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The Lustre Family from USA

July 2010
Guide: Ryuichiro Hayashi
Route: Tsukiji fish market – Ginza – Asakusa – Akihabara; Tokyo Metropolitan Government building – Harajuku – Shibuya – Odaiba

My name is Maricel Lustre. A few weeks ago, I wrote to Tokyo Free Guide requesting a free tour. TFG assigned a wonderful tour guide to us named “Hayashi Ryuichiro” also known as Ichiro-san for short.
My family and I would like to thank Tokyo Free Guide for giving us Ichiro-san. He is very professional, punctual, knowledgeable and was able to save us money by using wise transportation. We enjoyed all of the places we visited but we had lots of fun in Odaiba. We also loved dining at Ganko. We are very happy in having Ichiro-san as our tour guide. Our14 year old son loved him! Ichiro-san was very patient with him. Our son could not stop talking about him. We learned so much from Ichiro-san. It was our first time to tour Tokyo and our experience was very memorable. Thank you very much Ichiro-san for showing us Tokyo. We feel very fortunate in having met you because in doing so we have gained a friend. Read the rest of this entry »

Alan and Linda from USA

May 2010
Guide: Hiroko Kitagou, Yoko Takano
Route: Imperial Palace – Asakusa – Ueno (Tokyo National Museum); Tokyo Metropolitan Government building – Shinjuku Gyoen – Meiji Shrine

My husband, Alan, and I cannot say enough good things about Tokyo Free Guide. Both of the guides met us at our hotel each morning with a plan for the day.Hiroko made sure we understood how to use the subway system and without her I don’t know if we would have figured out we could ride JR lines free with our Japan Railpass.  She arranged for a bus tour for us in the area near the Imperial Palace which helped us get a better idea of our surroundings. We ate lunch near the Senjoji Temple where I had shabu-shabu for the first time and Alan had tempura. We had been reluctant to go into restaurants before this because we couldn’t read the menus but Hiroko showed us what to do and it made such a difference the rest of the trip. By spending time with Hiroko, we learned so much about Buddhist and Shinto shrines and temples. Read the rest of this entry »

Leal and Phan from France

July, 2008
Guide: Yoko Kobayashi
Route: Asakusa – Akihabara – Imperial Palace – Yanaka – Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Wendy from Queensland, Australia

July, 2008
Guide: Mitsuyo Fujiwara, Junko Murakami and Ayumi
Route: Ueno – Tokyo University – Yanaka – Asakusa; Nezu – Imperial Palace – Harajuku – Shibuya – Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building


I would like to thank TFG for putting us in contact with 2 guides during our trip to Japan in July this year.

On July the 5th Mitsuyo Fujiwara guided my husband and I and our 3 sons around Ueno and through to Asakusa and Kappabashi. We saw some lovely older places around the local Ueno / Yanaka area where we were staying and made our way around on the local bus on back streets that we would never have found alone.

After contacting me in Australia she met us at our hotel and had organized a great day with one of the highlights being a visit to Tokyo University where she had arranged that we would attend a practice for the University Tea ceremony club. This was amazing.

The next day Junko Murakami met us at our hotel with her friend Ayumi who was around our sons’ ages and we went to the Imperial Palace and on to Harajuku and Shibuya. Sunday in Harajuku was great fun and there was something for all ages to see and do. The boys had a great time with Ayumi comparing cultural activities and learning about the best places to shop in Harajuku and Shibuya. In the early evening we went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building for the great view.

Dinner in Shinjuku finished off a great day. Junko works full time as well as guiding and I am so pleased that she gave up her free time to guide us as we had a wonderful day.

Both these days were the highlights of our Japan holiday and I have been recommending TFG to all my friends. This is a wonderful idea and it meant so much to meet and spend time with Mitsuyo and Junko as well as Ayumi. Seeing a city through the eyes of a local makes it seem so much more
interesting and personal.

Thank you

Wendy Welsh

Queensland Australia

Verena from Duesseldorf and Johannes from Stuttgart, Germany

December, 2007
Guide: Ryuichiro Hayashi (“Ichiro”)
Route: Tamanoi Sumou stable – Nishiarai Daishi temple – Asakusa Sensouji temple – Asakusa dougugai Street – Omotesanndo Street – Takeshita Street – Meiji Shrine – Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Dear Tokyo free guide team:

thanks a lot for providing a website which allowed us to get in touch with our volunteer tour guide, even if we entered our data only few days before the trip.

Our guide was Ryuichiro Hayashi (“Ichiro”). He was so kind to organize a visit at a sumo stable, which was our special wish for that trip. As the training session was very early, we met Ichiro already at 8am at our hostel. Ichiro does not live in Tokyo itself, so he had to get up very early, an amazing effort for two strangers!

The visit at the sumo stable was one of the highlights of our trip, at that time we felt like being really in Japan! It was also the first time for Ichiro, so we are happy that he also discovered something new during the tour. Thereafter we have visited different temples and shopping streets. From those, the highlight was the Meiji shrine with the great surrounding park. The tour ended after nearly 10 hours (!) with a visit of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building with a great view over Tokyo.

However, we have not only seen a lot of Tokyo, we also have seen coincidentally the restaurant, which serves a location for a famous english learning TV show, and a weather girl from Japanese TV. And, most important, we were able to learn a lot more about Japan and Japanese culture from the talks with Ichiro, who has a great knowledge about Tokyo & Japan, than it would be possible only with a guide book.

Ichiro, thousand thanks for sharing your valuable time for us. Good luck for you, your wife, your daughter, your son and your grandchild!

With best regards,

Verena & Johannes

Angel and Begona from Spain

November, 2007
Guide: Nobuko Sakuragi, Katsue Shinomiya and Mitsuyo Fujiwara
Route: Meiji Shrine Outer Garden – Meiji Shrine – Omotesando – Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building – Kappabashi Street – Sensoji Temple – Sumida River Cruise – Hamarikyu Garden

This message is to thank our three guides, Mitsuyo-san, Katsue-san and Nobuko-san for their kindness and attentions during the visit to Tokyo me and my girlfriend Begona made. Nobuko spoke great Spanish, Katsue had the patience to teach us some origami and Mitsuyo was a very experienced guide who made a wonderful schedule for a one day-visit to Tokyo. All of them offered us a fantastic hospitality, great knowledge of the city and some Japanese charm we will never forget. Certainly, we will recommend TFG to anyone visiting Japan.

Thibaut and Maret from Estonia

November, 2007
Guide: Mitsuyo Fijiwara
Route: Tokyo Metropolitan Government building – Ginza – Kappabashi – Sensoji

Our wonderful, very helpful Tokyo Free Guide Mitsuyo met us near the Hachiko statue on Monday morning. Our adventures in Tokyo started with the beautiful view from the Tokyo government building. The weather was so great and clear that we could even see the Fuji! We had great lunch in a sushi bar (that we visited later also on our own-it was really tasty) and we continued to our tea-ceremony. Could taste the strongest green tea I ever had in my life:) In the afternoon we had short visits to Ginza area, Kappabashi street, Senjoji Temple and our tour ended with a beautiful river tour! Thank you very much for this and it gave a lot to our Japan trip!

It was very lovely meeting you, Mitsuyo. Thanks for having been our guide!

Steve, George, Randy, Silvia, David and Gary from the USA

August, 2007
Guide: Naomi Ishiwatari, Ryuichiro Hayashi, Toshiko Kageyama, Takako Matsuo, Kyoko Iwasaki, Takae Azuma, Yoshimi Nagasawa, Chinami Nishizawa, Keiko Nagamatsu, Hanae Matsuura, Sanae Kawamoto
Route: Sake Factory tour, Asakusa, Imperial Palace Garden, Ginza, Harajuku, Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, Tsukiji Fish Market, Nikko, Bonsai-mura (Omiya), Kawagoe, Fishing tackle shops, Japanese Tea ceremony experience

Dear T.F.G.

I want to sincerely thank you for the excellent guide service. I have traveled in over 50 countries now and I must say that the level of professionalism and guiding were second to none. All my TFG’s were excellent during my trip. Sanae with her big smile and warmth welcomed me to Japan, Ichiro was excellent and well prepared, Hanae was very good showing me around Tokyo with my special requests. I had opportunities to meet other TFG guides on this trip as we were a group of 6 they were all awesome and my friends were just in amazement at the level of service.

This service is invaluable to first time travelers to Japan especially in Tokyo, they cater to your interests; take you to great inexpensive restaurants. TFG bridges the gap between culture and local customs on a personable level. I must admit the sightseeing was very nice but the TFG’s were excellent hosts and guides it seemed that we were guided by friends and it made it a more memorable experience. If every country in the world would have a program like this, the world would be a better place, great ambassadors for Japan. A most memorable and enlighting trip.
Most highly recommended.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu,

Steve from Simi Valley, California

Scott and Rebecca from Gold Coast, Australia

June, 2007
Guide: H. K. and Chinami Nishizawa
Route: Imperial Palace – Ginza – Harajuku – Meiji Shrine – Shinjuku – Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office; Hama-Rikyu Garden – Odaiba

Thank you for your great service. We had the services of two of your excellent guides, H. K. on Sunday 24th of June and Chinami Nishizawa on Tuesday 26th of June. Both of these guides were excellent in all aspects and we had wonderful days full of memories with both. We will highly recommend your services to all our friends and colleagues who are visiting Tokyo. Please accept our sincere gratitude to your organisation and the two guides in particular for helping make our trip to Japan a very memorable one indeed.

Kind Regards,

Scott and Rebecca
Gold Coast, Australia

Raymond from Singapore

February, 2005
Guide: Akiko and Yoshie
Route: Toy Festival in Odaiba – Shibuya – Harajuku – Shinjuku – Tokyo Metropolitan tower

Getting to know Tokyo Free guide was the best thing that ever happen to me as I was able to get around with much ease thanks very much to the tour guides. The guides are very friendly, cheerful and helpful in every aspect of the journey and I recommend highly for anyone who wishes to visit Japan to start off with Tokyo free guide, Seriously. Will definitely use Tokyo Free Guide should I come to Japan in future.

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