Ken Tanaka Private tour guide in Tokyo - Japan

Ken Tanaka

Guide profile:

Other than spending five years in the United States (Portland, Oregon) when I was a small child, I have lived mainly in the Tokyo area. After about 10 years in the maritime industry, I made the switch to becoming a tour guide and now in my fifth year.

I normally offer tours to small groups and with the use of the public transport system. I also like to give visitors a glimpse of the way of life for people living in this massive city - thus occasionally I like to steer away from the main tourist areas and venture more into the unknown parts of town.

During my tour you have free usage of wi-fi, and I will pay for my own transport fees during the tour. I will meet you at your accommodation, as long as you are staying in the central Tokyo area.

Note I am available only on selected days, so please avoid making a booking before contact. I am not able to do tours on multiple dates. My tours generally involve walking, so if this is not your preferred travel style, please look into other options. Thank you and hope to see you soon.

Recent reviews of this tour guide:

5 stars RONALD O.

Ken is an excellent guide, very helpful and a wealth of information. If you are coming to Tokyo, Ken is the guide for you.

Tour guide services/sample itinerary:

I provide a day tour normally within the central Tokyo area only. Tours to other regions are subject to my schedule and other commitments.

Transportation by tour guide:

While you do not have to pay for the tour guide, your own fares for public transportation are not included in the tour price. Sorry but tours with use of a private vehicle is not available.

My style of guiding involves a fair amount of walking, and the use of stairs in many cases.

Private sightseeing & group tours offered by this guide:

Baseball in Tokyo Price Per Person 0.00 USD
Half day tour of Tokyo Price Per Group 0.00 USD

Tour guide interests:

I have worked with a few other tour guides on architecture tours in and around Tokyo. I'm a big baseball fan and I have been to many of the stadiums in Japan but also in the US, Korea and Taiwan. I like to travel whenever I can find time - one of the benefits of working freelance!

Reviews of this tour – by clients who booked!

5 stars RONALD O. 24 Aug 2019

Ken is an excellent guide, very helpful and a wealth of information. If you are coming to Tokyo, Ken is the guide for you.

5 stars Michael G. 26 Jun 2018

We had a great day with Ken. Friendly, knowledgeable, and fun. Took us to the top sites, off the beaten path, and gave us an orientation as to how best enjoy our time in Tokyo. He went above and beyond our expectations.

5 stars Tom C. 30 Sep 2017

5 stars Laurem Q. 21 Mar 2017

Ken Tanaka was great! Very easy to be with and was flexible in our schedule! We were in Tokyo a limited time and toured with him for 1 1/2 days and we saw so much! Would highly recommend.

I was with my 22 year old son and he also really enjoyed it!

5 stars Van C. 11 Mar 2017

Ken was early for our 10 am meet which was great. We were guided to ,Shinjuku south train station where he showed us how to purchase a new ,suica card, these machines only take cash. We then took a short train ride to get feel of it. Ken was very patient & helped my kids buy stuff translating the language. It was like having a friend take you around which was nice cause you didn't have to waste time. Highly recommended guide for Japan visit especially if only here a few days, save you time.

5 stars Daniel M. 21 Feb 2017

What an awesome experience with a wonderful guide! If you are looking for an unbelievable time walking and using the very complex and efficient subway system, then Ken is your guy. He is extremely knowledgeable and taught us an incredible amount of Japanese culture and history. He worked closely with us to manage our very ambitious itinerary. Thanks for a wonderful 2 days in Tokyo Ken!

5 stars Thomas K. 09 Feb 2017

Thanks, Ken for this marvellous two day tour, I enjoyed it a lot. Especially the visit to the Kodokan Judo School, which brought back old memories. I liked your flexibility and interesting background information. You’re an excellent tour guide. I wish you all the best and can recommend you to anyone who looks for a competent and expert tour guide.

5 stars Paul S. 02 Jan 2017

Great guide, thanks Ken for very informative and enjoyable day.

5 stars joanna Z. 31 Dec 2016

Ken was amazing. He was knowledgable about history and current events. He took us on a walking and subway tour of the city. We only had 1 day in Tokyo and Ken made our short time there very enjoyable.

5 stars Barry T. 09 Dec 2016

Our family was very blessed to have Ken as our guide in Tokyo. He is both knowledgeable and highly professional. Our tour experience has been immensely enhanced by his sharings on the historical background and development of Tokyo, coupled with his special interests and deep knowledge on urban architectural design. Well done Ken!

5 stars Maury F. 30 Oct 2016

Ken was very knowledgeable and his English was excellent. I would recommend Ken for anyone looking for an extensive tour of Tokyo.

5 stars Laura B. 18 Oct 2016

We spent a day with Ken exploring the city by walking and using the subway. Ken taught us much about the everyday way of life in Tokyo as well as the history. His English is excellent and I would highly recommend him as a guide.

5 stars Lisa Y. 13 Oct 2016

Ken was great! He was very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. He was very polite and gracious. My husband and I had a wonderful experience touring Tokyo with Ken for a day and a half. Thank you, Ken!

5 stars Mireya B. 27 Sep 2016

Ken was very accommodating, informative. He took us to a great soba place that we would never have found on our own. We really enjoyed our day!

5 stars Taber G. 28 Aug 2016

My wife and I had the pleasure of Ken taking us around a few weeks back. We asked him to take us to see what the locals would see, and he certainly delivered.

Ken took us to two of the older neighborhoods in Tokyo where we visited both temples and wondered through the neighborhoods to see how the locals spend their Sundays. He also took us to see a sumo wrestling exhibition, which was amazing.

Quite simply, Ken was a fantastic guide for the day.

5 stars Alyson S. 13 Jul 2016

Very likeable guide who crams in lots within the hours booked using public transport. Helped us navigate our way around Tokyo metro and told us what trains to take for the place where our bullet train left from

5 stars Mary A. Q. 26 Jun 2016

Ken customized three days of touring to satisfy the varied wishes of our 13 year old grandson and ourselves. He deftly combined historical (shrines, temples, museums) and contemporary experiences (Akihabara Electronics District, Cat Cafe, Tokyo Sky Tree and more) to satisfy us all. He also gave us a good education in the use of the Tokyo subway and rail system so we were able to navigate on our own for the remainder of our visit. Ken is knowledgable and engaging. A great guide!

5 stars Hilary Z. 18 Jun 2016

We had just 4 hours to get a glimpse of Tokyo and we gave Ken a list of things we were interested in seeing. He chose those which would give us a view of diverse areas and which were doable in the time and we managed to get them all in. Along the way he shared his knowledge of Japan's history and current events and got us got us to our train on time. His English is excellent. We highly recommend him as a guide.

5 stars Justin P. 09 May 2016

Awesome! Ken Tanaka is a very thorough tour guide. He took us to a few locations for history, future, and electronics stores. My family and I were very pleased.

5 stars Daniel S. 10 Apr 2016

Ken was a fantastic guide!

Thank you Ken!!

5 stars Christina A. 20 Mar 2016

Ken was a perfect choice for our family of 4 adults! He made us feel more confident about catching the now-not-so-confusing train system in Tokyo. He was always responsive to all our questions via emails sent to him prior to our tour and was very accommodating and patient throughout the process as well as during our sightseeing. We suggested places we wanted to see and he gave us approximate travel times and what's in the surrounding areas. His English is impeccable! Highly recommend Ken!

5 stars George &. M. O. 08 Mar 2016

Ken was great & we give him 5 stars. He had tour sorted very informative, had photos to show history of different sites, he was fun & we shared some stories. He was easy to understand & had a good sense of humour. We'll recommend Ken to all our friends.

5 stars Mary W. 29 Dec 2015

Ken was wonderful! I highly recommend him. He plans ahead and goes at your pace. He explained the subway system and made sure we were familiar with it. We went into the Tsukiji area where most tourists do not venture. He's very knowledgable about the history of Japan. We had a few places on our bucket list and Ken took us to them. He speaks, reads and writes English superbly. We covered a lot of ground today. I highly recommend you booking with Ken. He is a gem.

5 stars Angelica D. 28 Dec 2015

Ken was a wonderful guide in Tokyo! It was a good decision to meet him on our second day in the country as he taught us how to make our way around the confusing and complicated Tokyo train system. We managed to see a lot of Tokyo must see sites in one day. Best of all, we learned so much about Japanese culture which we're sure we wouldn't have known if it weren't for him. Our family is really thankful for his guidance. He is highly recommended! Arigato Ken

5 stars Melissa K. 22 Dec 2015

I highly recommend Ken. He's both capable and considerate. He helped us navigate the train & bus system to a specialised tour outside of Tokyo. Afterwards he helped us reserve Shinkansen seats and took us to the Metropolitan Government Building - both beyond the call of duty.

5 stars Josephine C. 30 Nov 2015

Ken made our trip to Japan memorable. We were in communication days before our tour and he was able to send me an itinerary of what to expect, including costs. Ken made learning about the Japanese culture and language fun and exciting. With teenage sons in tow, Ken's itinerary also included stops to Akihabara, Gundam Front and Miraikan. We did not feel pressured to complete a tour because of the time. If you are only spending a few days in Japan and want to make the best of each day, book Ken!

5 stars John C. 21 Nov 2015

I used Ken twice while in Tokyo. The first time was soon after my 16 year old nephew and I arrived. I wanted an initial 1/2 day orientation to the city and its public transportation system. He did a great job - we were soon experts.

But the best thing Ken did was to patiently take time to answer every one of my nephew's teenage questions about life in Japan.

A week later I hired Ken to give us a day tour. My nephew summed it up: 'Ken was like a friend you could ask questions.' Hire h

5 stars Peter K. 05 Nov 2015

Ken is an extremely personable and professional tour guide. His english proficiency level is mother-tongue - nothing will get lost in translation. It was well worth his very reasonable free to get the most out of our short stay. We highly recommend his baseball outing if you are lucky enough to visit during the baseball season. An unforgettable experience! In summary, Ken is highly recommended - you will not be disappointed!

5 stars Kirthi V. 04 Oct 2015

We hired Ken two times during of week long stay in Japan. Since it was our first time in Tokyo. He knew exactly what we needed. He showed us how to navigate the subway and also personally got our JRail passes validated. He took us to a nice tempura place in Asakusa for lunch which was memorable. The second time round he took us to the Tuna auctions. He was spot on with the timings which guaranteed us a place in the first group to view the auctions that day. He is very flexible and punctual.

5 stars Jane C. 17 Sep 2015


Was fantastic!!! Thank YOU so much. I had a great time on my first visit to Tokyo!!! Can't wait to return!

I'll be going back to the store where we got the miso barrel from :)


5 stars Saukat-Hussein D. 04 Sep 2015

We recommend Ken to anyone who wants to see this big city - take along your best walking shoes! Ken is very obliging and is not bothered by any requests (my wife was distracted often by the many shops she popped into during our tour!). Ask Ken where you want to go and what your interests are and he will customise this for you. THANK YOU KEN for making our visit to your beautiful city so memorable!

Your South African friends :)

5 stars Yoseif W. 07 Aug 2015

Ken is knowledgeable and friendly.

5 stars Gitanjali B. 02 Aug 2015

Ken was an amazing guide. He spoke perfect English and was extremely punctual an organized. After emailing him a rough idea of what we wanted to see in Tokyo, Ken created the perfect itinerary for us. He even took us to local restaurants that served excellent food. He went out of his way to make sure that we had ample time to see all the sites and enjoy our vacation. I would highly recommend him as he is an excellent guide.

5 stars Jeremiah C. 31 Jul 2015

Mr. Tanaka was an exceptional guide and accommodating to our schedule. We've never been to Japan, can't speak Japanese and in just a few short hours made us feel comfortable enough to ride the subway and figure out how to navigate Tokyo. He gave us an English subway map (a lifesaver) and also recommended a wi-fi service for our phones that we picked up at the airport. He even rode the subway to Disneyland with us from our hotel so we knew how to get back! Awesome guide and excellent English!

5 stars Kenya B. 04 Jul 2015

I don't think words can describe my experience of going to a baseball game with Ken. It was totally awesome!

We headed to Yokohama to watch the Baystars. Ken is very knowledgeable about the game and points out a lot of things that you might never see in a MLB game. The atmosphere was electric as fans for both teams filled the stadium. I wanted to join in on the singing and chanting. It's certainly some thing you will never see in elsewhere.

A big thanks to Ken for being my guide to the game!

5 stars Melanie S. 03 Jun 2015

Ken was easy to be with, patient, and a fount of interesting knowledge. I am grateful that he got me everywhere on time, even to the airport with time to spare. He good-humoredly translated for me when I unexpectedly walked into an impromptu work-related meeting. His candid observations on life in Japan were most appreciated. I look forward to meeting with him again when I am next in Tokyo.

5 stars Ron N. 23 May 2015

Ken Tanaka was excellent! Our flight was delayed so we arrived at 3:30 pm. He was so kind as to tour with us until 8:30 pm. He helped us purchase the tickets for subways, meals and ensured that we were all comfortable along the way. We told him the places we would like to see and he planned out our itinerary for the 2 days we had in Tokyo. We had four children with us and I was amazed how many places we were able to see. His English is very good. Without his help, we couldn't have done it

5 stars ALKA C. 29 Mar 2015

Ken Taneka was very good. He covered all required points of my itinerary and made it easy for us getting around. He spoke English very well. I recommend him highly.

5 stars Elisabeth A. 28 Mar 2015

we were very satisfied with KEN, he was very nice, competent, knows much and was very important for uns to find our way in such an enormous City as Tokyo. Thank you Ken for everything

5 stars Tatiana V. 23 Mar 2015

We were exploring Tokyo and Kamakura with Ken Tanakan and very happy with his job. He was very knowledgeable, polite and with wide expertise on many topics. His English is perfect. Ask him more questions in the beginning and tell him what you are interested in so you will enjoy his guidance:)

4 stars Judith G. 09 Feb 2016

Ken had excellent English skills and a pleasant demeanor. He tried very hard to answer all our questions, personal and historical and cultural. He was also very flexible (maybe too flexible!) about our route - we didn't know distances, and perhaps asked for things that were so far apart, he should have warned us about how much time we would end up on the subway! Also, for some reason, he left us at a restaurant at the end which was the worst one for the price which we ate in in the whole trip

4 stars Rebecca M. 23 Apr 2015

We had a nice tour with Ken. He is very friendly and knew how to navigate the tokyo area using public transportation. He let us stay at short or as long at locations as we wanted, we were able to drive the itinerary.

3 stars Rosemary J. 31 Aug 2016

Ken was a good tour guide. He is knowledgeable and informative. Walking and using the transportation system in the Tokyo area was excellent as it gave us a "local" perspective. He could have had a better plan for lunch restaurants and we felt at the end of the second day with us, he was not as interested and enthusiastic.

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