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Several private companies offer guided tours of Kyoto. One of the best is Kyoto-Tokyo Private Tours, run by Ian Roepke, a consultant to the Kyoto Visitor's Guide; the company offers half-day and full-day tours of the city. A seasoned guide who can shed insight into the mysterious world of the geisha, Peter MacIntosh of Kyoto Sights and Nights leads late-afternoon walks through the old teahouse districts. The Japanese guide known as Johnnie Hillwalker has been giving his popular all-walking tours of Kyoto since 1996 and has been a tour guide for almost 50 years; he loves storytelling and slow walking but takes sabbatical from December through February. Sunrise Tours organizes half-day morning and afternoon deluxe coach tours highlighting different city attractions. Volunteer guides can be requested by calling the Utano Youth Hostel. The Kyoto International Community House can arrange home visits.
Johnnie Hillwalker. 075/622-6803. web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/people/h-s-love.
Kyoto International Community House. 2 - 1 Torii-cho, Awata-guchi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8536. 075/752-3010.
Kyoto Sights and Nights. 090/5169-1654. www.kyotosightsandnights.com.
Kyoto-Tokyo Private Tours. www.kyoto-tokyo-private-tours.com.
Sunrise Tours. 075/341-1413. www.jtbgmt.com/sunrisetour/kyoto.
Utano Youth Hostel. 29 Nakayama-cho, Uzumasa, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, 616-8191. 075/462-2288.
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