“ Amazing personalized service from a friendly and completely fluent English speaking guide! ”
There basically aren’t words that I could use to describe how incredibly happy we were that we booked Yoko! We had three days in Mt. Fuji and needed to book a guide super last minute (like within 12 hours). Yoko was incredibly prompt responding and the communication was super easy. She took the train all the way in from Tokyo to meet us and had the whole day well organized and planned out. First off, Yoko (having lived in the US as a child) is completely fluent in English which was really nice for us since we don’t speak Japanese. She was able to give us the history of the area, context, and knew all the right spots to hit up. We had a blast!
During the tour, we mentioned to Yoko that we were trying to track down some “long lost” relatives in Japan (only using my great-aunt’s journals from over 30 years ago). We shared the story with Yoko and talked about the challenges we were having hunting down our relatives info in Japan. Yoko offered to look into it for us... by the next morning, Yoko did some amazing investigative work and tracked down their contact info and even found them on *******! I reached out to them but had a little trouble communicating (again, not speaking Japanese). Yoko offered to reach out to them for us. She called them on our behalf and, over the next few days, was able to arrange a dinner for all of us in Kanazawa. We couldn’t believe it, she was literally a miracle worker! On top of that, we were also interested in visiting the shrine for some of our ancestors in Matsumoto. She made more phone calls and connected with more relatives and was able to share with us the cemetery where they were buried (and even gave us instructions on how to approach the priest at the temple to have him help us find the right shrine). The whole experience was absolutely incredible and it never would have been possible without Yoko’s assistance.
The long short of it... Yoko really cares. The tour she provided was highly personal and customized and exactly what we needed. Before we met Yoko, we considered hiring a “private detective” in Japan to help us find our family (at a considerable cost). But... Yoko actually found them and she did it for free just because she cared and wanted to help us out. It was such a wonderful gift for us and we’ll always be grateful! Thank you Yoko!!!
Thank you so much, Allison, for such a great review even though you're still on the road travelling Japan. I was so glad that you enjoyed the tour visiting Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center, Saiko Iyashi no Sato Nemba and Kawaguchiko Music Forest. Both of you, Allison and your elegant mother Sherrie, were so nice to me that it was a piece of cake making the whole day so sweet. I was interested in listening the stories how the Nikkei, Japanese Americans' family made it in Seattle/Bellevue. It was quite exciting trying to find your "long-lost " far relatives just like "A Girl with a Dragon Tattoo" or Alex Hailey's "Roots" but the Internet made it quite easy that I just needed to google the less common family name that the sister of Sadao-san, who guided your Great-Aunts in the 70s and the 80s, got married and had. I guess your late great-aunt Kazuko-san, Sadao-san and his sister helped you make it happen. By the way, the grave of your great-grandfather's brother and Sadao-san's you visited is at a Buddhist temple, not a Shinto shrine in Matsumoto City. I usually explain the distinction between temples and shrines, but I didn't have that chance that day. Please enjoy the rest of your trip in Japan and I would appreciate if I could have another opportunity to guide you in the near future. Thank you again for the wonderful day and the review. Please say hi to Sherrie for me.