Toshiyo is very knowledgeable and an expert in Kyoto, with great stories and history on the entire area. We were a party of 8 (including 3 tweens), but i think she is best for a smaller party of maybe four as only a few of us could hear her or engage her at a time. It was a very cold day and drizzled a a bit so maybe that explains her brisk pace, to the point we lost sight of her a few times. Her first suggestion of tofuku-ji temple for fall foliage was amazing and spot on choice, though a brisk 20 min walk. So much color, 3000 maple trees, beautiful temple (skip the zen garden inside). Based on the first two spots, we were done with temples shrines so requested we eat and visit the town of gion. The one area i wish Toshiyo did is to pay attention to the requests. In the email exchange and booking i advised we want some kyoto kaiseki lunch. Only after i requested we stop for lunch she took us to a typical ramen place, even though there were many special kaiseki/bento lunch places in gion. After we were templed out, we said no more shrines and temples, the kids were done so lets shop and eat. She continued to walk us to temples and shrines, albeit on the way to gion but not a straight shot. We ended the tour early as kids were beyond done and hungry. I believe Toshiyo’s predefined tours would be best to try and not a custom one, unless you know exactly where you want to go and are a small group. We planned 9 hours with her, saw fushimi Inari, tofukuji and gion. Appreciate she answered all our questions, just wish it was a warmer day, and that we ourselves had a better plan for the day.
Hi Lori and family Thank you very much for having me as your guide. I was familiar with you because you are a Japanese. I walked a little bit too fast because I thought you wanted to visit more places. A decent lunch box was hard to find. I will keep it in mind and next you come I will prepare the best bento box for you and your husband. Best regards. Toshiyo’s