If you recently visited Kansai with our Volunteer Guide, please leave your comment using the form below. If it's good or bad, we listen to your feedback to improve our service.
Here are comments posted from tourists who have visited Kansai district and used our Volunteer Guide service. Thank you!
We would like to send our fondest aloha to Kazuko Ozawa and thank her for making our visit to Osaka and Kyoto so memorable. It was our first trip to Japan, my wife and I were not that familiar with train stations and the transportation systems, we had some anxiety and feared getting lost in the train stations and not being able to get to the correct connecting platform in time. Arriving on the Shinkansen at Shin-Osaka Station from Hiroshima, instead of meeting us at Osaka Station, Kaz met us at the arriving platform at Shin-Osaka. Making it so much easier for us, took us to our hotel with our hotel shuttle. Then taught us to use the different train lines and subway. We arrived in Osaka in the late afternoon on Sunday, March 31st, 2013, Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom, and Osaka Castle was open that night. It was a beautiful experience made more wonderful because we were able share this time with a Kaz.
On April 1st, we were blessed to have spend the day in Kyoto with Kaz she planned our day well, we were able to visit the out of the way temples that if we were on our own, would not have been able to navigate and see in such a short period of time. She directed us to a wonderful old style Japanese restaurant for a delicious lunch. She was flexible and was very knowledgeable, she was obviously very intelligent and spoke English very well… She helped to translate for us so that we were able to be understood. Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom everywhere we visited and we will always cherish the happy and exciting moments that we shared with Kaz. We were really sad when we had to say goodby. – Alan Taogoshi さん
We would like to give a very warm thank you to Kai for his time with us in the Kansai region. There is so much to do we covered two cities in two days which was Osaka and Kyoto. Kai optimized our time and did his homework for our trip I was pleasantly surprised when we went to the Douguyasuji shopping strip in Osaka which is full of cooking stuff-everything you want for the kitchen. We covered other spots in Osaka like Dotombori and Osaka castle and one heck of a fantastic aquarium. We loved the subway system in Osaka and got to ride on various trains throughout the day.
On our day in Kyoto we went to various destinations. My wife was interested in a certain type of handbag made only in Kyoto, it was unique and Kai knew where to go. We covered other areas like the Nishiki markets, Gion corner and a wonderful antique store where my wife bought a set of antique plates. We are now planning our next trip to Japan.
Overall I can highly recommend a guided visit to Kansai region. This is the way to be a traveler and not be a tourist. Go visit Kansai!- Simon Schmitzer さん
We were a group of four and spent a day in Kyoto having Eriko Inagaki as our guide. It was a great experience for us in every aspect: We exchanged numerous mails with Eriko building the schedule for the day, admiring the amount of work and time she put into this ,as if it was her only job. She guided us for a whole day, explaining what we saw but also giving us a lot of information and answering a lot of questions about the Japanese way of life and culture. It was a pleasure to see her seriousness, her knowledge, her perfect English – the great experience we had goes far beyond pure guiding. This service, as a whole, and Eriko in particular, is something unheard of in any other country. Your are doing a great job, Eriko, for us and a great service for Japan. – Dov Singer さん
We had a wonderful evening with Atsuko, who guided us through a very crowded Saturday night in Kyoto during Gion Matsuri festivities a few days before the parade. We viewed several floats up close and strolled through the carnival atmosphere of food and game stalls. Atsuko’s knowledge of the festival was invaluable. When we wanted a break from the crowds, she took us through a quiet side street to Pontocho where we settled in for a dinner of okonomiyaki and good conversation. Thank you Atsuko! – Linda and Bob さん
We met Kai in Kyoto on the 17th of July for Gion matsuri.Before that day, we exchanged lot of mails for the organisation. Kai is really kind, proposing lot of activities and doing is best so that I can enjoy our day together. And I did. We saw the big parade, visited temples, had a great lunge near Gion. We laugh a lot. I asked questions about Japan and other stuffs and got answers, I’m really pleased.
I’m sorry my poor english can’t reflect how nice Kai is.
Thank you for everything Kai – Pierre さん
Mr. Norihiro Hamada accompanied us one Saturday to the different sights in Kyoto last June. We communicated before the trip and settled on an itinerary workable with our schedule. He arranged everything — including the reservation to the tea ceremony.
He was very accommodating, honest, patient, and polite. We actually enjoyed asking him questions about various things — from food, to language, to Japanese history. He tried his best to effectively translate for us and answer our questions the best way he could (sometimes, even with a touch of humor.) It helped that he speaks English well.
We traveled with my mother who is almost 70. He assisted her during long walks, which we really appreciate.
All in all, we were lucky to have been guided by Nori. He is inspiring as well— although we learned that he has a very good full time job, he actually devotes time to be a volunteer guide to tourists like us so that we can appreciate their culture and history more.
I can say that Japan is indeed a beautiful place, made worth coming back to by people like Nori. :) – Arlene U. さん
My family and I was guided around Kyoto March 14, 2012 by Mr.Norihiro Hamada. We have been in Tokyo several times, however, this is the first time we had a local resident tour us in a different city. It was a new perspective, and we enjoyed the personal approach to which the tour was designed for us. We traveled with our 3 year old daughter, and Mr. Hamada was very kind to accommodate that. Kyoto is beautiful this time of year, average cold, but not snowing. It’s been known that Kyoto is a walking city, and there will be a lot of that. However, Mr.Hamada suggests you take an all day city bus pass to get around, and indeed it will come in handy. We corresponded with Mr. Hamada prior to the trip and we mentioned our expectations, bargain shopping, a few historic sites, temples, and good eats. My wife and I suggest good walking shoes, pack light essentials, a note pad to journal your trip, camera and optional snack and water, unless you prefer to pick up food along the way. We also enjoyed drinking off a spring fountain in one of the temples we visited. Water was sweet and refreshing, not sure if you could bottle it though, but do ask. We appreciate the service Mr.Hamada and other locals share for us tourist to enjoy the beautiful sites Kyoto has to offer. Personally, we find Mr. Hamada, very pleasant, polite, and patient in dealing with our curiosity. We could not ask for a better guide. Should there be a plan to visit Kobe or other surrounding cities, we will not think twice to ask Mr. Hamada if he is available again to feed us with valuable information. Thank you Nori-san, not only were you a great resource, a great friend as well! – Dino F. さん
I spend one day in Kansai with guide Kai Nakamura and he was a great help. His help make it possible to see locations that I would not usually visit and see as the Yamazaki destillery. I had a great time with Kai guidiance. – Jens Rosander さん
Recently I spend a few days in Kansay area and I enjoyed my time with a great guide – Kai Nakamura. Congratulations for your service and attention with us (foreigners). Thank you soo much. – Alcenir Souza さん
We had the pleasure of visiting Nara and Miwa Mountain on Saturday, March 10th. Our guide for this trip was Eriko Inagaki. Eriko was very punctual, as well as thoughtful and thorough in preparing our day experience. She suggested hiking on Miwa mountain which fit perfectly with our interests in the outdoors. She selected a restaurant specializing in local cuisine which was delightful and reasonably prized. Our visit to Nara was also equally fun. Eriko had an excellent fund of knowledge when visiting the historical sites.
Eriko’s English was excellent as well. She was very friendly, polite, and attentive to our needs. We would highly recommend her for anyone visiting Kyoto and Nara! – Miguel and Won Mee さん
We recently had the pleasure of having Norihiro Hamada as our volunteer guide in Kyoto. We could not recommend the experience more highly. Norihiro was funny, friendly, and open to our questions about everything from street signage to religious practice at Kiyomizu-dera Temple. His spoken English was impressive. At times it felt more like we were hanging out with a good friend rather than being “guided”–something we appreciated. One of the highlights of our day was experiencing a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto. Norihiro gamely took on the task of translating in real-time the very detailed instructions on how to brew and serve tea. He was also able to take us to a tiny tea shop that usually only sells wholesale to specialized ryokans and tea houses. At the end of the day, Norihiro was also able to help us find several tiny food shops near Yasaka Shrine–something we could not have done without his help and knowledge of the language. Working with Norihiro allowed us to experience Japan in a more intimate and authentic way. We will always treasure our time in Kyoto, and feel we left having made a new friend. Thank you, Norihiro! – Samantha さん
My husband and I would love to thank our guide Toyoko Michino for spending a lovely day with us in Kyoto. After discussing the plan for the day Michi took us around showing us the most import ant sights of the town. She not only represented good historic knowledge on different areas but could also answer all our questions about cultural differences, the Japanese language and customs as well. We were really impressed how fluent and easy to follow her English was. Thank you Michi again for spending a memorable day with us in Kyoto! – Marianna and Istvan さん
I am writing to thanks Visit Kansai for a great time with your tour guide Toyoko Michino san. She was a sweet wonderful lady and know the city very well. This was my second time in Japan, however, the Kansai trip was the most memorial one because of Toyoko san, and because of her, I met 3 new friends in Japan. Thank you Toyoko san, and thank you Visit Kansai. – Ray Tong さん
My girlfriend and I recently spent a day with Ayaka as our guide around Kyoto. It was a really good experience as we got to learn about the city and it’s food, markets and temples from a local. The beat experience was learning how to make a tea ceremony and understand what the japanese host was explaining to us! Thoroughly recommended. – Andy さん
I want to thank my guide, Akio for his excellent guide. I loved the way he brought me around the Higashiyama area, and especially the lantern festival in Nara later in the evening. The summer festival booths and ame ringo (candy apple) were things I have only dreamt of experiencing, until then! I owe Akio my sincere thanks for bringing me to a probably once-in-a-lifetime event.- Ce-yi さん
I would like to thank my guide Maiko For making my wife and I visit to Kyoto very enjoyable. I have recommended this site to a travel show and they are going to use you guys when they are in Japan next. So thank you. – Andrew さん
My wife, me and a couple of friends had Ayaka as a guide in Osaka, she took us to some really amazing places, both for sightseeing and for eating, and she also explained us some tricks to find nice restaurants. she was helpful and kind, we’re very grateful to her and we definitely recommend her. – Diego さん
I recently went to Japan and tried to get one of your volunteer guides but we didn’t quite understand each other and had a misunderstanding due to cultural differences. May I suggest that the volunteer guides be more patient with tourists as we are not really familiar with the Japanese culture. – Dani さん
Our day tour of Kyoto with our guide Norihiro Hamada was extremely satisfying. Nori was a pleasant person with lot of information. He suggested some different activities than the usual touristic stuff. We enjoyed our day with him. We had lunch at a very Japanese small restaurant, which otherwise would be out of our reach. He also gave us valuable information about what to see the next day on our own. Thank you so much for this great volunteer guide service. – Shree さん