The rooftop of Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills sets the dazzling opening scene for AFAR Experiences Tokyo. It’s where you’ll gather with a small group of likeminded travelers, AFAR founders and editors, and locals to savor neon skyline views, feast on seasonal dishes, and learn about the many varieties of Japanese sakes.
The next few days are packed with compelling talks from Mori Art Museum Chief Curator Mami Kataoka and other speakers; intimate, behind-the-scenes access to some of the city’s most remarkable people and places; and more celebratory evenings full of authentic food, music, and entertainment. Read on for three examples of what it means to travel deeper in Tokyo with AFAR Experiences.
Dining out with the locals
On Saturday evening, you’ll explore the hidden nooks and crannies of Tokyo—the kind of underground drinking holes, buzzing izakayas, and six-seater hole-in-the-wall spots that only locals tend to know about. You’ll be broken into very small groups to set out with a Tokyo resident who will whisk you away to their favorite under-the-radar venues, far from the English-speaking tourist crowd. Memorable meals and stories await!
A shrine blessing at Konno Hachiman-gu
At the historic Konno Hachiman-gu shrine in Shibuya, you’ll spend some time on Sunday learning about Shinto, Japan’s indigenous religion. Traditional food and drinks, such as bento boxes and sake, will be served in tatami rooms within the shrine. A budoh dance performance is also on the agenda, as is an ancient ritual and blessing to be delivered by the resident Shinto priest. Needless to say, it’s rare to get such access to this shrine and not something the everyday visitor could hope to experience.
Exploring a city by bike lets you take it all in at a different pace and on your own terms. Spend a few hours on two wheels navigating Tokyo’s Asakusa and Yanaka neighborhoods, giving you a chance to explore temples, craftsmen shops, and food stalls. These areas are older, more traditional parts of the city, with narrow yet charming bike lanes. Local guides will help you along the way and share more about biking culture in Tokyo, which is quite popular.
A tea ceremony at the renowned Nezu Museum; an immersive visit to Nakano Broadway, a hub for anime and manga; an indigo shibori dyeing workshop; and a photo safari led by Nikon Ambassador Matthew Jordan Smith are just a few more of the adventures planned for AFAR Experiences Tokyo. Check out the latest itinerary here. Join us; there’s still time to register.