Guide: Hiroko Kitagou, Yoko Takano
Route: Imperial Palace – Asakusa – Ueno (Tokyo National Museum); Tokyo Metropolitan Government building – Shinjuku Gyoen – Meiji Shrine
My husband, Alan, and I cannot say enough good things about Tokyo Free Guide. Both of the guides met us at our hotel each morning with a plan for the day.Hiroko made sure we understood how to use the subway system and without her I don’t know if we would have figured out we could ride JR lines free with our Japan Railpass. She arranged for a bus tour for us in the area near the Imperial Palace which helped us get a better idea of our surroundings. We ate lunch near the Senjoji Temple where I had shabu-shabu for the first time and Alan had tempura. We had been reluctant to go into restaurants before this because we couldn’t read the menus but Hiroko showed us what to do and it made such a difference the rest of the trip. By spending time with Hiroko, we learned so much about Buddhist and Shinto shrines and temples. We used that knowledge throughout our 2 weeks in Japan. The next day Yoko took us to city hall to get a beautiful view of the city, and to Shinjuku Gyoen, which has lovely gardens. Yoko was so helpful finding out the English words for all of the trees and flowers I asked her about. We got a flavor for the shopping areas in Tokyo too and were fortunate to see a wedding party at the Meiji Temple. We could never have seen as much as we did without her guiding us on the right subway lines. We can’t thank Tokyo Free Guide enough for the generosity shown to us by our guides.