy and head to the lively Ameyoko Market. Located just outside Ueno Station, this bustling market offers a vibrant blend of street food, fresh produce, clothing, and various goods.

    The energetic atmosphere and the melange of scents and sounds create an unforgettable sensory experience, reminding us of the endless gifts this city has to offer.

    We'll wander through the narrow alleys, browsing the stalls and choosing our lunch from some of the many local options on display here. 

    From savoring mouthwatering yakitori skewers to sampling traditional Japanese sweets, the market offers a delightful culinary adventure and one we will be ready for!

    Ready for more? Book with City Unscripted today!

    Whether you want a half-day tour, a full-day tour, or something longer, take a peek at all the options City Unscripted has in store for you. When you decide to explore with City Unscripted, you’ll quickly learn that any experience you choose with one of our local hosts is going to be tailored to your wishes.

    No two City Unscripted experiences are the same because no two travelers are either.

    Not only that, but our local tour guides are unique, too. From diverse ages and backgrounds to particular interests and knowledge, all the City Unscripted tour guide hosts are handpicked and will be matched with your unique needs, making the time you spend together feel more like you are hanging out with a new friend than a tour guide.

    If you’re ready to get excited about everything Tokyo, then we are ready to be excited with you! Let us help you find your perfect tour today.

    Hello, curious traveler!
    Embark on a unique experience with
    Hello, curious traveler!
    Embark on a unique experience with
    City Unscripted Tokyo.
    Our personalized, private tours, led by local hosts, make you feel like you’re exploring the city with a knowledgeable friend. We’ll take you to well-known sights and reveal Tokyo’s hidden gems, unveiling stories typically missed by traditional tours. So unscript your journey, and see Tokyo through the eyes of our local hosts!

    We’ll pair you with the perfect host

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    There is no better way to see a city than with a friend who lives there. This is why we carefully match guests with their perfect host based on interested, personality and type of experience so they can discover a city beyond the tourist trail.