As a party of 6 with 2 young boys and two octogenarians it’s hard to know how best to curate a trip in one of the worlds prettiest cities with more UNESCO world heritage sites than most! Step in Ai. From the moment we met her we felt comfortable that she was able to judge and meet our needs. Her English is first class, her knowledge of Kyoto (operational and historical) excellent but of most significance is her sensitivity to our needs both in terms of sightseeing and of shopping/ eating etc. She was patient and able to adapt as the day went on based on the children’s concentration span and the fatigue of the more mature. If you needed a bonus..... she comes equipped with her camera and is an award winning photographer. She is unobtrusively constantly on the go getting an amazing mix of quick posed tourist snaps with “reportage” shots that capture the mood and memories for ever more. At close of play she sends you a link to access all her photos!! Wow! Her food recommendations were spot on and all in all I would recommend her without reservation. Nothing is too much trouble and if she doesn’t know something she will find out! After all She is studying for her MBA at the University of Kyoto one of Japan’s finest.
Thanks for writing such a long, detailed, and excellent review! It was a great pleasure to have a warm, kind, elegant, well-mannered, and well-educated family. Hope your super-smart and curious children will study in Japan as exchange students, and become great parents like you and your grand parents. Please keep in touch, and do let me know the next time you come back to Japan! your guide, photographer, and new friend, Ai