We had two guides to take care of us - (Risako and Kazuyashi) one of whom was supervising the other as a learning experience, yet both were so knowledgeable it was impossible to tell the difference! They were both so friendly and helpful and answered all of our questions happily! They explained all of the food we ate and the places we visited so we got a cultural lesson as well as the food tour!
My wife and I were very lucky to get Akiko as our guide for a 4 hour walk around the area surrounding the Sagano/Arashiyama Train Station. I guess there is a similar street food walking tour near the Kyoto station but this tour is excellent as it is on the other side of the city, in its own neighborhood and has great street food. The tour also involves visiting several shrines and experiencing the neighborhood both at the street level and through the eyes of a local guide.
My wife and I were lucky that we were the only ones on tour with Akiko. She is absolutely fantastic in explaining everything but also helping you experience everything. We also appreciated that the tour company really thought about the entire experience from the paths you walk and the places you visit and where and when you stop to eat a specific type of food. Each item of food we ate was really delicious although I think our favorite was the pancake. Also, each place we stopped at was not something you would easily know was the best or a local experience without being on the tour.
My wife and I are big foodies and during our week in Japan we felt this was one of the best foodie experiences we had during our visit to Japan including when compared to all the Michelin starred restaurants we ate at. Wa Yamamura in Nara was the highlight of our trip and there was a great neighborhood sushi restaurant in Tokyo called Sushiya no Matsukan Azabu Honten no English so have the hotel call, only a few seats, Omakase so just enjoy what the chef offers but this experience ranked third ahead of other high end restaurants and therefore is a must do while in Kyoto.
In addition to the food and just walking the neighborhoods with an experienced guide we also enjoyed the shrines we visited in this area. We did two other bus tours and walking around and eating local food at the same time is a great way to experience the culture of the area.
Although I see from other reviewers that many of the guides are great, ask for Akiko.
Kazu and Woody were excellent guides. They made sure that we were comfortable with everything on the tour and even catered to our personal interest. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who likes food and experiencing nature and Japanese culture. Our guides were very informative and super nice.
Simply amazing. If you are going to be in Kyoto for more than a day I would put this a must do! Akito was a wonderful and engaging guide and the neighborhood of Arishiyama is simply gorgeous. You will get to see some wonderful views of the city from mountain side temples as well as have an amazing selection of food personal favorite the beef croquette but everything was good. Probably one of the best tours I have done in Japan.
Kazu was an excellent tour guide. Enjoyed the small group of people and the genuine interest in his country and the food and sights that they provide. This suburb of Kyoto is so peaceful compared to the city. The bamboo forest was super refreshing and relaxing as well. Enjoyed all of the stops and meeting new people. All in all, highly recommend and would take this again!
This tour was fantastic! Our tour guide, Kazu, was very personable and knowledgeable. Since we were fortunate enough to be in Arashiyama during Sakura I wanted to stop and take pictures of everything and the pace of the tour was such that I could. The foods we sampled were yummy.
If Arashiyama and Sagano are not on your list of places to see while in the Kyoto area, you need to add them. I would highly recommend this tour.
Naomi, our guide is beyond sweet and enthusiastic. It was a rainy day but she soldiered on, keeping all of us interested and upbeat. The tour itself includes many beautiful sites with fun stops for local street food. I would definitely recommend this tour as a way to see this area with a guide. You will see much more than if you go alone.