Hello. I am Chisato living in Uda city, south part of Nara.
I completed master degree of organic agriculture in the Netherlands in 2011.
Especially, my specialization is agriculture, anthropology and food culture.
I often travel around rural villages in japan for my research on traditional knowledge, ethnobotany and local cuisine, "kyodo ryori".
My style of guiding is "experience the local communities"; visiting the ingredients where it grows, listening to the stories of local life, where generations have lived.
My town Uda city is famous as a medicinal plant town. In the historical record, it is reported that Empress Suiko visited Uda to hunt medicinal herbs (AD611). Developed as a castle town, the city is designated as one of the Important Preservation Districts. The streets have some facilities associated with medicine and herbs, including Morino Kyuyakuen (medicinal herb garden) and Kusuri-no-Yakata (the museum of medicine). I am learning traditional knowledge of wild herbs from local villagers.
I try my best to organize a trip with unique experience for you in the off-the-beaten rural villages, especially in Kyoto and Nara. Please let me know your special interests, and I will suggest your trip schedule, such as cooking with locals, visit farmers, or stay at a farmhouse.
- tea tour (harvesting and processing tea, tea house, matcha poder making, tea museum in Kyoto)
- traditional handicrafts (visit workshops, pottery making experience, kiln in hidden valley)
- culinary experience (food processing workshop such as tofu, soba, yuba, somen noodle, traditional knowledge of food preservation)
- fermented food products (learning how to make sake, shoyu, miso, amazake, pickle, nattou, umeboshi by yourself)
- plant and ethno-ecology (sansai wild plant harvesting and cooking)
- learning rural livelihood (charcoal making, weaving trees, paper making from mulberry plant, silk worm, visit to temple of plant medicine)
- temple stay (meditation, shojin ryori at mount koya)
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.
I had a great time with Chisato. She met us at the station, showed us around Uji, and took us all the way to the tea farm. She was a nice guide and we had a great time.
During my day with Chisato we spent the morning visiting the Todaji-ji Shrine, Nara Park and other key sites. From there we boarded the JR train and headed to the trailhead of the Yamanobe no Michi ancient trail. We sauntered along the trail visiting the Mika Shrine, the Hirara Shrine, Genpien Temple, Stone Pagoda and garden, a waterfall, fruit farms, a medicinal plant garden, and stopping to chat with local gardeners and other denizens along the way. It was a fabulous day accented by beautiful cherry blossoms all along the way. The hike is a unique way to visit another slice of Japanese daily life away from what one gardener described " the noise of Kyoto." Chisato planned a great day for me and made sure all my needs were cared for. We sauntered/hiked along for close to 8 miles. I was most impressed with her knowledge of topics ranging from native and edible plants to the cultural and historical significance of the sites we visited. My day with Chisato was one of the best days of my recent three weeks in Japan
It was so nice to get away from the crowded sites in Kyoto and Nara and out into the country and see things that few tourist get to see. Wild plant foraging, kudzu starch, and koji fungus production were real highlights of our trip. If you have a specific interest in wild plants or herbal medicine you'll get a lot out of this tour. Chisato picked us up right in our hotel lobby, and was very accommodating for the tour; letting us set our own pace. We didn't get to do everything she had planned, but I was happy to slow down and have a more relaxing tour. Her English was excellent, and she was well prepared. If you're an adventurous eater, and want to try something truly unique, you absolutely must do the lunch at Daigan-ji temple. It's an experience you'll never forget.
I had a really great day being driven around the Nara prefecture by Chisato. She has a passion for traditional Japanese food production, and was the perfect guide with whom to visit four traditional soy sauce manufacturers and a miso maker, all on one snow-filled day. We started early and finished late, and Chisato's enthusiasm and professionalism never wavered even when we realised the rental car did not have snow tires. A highlight was finding a cafe for lunch that offered a set menu that used some of the soy sauces we'd tasted only a few minutes earlier at the factory. Chisato also followed up the next day with contact details for people who might be able to help me pursue my interest further. It was great fun, and I highly recommend Chisato as guide, especially to those with an interest in traditional Japanese food production.
Chisato took me on a day trip from Kyoto to visit a great new tea company & farm in Uji. I have long been an avid tea drinker, but I did not know the history and farming process for Green Tea. Chisato provided great reading material on the way to the Farm, which helped me familiarize myself with the tea plant and process to grow and harvest tea. When we arrived, we were taken on a nice tour of the tea plantation with the owner, where I asked many questions. He was a great host. The scenery was amazing and I took a ton of great photos. The tour ended with us hand picking tea leaves. When we returned to the cafe at the base of the farm, we sampled a lot of tea and ate a meal that incorporated matcha in many ingredients. It was a fun experience. After the tour, Chisato took me around the rest of the area for hiking and a visit to the local tea market. I would recommend this tour for anyone with an interest in tea and a desire to get outside of Kyoto for a day!