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So awesome our tour guide was great! She explained things so well and was so cool how she shared her culture, Yoko was the best!
It was a good tour, the guide was knowledgeable and helpful. Enjoyable experience. The sake sampling was great.
The tour guide was wonderful - adjusting the tour as needed according to the needs and wants of the 6 people on the tour 2 couples plus my son and myself. Fushimi Inari is amazing - HOWEVER, if you really want to experience the full impact of the shrine, you should go in the early morning before the tourists get there it takes about 2-3 hours to walk the shrine in its entirety. It is crowded otherwise AND the tour can allow only an hour or so for walking. YET IF you want to know the history of the shrine, what the various things mean, the rituals, etc., definitely go on this tour.
As for the Sake Brewery Tour, it was very interesting - you get to walk through the museum you do NOT get to see Sake being made, including explanations of the various pieces of equipment you also get to enjoy a taste of several of the Gekkeikan products. The final leg of the tour is to a market where one can buy various items at excellent prices where you have a tasting experience in one of the better Sake specialty shop.
Great tour if you want to discover the history of
Our tour guide was awesome. We ended up being the only group that signed up for the tour so it ended up being a private tour. She took us to the Fushimi Inari shrine and gave us a lot of information about the location, its symbolism, history, etc. All very fascinating stuff. After the Fushimi Inari shrine we headed to the Gekkeikan brewery/museum. We toured the museum while our tour guide gave us a great history lesson. We were able to test all the exclusive flavors of Sake found only at the brewery and browse the shop afterwards to take a few bottles home which were very reasonably priced. After the Sake tour we ended up at a Sake bar, the location in which I have forgotten but we had a Sake Master ask our preferences and then pick out four flavors of Sake for us to taste. The Master of Sake knows his stuff because all of us enjoyed the flavors presented to us. It was a great intimate experience with a tour guide who lives locally. She was very knowledgeable and very friendly. I would most certainly recommend this tour if you're a fan of history and sake. My group had a lot of fun on this tour. I would definitely do it again.!
Small group experience with Youko, a sake afficionado. She was lovely and elegant and really knows her subject. First stop at the Fushimi Inari for a brief tour and lots of explanations from our guide. She knows where to stop to get a great photo...Then a nice small sake museum followed by a tasting in a sake bar in the market. Quite a bit of walking but very nice tour. Recommended.
There's a reason this heads up every 'must see' list of Kyoto: it is actually beyond words. Or even pictures. Just go, and you'll understand. At one point, my husband and I looked at each other and agreed, Yup, there's no way to REALLY describe this to anyone back home .
So let's discuss the tour itself, instead:
Tomoko, who spoke clear English and paid all our train fares, was an informed and friendly guide, sharing insights lots of travelers miss like don't walk up the center of the wide path to the temple: it's traditionally reserved for the deity!. In addition to the usual facts-and-figures, she shared how locals view their shrines and temples, and the motivations for people who have erected the magnificent Torii she actual knows someone who built one here, for example.
After viewing the lower third of the Shrine mountain, we took at train to a sake brewery, 2 tasting rooms, and a sake shop to round out the day trip.
You'll love this adventure!
The tour of Fushimi Inari is an amazing sight and definitely the highlight of the Shinto temples we visited during our week in Kyoto. Our tour guide, Junko, was quite facile with English and offered many helpful insights regarding the Shinto temple visit and sake brewery tour. She was also very helpful guiding us along the complicated train system to arrive at each of our destinations. The final stop at the sake bar/shop was a great opportunity sample and learn about the different sakes. The selection of sakes for purchase at the shop was also outstanding. As an added bonus, our entire tour entourage consisted only of our group of three travelers, making the experience feel quite VIP.
This was an amazing experience. A great mixture of seeing a must-see shrine, learning about culture and religion, gaining a perspective on sake brewing, and topping off with a sake tasting session that didn't lack in variety and left you feeling great.
Yoko Akamizu was our guide and she was easily the nicest person that we've come across in Japan. She went above and beyond with teaching about the country and even helped us buy baseball tickets online.
I only wish that we would've taken this tour at the start of our trip because we had so much more appreciation for everything we saw afterwards.
Though it rained pretty bad my trip was awesome! Our guide was very knowledgeable and polite in helping us and answering any of our questions.
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