Our visit to the neighborhoods of Ningyocho and Nihonbashi was somewhat hampered by the continuing rain throughout the morning and early afternoon. However, our guide, Seishi (not sure of exact spelling), was more than capable of providing a magnificent walking tour, and along the way explaining a number of aspects of Japanese culture of which we were entirely unaware. The “Best of Tokyo” tour as described in the Viator info is precisely a street by street exploration of tiny crafts shops of all sorts, probably shops we would have ignored – hand made biscuit shop; fan shop (imagine delicately crafted fans); paper shop (imagine all manner of paper); sweets shop; incense shop; sushi shop; traditional candies and crackers shop. The middle of the tour was punctuated by a visit to a local temple in Ningyocho, the shrine of fertility (both desired fertility and fulfilled fertility, with entire families coming with a month old baby to give thanks for the healthy birth). Then instead of walking (as the normal tour would have done), we took the subway with Seishi to the Nihonbashi, more modern neighborhood, with some huge department stores and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Here we still found some small craft stores, e.g. a toothpick store (in case you forgot your toothpick holder!), a gold leaf craft and jewelry store, and a soup stand in a huge mall CorEdo).
Since this was the first day of our trip, and due to the rain (and jet lag) we might just have stayed indoors, going on this tour was a super way to get out and about, to start to become oriented to Tokyo (we took our first subway in order to get to the rendezvous point), and to discover an entire array of commercial products that are, understandably, off the beaten path! Lots of walking is required, but almost entirely on flat surfaces. Because of the shrine visit, a more modest kind of dress is desirable.