Richard was the first and only guide we have met on our multiple private tour experiences around the world who believed that because he had sent a picture of himself that he didn’t need to have a sign. He said “she knows what I look like”. The resulting inability to find our guide started our day late and was irritating to say the least. Richard is an American ex-pat who’s tour experience in Japan could be described as “extreme sport tourism”. Our time was short and we had a long way to travel from Osaka to see Kyoto, however we didn’t really have to power walk through the subway and train stations and whisk through the market so quickly. Was it partly my fault that we were so rushed? Yes. Did he listen and slow down? No. He said he couldn’t walk that slowly but would always wait for us up ahead. The problem with that was, in the crush of people that is Osaka and Kyoto, there was no way to risk losing him so our attention was always ahead, looking to see where his hat was headed rather than what our surroundings were. We finally asked for a 10 minute break and he said he had planned a rest..... fortunately, we did get a beer/soda break and survived our 8.1 mile walking, 24 flights of steps and 10+ subway/train changes at breakneck speed. His knowledge is extensive and his English is, of course, excellent. If you are young and can tour at strenuous level with speed, get Richard. If you want a leisurely tour, stay closer to your original destination and either lasso and tether Richard or choose a different guide!
I am so sorry that you have been the only one to not recognize me as you knew what I looked like from my video, and we got started on time anyway, as you had come down before the 12:30pm start time at the Ship. The whole misstep maybe lasted five minutes at the most as your husband went back to get you after he recognized me. All I wanted to do is get you through the itinerary you requested in the short amount of time I had to get you back to the Ship, and even though I do walk ahead, (as I lead the group), I always stop multiple times to allow everyone to catch up. I told you if you could not walk we should get a car and you did not do that. It would have been easier on all of us, though the other two people in the party that you had met on the ship and brought along, did not complain at all and kept up with me. I always stopped to wait for you. Whisked through the market? You did not want to try anything! So you gave me a three star because you had to walk. NOTE TO OTHERS: These fine folks were picked up at the Osaka Port and wanted to get to Kyoto and see multiple things, which takes an hour just to get to KYOTO by train. So I am sorry for the multiple train changes also. I am truly sorry Sherrill but a three star rating is just rude on your part. Note you did not even buy my lunch or beer, it was the other couple. Kind regards, Richard