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yarrl Jul 14th, 2012 07:29 AM

Guide for tours outside of Tokyo and Kyoto
Anyone recommend a good guide company that can take us on day trips outside Tokyo and then another company for when we are in Kyoto. We will be in each city for 4 days.
We are five adults, this will be our third time to Japan, and are looking for adventures more interesting then the normal tourist stops, but not something like bungee jumping.
Thank you again for your help.

KimJapan Jul 14th, 2012 02:11 PM

Where do you want to go and what kind of things do you like? Outdoor adventure? Art? Craft? History? Temples? Food? There are some guides and some companies that are quite specialized.

yarrl Jul 15th, 2012 06:23 AM

Medium adventure, history, high quality crafts like the top porcelain or lacquer ware, some temples.
Also factories where they make real products. For example if one could tour a Toyota factory where they make the Prius. For location, day trips from Tokyo, Kyoto and around Takayama. Thanks for taking the time to help with this.

KimJapan Jul 15th, 2012 02:59 PM is the only Toyota factory tour I'm aware of. The Prius is made at a different factory in Iwate Prefecture.

For fine lacquer, there is a Living National Treasure artist in Yamanaka Onsen, located between Ktoto and Kanazawa, that the group I work with has a working relationship with. If available he welcomes accompanied guests to his wood and lacquer workshop where. Isidore can see the process and then many examples of final products (and you may buy but are not required nor even expected to due to the high price). Another excellent lacquer and Makie artist is resident in Kanazawa, and the same sort of visit is possible. There are also several ceramic artIsts and others too, all in Ishikawa prefecture. You could spend a few days between Kyoto and Takayama doing art related things in Ishikawa.
There is also an expert historian in Kanazawa, a native New Zealander who did his university study through PhD level at Kanazawa University. Very interesting man!

While in Tokyo, you might go to either Nikko or Kamakura for and out of the city temple rich excursion. It's my feeling that a guide isn't necessary but companies like japanican run tours if you like.

For Kyoto, based on your interest in art, if the Miho museum is open during your stay it's a great visit. Chris Rowthorn, at least in the past, had some art-focused guides on staff.

hawaiiantraveler Jul 16th, 2012 09:15 AM

Here is the japanican link kim mentions above though I have a feeling she left it out for a reason..... ;)
I have used them on several occasions for ryokan and other reservations but have not done a tour with them though they have nice rail and hotel rates for foreigners.


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