I feel very lucky to have engaged Masahito. A native of Kobe and a veteran of the city government, he is extraordinarily knowledgeable about the entire Kansai region - its history, geography, and culture - and has a wealth of useful information at his fingertips. This has been my fourth trip to Japan, and I specifically wanted to visit smaller places of interest, off the beaten path. For the Takenata Carpentry Tools Museum, which I requested, one could hardly have had a better guide: Masahito is himself very interested in the history and construction of, for example, the various shrines and temples of Nara, and was able to explain in detail the excellent Takenata collection. At Arima - where we visited the famous hot spring, nearby Toys & Automata Museum, important shrines, several superb, museum-quality craft shops (not mere souvenir outlets) - with their resident artisans, and had lunch, he was likewise a font of information and made very efficient use of our time. I would without the slightest hesitation recommend Masahito to anyone looking for a highly professional and discerning guide in the culture-packed Kansai region. His English is very good, and includes mastery of the jargon associated with the places we visited; he has a sense of humor, is interested in his clients, and has an easy, friendly manner. In advance of my day with him he was quick to respond to e-mail messages and made useful suggestions, and at the beginning of the tour itself presented me with a printed sheet of our planned activities, with times, locations, and expected costs (if any). A memorable day out, of lasting value!
The words you gave me a deep feeling of honor that deserves more than the service I did. I am also very grateful to you for giving me a wonderful opportunity to guide you in Kobe. I am very happy to hear that you had enjoyed the tour I hope you’ll have a great time during the rest of your vacation time in Japan. Best regards, Masahito Hatanaka