Hello. I'm Chisato, originally from Kyoto.
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.
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)
* There are increasing number of requests from tea buyers to look for tea farmers to deal with foreign transaction of organic tea. It is very limited to produce high quality organic tea in Japan. I have engaged in tea promotion at a local government office in Kyoto before, and it is possible to introduce good tea farmers and processors. Please let me know if you are interested in buying tea leaves directly from farmers in Kyoto. I can arrange meeting with tea masters to learn how to taste and differentiate high quality matcha.
* Please note that the price would be based on group regardless of number of people. So, it could be a bit high price for solo travelers.
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 wonderful time in Nara with Chisato as my guide. Chisato helped me schedule a one day tour of Nara with all of the sites that I wanted to see including a tea ceremony experience. She was very attentive as she guided me through Nara and explained the history and details of each site. Chisato communicates very well in English and she is very intelligent. She was flexible during the tour as she allowed me to shop for souvenirs and also took me to tea shops and sake stores that she thought I would find interesting. The Nara deer were fun to feed and Chisato even took pictures of me as I fed them. As I told Chisato that my next stop was Tokyo, she recommended me several tea shops in Tokyo and emailed me a list. I went to one of those tea shops in Tokyo and had a great experience ... read more
Thank you for your review, It was my pleasure to talk about tea with you in Nara. Deers are indeed good reason to visit Nara, but I hope more people get interested in other cultural aspects other than major tourist attractions. Please let me know if you have a chance to visit Japan again in future. Thank you again for joining the tour to Nara.
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.
Thank you for your comments. It is my pleasure to welcome you to tea tour in Uji and Wazuka. I hope you enjoy staying at the tea farm, and hope to see you again. Thank you.
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... read more
Dear Geoff, Thank you for your comments! That was a lovely day with cherry blossoms at their best. It is my pleasure to spend time with you to Nara city and Yamanobe-no-michi ancient trail. I hope more people will know about this off-the-beaten trail in Nara.
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.
Dear Eric, Thank you for your kind comments. I am happy to welcome you to see around a medicinal plants garden and Daiganji temple. I hope to see you someday!
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 i... read more
Dear Quentin, Thank you for your kind comments. I was really impressed by your deep questions on soy sauce production. It was indeed first request to visit 4 say sauce makers at one day. I hope your enjoy making shoyu in Australia in future!