Hello, I’m Makoto (Mac) Yokoyama and I'm a national-licensed tour guide.
My previous career as an automotive engineer, gave me the opportunity to learn English and to live in the US, Germany, and England. After I retired, I learned more about the Japanese history especially focusing on Nara and Kyoto to become a historical specialist of the Nara area. I now live in Ikaruga town in Nara prefecture, where the UNESCO World Heritage, Horyuji temple is located. I regularly offer guides on the Fujinoki tumulus, which is located near the Horyuji temple. It contains very interesting Archaeological findings from the end of the Kofun Period.
Recently, there are many foreign tourists who come to Japan, and I hope they enjoy learning about the culture and history of Japan. I would like to help tourists have a broader and deeper understanding of the Japanese culture and that is the reason why I decided to become a tour guide to help and support their experience in Japan.
Nara is the place where Japan started. The capital was located in Asuka, Fujiwara and Nara before it moved to Kyoto. Therefore, there are many places to visit in Nara to trace the original history of Japan, which I have a depth of knowledge.
Let’s explore the roots of Japan together!!
The prices below are for a private tour for you and your partner, family or friends.
Up to 5 people
For each extra person
* Duration: 2 hours minimum and 7 hours maximum per day.
* People: 10 maximum
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.
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour with Makoto! It was easy to communicate by email before we left for Japan and together we came up with an itinerary that would work for a full day. His knowledge of Japanese history is excellent and we began our tour with an overview of history. He provided us with several handouts to help us understand Japanese historical time periods, the location of the seat of government and who had power for the different eras. This gave us a better understanding of each site we visited. We were able to tour Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kinkakuji and Ninnaji. At each site, Makoto provided us with historical background and interesting information, unique to the site we visited. He was able to relate the relationship of Nijo Castle, the Imperial Palace and Ninnaji. We loved seeing each of the sites and would highly recommend Ninnaji. Being a little out of the way from Kinkakuji, it was not crowded and we were able to walk within the beautiful residence, not to mention seeing the temple and pagoda. To end our day, we walked through a quiet area of Kyoto as well as through Myoshinji which contains 47 temples (Makoto added this in since we had a little more time left). A quick, inexpensive, yet satisfying Japanese lunch was enjoyed and Makoto had previously thought through a location that was on the way so that we would not waste any time. Makoto's English is good and he is very easy to understand. He did not rush us through each site and allowed us time to ask questions and take pictures. He also laughs easily and we enjoyed him as our guide. If we ever return to Japan, we would ask Makoto to be our guide in Nara which he knows extensively. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to do this. We highly recommend Makoto as a guide!
Mack was simply great. He communicated well before the meeting. His English was great - I understood every word. He was waiting for us at the rendevous point in Nara to greet us. He gave us a presentation of the tour before we set off and he provided the background of Nara. Mack was enthusiastic about his job and answered all our questions. Made the Nara experience more thorough because he knew the background, rituals and history behind the shrines, temples, lanterns, parks, etc. We were a group of 8. He guided us through the sights efficiently. He took us to a nice reasonable Japanese restaurant for lunch. I would highly recommend Mack. A great guy.
Makito ‘Mac’ is an excellence guide!!! He knows a lot about Japanese Culture, History and Religion, and he’s very generous on sharing this knowledge with us. He’s also very committed on offering the best plan ever for the clients and, moreover, he’s kind and a a lovely person! We recommend him strongly!
I have arranged a trip for my uncle and his friends to Osaka with Mac and have found him to be a very professional and thoughtful guide! The planning was very smooth. We had changed our itinerary halfway with new requests but those were also quickly accounted for and we fixed a new itinerary very quickly. When our group met with Mac, he was well prepared and have printed out a list to facilitate any further discussion. The trip went smoothly as Mac meticulously oversaw all their needs.
We enjoyed Makoto very much. He was prompt and a great help getting us from Osaka to Mount Koya. His English is very good and easy to understand. He provided us with good information on history of Japan and where Mount Koya fit in that history. We enjoyed his discussion on current Japanese life. As this was his first tour to Mount Koya his information on that site was limited.