After graduating from a national university, I worked as an English teacher at a private high school for 3 years and then after getting married, became a piano teacher and taught piano both at music school and home .
I moved to Kyoto from Tokyo in 2010 because my husband, a PhD researcher, got a job here. I quickly fell in love with the city and the people. Now I live in the center of Kyoto and truly feel how lucky I am to be surrounded by many wonderful friends, good neighbors and of course, by a number of attractions of this ancient capital of Japan. I thought it would be nice if I could share the joy and happiness of living here with people from around the world and then became a tour guide.
Kyoto served as Japan's capital for over 1000 years and is filled with history and charm. It has 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, around 1600 temples, 400 shrines and more picturesque beautiful gardens as well as gourmet local food. It also has little-known but equally rewarding treasures tucked away up back street or behind an unassuming gate or doorway. You might think it is difficult to decide what to visit from this surfeit of attractions. But please do not worry. That's why I am here for you!
Since moved here, I have enthusiastically explored my second hometown. Living in one of the towns where local residents have proudly supported one of the floats of the Gion Festival (one of the 3 major festivals in Japan) for over 1000 years, I've learned a lot about the secret of local tradition and stories. I would be very happy if I could share the detailed interesting information about the life of Kyoto locals as well as hidden gems of this ancient place, which are difficult to find in guide books.
I'm an enthusiastic learner and to gain wide knowledge and expertise about Kyoto, often join local tours and lectures by experts in history, Buddhism, Shinto, Japanese garden, the tea ceremony, and etc. I have learned a lot and would like to share those knowledge with my clients.
Since officially qualified as a licensed Tour Guide, I've SPECIALIZED IN PRIVATE TOURS for couples, families and small groups travelling together (friends or coworkers) and I love it! I enjoy making itineraries according to my guests' interests and wishes. The happiest moment for me is the time when I see my guests' enjoying the tour with big smiles. I am a friendly enthusiastic person. I've received a lot of good feedback from my guests and many of them said they felt as if they were with their friend.
I lived in the US with my family about 20 years ago and at that time, my daughter was 4-month-old. (She is now 27 years old. Time flies!) It was not easy to live in a foreign country as a stay-at home mom without any friends but people I met there helped me a lot and thanks to their warmth and kindness, the experience became one of the highlights of my life. I still feel strong gratitude towards them and would always like to show the same warm hospitality to my clients.
In addition to that, I was given the opportunity to live in the US again this year (from April to September 2017). I joined some local circles and got to know the people, some of whom are now my friends. That has enriched my life experience and I am very grateful to the people who showed me their kindness by helping me feel more connected to the society there. The experience of living in a foreign country gave me a refreshed interest in my local surroundings and made me appreciate all that I have here in Kyoto even more.
I cherish every encounter as a treasure and would like to help you enjoy your stay in Kyoto and make great memories. I really look forward to meeting you in my tour.
A Recent Review of this guide
Meiko-san was very well prepared and knowledgable about the sites we visited. As my choices were spread all over Kyoto, her knowledge of the transportation system (mostly buses) made it possible to cover these choices efficiently. We visited Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Arashiyama (Bamboo Forest), Fushimi Inari-taisha and Gion (old town Kyoto). The only thing I might have done differently is hire a private car to avoid the tourist and lines at the stations. Domo arigato gozaimasu Meiko-san.
National licensed English guide (certification number: EN00427 Date of Issue: Mar.14.2012)
Authorized Tour Conductor
Certified Domestic Travel Service Supervisor
Kyoto Expert Certification 2nd grade
English teacher qualification
YAMAHA music foundation Piano teacher qualification
I do not have a commercial driver's license, so I cannot drive during tours.