Here are testimonials posted from tourists who have visited Kansai district and used our Free Guide service. Thank you!
We had a lovely time with Akihiro. He was able to guide us around Kyoto, Nara and Osaka over 2 days. He was very friendly and accommodating especially for my parents as they were not used to so much walking. We were very lucky to be in Kyoto during the Gion Festival and Aki made sure we had the best vantage point to watch the floats which was amazing to see. Without him we would have been completely lost as there was many closed exits and detours.
We went to the many famous landmarks of Kyoto in the Arashiyama area then to the Nishiki Market where he was able to explain and point out the many produce on offer. The next day we went to Osaka Castle and the Kuromon Markets then to Nara. We covered off many must see places in 2 days and Aki planned out all the bus and rail connections so everything was perfectly timed.
Thank you Aki and VisitKansai for offering such a lovely service for visitors to your home. We have fallen in love with Japan and have already planned on the next regions to visit. You are great ambassadors for Japan and we wish Aki and his family all the best. – 17th & 18th July, 2016 Doris Chiu san
I am very happy with the program she made and the places where we’ve been. Yoko did a great job by explaining me more historical details about Osaka’s castle and I really appreciated that she let me take my time to discover the museum and answered nicely to my questions. I really enjoyed wearing that Yukata and she found a great Yukata shop and I cam back with one of my friends. I ate in this nice hotel with her, she really found a good lunch deal for high quality food. Yoko did show me amazing places such as Shinsekai or that mall in the buisness area. In the end after strolling around Osaka in a Yukata, I could taste Takoyaki ! She made me feel at ease while walking in the city in Yukata. I was shy at first but thanks to her I felt better ! I am very happy to have requested a guide from visit kansai and I’ll recommend this for every traveller who comes in Japan for the first time. – 25th June, 2016 Maya Stalla san
We had Misa Takada as our guide for a day in Osaka. She kindly met us in the morning to start our day by first visiting Osaka castle. She provided detailed historical facts about the shoguns who inhabited the castle and the wars that ensued. As per our early request, we asked to also have lunch at a traditional okonomiyaki restaurant. Misa researched and made arrangements for an okonomiyaki restaurant in Nippombashi which was delicious!
Next on our itinerary was to visit the Sumiyoshi taisha shrine with the famous wooden bridge. But first, we stopped by for dessert. At the shrine, Misa gave us a historical explanation on the history of the shrine, along with the proper instructions on how to pray. Afterwards she took us to a nearby shrine with a wishing stone.
I also requested a place to take a purikura together and Misa led us to Namba parks. It is a large mall which where we first had another dessert because we found a Gudetama pop up cafe. It was a very cute cafe and delicious desserts. We took purikura photos at the Namco store.
Next, we ate izakaya for dinner at a popular restaurant recommended by Misa in Namba. Food was unique and absolutely delicious. Misa knows her food well!
Finally as the evening is drawing to a close, our last request was a visit to Dotonbori for pictures in front of the Glico man, as well as some shopping at Shinsaibashi. After this, we ducked to another cafe for last desserts.
We finally said good bye to Misa after a long day of sight seeing and food. We appreciate Misa very much for her assistance and research prior to this day. We are saddened to leave Osaka but we are happy to walk away with a friend like Misa.
We hope to keep in touch with Misa if ever we visit Japan again, or if she visits Australia.
Thank you Misa!! – 28th May, 2016 Albert Igonia san
Mr. Hideki he is an excellent guide. He take good care of us during our 1 day trip with him to kyoto. He is very helpful and had tried his utmost to assist us in many ways. We are very grateful to you and your organisation for guiding us. – 14th May, 2016 Sur Thin Tan san
Aki is the perfect sample for all that Japan represents. I was in Japan for 7 days and was amazed to see how wonderfully courteous and gentle Japanese people are.
Aki is a wonderful guide, knowledgeable, and a real gentleman. We were in Kyoto for one day but he helped us plan the itinerary so we could cover most of Kyoto. He was tireless and helpful in every way with his rich knowledge about Japan.
Before we arrived I asked him whether it would be possible for him to find my Schooldays pen friend from Hiroshima whom I had no connection for 44 years. I sent him a photo taken years back in Sri Lanka when my pen friend visited me with his parents address. Believe me Aki had not only located him, but arranged us to meet in Hiroshima. I am thankful to him for everything and wish him well in his life.
Finally let me thank you for this wonderful system of arranging free guides in Japan. I am not aware of any other country which has this facility of organizing free and honest guides for tourists. – 17th May, 2016 Sara Dias san
During our visit we visited very interesting places, and we would not have visited if not for Maki, it was an unforgettable day and all thanks is not enough, we went to the museum of life in Osaka, several temples, Sumiyoshi Taisha was beautiful, took us to eat at a site skewer very surprising Osaka, after lunch we went to Kobe and there we visited a beautiful garden and did some shopping. Finally we went to Kobe port, where once more Maki helped us to have an unforgettable day. In Spanish: Durante nuestra visita visitamos sitios muy interesantes, y que no habríamos visitado de no ser por ella, fue un día inolvidable y todo agradecimiento es poco, fuimos al museo de la vida en Osaka, varios templos el Sumiyoshi Taisha fue precioso, nos llevo a comer a un sitio en Osaka muy sorprendente de brochetas, después de comer fuimos a Kobe y allí visitamos un precioso jardín e hicimos algunas compras. Para terminar fuimos al puerto de Kobe, donde una vez mas Maki nos ayudo a tener un día inolvidable. – 18th March, 2016 Agustín Castaños san
Makiko was an excellent guide on our visit to Kyoto. We greeted us with wonderful gifts made by their children. In a fluid Spanish he gave us many explanations of Japanese customs and the places we visited with her.
We went with her to eat at a sushi restaurant fun. we loved it! Thank you very much for everything Maki. I hope in Spain! – 11th April, 2016 Amelia maicas san
We had a great trip thank you. Eri was very helpful before we met up, making sure she could arrange a time to meet up that was convenient for us. We met Eri near our hotel and she showed us some of the sights of Osaka. She was very friendly and knew her way around well. We stopped in a cafe where we were able to find out a bit about each other and what life is like in Japan. In the evening Eri showed us a great okonomiyaki restaurant where it was very nice to have someone that could translate the menu for us! Her English was good, she knew her way around and she was nice and friendly. I really appreciate that she came from Nara just to guide us. Thank you for helping organise our guide. It was great to arrive in a new city knowing that there was a friendly face to show us around. Hopefully we can make it back to Japan again soon! – 4th April, 2016 Gary Bethel san
Let me first thank you, Aki and all the people working with you to offer this wonderful service of volunteer guide! We had a great time with Mr. Aki. Thank you Mr. Aki, you are an excellent guide. Before we arrived he emailed us asking what we were interested in seeing and he prepared a wonderful itinerary for the day which was great. He met us at the passenger Terminal at 10.0 0am and was with us until 5.00pm.
He was very friendly and helpful and we would recommend him to any visitor to Osaka. Thank you Aki and also thank you to VisitKansai for offering this wonderful service. – 16th March, 2016 Gabriele Groenninger san
Aki is so warm and generous with his time, and planned the day with us thoughtfully and so thoroughly we were able to see everything we wanted plus lots more that we did not expect. He even gave us some advice for the following days and following his advice we had a very enjoyable stay in Kyoto seeing many things that most tourists would miss. The amount of preparation Aki undertook was quite amazing and the plans were not even upset by the very heavy rain. He was able to explain to us some complicated concepts in food and horticulture in Australian/ English that were very important to our understanding of Japanese culture. At the end of the day Aki commented on our high levels of energy. I am convinced he was the source of that energy. We hope to have an opportunity to reciprocate in the future, especially for Aki but also for any of his colleagues, family or friends that visit Adelaide. We love Japan and hope to return very soon. – 7th April, 2016 Bruce Hendry san
Maki-san was helpful to us even before we left Malaysia by helping us with planning our trip to Kansai. We especially appreciate her recommendations for gardens to visit. On the day Maki-san met us at the hotel punctually. The day’s trip was well planned and we enjoy our tour of Osaka city tremendously. She spoke English good enough for us. She is friendly and very patient with my wife’s one million and one questions. My wife liked her a lot and say she is an “OK person”. The only area for Maki-san to improve as a guide may be her historical knowledge. This is not a big deal for us as we are not historical buffs. We would like to thank Maki-san and your organization for adding a personal dimension to our trip to Japan. We appreciate our interaction with Maki-san and it make our trip more enjoyable. – 17th April, 2016 Woi Leng San san
Huge thanks to Misa for her tour with us in Kyoto! She has planned everything in advance and despite all the rain, it was very interesting and a great pleasure to have Misa as a guide! We visited beautiful temples and also, we discovered a restaurant of tofu specialties which is very popular in the city. The dinner was very tasty too! She was always ready to help us for the bus or to invite us to discover some desserts with matcha or dorayakis. We are very thankful for her time she spent with us. Arigato gozaimasu! – 9th March, 2016 Claire Kostmann san
Mr. Aki is an excellent, gentle guide. In a very kind and informative way he made us feel welcome. Talking English and German, Mr. Aki showed us some wonderful places of Kyoto. Email conversation about itinerary also was very informative and nice. So I thank Mr. Aki in this way and recommand him as a very, very good guide. – 6th March, 2016 Eva Neurohr san
We had a wonderful day in Kyoto with Atsuko. Atsuko had helped us organize a day trip to Kyoto from Osaka before we visited Japan with a series of emails. Atsuko met us at our Hotel in Osaka and travelled to Kytot with us. The manner in which we could do this with so much ease was a credit to Atsuko and the amazing transport system in Japan. Atsuko was intelligent, knowledgeable and her English speaking skills were very good. Much better than our Japanese! My husband and I had a wonderful day with Atsuko visiting the Golden Pavillion, the Nijojo Castle and the Ryoanji Temple. We would definitely recommend to our friends and family this service if they visited the beautiful Kansai area of Japan – 7th to 8th March, 2016 Peter Cook san
Thank you very much for you query about our experience in Kyoto. We had a wonderful day with your Visit Kansai Guide Rika and could not have managed to see so much without her help. Rika was extremely friendly, pleasant, and very patient with us. She was very knowledgeable and well prepared and we have lovely memories of the day we spent with her. It was very good to be able to email her before the day so that we could be very well organised. – 24th January, 2016 Margaret Gerard san
My wife, 7 year old daughter and myself had a lovely day with Miss Kyoko san as our guide. She is very friendly, intelligent and speaks fluent English. We communicated several times before our meeting via email to discuss the details of our itinerary. We visited Eikando Temple in Kyoto which simply has the most beautiful and breathtaking autumn foliage. Kyoko also assisted us on renting a kimono for my wife. My daughter loved Kyoko and enjoyed her company tremendously. We would like to thank Visit Kansai and especially Kyoko san for her time and excellent service. We hope to see you again the next time we visit Japan. Arigato Gozaimasu. – 6th December, 2015 Chuah Chung Peng san
I planned to make a trip to Kyoto together with my parents and when I asked you for assistance, your guide Kayoko was so nice to be our guide for one day. Already weeks before we set for Japan she contacted us and asked for things we would like to see and things we are interested in in general (japanese gardens, temples, etc.). Throughout the whole time she was very helpful and suggested different routes and places from which we could pick. She made a perfect plan for the whole day. For the meeting point Kayoko suggested a place that is easy to find for people who don’t know Kyoto well. She even knew how to get the cheapest transport tickets and the fastest access to the places. All of us enjoyed the time she was with us. She knew a lot about the places we visited and we could easily follow her explanations and had very interesting and deep conversations with her. In the end of the day she helped us to buy the shinkansen tickets for the following day so that we wouldn’t have to try to buy them by ourselves. We also kept contact during the following days and got further suggestions from her! We are very thankful for the time she spent with us and showed us around. All in all we couldn’t have had any better guide than Kayoko and would love to suggest her to other tourists!- 4th September, 2015 Laura Förster san
We had a wonderful trip and Aki is a great guide and very kind person. We were pleased to be guided by him. He was always very supportive, kind, helpful and very nice to us. It was a great experience and we were very pleased during our visit to your wonderful country. Thank you very much again for all your help and for make us, tourist people, feeling very welcome in your beautiful country.- 25th November, 2015 Felix Maza san
We really enjoyed our trip with Aki-san guiding us for two wonderful days in Kyoto. We communicated many times before meeting up and he speaks and write English well. Aki-san is very patient, kind and soft-spoken. He brought us to all the places we planned to visit and we were really impressed. Aki-san is really excellent and we recommend him to be an Advanced Guide. Lastly, we would also like to thank you for helping us to find such a good guide.- 11th and 12th November, 2015 Lucille Chew san
My wife and I had a wonderful day with Miss Kyoko as our guide. She is charming, intelligent and speaks fluent English & Dutch as well. She constantly communicated with us prior to our trip to discuss the details of our itinerary despite of her busy schedules. Although the weather didn’t cooperate that particular day, she made sure we will have an enjoyable time. We visited the east area of Kyoto with beautiful autumn foliage. We would like to thank Visit Kansai and most especially Miss Kyoko for her excellent service, we hope to see you again when we visit Japan with our kids. – 14th November, 2015 Ronald and Jean Sy san
We were absolutely delighted to have Yuka as our guide. We communicated several times before the meeting via email. I indicated what we wanted to do and what we wanted to buy. Yuka went out of her way to find the “yuzu honey” and took us to a store to buy them. She spent time to locate the place before we went there, which we were so grateful for. As we specified a “foodie” tour, we were apparently taken to Yuka’s favorite places, all of which were very, very good, and the prices were very reasonable also. We ate the Kitsune Udon, buta mon, ice cream, takoyaki and ended up having the kushiyaki. We had to stop there eventhough Yuka wanted us to sample the okonomiyake. But then we were too full. Our journey through the Osaka Umeda and Namba areas were fascinating. We could not imagine that there would be much to do being on a Sunday evening, but there were so many people and so many things to do. We actually were entertained from 5:00pm (17:00) to 9:30pm (21:30). We connected so well. Yuka was such a great host. Her command of English was pretty darn good and we communicated very well. She was a real beauty, chic and charming at the same time. Yuka, is a great asset to getting to know about Osaka. We were very pleased to have her as our guide. In fact, our time spent with her was likely the highlight of our trip to Japan. – 8th November, 2015 Gene Ho san
We had a great time with Nozomi. We could freely exchange together. We know each other there is a hole between our culture but we made bridges with Nozomi. It s difficult to resume the experience in few words…unforgettable. – 13th September, 2015 Kasperski san
I had an amazing trip with Eri! She was tentative and patient while bringing my parents and I around Osaka. Most of the time she tries her very best to describe Japan’s culture to us. We appreciate that she went traveled from Nara/Kyoto to meet up with us at Osaka. We loved the places that she planned for us and of course, we were able to enjoy more local food since she was there to translate the Japanese menu. – 31st October, 2015 Suki Low san
We found Aki to a very good guide. Before we arrived he emailed us asking what we were interested in seeing and he then prepared a detailed itinerary for the day which was great. He met us at our hotel at 9.00am and was with us until 5.00pm which was more than most volunteer guides would do in our experience. He was very friendly and helpful and we would recommend him to any visitor to Kyoto. Thank you Aki and also thank you to VisitKansai for offering this wonderful service. – 9th October, 2015 Trevor & Kim Rosen san
My wife and I had a lovely day with KK in Osaka and Kobe. The weather was not great, but KK was! She picked us up exactly on time. We saw everything we asked to see. We had a nice lunch at Osaka castle. Our visit to the Hakutsuru sake museum was much fun. And interesting. – 24th September, 2015 Andrew Urban san
We had a really lovely day in Osaka with Misa. She contacted us well in advance to discuss what we were interested in seeing and doing, and she provided several suggestions of what we could do together. She planned us a great itinerary and we got to see parts of Osaka we probably never would have discovered alone. We explored some really nice areas with charming cafes and shops, and ended the day at an Izakaya which Misa had booked us a table in. The menu was entirely in Japanese with no pictures, so it would have been difficult for us to go alone! The food and sake was all very tasty, and Misa was lovely, and a great guide. She also speaks English very well! – 4th October, 2015 Liron Speyer san
We are very happy to have Mika with us one day in Kyoto. She is very helpful and friendly. Thank you very much to have this experience in our holiday in Japan. – 23rd September, 2015 Annemari Pekkola san
Our experience with Atsuko was wonderful. She’s very helpful and assist us with information on others days that she is unable to attend to us. – October 4th, 2015 Connie Chia san
I had the most amazing time in Japan and it is largely due to how wonderful my guide Aki was. He was very easy going, kind and thoughtful and very generous with his time. I spend 2.5 days with him and he showed me so much, always mindful of time and what I wanted to see and experience. I am really impressed by him and the service that you offer and I am sharing my impressions with everyone here in Australia. I would highly recommend the guides and would definitely be reaching out again should I be so lucky to visit Japan again. Thank you and all the best. – August 31st, 2015 Svetlana Transka-Lea san
Let me first thank you, Aki and all the people working with you to offer this wonderful service of volunteer guide! Aki was very nice indeed! He prepared a very detailed itinerary for our day in Kyoto after asking me via mail what we would have liked to do and visit. He agreed to make an early start (we met at 7.45a.m.) and stayed with us till 21.00p.m. to come with us to see He answered all the questions we made and was a very pleasant company all day!
It really was a great pleasure to meet him and have him guiding us. I don’t know what you mean with advanced guide. Actually I didn’t expect a volunteer guide to do the job of a real guide speaking perfectly the language and knowing all about history and staff. I expected a real person who wanted to let us know about his country, people, day life; a person who was with us for the pleasure of meeting people from another country and sharing experiences. And I wasn’t disappointed! So my rate is good. Thank you again for your job! – August 16th, 2015 Stefania Maietti san
We had a wonderful day with Kayoko in Kyoto. She was very knowledgeable and very pleasant. Having her guidance on our trip to Arashiyama, Tenryu-ji Temple, the Bamboo Grove and Okochi Sanso made the visit much more enjoyable than if we had tried to go on our own. We would not have known the best way to get there and the highlights to see, or known all of the details that she provided. We would recommend her highly. Her English is also quite good. Thank you very much. – August 27th, 2015 Rachel and Michael Lazan san
we really had a lovely day with Yuko in Kyoto. She was really nice and was so kind to help me out at restaurants with my dietary problems. Thanks to her advice I also attended the Gozan no Okuribi festival wearing a yukata which was definitely the icing on the cake because we really felt as a part of this traditional moment! I would definitely recommend everybody visiting Japan to ask for a guide’s help for at least one or two days. It’s not really only about asking for advices on what to do or what to visit but also a way to get in touch with someone living there and to learn more about the cultural differences between the country where you live and Japan. So thank you for this nice experience! – August 16th, 2015 Silvia san
Mika was an excellent guide. She was vibrant and full of energy and very enthusiastic. She was very keen to ensure that I got to do and see the things that were important to me. Her English was pretty good and we always manage to figure out what each other was saying. She helped me understand a lot of the culture of the Japanese people and I really enjoyed that. She is a very likeable person and I would rate her as a 5 as a guide. Thank you for this wonderful service that you offer to your visitors. I will be sure to recommend your service to all of my friends who visit Japan in the future. – July 5th, 2015 Andy Eggleton san
Our guide, Atsuko Fujii was an excellent guide. Our first day was spent touring Himeji castle and its gardens. Our second day was spent touring Arashiyama which to us was the highlight of our tour and the Gion area in Kyoto. On both days, Atsuko did her best to satisfy our requests be it in particular places we wanted to see as well as in the food we wanted to taste. We highly appreciate your putting up this website to help visitors in appreciating more the beauty of the Kansai region. – June 12th and 13th, 2015 Susan san
KK took us to many beautiful and interesting places, starting with the Nunobiki Herb gardens. This was a pleasant way to start our day. She accommodated our dietary restrictions by arranging for lunch at an Italian restaurant. We ended our day by walking to the port and viewing the city from Kobe Port Tower. KK knew that my daughter wanted to visit a crepe shop, so she guided us to a shopping area where we ate a delicious crepe and bought souvenirs. KK’s knowledge of English is very good! She was able to converse on a variety of topics, and give us a lot of information about Kobe. A big “Arigatou!” to KK for a wonderful day in Kobe. – June 7th, 2015 Jeannette Johannsen san
Thanks you so much for your help. Actually, we feel happy with Ms Mayu, she’s enthusiastic and pleasant girl. Because we arrived osaka late, so some placed closed but she remain wait us and We highly appreciated Mayu. – June 1st, 2015 Giang Dao san
Already during the preparation I had nice contacts with Aki, he adapted the tour flexibly according new wishes and proposals from both sides. We met us at a nearby railway station for a whole day tour through the city of Osaka. Thank you very much Aki for this great day, the information you shared helps me to understand a bit more about Japan. – May 27th, 2015 Toon Tanghe san
Our experience with Mika was certainly excellent. We found her to be accommodating in every way. Although we needed to change our schedule a couple of times it was never a problem. We felt as if we were visiting a relative. When we return to Kansai we plan to request Mika once again. We hope she enjoyed her day with us as much as we did. – May 25th, 2015 Tony Vercillo san
We meet with Yuko in our hotel and we went to Kurama for a walk in a mountain to Kibune. In kibune we spent time to relax and enjoy lunch in a beautiful place on river. fantastic!!!! Yuko is very nice! Speak English very well and she know a little bit of Italian!!! Our day was wonderful!! after lunch we went to see on teather the real geisha. we are very happy Yuko spend time with us and thank you to visit kansai for this opportunity!! – May 25th, 2015 Raffaella Brutto san
It is with pleasure that we report on our experience with Akihiro Nomura. Aki’s preparation and early advices could not be faulted and he had the problem of having to try to fit in our requests in a very limited time frame as the Diamond Princess was a little late in arriving in an already short period of approximately 5 hours. His knowledge enabled us to see as much as possible, Kyoto was our destination as we had previously visited Osaka and in the limited time we had we saw a good blend of the city. A cruise passenger with very limited time would find Aki a most valuable guide in being able to see points of interest in both Osaka and Kyoto. We recommend him be to “Advanced Guide”, this is not just based on this short visit but our experiences in our time in the travel industry and years of travel. – May 16th, 2015 Lorna Petrie san
Hello! I went to Osaka with my family and we had a lot of fun with Aya. I didn’t know what to see in Osaka, but Aya sent me several emails with many ideas and advices. We went to ShinSekai, Den den town, Kuromanichiba, America mura, Hozenjiyococho and then Namba. She was very patient while we wandered through shops and she was our translator during our purchases.She helping us to
choose the right menu since my brother is vegetarian and we had a great lunch. It was easy to speak with her, we laughed a lot and she was very nice and friendly. I heartily recommend her. Thank you Aya! – May 9th, 2015 Ratiba El Gamal san
Hi! I had a wonderful time with Ms Rika Okaji in Kyoto. It was my first time in Kyoto and I am thankful to have Ms Rika to guide me on my solo trip in Japan. We had been communicating through email before the trip and she had suggested an itinerary for me We met at the bus information centre in Kyoto and Ms Rika was very warm and friendly. As it was a peak period, cherry blossom period, it was very crowded especially when we reached Arashiyama. I was glad that Ms Rika was very flexible as I wanted a detour instead. We went to Onsen hot spring very near to Arashiyama. I had a good first experience of Onsen. We then, proceed back to Kyoto station and had a sushi dinner. I had a wonderful time exploring Kyoto and experiencing Onsen. I am thankful for having Ms Rika as my guide. – April 18th, 2015 Siti Hafizah san
This was the first time I ever used your service and I will recommend it to anybody who would like to meet local people and experience a slice of everyday Japanese life. Nozomi is a wonderful guide, attentive to my requests and a very cheerful person :) She is fluent in French which was a big plus for me. We emailed before metting and she enquired what I wanted to do and see. I wanted to explore Nakazakicho area and then go to a shotengai named Ohatsu not far from Umeda. We wandered through streets narrowed by sakura in bloom, visited quaint little shops, took a nice cafe in a owl cafe, had a delicious lunch in a machiya and chatted a lot about Japan. After the shotengai, Nozomi suggested that we tried a game center (taiko game was fun) and a karaoke. Both were new to me but I enjoyed them a lot :) I spent a lovely day thanks to Nozomi San, domo arigatoo Nozomi San :) – April 15th, 2015 Vidal Emilie san
Aki prepared our visit very well in detail, following our wishes and made good suggestions.
He was also very patient when we took our time admiring the beautiful Zen gardens or the Golden Pagoda.
It gave us a very very good start for our following days in Kyoto. – April 6th, 2015 Gordian Sehrig san
Mayu is an easygoing and friendly person so it was nice to hang out with her. Even though she is not that familiar with the places we went, she tried her best to find out on the spot. The lunch place reserved by her was good too, but I didn’t know that smoking is allowed in there… It would be better to check with the next batch of tourists whether if it is okay, in case anyone has asthma. – March 17th, 2015 Wang Ruiting san
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my lovely guide Anna for her time and effort to make my trip to Osaka more enjoyable. I’ve been requesting for Osaka food hunt especially Fugu feast and surprisingly she actually meet if not all at least most of my expectations since this is her first time. I would also like to thanks her for trying her very best to accommodate my situation especially the schedule i had from Tokyo to Osaka. We had a little issue for the first meet up but it doesn’t took long for us to break the ice. I would recommend her for those food lover especially Osaka street food. – Johnson Liaw san
Aki was way better than just excellent ;o)) Already before I went on the trip, Aki suggested ideas and things to see and do that would provide an insight into the peculiarities of Kansai. During our trips Aki proved to be an excellent partner in conversations on all kinds of topics. His knowledge of Japan, especially the towns of Nara and Kyoto that we visited, is incredible. I really enjoyed the discussions with him and learnt so much about Japan — I would not have learned all that from reading books ;o)) He was also interested in my home country and we spoke German quite a lot, although his English is very good. It simply gave me the feeling I was traveling with a good friend of many years. Thank you very much, Aki, I had such a great time traveling with you. Thank you for organizing this. – Jana Meissner san
We made good memories in Kyoto and Nara with Aki-san who guided us all throughout the trip. Even before that, he communicated with me and considered all our requests. After that, he prepared a detailed itinerary for us. He’s very kind, patient and enjoyable to be with. He also told us some details and history of the places we visited.
We will forever cherish the memories we had in Kyoto and Nara. We didn’t only experience Japan but we also found a very precious friend. Thank you very much, Aki-san! Thank you Visit Kansai! – Maezelle Rafael san
Thank you for setting up this guiding service. It has certainly been a great help communicating with our assigned guide Miss Yuriko, before our trip. It helps me make an informed choice in train pass selection and planning our daily activities. We are especially grateful that Yuriko has accompanied us to Kyoto on a cold raining day. We were able to tour Kyoto Arashiyama and Goin district under umbrella ! It was indeed memorable for all of us. Thank you , Miss Yuriko. – Anthony san
Thank you so much for your communication. I had a great, unforgettable day with Yoko guiding me to Kurama mountain and to a couple of small temples in Kyoto. She also choose a small traditional restaurant, where we joined a very good lunch. She is a nice girl, and she told me a lot about Japanese culture. I hope I will join your services again in the future, as my goal is to visit Japan again as soon as possible. – Lechiancole san
I had the most lovely time with Yukiko! Thank you for introducing us.
She met me at the train station as we agreed on, we exchanged photos before I arrived in Japan so we were able to find each other easily. Before meeting we discussed a brief plan of what we could do on that day, but we agreed that we can change plans as we go after we meet. I asked Yuriko to show me the fun side of Osaka and help me with shopping. And that’s exactly what she did. We had great fun with her. I’m very happy I used your services. – Aizhan Yermekbayeva さん
I can’t recommend Akihiro Nomura (Aki) highly enough. He went far and beyond with supervising our day tour. I was really impressed with they way he prepared our itinerary, because of the unique order in which we went with the tour, we were able to maximize our time and avoid the huge crowd as well. He even gave me feedbacks regarding the weather a few days before the trip so I can pack for a cold weather. He knows the area (Arashiyama) well and also gave tidbits of information about the sites that we visited and even the mountains! I would recommend him to anyone wishing to see Kyoto from a local’s perspective. Thank you so much Visit Kansai! – Carla Macahilig さん
We had good time with Yukina. Although she was late for 1 hour to meet us at Kyoto Station but we understand that she was working till 3am the earlier night and we accepted her sincere apology. She is friendly, cheerful and willing to help in translating and explaining. For a young girl, there is much to improve to be a better and experience guide. Never too late to learn :-)
– Vicky Woh さん
I had a great time with my guide Ai, we visited Osaka Castle, Namba district and the Aquarium. Ai was very knowledgable about any questions I had and was very accommodating on my request for lunch (omonomiyaki, researched the best place in Osaka). The communication before we met was great and Ai sent me a lovely email after we met. – Claire Waters さん
I feel very lucky to have KK assist me during my short stay in Kyoto. I hoped we could have had more time together! Having a guide to help navigate through the city creates a much smoother and more rewarding travel experience overall. KK has excellent communication skills and was very accommodating with whatever I needed. From the first time we met I felt very comfortable as if she was my long time friend. We enjoyed getting to know each other as we walked around the city. KK has deep knowledge of Japanese history and culture so I was able to discover much more. I am so grateful for her time, graciousness and warm heart she extended to me. – Darcie Sepko さん
we had grate time with Yukina, She was very kindness, we had good trip, we good all the information about japan and about the historical places. Thanks for the service. – Maayan Assayag さん
I had a great time, Mai was very helpful and made my visit even more joyful. She was a little worried i think at first but we got on great after a bit of talking. Thank you very much for helping find a guide. I will be coming back next year and hopefully i will be able to request another guide, Until then thank you and bye for now :) – David Kelly さん
Kento was an excellent guide. He was very proactive in terms of communicating and made sure he understood exactly what I was looking for out of my visit. During the day he was very accommodating to my wishes. He met me at my local train station in Osaka and made sure I got back at the end of the day.
I wanted to visit Nara on the day that he was free and he was very happy to do this even though it was not his area of expertise. Kento’s English is excellent and it was a lot of fun spending time with him. I would not hesitate to recommend him to other people. – Paul McGuiness さん
We have had a short but memorable holiday in Kansai region and arrived home safely on 21 September 2014! Thank you very much for your kind arrangement to get Mr Kenji Ikeda to be our volunteer guide in Kyoto for 2 days i.e. 14 & 15 of September. Kenji is a very friendly young gentleman, always on-time to meet and pick us up from our hotel despite he has to travel all the way from Osaka for both days! He has been very helpful and patient in accompanying our group of 7 taking public transports and walking with us (under the hot sun) from one place to another visiting the main tourist attractions in and around Kyoto. He even introduced to us a very nice restaurant for lunch and we really enjoyed the authentic Japanese food there which we later found out this is actually a popular eating place among the locals ! The most wonderful favour he has done for us is going all out to help us locating the highly recommended restaurant for Kobe beef in Kobe city, our next destination in the itinerary after Kyoto. Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to record our heartfelt appreciation and a big THANK YOU to Kenji for his warm hospitality and free service extended to us during our short stay in Kyoto. Thank you once again…
– Juan Pang さん
Ms Hiko arrived on time to guide us during our Osaka visit. She speaks fluent English and we have no problem in communicating with her. She shows us around beginning with Namba Park and Namba City since these places are the nearest to our Hotel. She was very patient and easy to to talk to. We stopped at a Sushi restaurant and Ms Hiko was very obliging in helping us to choose the right menu since we are vegetarians.Altogether we spent around 3 hours with her guiding us around Shisaibashi-suji, Kuromon-ichiba. Despite that we think we can manage the area by ourselves, yet with her around made things much easier as she is also our “translator” during our shopping spree.
We would like to thank your Agency for allowing Ms Hiko to be with us during the visit to Osaka. It was a wonderful experience and we will definitely choose your volunteer guide, one just as excellent as Ms Hiko, the next time we will be visiting Osaka and the Kansai region. – Baharudin Omar さん
Hello, we would like to thank you for arranging as Hello gentle staff of Visit Kansai!
Our experience with Yukina was very funny and interesting!
We enjoy very much the day together and she was very available and cute!
Thank you for all! – Martina and Alessandro さん
Hello, we would like to thank you for arranging Kento as our guide for our Kyoto visit. He is a 20 year old young man very polite, caring and efficient. He speaks English fluently. Communication was very easy. Being with him felt like being with family. He was so caring he was even helping me with my backpack whenever I needed help.He picked us up the train station . We visited Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizudera and Nara. He explained the history and showed us around. It was an amazing experience. He made us understand the rich history and culture of Kyoto. He took us to an Indian restaurent for lunch in Kyoto upon our request. He dropped us back to the train station and made sure that we are taking the right train back to Tokyo. He made our Kyoto trip memorable. If we ever get a chance to visit Kyoto, the first person we will be contacting will be Kento. We would whole heatedly recommend Kento for anyone visiting Kyoto. Thank you again for arranging Kento as our guide! – Sreedevi & Prasanna Kumar さん
I will be delighted to share my experience.
We had pleasure to visit Kyoto together with Yoko as our guide. I must say that i already know now that we would miss great deal without her as our guide. Yoko was excellent guide – friendly and really well prepared. Also what’s important – we didn’t have any communication problems. Thanks to Yoko we saw one of the most important places in Kyoto (Inari shrine was really amazing), had wonderful Japanese style lunch(what is worth to mention that Yoko reserved us a table at earlier chosen place) and what was great for us – we saw Kyoto traditional food market – that was really interesting experience especially when Yoko explained us great deal about Japanese food and kitchen. Also at the end Yoko showed us what is worth to see next day(we were in Kyoto for two days) – with maps, communication plans etc. We really spent great time and will definitely pass the good word to our friends that might come in future to Japan about Kansai guides! – Tomasz Rola-Szadkowski さん
We are extremely pleased with the guide Kaz, she is pleasant, knowledgeable, helpful, good natured and we’ll mannered. Our first experience with a guide has been very good, would recommend your service and someone like Kaz any day. We will certainly recommend your service to prospective tourists to Japan. Thank you again and please convey our thanks to Kaz. Overall we had a wonderful time in Japan within the two weeks and we certainly enjoyed the unique hospitality of the Japanese people, where ever we went. – NAGARAJAH (Naga) さん
We had a great day with Takumi !! Takumi is a fine young gentleman. He was keeping constant contact with me by email , arrived on time to meet as at the hotel lobby. And did all he could and more to make us feel welcome and comfortable. He helped us understand Kyoto, how to get around, and show us all the most beautiful Sites of Kyoto. We had an amazing day together! Thank you for all your help and generosity. – Meira Zilker さん
We had a great time with Kaz! Before we had even left for Japan, Kaz was so very helpful! After a few email exchanges we settled on our itinerary for Osaka. Being Vegetarian, Kaz sought out a restaurant before our arrival to visit and on the day we meet she also assisted us to reserve our seats on the trains. I’m glad our first full day in Japan was with a guide. This helped us ease into the rest of our trip. Our friends are due in Japan in a months time. I’ve already recommended that they book a guide too! Thanks! – Dil Path さん
We would like to give a warm thank you to Hiko as our guide. It was our first time to Japan and Hiko did her best to guide us around for 3 days. She is a friendly person and flexible about time. We met at the Hotel as we had agreed and she took us to Namba area then later to Osaka Castle on our first day, 6th June 2014. We had a great time with her..though it was a first time meeting her but we get close easily. Next was Kyoto on the 9th June 2014, we spent a day in Kyoto and we were happy walking with Hiko to some interesting places around Kyoto.Our last day in Osaka on the 10th June 2014, we went to Namba again for quick shopping and she guided us to the shops that we wanted to go. We ended the tour at 12.30pm as we need to reach airport before 2pm. Overall, we are satisfied and enjoyed our trip in Japan with our lovely guide miss Hiko. I can say that Japanese people are very friendly and polite. I plan to come back again some days with my parents. Credits to Mr. Norihiro for this website helped me a lot with my visit. Thank you. – Katriani Maijohn さん
We would like to extend our thanks to Takumi and your company. We had a fun time during our trip. We enjoyed our trip to Arashiyama. I have actually introduced your company to a colleague of mine for their future trip. – Juliet Lao さん
Hi. Yes, Hiro was an excellent guide! I went all over Kyoto with her assistance. Here is a picture of the Torii at Fushimiinari. I also experienced the best meal of my Japan trip in Arashiyama with Hiro (I visited Fukuoka, Okinawa, Hiroshima, Himeji, Kyoto & Tokyo). Thank you VisitKansai.com for your assistance providing this great resource! – Radford Nakamura さん
Keiko was a wonderful guide! Her English skills were fantastic. She was very helpful with resolving an health issue I had and was keen to show us around different areas of Osaka. – Alyce Bolton さん
Atsuko was a very friendly and attentive guide. She showed us Osaka’s highlights and we had a wonderful day with her. Thanks. – Glaucia Joaquim さん
I met Taka, as agreed, in my hotel on 22nd of March 2014 at 10.30am; He is a 24yo boy very kind, friendly and polite.
We start our tour at Osaka Castle visiting it. His information about it where very complete and interesting.
Then we have visited the “Museum of housing and living”, the shopping area “Shinsekai”, the “Tsutenkaku Tower”, have eaten “Okonomiyaki” e i “Takoyaki”.
In the late afternoon, a boat tour with “Osaka river cruise” has completed the sightseeing tour.
A typical dinner based on sushi, sashimi and more delicious seafood ended a day made by Taka unforgettable. – Antioco Angius さん
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