“ Superb one day tour of Kyoto ”
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour with Makoto! It was easy to communicate by email before we left for Japan and together we came up with an itinerary that would work for a full day. His knowledge of Japanese history is excellent and we began our tour with an overview of history. He provided us with several handouts to help us understand Japanese historical time periods, the location of the seat of government and who had power for the different eras. This gave us a better understanding of each site we visited.
We were able to tour Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kinkakuji and Ninnaji. At each site, Makoto provided us with historical background and interesting information, unique to the site we visited. He was able to relate the relationship of Nijo Castle, the Imperial Palace and Ninnaji. We loved seeing each of the sites and would highly recommend Ninnaji. Being a little out of the way from Kinkakuji, it was not crowded and we were able to walk within the beautiful residence, not to mention seeing the temple and pagoda. To end our day, we walked through a quiet area of Kyoto as well as through Myoshinji which contains 47 temples (Makoto added this in since we had a little more time left).
A quick, inexpensive, yet satisfying Japanese lunch was enjoyed and Makoto had previously thought through a location that was on the way so that we would not waste any time.
Makoto's English is good and he is very easy to understand. He did not rush us through each site and allowed us time to ask questions and take pictures. He also laughs easily and we enjoyed him as our guide. If we ever return to Japan, we would ask Makoto to be our guide in Nara which he knows extensively. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to do this. We highly recommend Makoto as a guide!