Good tour although a bit pricey for what you get. I enjoyed doing something unusual in Kyoto. I was the only guest so...'private tour'! The Nishiki Market was very interesting. It was nice to have someone able to tell me about the different foods found there. I imagined buying a beautiful bit of fish for our sushi but most Japanese can't afford the fish on a regular basis. We purchased a bit of fish paste and fried tofu for our dinner. The sake museum was okay. 3 tiny sips of sake isn't exactly a 'tasting' but the difference in qualitiy is quite clear. Hold out for the 3rd sip (the best quality) as I didn't see it offered to others who came after us. The tour guide's office is just around the corner and that's where the cooking class was. Not the best sushi because of the ingredients but I was able to come home, buy some tuna and make professional looking sushi on my own.
Good way to see many sites without having to think about how to get from one to another. Wear shoes that slip off easily as you'll be doing a lot of it. Yoshi is a little difficult to understand at first but you soon get used to his accent and can get most of his jokes. Can you believe it? Spring and Fall are busy times of year to go on this tour as all the Japanese students are on Social Studies tours visiting the shrines and temples. The variety was good and I was able to check 7 things off my 'tourist' list. We were able to go to the Imperial Palace even though all the guidebooks say it's closed in October. There was only one other bus there. Lunch was fine. The shopping wasn't anything great. I would do this tour again but don't expect to find yourself in serene gardens and quiet temples. It's just too darn crowded and it's a rush to get it all in. It was nice to be picked up and dropped off right at my hotel (Kyoto Tower) so I didn't have to think about anything all day.