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Exploring Tokyo's Red-Light District in Yoshiwara

Tokyo’s "alien world" of Yoshihara parades the essence of desire during the Edo era.


Foreign visitors to Tokyo almost universally know about Asakusa, and can usually tell you where it is too. However, almost no one can tell you exactly where the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter is, except perhaps that it is somewhere beyond Asakusa. The movies "Yoshiwara enjo" and "Sakuran" took place in the “old” Yoshiwara, which was on the outskirts of the current Ningyocho. However, that Yoshihara burned down in 1657 during the Great Fire of Meireki,” and it was at this point that Yoshiwara was moved to its current location.

Yoshiwara is now well famous as Japan's most significant red-light district, with its Edo era vibe eliciting vivid images of what the age’s red-light scene was like. While the area is not the rowdy, raucous show it once was anymore, it is still steeped in history but very much alive at the same time, known as a tourist destination with an unrivaled cultural pedigree. Here flourished the fashion, Kabuki, and popular culture of the day. Many novels and movies have also naturally been set here.

This tour is a walking tour that covers Sanya, the Yoshihara area from Minami-Senju Station to Asakusa Station. Not only will you explore the remnants of Yoshiwara’s red-light district era in this tour, but also visit unique stores and flop houses with a history of more than 100 years across the surrounding areas. Everything around here is full of personality, and there are a number of artistic spots to visit, little known even in to Japanese that are well aware Tokyo's deep history, culture and food. This tour is recommended especially for repeat visitors to Japan.


・The hidden history of Kozukappara execution grounds site
・A visit to "Ichikawa Store," founded 109 years ago, offering a selection of bamboo and other natural materials-based crafts from all over Japan
・Iroha shopping street walking and see the wall art painted by a street artists of "Swoon".
・Yoshihara walkabout, with various sights, including the former red-light district, a tour the Yoshihara Benten Pond remains, and more
・A stop for the traditional prayer for business prosperity, spousal safety, and traffic safety at the Otori Shrine


・Only adults 18 years and older may join.
・Photography is prohibited during parts of the tour. Please follow your guide’s instructions.
・Please wear comfortable walking shoes.
・Tour duration can be extended at a rate of ¥3,000 per group, per hour, payable in cash.

  Price From ¥11,000

¥11,000 for 2 adults or more 
¥20,000 for 1 adult

  Duration 3 hours (approx.)
  Hours of availability

Start time: 3:00 pm


・Professional guide (English)


・Food & drinks
・Hotel pick up & drop off (add ¥4,000 for hotel pick up)

  Participants 1-6 people

Meeting Point

Departure point:JR Minami-senju station
Finish point:Tsukuba Express’ Asakusa Station

Reviews (4)


Off the beaten track, yet lots to learn!

I joined the tour to find more about the facts and the history of this unique place. There are lots to learn, although some people would n't choose and come here as a sightseeing spot, the guide Sakai san is very knowledgeable and she'll make your day more fruitful. I'd highly recommend you join the tour.


Deep tour for those seriously into Japanese history and culture

Highly recommended for travellers seriously into Japanese history and culture, you get to learn about and see things you otherwise would almost definitely not get exposure to. My guide was extremely nice and knowledgeable, and helped me further deepen my understanding of Japan.

A lot of the content covered in this tour is rather deep and dark, so if you are interested in and prepared for this sort of stuff, definitely an unmissable experience.


Light & shadows of Japan

Very interesting tour highlighting strongly contrasting areas of Tokyo.
Walking from Minami-Senju, you deep dive into some of the more economically challenged parts of Tokyo. Starting from the old execution grounds and eventually landing in the red light district, the old Yoshiwara, the floating world, eliciting striking images of the past.
The tour ends in the bright and cheerful Asakusa. It really captures the essence of a culture that is able to balance the light and shadows in a bitter sweet and poetic way.


Yoshiwara tour

This was a fun and interesting tour about the dark side of Japanese history. I strongly recommend it for history buffs.

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  Tour photo