Free travel guides japan


Sep 5th, 2016, 04:39 PM
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Free travel guides japan

Has anyone used any of the free travel guides in japan, and if so, which companies, where did you use guide and what was your opinion as to the value of having a guide. We normally wander on our own, but have taken sandaman walking tours on occasion and have hired guides on a need be basis. Opinions anyone who has used Japan's free guides?
dgunbug is offline  
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Sep 5th, 2016, 04:54 PM
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Where have you seen free guides?

Two yrs. ago we were there and I looked for guides and found them to be very expensive. We did find someone extremely reasonably from the Hakodate Goodwill Assn. but I sure missed the free stuff. .
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Sep 5th, 2016, 05:29 PM
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I've used free guides several times in Japan - Nara, Uchiko, Hikone, Matsumoto Castle, Inuyama Castle are ones I remember offhand....

Except for Inuyama where I was offered a free guide at the entrance I usually search the town name and free walking tour or free guide. Or else the town/prefecture tourism website....

I have enjoyed those guides as they are local people who know their way around obviously and gave me a real taste of Japanese life....and usually their English is quite good.
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Sep 5th, 2016, 05:32 PM
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If you google free guides Japan, you will find various volunteer groups. We have booked a volunteer guide in Hiroshima as we thought it may be interesting to hear first hand knowledge from someone growing up after the war years. There are free guides in many Japanese cities.
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Sep 5th, 2016, 06:13 PM
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I only used free local guides twice: Once, the ticket-person at Takayama's Jinya suggested that I wait (ever so briefly) for one, and later, a Goodwill Guide approached me (very sweetly) at the entrance to Inuyama's Urakuen. Both were very informative and helpful, and in each case, I was glad for the experience, even though I normally prefer to explore independently.

JNTO (the Japanese National Tourism Organization) organizes Goodwill Guides;
I believe there are other entities that organize them as well. If you are going to rely on one, please pay attention to the relevant norms, e.g. no tipping, pay their admission fees and the cost of any shared meals, perhaps a truly nominal memento of your home (but NOTHING of value)....
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Sep 6th, 2016, 01:45 AM
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We used one in Fukuoka and really appreciated her help hugely - we emailed ahead of time and she put together a custom itinerary based on our interests.

You will be expected to cover a small fee for her travel to meet you and get home, plus all travel, entry tickets and transport costs while you are together.

It's an amazingly good deal, as you really get a different insight into the place.
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Sep 6th, 2016, 05:31 AM
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I don't know about this.
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Sep 6th, 2016, 05:34 AM
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We used Goodwill Guides for Uji, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Matsumoto and several in Tokyo. We were extremely happy with most of them. What I especially liked is that we were paired up with people who were around our age, so we were able to find things in common. In fact, we got together our Kyoto when he was in the U.S. earlier this summer.
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Sep 6th, 2016, 06:31 AM
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We were offered and accepted a free guided tour of Kanazawa Castle and Park and Matsumoto castle. Their English was perfect and they knew the history of the castles. If you are visiting any castles, ask if they have free guides at the ticket counter. We've never used guides in the cities as I found it more to my liking to DIY from tour books. It was nice to have a guide for 1-2 hours at the castle, but I would not want a guide with me for a whole day.
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Sep 6th, 2016, 06:39 AM
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Wow! Wish I would have know this two yrs. ago. .

The Goodwill guide we had in Hakodate was great and only cost about $30.00 USD.
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