The 1st thing to Understand is that Tokyo is huge and you really maximize your time by having a guide taking you to the places you want to see in the most efficient manner. 2nd - English is a very distant 2nd language - so if you can’t speak Japanese you will get frustrated without a guide. 3rd - Japan is very formal and generally speaking reserved. I found Yoko via a search and spent a considerable amount of time exchanging emails with her on how to organize her trip as we were arriving during the new year when many things were closed. Although there is a slight cultural barrier and she can be a bit rigid in her approach at times, her advice was very good and helpful. We changed hotels based on her recommendation for location and changed the order of our sightseeing due to holidays. Both things I wouldn’t have figured out in my own. She was prompt and worked a full day and kept us moving. It helps if you research want you want to do in advance as she needs direction of you have specific interests. She is not very spontaneous - so you need to be prepared. Overall she is an excellent guide, very disciplined and hard working. I highly recommend her. Her English is excellent as she lived in Seattle for a number of years - that’s a huge benefit for her clients. English could be her 1st language if needed.
Thank you so much for writing such an excellent review during your flight, sir. English is not even a second language in Japan, it is a complete FOREIGN language for the majority of Japanese. The two languages have a completely different language structures and pronunciations are also quite different. Japanese have more vowels pronounced as you might notice if you would see some other guides' videos. You mention Japanese are reserved. Well, your daughter is also quite reserved , especially during shopping, so I had to make sure if she want it/them or not, which was cute. She was quite hesitant to ask you to buy them even when she wanted you to, so please tell her it's OK to ask you to buy things and kindly ask her more from now on. Sorry I asked a lot of questions before and during the tours. Each guest have different tastes and nothing is almighty. Some people prefer shopping and others prefer cultural aspects. As I wrote, I cannot use telepathy, so that ends up asking you questions to make sure if it's OK are not. You might have found that troublesome, but it is essential for guides to know their guests' interest. So I would appreciate my future guests to BE SPECIFIC with their interest. I was not sure if I could handle two days with you because our communication style seemed to be completely different during correspondence. I guess you're thinking it's coming from the difference between the US and Japan, but I rather think it occurred from gender differences. It reminded me exactly what Dr. Deborah Tannen wrote in "You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation."('90) I'm happy now that we could share that precious moments of seeing you and your lovely daughter in authentic Japanese kimonos. They looked so great on both of you that not only I, but the three ladies who dressed you up were quite happy with you giving them that opportunity. I guess that family and I will talk about that moment over and over when I meet them at that antique gallery. The other moments of the two days are now beautiful memories for me. We couldn't squeeze in the East Gardens on the 2nd day, because if we had Sumida River we couldn't make the last admission of that beautiful historical site, so please come again. Next time, I will take Georgia to National Museum of Modern Arts of Tokyo, which is in that neighborhood. After you buy her ticket, it's OK with you to take a nap while I show her around there.:-) Nikko, the World Heritage, is also awesome for art lovers. I know it's a long journey, but I will be looking forward to seeing you and Georgia soon. Thank you again. Please take care, sir.