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Take a trip into 'The New York Times’ much-loved “36 Hours” travel column in one day! Tokyo is the original metropolis. A frenzy of technology, history and humanity that can be tricky to navigate by yourself. Join us on a specially curated tour in partnership with The New York Times and discover the highlights and hidden quirks of Japan’s neon-lit capital. See the 'Ghost Station,' meet a robot and find out all about the Japanese craft beer boom! Expect a local's perspective, hands-on experiences and behind-the-scenes access courtesy of The New York Times'.


Your tour begins in Tokyo’s electronics heartland, known as Electric Town, at the J.R. Akihabara railway station. We’ll stroll through the frenetic, neon-lit streets to nearby Manseibashi Station, where we will stop to admire and discuss how the city has cleverly repurposed many of its old buildings. Re-generation occurred in 2013 after the station was transformed into a collection of trendy boutiques and restaurants known as mAAch ecute Kanda Manseibashi, which the trains still regularly pass through, giving this shopping mall a quirky edge!

Next, we will head towards the Hitachino Brewing Lab to find out more about the Japanese craft beer boom. This historic company has been making beer and sake since the early 19th century. We will taste some of the 10 craft beers that are available on tap, paired with some delicious local snacks, and chat to the brewery staff about how their beer is made. 

A walk through the larger-than-life Akihabara neighbourhood follows. We’ll arrive at 2K540 Aki-Oka Artisan, an urban space under the train tracks that used to be a car park but is now home to 50 shops and cafes. The retail offering focuses on artisan products from across the country, so it’s a great place to peruse for meaningful souvenirs to take home. 

Just around the corner, our next stop awaits. 3331 Arts Chiyoda used to be a high school but due to a drop in Japan’s youth population, it’s been transformed into an arts centre featuring galleries, creative space, a cafe, shops and a rooftop organic garden. Being a creative space, it should come as no surprise that 3331 Arts Chiyoda is also home to Aldebaran Atelier Akihabara with Softbank, a robot software development company. Its most famous robot, Pepper, has been painstakingly designed to support everyday people conduct everyday tasks. 

A short subway ride will take us into the heart of Tokyo, where we will pass by the Imperial Palace. The emperor and empress of Japan reside behind the pretty moats that surround it, with 300 police officers and more than a thousand staff members on hand to support them! Godzilla is next on our Tokyo agenda, no doubt the unspoken icon of the city for nearly a century. Tokyo is fascinated by Godzilla and isn’t shy about celebrating his notoriety, with statues and street art dedicated to him all over the city. We will check out the latest Godzilla statue to spring up; this 2018 statue, modelled on a 2016 movie, replaced a 1995 version.

Finally, after a busy afternoon of sightseeing, we will settle in at Matsuso, a typical izakaya (a kind of Japanese pub). Like many izakaya, it’s nestled under the train tracks, allowing commuters to stop in for a quick drink or a snack on their way home from work. We will sit down with the bar owner, who previously worked in real estate, to chat about his business and what makes this location under the train tracks so special to the locals.


    Location: Tokyo, Japan

    Duration: 4 hours

    Voucher Redembtion: You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity. 

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    «January, 2019»
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    Additional Information

      Operates: See Availability

      Departure Point:
      JR Akihabara Station (train station), Electric Town Exit, in front of the Ticket Office/Travel Service Center (Midori no Madoguchi)

      Departure Time: 3.30 PM

      Return Details:
      Matsusou Izakaya, which is within walking distance to several train/subway stations

    • Inclusions:
      • Local English-speaking guide
        Fare for public transportation (metro or train) between Akihabara and Yurakucho
        Beer tasting set (3 types) and local snacks (seasonal such as seafood, chicken, pickles, nuts with Japanese seasoning)
        Happy hour at Matsusou Izakaya (assorted food and drink).

    • Exclusions:
      • Items of personal nature
        Additional food or drink
        Tips/gratuities for your guide

    • Other Information:
      • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
      • Travellers under 12 years of age are not permitted to join this tour.
        We can accommodate vegetarians and other dietary restrictions. Please notify us in advance if you have any dietary requests. 
        For your New York Times Journeys/Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 8 people.

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