Hi. My name is Yoshihisa. Call me "Yoshie", please. It means good or O.K. in Japanese. I live in Joyo City, Kyoto Prefecture, located just in between Kyoto and Nara. I was born and raised in Iga, Mie Prefecture. Iga is a birthplace of ninja and a renowned haiku poet, Matsuo Basho. I might be a descendant of ninja. I aim at becoming a linguistic ninja, following a part of Basho's lifestyle with the incorporation of seasonal changes into my tours. In addition to visiting famous temples and shrines, I invite you to lesser-known places of historic interest.
Once in a month I go hiking or mountain climbing with some friends mainly in mountains surrounding Kyoto and Nara basins. Recently I have got intrigued by the charms of Buddhist statues, which are manifestations of people's wishes and prayers. I also like izakaya (Japanese-style taverns) hopping, tasting delicious dishes and locally brewed sake at reasonable prices. Especially I like communicating with people from home and abroad, talking face to face. Some of the above-mentioned elements are included in my walking tours. I hope you will discover new aspects of cultural and natural beauty in Kansai area through one of my tours which you could never gain otherwise.
One of my favorite phrases that come from Zen Buddhism is Ichigo Ichie or this meeting-but only once in a lifetime. My interpretation goes this way: This place and this moment never cross again. Each and every good encounter, however, lingers on like the sound of a temple bell. Won't you explore a deeper world of Japanese culture in Kyoto, Nara and Osaka with me?
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.
Yoshi is a very good guide. We booked an extra hour and were able to see a few more places beyond his base 'favorite golden tour'. He gave us a lesson in Haiku history during our tour and showed us the places where it actually happened. If we had tried to find our own way around, we would not have seen 1/3 of what we did. Plus we would not have met a very kind person. Thank you for everything, Yoshi.
Yoshie has a very fluent english, reply our email in an instant, very prompt in schedule, and accomodate our want to go places/itinerary very well. Yoshie guided Our group of 10 people were mostly elderly, through Kyoto and Kobe, with patience and were willing to be flexible when needed. Unfortunately our bus broke down in Kyoto but he managed to arrange alternarive train and got us home safely and smoothly. Yoshie has a very good knowledge of the famous cultural places we visited, and we are satisfied with the explanation and information he gave us regarding Japan and its cities uniqueness.
3 of us spent a 1/2 day with Yoshi and it was a great time! We chose to go to the bamboo forest, monkey park, and then a secret shrine that he selected which was my favorite on my trip to Japan. It was atop a mountain that was moss covered and just absolutely beautiful surroundings. Yoshi kept up a quick pace which was perfect for us, and we really were able to see a lot of things in the 5 hours we were with him. He had it all planned out and yet was sensitive to the things we wanted to slow down for. He is easy to understand and gracious and a delight. I highly recommend him as your guide.
Yoshie guided me for a full day to some of Kyotos important sites. I only wish I could of spent even more days with him as he is most knowledgeable about topics like history, culture, art, poetry, landscape, Japanese religion, and more. Yoshie came very prepared to describe what I was visiting. He also took me to different city viewpoints that his physical fitness allowed us to get to. Most importantly Yoshie looked out for all my needs the day I spent with him, even helping me purchase train tickets to an out of the way destinations. You will be very happy you spent time with this most interesting person, as guides do not come better than Yoshie!
Traveling to a foreign country for the first time is challenging, no matter how seasoned of a traveler is. The language, the climate, and simply navigating your way around can be daunting. Even with the best planning, unless you have lot's of time to spare and don't mind getting lost. Plus the fact that there are simply details of where to go and HOW to get there is usually best left to someone local. This is why for our first trip to Japan, we choose to bring on a local tour guide. Not saying you couldn't find one from a blog or craigslist, we just felt better and secure knowing what we were getting upfront. Yoshihisa (or Yoshi), as he preferred to be called, was an incredible asset and local tour guide for our time in Kyoto. We scheduled for a full day in Kyoto and didn't want to spend time figuring out where and how to get around, Yoshi asked what our goals were and had an itinerary down perfectly. We were able to visit a total of 7 heritage sites and including a traditional Japanese lunch at one of the parks. Locations included, Nijo Park, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Ryoanji Temple (had a traditional yudofu soup), Bamboo Park near the Nonomiya Shrine, Tenryuji Temple, Togetsu-kyo Bridge and finishing at the Fushima Inari-Taisha Shrine. We parted ways at the Inari station which was conveniently located right next to our last tour site. Enough about the where, a little bit about the what. Yoshi was very knowledgeable of the history of each site we visited. Although we saw there were plenty of local tour guides, Yoshi lead us to unique spots and shared trivia or history that not many other tour guides were providing. A big plus in our book to get the "inside scoop" on Japanese history. If you are reading this review, most likely you are looking for an English speaking tour guide. In our opinion, this is where Yoshi really shined. Yes, he does have a Japanese accent. He is a local resident after all. It wasn't that heavy and we understood everything he explained. Here's a tidbit if you are trying to decide on which guide to choose, Yoshi is a retired Senior High School English teacher! At one part of the tour, Yoshi quizzed us about a tour site to see if we remembered what he shared. I guess once a teacher, always a teacher! :) PROS: Made navigating Kyoto historical sites simple and easy. Got to learn of some uncommon details of Japanese history. Made very good use of our limited sight seeing time. Yoshi has a great command of the English language, even when trying to explain parts of Japanese history that sometimes doesn't have direct translations. CONS: While we had ample time to visit each heritage site, there wasn't too much time to "soak in" the atmosphere. We visited Japan during Cherry Blossom Festival / Hanami - Sakura and this is a very popular time of year for visitors. Plus it was Spring Break for the local schools. So every where we went, it was crowded. Not the fault of our tour guide but this does cramp the allowed time. So with that you mileage may vary. OVERALL: If you are planning a visit Kyoto and want to tour the Heritage Sites, I recommend booking Yoshihisa as your local tour guide. Having one is well worth the investment, as the experience will be much more stress-free and enjoyable. Now isn't this why we go on vacation?