If you're going to Japan, Shin is a must hire! Shin is THE BEST! From the start, he was so easy to communicate with, responding to emails super quickly. He is so organized and will bring you maps for your trip and spend time actually crafting a completely custom tour based on your specific interests and requests. He goes ABOVE AND BEYOND to be the best tour guide, he truly loves being a guide. On our day in Kyoto, we saw top sites and also had once in a lifetime experiences we never would have found on our own. We saw famous Temples and Shrines and for the first time on our trip, we fully understood what we were looking at. Shin also took us to lesser known Temples that were breathtaking, amazing and off the beaten path. I'm glad we didn't miss them. We ended the day at an Autumn Festival at a local Shrine where we saw children perform a traditional Japanese drum ceremony. Totally unique and super fun! A night we never would have experienced without him. Shin is so knowledgeable, fun, friendly, well organized, thoughtful and generous. We are still astounded by how kind he is! He helped suggest the right hotels for us based on our tour and on our tour day, he reserved lunch at a special vegan restaurant with some of the best food we've had in Japan. Shin goes above and beyond. He not only guides you but also helped us understand the public transportation and how to get around all of Japan. He made us a custom map for our time here and when we told him we're going to Osaka the day after our tour, he brought us a map of Osaka highlighted for us as well. You need Shin, trust me! General notes on why a guide is helpful: In Japan, there are no street names, navigating is very difficult - even with Google maps. And Google Maps is just not that accurate. The vast majority of tourists are actually from other Asian countries, so in Japan, no one speaks English. Simply, without a phone, you cannot get around. With a phone, we still get lost all the time. Our day with Shin was the only day we did not get lost. Shin embraces everyone and all cultures. He makes you love Japan the way he does. Best guide ever!
Hello Liat san and Gill san Firstly I’d like to say thank you from my heart. It is nice review comment for me. I really feel happy to have been in Kyoto together on such a lovely blue sky day. Yes as you state, I love my job, tour guide. My work is not only just a root guide but like an introduction player to have tourists feel once in a life time memories in Japan tour. And I want them to touch an ordinary life in local people, different culture, fresh seasonal ingredients and everything aside from famous sightseeing places. Candidly speaking, I was thinking about which places and activities would be the best for you over and over again. So,, finally I’ve made up my mind to take gem-like off the beaten tracks near my villa, called Eastern Mountain, called HIGASHIYAMA, to rather keep away from hectic busy places. By the way, the meal, it is very important to choose the suitable ingredients and restaurant for individual visitors based on customs, religions and culture. The restaurant we’ve been in Kyoto is one of the authentic and popular vegan dining. Not only main dishes but vegan deserts like pumpkin ice cream are also palatable. I am glad the restaurant is preferable to you. Unlike big cities like Tokyo and Yokohama, Kyoto is somewhat complicated to walk around only by Google Map. There are still not enough English signboards in the cities of Japan. Especially, as streets and allays of Kyoto are somewhat confused like a maze, travelers prone to get lost. We don’t want to waste valuable time in a limited schedule of the guests. In conclusion, I hope your happiness and successes on your life. May as many people of the world as possible be able to understand each other through nice travelling many countries, talking with local people, eating special foods and singing a song beyond borders and beliefs. This is an ultimate dream of my life. Thank you! SHIN