Jamie BirkettUnited States
Takaaki provided a lovely tour of the Gion district. We learned about the Geisha culture in Kyoto and saw three Geiko/Maiko walking to local tea houses. Takaaki has a lot of knowledge about their training and the local stores which sell the beautiful hair pieces and shoes. We moved on to visiting the Shinto shrines and once again learned about the specifics of each and what locals go to pray for--break-up shrine anyone? A trip through the lovely back streets and ramen for dinner at a local restaurant.
We could not have happier than to have Takaaki as our guide. Besides his amazing knowledge of the Gion area he is just so pleasant and helpful. A lovely person. Takaaki knew exactly where we should wait to able to see the Geisha ladies (Geiko in Kyoto) and Maiko-and in the early evening we saw 7 making their way to their appointments. Very fortunate. We then walked through the area learning so much and enjoying it all. The tour ended with a lovely dinner. Highly recommened
Donna DeLoneUnited States
We had a great experience with Takaaki. He was very personable and knowledgeable. He answered all our questions and was flexible. We would highly recommend him and would love to have him again if we return to Japan.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank your for your warm words. I had a great time with you two during the tour, too. I was happy to share a story about Yayoi Kusama, I’m sure you two will appreciate Naoshima Island. Next time I will take you around in the day time ;)
Tina ArazaNew Zealand
Thorough and very informative, the tour was a superb experience. His considerate planning was perfect as we got to see several maikos pass by and we were taken to unique and hidden paths to see sights only seen at night. Definitely can say this tour made a great impression about Kyoto that will last us a lifetime and we're very thankful.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you very much for your wonderful review. It was really nice to meet you all. Yasaka pagoda looks very beautiful at night. I’m so glad you got to experience it .
Another brilliant tour by Tours by Locals. Taakaki was fantastic taking me to places I would never have found by myself plus he was extremely knowledgeable. Once again nothing was too much trouble plus he was extremely considerate. I can highly recommend him and would be more than happy to have him as a guide on another tour.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks, Su ! I was happy to guide you around for your second visit to Japan. I'm sure your impression on Japan has been fully updated after not having been here for years and it'd be great if I added another point of view to your perception of Japan.We were lucky enough to see three sightings of Maiko, two among them were in special Kimono for celebratory occasions. Maybe I’ll see you again for your third trip to kyoto.
Christopher MaleyUnited States
We spend a wonderful evening with Takaaki. He proved to very knowledgeable about this history of the Gion District, as evidenced by his ability to go off script and answer our many questions. I especially appreciated his in depth knowledge about Geisha culture. His English is excellent. I highly recommend spending an evening with him in Kyoto.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks, Chris! I was happy to take you two to explore Gion and adjoining area in the evening. It is always fun that every traveller brings different point of views and perspectives. I'd be happy to help you discover more next time you are around in Kyoto!
Kathy PaulUnited States
Takaaki is a very nice and knowledgeable guide. We enjoyed the tour through the narrow back streets of the Gion District and got several glimpses of Geisha. Yasaki Shrine was beautiful, and we enjoyed the dinner at a small, local restaurant. He speaks very good English and exuded so much energy and friendliness. I would highly recommend him as a guide.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks, Kathy! I had a great time with the two of you. I was happy to be able to add something extra to the usual tour because of Gion Festival. The portable shrines for Gion festival displayed at Yasaka Shrine were beautiful weren’t they :) I hope the rest of your trip to Japan went smoothly and maybe we’ll see you back in Kyoto in the future.
Melissa van der BurgtAustralia
We made a last minute booking for this tour on the day we arrived in Kyoto and we were pleasantly surprised with our guide - Takaaki - he was an extremely knowledgable guide on history, religion and anything we had questions around. We were fortunate enough to see the stunning sites with the glistening rain on the cobble roads of old Kyoto. The evening wrapped up with a lovely meal of ramin and dumplings. We were all very impressed and Takaaki was an amazing guide!!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you for you kind words. I was happy to you show you around some of the most picturesque places in Kyoto, Gion and its adjoining area the HIgashiyama District, are especially beautiful on a rainy day. I'm glad you got to enjoy the fortuitous moment of seeing Geiko.
Andrew W.United Kingdom
Absolutely amazing tour. The guide's English and knowledge is excellent. The tour was well planned. Couldn't recommend it more.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you for your kind words. I'm always happy to include the places or anecdotes guests would've missed out otherwise. Please recommend my tours to your friends and family who will come to Kyoto!
Igor IoffeUnited States
Takaaki is very knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating guide! He was able to fit our group of 6 people into his busy schedule in the last moment! The tour was superb, everyone in our group enjoyed it thoroughly! At the end of the tour he recommended a very nice Udon - Soba restaurant.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you for your wonderful words. No problem, my tours are customisable. I’m glad all of you enjoyed the tour to experience the magical Gion at night.I enjoyed lots of questions from you, too. Please let your friends know about my tours! Hope you come back to Kyoto in the future. Thanks, Takaaki
Elizabeth LaBelleUnited States
Takaaki was an excellent tour guide! Our group had a long day of touring Arashiyama in the cold rain prior to meeting Takaaki in Gion and he was very understanding when we requested a few detours to dry off and warm up. He was upbeat, positive, informative and took us to some great spots-everything you hope for in a tour guide! We were also lucky enough to see Geishas! At the end of the tour, Takaaki joined us for dinner and translated each of our names into Japanese characters. We highly recommend him!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you for your wonderful review. I enjoy customising plans to make sure the people I guide have the best time possible on tour. All seven of you were really engaged and responsive on the tour and gave me lots of questions, which is a fun for me. Please come back to Kyoto and Japan to have some more fun experiences.
Susan KushnerUnited States
Takaaki is a highly educated, well spoken, and skilled tour guide. His historical knowledge of the culture is scholarly, and his enthusiasm and upbeat demeanor is infectious. I suggest that he author a tour book. He took us to certain spots that locals know of, and we caught an insighful glimpse of Kyoto, which made our tour very memorable.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you very much for your very kind words. I always enjoy meeting new people and showing guests the beauty of my city. I was honored to be the “top batter” on your first day in kyoto. Your journey to discover kyoto has just started, please come back to kyoto and Japan again!
An amazing & informative tour! Takaaki took us on a walk through Gion where we came across many shrines and interesting areas which you wouldn't get the chance to see if you were simply riding in a taxi or walking along the main streets. We even spotted a few maiko along the way. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone visiting Kyoto who wants to learn about the history of geiko and the city of Kyoto while hopefully seeing some beautiful geiko and maiko along the backstreets. Thank you Takaaki!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Hi Candice, thank you very much for the amazing review. I enjoyed spending time with two of you on the tour. I'm glad the evening was not too cold for us. It's always interesting to know guests viewpoints, which will enrich my guiding for my future tours. Next time you come back to Japan, please let me help you discover kyoto and Japan further.
It was a super tour around the area with wonderful information giving a sense of the history and character of Gion and surrounding region Seeing the little alleyways at night and catching site of meiko was a memory being made. A beautiful pagoda ,peaceful shrines and fabulous food to finish will ensure I never forget this tour I will recommend Takaaki to my friends and family for a very memorable view of fascinating Kyoto Thank you Takaaki
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you very much for giving me such a lovely review! I really enjoyed guiding you on the tour. It was a really cold night so I thought it might snow. I'm glad you enjoyed feet and hand warmers I gave you. We were lucky to see 2 Maiko. I think it's always good to have a guide so that you won't miss interesting alleyways and real Kyoto sights. Please recommend me to your friends and family. I would be happy to guide them in Gion and kyoto.