There are few cities on this planet that can offer you more diversity and excitement on one vacation than the city of Tokyo can. From tradition to trendiness, Tokyo is a city that stands out for its uniqueness - a place where its history and its future blend seamlessly.
And the city's diversity is reflected in it all. Ah, Tokyo....your culture, your cuisine, your people, and even your architecture are all rooted in tradition while you are also ready to embrace whatever cutting-edge opportunity is evolving next.
Tokyo fascinates its locals and visitors alike. No matter how many times you may visit and explore this city, hidden gems are going to find you every time. And those hidden gems will reaffirm for you that this is a city that thrives on variety and encourages diversity while also keeping itself well-anchored in the gifts and importance of the past.
As someone who has been lucky enough to call Tokyo home for the last decade, I revel in the opportunity to explore its streets at any chance I get. I love to set off with a theme in mind and see what sorts of treasures I can uncover while I explore Tokyo's neighborhoods and streets.
- My Newest Adventure: High Tech and the Future
- Tokyo Private Tours: A One Day Itinerary for a Glimpse into Our Future
- Futuristic Tokyo: Are You Ready to Find It?
My Newest Adventure: High Tech and the Future
Recently, I've created a new itinerary that is specifically suited for anyone interested in high-tech and some of the fascinatingly futuristic sites that you will only find in Tokyo. From Electric Town to the Mori Art Museum, there are glimpses of what our future holds all over this city, waiting to be discovered and uncovered.
If you are someone who loves anything new and unconventional, this is going to be the right Tokyo private tour for you. Are you ready to step away from your guidebook and go on one of the most high-tech and futuristic private tours in Tokyo?
Then I'm ready to be your private tour guide!
Tokyo Private Tours: A One Day Itinerary for a Glimpse into Our Future
Tokyo is a city that is known for its never-ending innovation and cutting-edge creativity. Yes, there are plenty of private Tokyo tours that will allow you to experience the tradition and history of this beautiful city, but for this private tour, you and I are only going forward in time.
Private Tour Stop 1: Start at Toyosu
We will start our day-long private custom tour together by riding the infamous and incredibly efficient Tokyo subway. We will take the Yurikamome line to Toyosu station and have a short walking tour of the area before we find our breakfast spot.
Toyosu is a modern and bustling neighborhood located in the Koto ward of Tokyo. It's known for being home to one of the largest fish markets in the world, the Toyosu Fish Market.
The market was established in 2018, replacing the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, which had been in operation for over 80 years. The new facility is now the main hub for the seafood trade in Tokyo, and visitors can watch the auctions and observe the daily activities of the market from designated viewing areas.
Aside from the fish market, Toyosu also has several shopping centers, restaurants, and parks. One of the most popular destinations in the area is the Lalaport Toyosu shopping complex, which boasts a wide range of stores and eateries, as well as a cinema and an indoor amusement park. The park is also a great place to relax and enjoy the waterfront views, as it sits along the Sumida River and offers a scenic promenade. Additionally, the neighborhood has easy access to transportation, making it a convenient and popular place for both locals and tourists alike.
Any walking tours of this area are sure to bring on your appetite so we will head to the fish market for breakfast. A favorite spot of mine is always Iwasa Sushi. Though it is not high-tech, you will be pleasantly fulfilled once you taste the food at this lovely spot, particularly if you're a big fan of shellfish.
Private Tour Stop 2: TeamLab Planets Exhibition in Toyosu
Ready for some high-tech and art combined?
After our breakfast, we will continue our Tokyo private tours experience by heading on over to the TeamLab Planets Exhibition in Toyosu, a true testament to Tokyo's commitment and curiosity about what our world's future holds.
Whereas museums like the world-famous Tokyo National Museum concentrate on displaying traditional Japanese art and artifacts from the past, the TeamLab Planets Exhibition is a must-see attraction for anyone who is fascinated by what is coming next.
TeamLab is an interdisciplinary group of inventors and creatives that was first formed in 2001 by a Tokyo group of artists, programmers, engineers, animators, mathematicians, and architects who quickly began referring to themselves as “ultra-technologists."
This interactive exhibit uses projection mapping, sensors, and other digital technologies to create immersive and dynamic environments. We will be able to explore various themed rooms, such as a crystal world, a forest of resonating lamps, and an infinite universe.
All of these exhibits were created to stimulate the senses and provide a unique experience. You will be able to interact with the various art installations through touch and movement, which is - as you can probably already imagine - nothing short of mesmerizing and unforgettable.
Whether you're a tech geek enthusiast or a romantic art lover, the Mori Building Digital Art Museum will be a joy, as well as a true reference point to Tokyo's commitment to cutting-edge creativity and innovation.
Private Tour Stop 3: Shibuya
No private tours that focus on the futuristic side of Tokyo would be complete without your local guide (me!) taking you to explore Shibuya for at least a part of your day.
In Shibuya, you will have a chance to witness Shibuya Crossing, the famous pedestrian intersection that is known for its chaotic (yet somehow organized) flow of people all day long.
Shibuya Crossing is considered one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world and is surrounded by massive buildings and massive crowds and massive neon advertisements...yet somehow there is still a sense of structure and organization in it all.
This is what makes Shibuya Crossing an obvious symbol of modern Tokyo.
Private Tour Spot 4: Shibuya Scramble Square
After the hustle and bustle of Shibuya Crossing, we will head to Shibuya Scramble Square, a modern skyscraper that has 47 floors above ground and three floors below ground.
Shibuya Scramble Square is home to a variety of businesses - including offices, restaurants, and retail shops. But one of its most notable features is its observation deck, which will provide us with a stunning panoramic view of central Tokyo from the heart of Shibuya.
The observation deck, called Shibuya Sky, is located on the top floor of the building, offering a 360-degree view of Tokyo's skyline. From here we will be able to see several places of note, such as Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine, and Yoyogi Park.
For an even more spectacular experience, we can go across the Sky Bridge, which will allow us to see Tokyo city from a transparent floor suspended 230 meters above the ground.
Private Tour Stop 5: Exploring Shibuya Stream
From the observation deck of Shibuya Scramble Square let's head next to another spot that will allow us some even more fantastic views of Tokyo, as well as reinforce the city's commitment to art and design - and what the future holds for both.
Shibuya Stream is an easy walk from where we are and allows us to cross the famous Shibuya Crossing. It's a mixed-use development that is a relatively new addition to the Shibuya landscape, having opened in 2018. From office spaces to retail stores and restaurants and cafes, Shibuya Stream was created in the hope that the Shibuya riverside could be rejuvenated a bit.
Now, only a few years old, Shibuya Stream has become a great new space that offers its visitors all sorts of ways to relax and dine in the heart of one of Tokyo's most pulsing neighborhoods.
One of the coolest features of Shibuya Stream is its unique design, which incorporates waterways and greenery into the building's facade.
The whole thing is situated along the Shibuya River and a pedestrian promenade runs alongside it, providing a great place that we can take a quick stroll and ponder this wild but wonderful city.
And for more pondering? There is also a rooftop garden at Shibuya Stream which provides yet more greenery amid the most populated city in the world.
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Private Tour Stop 6: A Futuristic "Pit Stop"
As someone who prides myself on being a knowledgeable guide (as well as one of the quirkiest Tokyo private tour guides available), no high-tech tour would be complete without a pit stop at the Shibuya public toilets. Believe me, tired traveler...this public toilet is like none you have ever welcomed seeing before.
With a sleek, ultra-modern design and cutting-edge technology, it's no surprise that this restroom is an instant hit amongst locals and tourists alike. To begin, the toilet's exterior is a true work of art, with its shimmering, metallic finish and geometric patterns. Anyone who is interested in futuristic architecture will greatly appreciate the design and technology that went into this building.
But...the real magic happens when you step inside! The toilet's spacious interior boasts a variety of advanced features such as an automatic seat opener, temperature-controlled seats, and even a built-in bidet for those who want to be thorough.
But wait, it gets even better! This toilet lets you take your own tour while inside with its state-of-the-art sound system and ambient lighting. And - if you're feeling a little shy about doing "your business" in such a crowded public space, don't worry. This toilet even comes equipped with a privacy feature that plays soothing nature sounds to help you relax. Talk about futuristic service!
Private Tour Stop 7: Lunch at Uobei Shibuya
Keeping with our high-tech theme for the day, the next stop this private tour guide is going to take you is lunch at Uobei Shibuya, a popular and state-of-the-art sushi restaurant located in bustling Shibuya.
Upon entering the restaurant, we will sit down and place our orders from the touch-screen ordering system at our table. The menu includes a variety of sushi options, from classic nigiri to creative fusion rolls, and it's known for its affordability - as well as deliciousness!
It's fun to place your order via touchscreen and then watch as your food comes cruising up to you on a conveyor belt.
Though the days of having a waitstaff may not be completely behind us, lunch at Uobei Shibuya will give you a sense of what may be to come.
Private Tour Stop 8: Akihabara
When you're in Tokyo, any personalized tours that focus on advanced technology and the future of our world absolutely must include Akihabara.
We will travel via the JR Yamanote subway line from Shibuya station and exit back onto the street at Akihabara station.
From the moment you exit the subway, you will be transported into a world that can only be described as electric and eclectic.
Akihabara (also aptly referred to as "Electric Town") is a vibrant and voracious district in Tokyo that offers immersive experiences into all sorts of worlds of electronics, anime, and gaming.
As you walk down the streets, you can't help but be struck by the stimulating neon lights that illuminate the area, creating an almost otherworldly experience. The hustle and bustle of the crowds will add to the excitement, as people of all ages and backgrounds can't help but be drawn to this area's unique offerings.
The sheer variety of products that are going to be available to purchase may almost feel overwhelming to some. From the latest gadgets to vintage gaming consoles, you can find just about anything here...and some things you never even knew existed. A favorite shop of mine is Yodobashi Akiba, the can't-be-missed massive electronics store located in the heart of Electric Town.
Spread across several floors, the store offers a wide selection of electronics and is a true haven for all tech enthusiasts and gadget lovers, making it more of an experience than just an electronics store.
Fortunately, the store is arranged in themes, with each floor dedicated to a specific type of product. There are floors for cameras, audio equipment, computers, video games, and much more. The displays are also well-organized, making it easy for first-time visitors to find what they are looking for. And, the staff are friendly and knowledgeable, always ready to help travelers and locals alike find the perfect product.
And here's a fun tip from your personal private tour guide: if you bring your passport with you to Yodobashi Akiba, you can do tax-free shopping here on any purchases you make that are over 5000 yen!
Private Tour Stop 9: Roppongi and the Mori Art Museum
After all the excitement of Electric City, let's spend some time in a place that is still focused on the future...but won't make our heads spin while we experience it!
We will travel via the Hibiya subway line from the Akihabara station and exit at the Roppongi station, then make our way to the Mori Art Museum, a beautiful and contemporary art museum at Roppongi Hills.
The Mori Art Museum is a favorite of many who come to Tokyo for its sleek and modern exterior that is a stark contrast to the traditional architecture of the surrounding buildings.
It is also full of world-class exhibitions and displays of contemporary art from all around the globe.
Each gallery at the Mori is thoughtfully curated and presents a unique and innovative theme or concept. As we wander through the museum, we will be surrounded by a range of artistic mediums from painting and sculpture to photography and digital media.
And though I love all the thought and innovativeness that the Mori exposes us to, I also think that the museum's permanent collection is just as dynamic as the exhibitions it brings in, with new works constantly being added to the existing as well.
Private Tour Stop 10: Dinner at Gonpachi Nishiazabu
At this point we've both probably worked up quite an appetite and it's time to dine somewhere that really highlights the incredible food scene that Tokyo is truly known for.
Gonpachi Nishiazabu is located in the Roppongi district of Tokyo, specifically in the Nishiazabu neighborhood, and is the kind of place that will transport you to a different time with its traditional Japanese decor and atmosphere.
From the moment we enter, you'll be reminded that - despite all the modern advancements and coming changes to Tokyo, it is still an eastern city that reflects the Japan of yesteryear.
The entrance of Gonpachi Nishiazabu is surrounded by a beautiful Japanese garden that sets the tone for the rest of our dinner. The interior design is also old-school Japan, with wooden beams, lanterns, and screens creating a cozy and intimate ambiance. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, perfect for any special evening in Tokyo.
But it's not just the decor that makes Gonpachi Nishiazabu so special. The food is equally as impressive.
From the sashimi to the sushi rolls, everything is prepared with care and attention to detail, and the flavors are honestly exquisite. I promise you won't be disappointed, no matter what you choose to order.
Finally, for any of you American movie buffs out there, Gonpachi Nishiazabu was also the inspiration for an infamous scene in the Quentin Tarantino film, Kill Bill. And though the actual scene was filmed on a sound stage in China, Gonpachi still feels very familiar to anyone who knows the movie, particularly when you walk up the staircase and along the mezzanine above the main floor.
Private Tour Stop 11: Visit the Red Tokyo Tower eSports Park
After a long day of diving deep into the futuristic side of Tokyo city, there is simply no better way to end it than to spend some time at the Red Tokyo Tower eSports Park.
Are you a fan of gaming?
Even if you're not, the Red Tokyo Tower eSports Park, also known as the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower eSports Park, is a one-of-a-kind attraction that will remind gamers and non-gamers alike of how much this E-sport has become a huge part of our social lives...and how it's not slowing down anytime soon.
The Red Tokyo Tower eSports Park boasts a state-of-the-art gaming area that is fully equipped with the latest high-performance computers, all the necessary gaming paraphernalia, and a wide range of popular games.
Located on the 52nd floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, this esports park also allows its visitors some of the most breathtaking views of Tokyo, especially at night.
It's a perfect way to end your high-tech, futuristic day.
Futuristic Tokyo: Are You Ready to Find It?
If you'd like some of your time in Tokyo to be spent with a private tour guide who understands and appreciates the high-tech and futuristic world this city is known for, then let me be the person to help you discover it.
Tokyo tours offered through City Unscripted can be based on just about anything you are curious about. All you need to do is imagine it and we have hosts who are excited to show you a side of Tokyo that only they know.
Do you long for customizable tours?
Do you love finding the hidden gems in a city?
Are you looking for one of the best private tours in Tokyo?
Then put down the guidebook. Come find a local instead.
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