Hello! My name is Ryoji Shimada. I am a Japanese national, professionally qualified and fluent English-speaking tour-guide for inbound tourists. Although I received my tour-guide license this year, I have been voluntarily involved in introducing Japan to non-Japanese people extensively for the past 19 years. I set up an international cultural exchange organization in 1997 where Japanese and non-Japanese can get together through diverse cultural activities such as visiting various cultural places or enjoying outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. The organization, SIEN, is still very active and I have been the head since its foundation.
SIEN received an award from the local government, in Saitama where I'm from, which is north of Tokyo. Also, I have visited all 47 provinces (prefectures) in Japan and know various excellent spots and attractions throughout Japan, especially in my old and new hometowns in and around Tokyo and Kyoto (Nara, Osaka, Wakayama and Shiga) where I currently live. It has been my greatest passion ever since my childhood to meet non-Japanese people and introduce Japan to them. I am very happy to see them enjoying Japanese culture and society and mingling with local Japanese. I like visiting historical sites and outdoor activities like hiking. Hiking is a great way to appreciate Japanese nature and scenery. I can coordinate all aspects of many unique hiking tours, outdoor tours and regular tours visiting main tourist spots.
So please contact me anytime, as I'm delighted to discuss creating tailor-made tours to fulfill your own special needs and interests at very reasonable rates.
Yes! If you need to make changes such as removing or adding someone to your booking or changing the date or time of your tour, contact us by phone or email
After you secure your booking, the starting and ending points of your tour can be customized to your convenience (ex.: your hotel, nearby stations, etc.). Don't worry, we will take care of you! Some tours may have an extra fee for this service, make sure to check the tour page.
After booking a tour, the guide will accept (or decline) your booking within 24 hours. Then you will be noticed by email from Triplelights.
The price is charged per group. Which means that you make a one-time payment for your entire group and the price will not change if it is less or more people.
Some guides accept extra people (more than the specified number) for an extra charge. Please check for the extras on the tour or booking page, or contact your guide directly to clarify.
No. Your tour is private, only for you and your family or friends, there will be no other group of tourists together in your tour.
Yes, but there will be additional charge for that and it is not by car. The guide will go pick you up using public transportations. For further details, please contact your guide directly.
Yes, you can and you may be able to get a discount if you are traveling alone. Price depends on which guide you choose.
Ryoji's night walk tour was a true insider's experience - he really provided an excellent overview of the areas we visited in Kyoto and the "secret garden" was a great treat. I highly recommend Ryoji for his excellent guiding, insight and friendliness.
Thanks a lot for your positive review. I appreciate it very much and hope to see you again sometime in the future! :D
We gave Ryoji a list of places we would like to see and he was able to take us to most of them using public transportation or walking. He explained the significance of many of the sites and was easy to understand. I feel like we made a good choice to use Ryoji to see many interesting places in Kyoto.
Dear William san, Thanks a lot for your positive review! I was impressed that your family was trying to observe the rules of society. I really enjoyed guiding such a nice family like yours. Best regards, Ryoji
Ryoji is an exellent guide, very knowledgeable, friendly and easy to be with. I enjoyed chatting with him to learn a little bit about the Japanese way of life and it was a magical experience to pass through the torii gate into the candle-lit night ( Chungen Mantoro Lantern Festival ), to see over 3,000 lanterns which are placed around Kasuga-Taisha and along the pathways leading to the shrine and also visit Todaiji Temple which held its "Ceremony of 10,000 Lights" At the end of the evening we had extremely good small dishes at the local izakaya. Thank you very much Ryoji.
Dear Riitta san, Thank you very much for your positive feedback! I also enjoyed myself guiding you at an ancient shrine on a very special occasion. I was so lucky to be your guide on that special day. The izakaya dinner place was my first time, but it turned out to be a great place. It is now on my list of Nara eateries. :-) Hope you had a good time for the rest of your stay in Japan. Please let me know the next time you come to Japan. Best regards, Ryoji
Ryoji was a knowledgable and fun guide. We got lost getting to the starting point but he patiently waited until we found him. He was able to answer all of our questions and easily navigated us around Gion to places of interest by using routes that avoided the big hordes of tourists. Our teenagers were particularly interested in learning about geisha and maiko and Ryogi was able to adapt on the fly to provide us with all sorts of information and sites. The "secret" garden at the end of the tour was absolutely beautiful and something that we wouldn't have found on our own. At the end of the tour we were running late for a dinner reservation and Ryogi helped us to get taxis and made sure that the drivers knew where to take us. I wouldn't hesitate to boo his services again.
Thanks a lot for your positive review. The moment I saw you and your family, I knew right away that it gonna be great fun tour! Your families were very personable. I hope to see you some other time again in Japan. Best regards, Ryoji
We were impressed with Ryoji's depth of knowledge. He brought us to magnificent locations with full knowledge of each site and the significance it was to Japan.
Thanks for your rave review. I am honored. I also enjoyed myself guiding you. Ryoji