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Enjoy a Virtual Trip to Japan! 5 Online Japan Tours & Experiences to Try Before Your Big Trip!

Enjoy a Virtual Trip to Japan! 5 Online Japan Tours & Experiences to Try Before Your Big Trip!

Date published: 3 January 2021
Last updated: 22 January 2021

While the future looks promising, many of us can’t travel to Japan at the moment. Luckily, through the power of the internet and ambitious local guides, you can still get your Japan-fix online and live with a virtual Japan tour!

Providing Japan-lovers with a way to relive their adventures, rekindle their passion, and learn more about Japanese culture, these virtual tours are the real deal! From sake tasting with a pro to Tokyo tours with a local, these online expeditions will scratch your travel itch and inspire your next journey!

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Online Sake Tasting and Brewery Tours: Learn about Japan's celebrated heritage!
  2. 2. Izakaya & Sake Culture Experience: Enjoy a virtual food tour!
  3. 3. Tokyo Virtual Tour: Discover new places to add to your next travel itinerary!
  4. 4. Virtual Tokyo Tours for Newcomers: Get fun and practical tips on visiting Japan's biggest city!
  5. 5. Virtual Walking Tour in Kyoto: 'Stroll' around the gorgeous streets of Gion!

1. Online Sake Tasting and Brewery Tours: Learn about Japan's celebrated heritage!

1. Online Sake Tasting and Brewery Tours: Learn about Japan's celebrated heritage!

Working since 2018 to promote sake worldwide, the staff at Sake Lovers are some of Japan’s most knowledgeable sake sommeliers!

With the number of sake breweries halved since 1975 and sake production a third of what it once was, even before COVID-19, the sake industry was struggling. Sake Lovers hopes that by spreading the joy of sake worldwide through online brewery tours and tastings, the industry can once again thrive through overseas exports and sake tourism.

Sake Lovers ventured online to provide virtual brewery tours and tastings aimed at both sake fanatics and total beginners alike. People across the world are encouraged to join the online sake tours.

Boasting a comprehensive schedule of virtual events every month, if you need a sake fix, Sake Lovers has got you covered!

Upcoming online sake brewery events:
・2021/1/10: Tsuta Sake brewery
・2021/2/7: Ito Sake brewery
・2021/2/20: Maruse Sake brewery
・2021/3/7: Kamigokoro Sake brewery

Information about online events can be found via their Facebook page and website. Simply find one you’re interested in, click on the description, and get the link to their official site. English is readily available, so don’t fret if your Japanese is lacking!

Of course, you should purchase one of their sake-tasting kits to complement your tour for the most authentic experience. The hosts will explain the details of the brews you’ll indulge in, along with tasting tips and the history of the brewery! Should you have any other questions, fire away!

Even if you're not based in Japan, thanks to an American sake distribution network, sake lovers in the States can still order a tasting set to sip during their virtual tour! For groups of families or friends looking to spend time together online, relishing sake while taking in the sights, sounds, and history of your beverage is a fine way to spend an evening! For students learning Japanese, private group lessons explaining fascinating sake terminology will help your studies in the most fun way possible!

Check out Sake Lovers at the links below.

2. Izakaya & Sake Culture Experience: Enjoy a virtual food tour!

2. Izakaya & Sake Culture Experience: Enjoy a virtual food tour!

No Japan trip is complete without an authentic Japanese izakaya experience!

Beloved for their jovial atmosphere, mouthwatering cuisine, and diverse assortment of drinks, izakaya are where locals and international visitors alike go to have fun, unwind, and make the most of Japanese culture.

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Those longing for a taste of izakaya can get their fix with izakaya-owner Yuma of Ninja Food Tours. A certified sake sommelier and Japanese food expert, Yuma will take you on a comprehensive tour of his izakaya, sharing his passion and knowledge of Japanese sake, food, and culture.

With clear English and a pleasant personality, Yuma encapsulates everything that makes izakaya culture such a pleasure! Whether you’re an izakaya connoisseur, or a first-timer looking to see what the fuss is about, this tour is Japanese izakaya culture at its peak!

Tours can be booked online at Ninja Food Tours at the link below.

3. Tokyo Virtual Tour: Discover new places to add to your next travel itinerary!

3. Tokyo Virtual Tour: Discover new places to add to your next travel itinerary!

Stumbling upon hidden laneways, running into unexpected shrines, or finding something straight out of anime, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of sightseeing in Japan! Unfortunately, as per most of the world, Japan’s tourism industry took a devastating hit in 2020. Numerous companies have begun offering online sightseeing tours to help tide things over until travel returns to normal.

One of these is the Real Web Tour, which is currently presenting a series of virtual excursions exploring Tokyo.

As anyone familiar with the city knows, Tokyo is a complex jigsaw of exciting hidden gems brimming with unique experiences! You could live there for ten years and still find something new every day!

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Real Web Tours allows you to see Tokyo through the eyes of locals privy to the nooks and crannies guidebooks don’t know about! Whether you’re in your home country craving a view of Japan, or an expat looking for fresh places to explore, this virtual Japan tour is guaranteed to inspire!

Best of all, the tour focuses on a different area roughly every month, so you can check in regularly and discover the differences between Tokyo’s mini-cities and wards. December centers on the trendy youth hub of Shibuya, while January will shift to the Meiji Jingu Outer Garden and the surrounding neighborhood of Sendagaya.

Read all about Real Web Tours at the link below.

4. Virtual Tokyo Tours for Newcomers: Get fun and practical tips on visiting Japan's biggest city!

4. Virtual Tokyo Tours for Newcomers: Get fun and practical tips on visiting Japan's biggest city!

If you’ve never been to Japan before, the idea of taking one of these extensive, deep-dive tours may feel intimidating.

For those after a more casual entry point into Tokyo life, along with an introduction to Japanese culture and manners, the ‘Tokyo Online Tour All in One, With 10+ Top Sights!’ experience on Airbnb is an unmissable opportunity!

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With lessons on how to dine at Japanese restaurants, the ins and outs of Japanese convenience stores, along with an expedition into the anime capital of Akihabara, this virtual Japan tour is ideal for newcomers wanting a Japan 101 before their big trip!

Jun, the event host, is a knowledgeable and experienced international management consultant and tour guide with an extremely friendly and sincere personality. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you have about Japan, Tokyo, or travel! No question is too simple!

5. Virtual Walking Tour in Kyoto: 'Stroll' around the gorgeous streets of Gion!

5. Virtual Walking Tour in Kyoto: 'Stroll' around the gorgeous streets of Gion!

After exploring Tokyo's buzzing streets, the next logical stop on your digital journey is Kyoto! Packed with dozens of culturally-rich districts all worthy of exploration, nowhere encapsulates all the charm of Kyoto than the Gion district. The geisha capital of Japan, Gion’s paved streets, and traditional wooden nagaya buildings offer travelers a genuine glimpse of past Japan.

Gion’s dynamic energy is perfectly rendered onto our screens through this beautifully shot and comprehensive live walking tour! While it could never replace seeing the real thing, the local tour guides give this enchanting neighborhood the justice it deserves!

Through 1.5 hours of live streaming, viewers will be treated to local knowledge, insider tips, and fascinating Kyoto trivia! Even real-life tours are rarely this comprehensive! You’ll finish the session with a deeper appreciation for this incredible city, making your upcoming trip to Japan even more special!

The ‘Gion Historical Virtual Walking Tour in Kyoto’ can be found at the link below.

Just because you couldn’t make it to Japan in 2020 doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected! Through online experiences and tours, you can relish the sights and sounds of Japan in real-time together with local hosts and like-minded Japan-lovers!

For a fun, exciting way to enjoy Japan before ‘the new normal’ ends, book yourself one (or several) of these online Japan tours and experiences!

Written by:

Steve Csorgo

Steve Csorgo

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Steve currently lives in Niigata City, two hours north-west of Tokyo. His passions include discovering local sake, dining at interesting restaurants and travelling as much of Japan as possible.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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