Kyoto Guide

Feb 17th, 2019, 10:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,870
Kyoto Guide

Can anyone recommend a guide for a half-day tour in Kyoto? Prefer someone young/cool with a car - will be with my two 20 something sons.
crosscheck is offline  
Feb 17th, 2019, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,103
They might consider working with a local “goodwill guide” – The Japanese National Tourism Organization coordinates free volunteer guides – “Goodwill guides” – who are generally knowledgeable and happy to guide you in return for practicing their English – which can be excellent, but it is a bit of a luck-of-the-draw.

One pays any entrance fees and his/her meal if the time with the guide includes one. One does NOT tip these guides, or anyone else in Japan.
kja is offline  
Feb 17th, 2019, 08:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 272
Friends just returned and raved about Natsuko Yamazaki of the Yasaka Taxi Service.
Good reviews on Trip Advisor
Have a great time
kalihiwai2 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2019, 12:10 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,959
My guide is Takakazu Machi. I got him straight off of youtube back in 2016, before I took my summer 2017 trip. I also had him in summer 2018 and plan to have him in summer 2019. His English is flawless, he's flexible, and is also incredibly knowledgeable. He has other drivers in his company, but he personally drives me. I noticed that he's on tripdvisor which I wasn't aware of when I first hired him. In the photo below, he's #4 from the left to right.

It was great to be able to go where I wanted to go and do what I wanted to do. Last summer, I had him drive me out to a tea farming town where there were no people except locals. There was a family-owned diner where I wanted to eat and we grabbed a meal there and it was great. And in summer 2016, we did Kyoto and then I wanted to get out of Kyoto, so he drove me to the countryside which was a really nice change as we drove through roads across farmland and saw local farming community temples, etc. He knows the area like the back of his hand.

As for young, cool, and with a car, I don't know of those guides. Maybe, there are some. But, I just went for highly knowledgeable, knows the areas, and then as for cool, (shopping) places that I wanted to go to, I just had Taka either take me or head me in the right direction. I did my research beforehand and e-mailed him what I wanted to do and then he got back to me to let me know if it was sensible within the timeframe that I was to hire him.

If you want young and cool, then maybe take the train from Kyoto to Osaka which only costs 560 yen one way. I zipped over to Osaka, one day, and it seemed really cool, a totally different vibe from Kyoto although I love Kyoto.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Feb 28th, 2019, 10:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,870
Thanks, everyone. Yasakataxi and Takakazu Machi were booked for our date (a month in advance). But we did find someone who seems great, will let you know after we meet him.
crosscheck is offline  
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