We were very fortunate to have Hiroyuki Iwai as our Certified English Guide for our half day tour to the National Diet, Tsukiji's Inner and Outer Markets and his guidance to Ueno's National Tokyo Museum. Hiroyuki is very intelligent, patient, caring and flexible! He exhibited these qualities throughout our walking tour. He arrived early at our Hotel in Ueno to start our trek to Japan's National Diet via subway. He taught us how to plan and ride the subway by using a wall map at the Ueno station. The maps also told us how much money we needed for the tickets and the route we were taking to arrive at our designated site. When we arrived at the National Diet Building, he registered us and related to the National Diet guards my husband's inability to walk up a flight of stairs! He asked if we could ride elevators to accommodate this problem. We were able to use elevators throughout our tour. Hiro pointed out the 1930's iron grills in the walls as the pathway to chill the Diet's halls through large blocks of ice that were placed at the beginning of the pathway. He took memorable photos of us when we were allowed to photograph the House of Representatives' Chambers and at the conclusion of our tour in front of the National Diet. He kept safety in mind throughout our walk while sharing his vast knowledge of the area in which we were walking. He pointed out Prime Minister Shinzuo Abe's residence as well as the buildings used by the members of the Diet. While walking to catch our next subway ride, he took us through the beautiful National Diet Garden which exhibits trees from every province in Japan. The subway took us to Tsukiji's Markets. Visiting Tsukiji's inner market is tricky, because the vendors designated only 11:00 AM and kept us walking in circles before we actually were taken to an area where we could enter the Inner Market. We quickly got the essence of the Inner Market which was actually closing down its vendor operations. I suggested that we end touring the Inner market and start viewing the Outer Market. Hiro displayed his flexibility and concluded our tour by going to a new building in the Outer market which housed many vendors selling fresh fish, tako, fruits, vegetables and bentos to the public. After making our selections, we ate our lunch purchases in the dining area on the third level of the building. After finishing lunch, we were 40 minutes ahead of schedule and Hiro asked if we wanted to visit anywhere. We mentioned wanting to see the Ueno Park's National Tokyo Museum and Hiro took a short cut route to the Park without using the subway. It was past 1 PM when we said goodbye to Hiro as we entered the Ueno National Tokyo Museum. Japan allows visitors over 70 into this museum free with identification such as passports. We spent four hours carefully looking at the National treasures exhibited there at the museum! We had a delightful and enjoyable half day tour because of Hiro's excellent guidance! We wholeheartedly give Hiro 5 stars for his excellent tour and recommend Hiro to anyone seeking a memorable, historic and pleasant tour of Tokyo! Thank you Hiro!
Dear ELOISE Thank you for your heart-warming message. I am very pleased to hear that you fully enjoyed a tour in Tokyo. Your message is an encouragement for me to get much better in my guiding skill and knowledge. On the other hand, I always think that it is important to consider customers' feeling depending on the situation. Your family members are all friendly and knowledgeable. I wish your happiness and prosperity. Hiroyuki