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Guided and personalized, professional tours offer closer looks at Japanese culture

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Photographs by Linda Lombardi

Japanese history tours with guide Mark Hobold make a visit to Kaneiji Temple, Ueno, Tokyo. The specialized tours are packed with information and have more flexibility than more traditional tours.

TOKYO -- I've always resisted the idea of taking a guided tour on my annual visits to Japan. My interests are pretty niche and I know Tokyo well enough that friends there have trouble suggesting new things to see.

IF YOU GO:

Lee Chapman: leechapman. photos/tokyo-photowalk-tours. Tours $181-$316 for up to four people.

Mark Hobold: japanthis.com/japan-this-tours. Toursstart at $450 for up to six people.

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Places such as this vegetable shop make for unique photo ops on Lee Chapman’s Tokyo tours. The tours explore the ordinary, ev... + Enlarge

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Tour guide Lee Chapman, an English native who calls Tokyo home, leads groups on photowalk tours to explore the less-traveled ... + Enlarge

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Sidewalk diners eat in an off-the-beaten-path part of Tokyo. British photographer Lee Chapman leads photowalk tours through t... + Enlarge

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This photo, taken on a photowalk with Lee Chapman in Tokyo, shows bedding being aired to dry on a bicycle. + Enlarge

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On Lee Chapman’s photowalk tours of Tokyo, participants see the more lived-in parts of Tokyo, not the glossy, tourist-ready d... + Enlarge

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