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.
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 provided us with detail and insights that you could not get on your own. Because he has done translating for meiko/geiko he offers a unique insider’s perspective that we found fascinating. Very relaxed and easy to talk to,
Ryoji is professional, friendly and speaks good English. I learned a lot about Kyoto during the 2 hours tour. Highly recommend!
I ended up traveling solo so booked the evening Gion tour with Ryoji who was very knowledgeable and accommodating. It was especially nice to see the quieter areas away from all the crowds. The secret garden is just lovely.
Despite the fact that we had different age gaps in our group (from a 6yr old to 84yr old), Ryoji was very patient and extremely accommodating to all of us. He took us to the most amazing sites in Kyoto, all the while telling annecdotes and histories of each place and taught us some of the Japanese culture. He made sure each of us had an awesome experience to remember, took us to the best places to eat, helped us find all the little keepsakes we wanted and made sure we got on the right train back home! Best tour ever!
We all really enjoyed our tour with Ryoji. Excellent English and knowledge plus a few lovely surprises along the way. Thank you