Tokyo Old Town

(7 customer reviews)

¥54,000Private Tour

This tour is just for you and anyone you'd like to bring along. The price is a flat fee!

Times are in Asia/Tokyo

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Adventure Type

Private Photo Workshop

Max Party Size

4 people

Duration

6 Hours

Locations

Asakusa
Hikifune
Minowa

Language

English

Includes

• Professional photo instructor

Excludes

• Train Fare (~¥170)

Minimum Required Gear

• A comfy pair of shoes
• Smarphone or entry-level camera
• No tripod needed

Old-school

Street Photography

Vintage Japan

What’s the Story?

Head out into a different Tokyo, one that’s older, quieter, and surprisingly ramshackle. Walk the streets of old neighborhoods and see how life has been lived for decades. Explore old districts now under the watchful eye of the huge, ultra-modern Skytree. Experience an off the beaten track side of a tourist favorite, and a unique red light district with a very dark past.

What We’ll Shoot

We’ll shoot a mixture of architecture and people. Learn how to capture this old side of Tokyo: get advice on composition and tips on how to frame the often striking juxtaposition of old and new. For human subjects, you’ll be coached on how to get the best candid shots, while also gaining that much needed photographic confidence, not just during the workshop, but more importantly, in your future travels.

Where We’ll Explore

Our walk will start in east Tokyo’s Hikifune. We’ll explore the traditional area’s narrow streets and alleyways, taking in the old way of life, and the neighborhood’s predominantly older inhabitants. Then, via Skytree and the back streets of Asakusa, we’ll pass through the Yoshiwara red light district and eventually finish our walk in Minowa, an old shopping district that harks back to the days of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

Instructors for this Photo Adventure

7 reviews for Tokyo Old Town

  1. phil

    I also attended the Tokyo Old Town tour with Lee. I was familiar with his work through his blog, and his personality and ethos from his video features on the eyexplore channel, but was still so pleasantly surprised by the time together. The 6 hours absolutely blew by, and none of it felt too slow or too rushed. It was a purposeful but gentle pace throughout the older parts of the city, with each location or district accompanied by several stories demonstrating Lee’s knowledge and deep reverence for these areas. Lee is truly a master of the lore of old Tokyo. It is unbelievable how many facts and stories and anecdotes he has about the areas we toured, many of which reference buildings and characters who are no longer there. He provides guidance when needed, and is incredibly patient when waiting for “the shot.” I walked away with some incredible photos of the places and people of old Tokyo, as well as some very fond memories of the experience. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is interested in the history of old Tokyo, you will not be disappointed.

  2. andrewgN5913YH

    I received a reminder of the meet-up instructions a few days before the workshop and I arrived early just to be on the safe side. I didn’t have to wait very long before Lee my guide for the day turned up. We had a chat on what I wanted from the workshop and what I was interested in photographing. We headed off and Lee picked out places of interest and gave tips and advice on compositions, reviewing some of my efforts with gentle advice on how to improve my images. Spread throughout the workshop Lee filled me in with the history of the area and how the old buildings are gradually disappearing. Half way through the workshop we stopped for a very reasonable priced lunch. The whole experience was better than I had expected with Lee being friendly, helpful, informative and I came away thoroughly enjoying my experience and it was a memorable highlight of my trip to Tokyo.

  3. Lucaslanguage

    Fortunate to have gone on Old Tokyo tour with Lee at EYExplore. Lee was informative, knowledgeable and fun! I learned photography tips I will have forever. The neighborhoods were fascinating, we explored them with ease.

  4. matthewbH3170DJ

    This was a great personalised experience and a great way to get the ball rolling taking photos in Japan. Lee was so pleasant and full of knowledge. He taught me a great street photography technique. And also gave me pointers for other places to photograph in Japan.

  5. Mark and Deborah

    We were familiar with Lee’s photography from his Tokyo Times photo blog and Instagram feed and thought this would be a great way to see the older, grittier side of Tokyo we would be unlikely to find easily ourselves. Lee is a friendly down to earth guy and he made us feel at ease the moment we met at Hikifune Station.

    We hadn’t gone far before we were walking streets and passing buildings from a different era. The contrast with the nearby Skytree was stark and made for some fascinating photographs.

    Lee’s knowledge of the area and Japan in general is deep and fascinating and peppered with insights we would never have picked up on our own. We saw many unique locations and buildings in various states of ageing and decay, including a long abandoned house with plants growing inside pressing themselves against the old glass windows, possibly the world’s smallest and shabbiest Airbnb, and a couple of lovely old ladies sat on the edge of a small plot who were amongst many people Lee knew and exchanged a few words with.

    We looked at the wares of old style shops that can’t have changed for decades, and the locals who rely upon them. We also took a break at a wonderfully atmospheric old coffee shop and learned yet more of the Tokyo that lies just behind the new, hi-tech and neon Tokyo everyone sees.

    The hours passed by in the blink of an eye and as we parted we felt we were saying goodbye to an old friend. All in all it was a wonderful experience which enriched our knowledge of Tokyo. We will definitely be back for a tour next year.

  6. Larry

    Hi Lee,
    Thanks for the great tour on Sunday. I’ve been working my way through the pictures I took, and I have a lot that I really like. The places you took me are so interesting visually. I’ll be back once a month for quite a while, so I hope we can go out again. Also, it was great talking to you about photography in general.

  7. Jessica

    Experiencing Tokyo’s old neighborhoods through Lee’s eyes was so interesting. It’s nothing like a standard guided tour, and the fact that a standard tour would never take you to these neighborhoods is just the start of it. Any tour guide can talk about a building you’re actually looking at, but Lee is just as fascinating talking about a building that isn’t there anymore. He’ll tell you how there’s real community in these old neighborhoods with people stopping to talk to each other on the street and in shops, and the next minute he’ll actually be having a conversation with an elderly gentleman, commiserating about a big condo going up across from some old shops. If you’re unfamiliar with these parts of Tokyo, I can’t recommend these tours too highly – and even if you are, as I am, it’s an experience you wouldn’t have on your own.

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We meet in front of the turnstiles at the exit of Hikifune station on the Tobu Skytree Line.

Meeting Point Photo

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Meeting Point Map

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