Nishiki Market, Gion, Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama private family tour
We were recommended Chris through our travel agent. We met up with Chris an hour after arriving in Kyoto and we were immediately off exploring the city, the food and the culture. We also met up with Chris the next day for a full day of walking and we covered a lot of ground.
We were a group of 10, with 6 children under the age of 9, and Chris could not have been a better investment! We saw so much more than we would have, if on our own, and learnt about cultural nuisances that we could not have found out by ourselves.
Perfection in Kyoto
Our large family group travels the world together. This year we found ourselves in Kyoto as a group of 16 ready for a morning stroll away from the intensity of the tourist crowds. Who knew that a short note to Chris a few weeks in advance of our arrival would land us in the perfect morning in Kyoto.
He met us at our hotel and guided us with ease from our hotel to Ginkakuji and along the Philosophers path. We stopped along the way for tasty treats that the whole group loved and off the beaten path shrines and gardens. We had all ages from 5 years old to 75 years old and Chris made the whole thing work for everyone. It was a cherished and lovely moment of our time in Kyoto.
When we return to Kyoto, Chris will be the first person I call. He has an awesome ability to tailor an adventure for the group as if he personally knows everyone and his knowledge/comfortable style makes the tour fun and informative. Beyond the wonderful tour, Chris also went above and beyond to try to help us make arrangements for other aspects of our time in Kyoto. He really is dedicated to excellence.
Northern Kyoto & Nishiki Market backstreet izakaya food walk
We booked 2 wonderful tours with Kyoto Guided Walks. Chris is really fantastic and has so much local knowledge, he included places away from the tourist traps which made it even more personal. Chris went beyond the call of duty and we were even able to contact him after the tours if we had any questions or needed any help to figure out where to go.
We highly recommend booking a tour with him, it’s the only way to get a good insight into local life!
Fabulous Arashiyama tour!
Our family of four (two adults, two teens) had a fabulous day with Chris of Kyoto Guided Walks! Chris was great to work with in planning the tour… he responded promptly to email and really listened to our wishes when designing our tour itinerary.
He met us at our hotel and we learned so much about Kyoto while spending the day with him. He related very well to our kids and was respectful of our pace (both kids fighting colds and jet lag on our tour day). We visited out of the way places in Arashiyama where we could enjoy nature away from the crowds – our son even climbed a tree during our tour! Chris arranged a delicious lunch which was great for both vegetarians and omnivores. We ended our day with a nearly hidden foot bath which left us all relaxed and content.
We learned, laughed and saw places that we would never have found on our own. Our experience in Kyoto was so much more in depth because of our tour! I would book Chris again in a heartbeat!
Chris guided us on 3 different tours in Kyoto: Arashiyama (bamboo forest), Higashiyama (Silver Pavilion, Philosopher’s path) and the Golden Pavilion. All 3 tours were amazing! We got so much more of our time in Kyoto thanks to Chris: he not only showed us the major not to miss places on our list and told us interesting information and enjoyable stories about these places, he also showed us really cool and beautiful local hidden gems and and introduced us to local artisans (woodworkers to ice cream makers).
He listened to what we told him we were particularly interested in and made sure at every step of the way that we were feeling good and comfortable and enjoying our time.
Chris is very personable, engaging and fun without ever being overbearing. We all thought these were the best tours we’ve taken.
Great walking tour of the old city in Kyoto
Kyoto by Night & Backstreets of Arashiyama private tour
My family (two adults, two teens) did two walking tours with Chris Hall while we were in Kyoto. A personal tour with Chris is the best way to see Kyoto. It is such a relaxed, fun and informative way to see the sights of this wonderful city. We did two tours – Nishiki Market and Gion Evening Walking Tour and the full day Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama Tour. We loved every second of both tours and they were some of the best things we did while in Japan.
Chris is warm and friendly and gave great insight to the Japanese culture which made our whole experience of Japan so much richer. He taught us some basic vocab and helped us navigate the train system. But the best thing about a walking tour with Chris, is that you get to do exactly what you want to do at your own pace. We never felt rushed and had such good time. Chris is great with the kids and made sure he engaged with each one of us during the day.
Our trip to Niskiki Market and Gion was great. Chris met us at our machiya and we set off. He taught us how to buy tickets for the local subway. We absolutely loved Nishiki Market – so many amazing and different foods and smells and great little shops along the way. Chris acted as our interpreter and helped us order some engraved chopsticks. Gion is such a contrast to the newer parts of Kyoto and you felt like you have stepped back in time.
Day two saw us doing a full day tour of Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama. The street food was fantastic and Chris made sure we tried all of the local delicacies. Chris had planned the day really well and had checked out the local cafes to find the best ones to stop at when we were tired. These thoughtful touches just made it such a pleasant and relaxing experience. We then travelled through to Arashiyama and wandered through the bamboo forest and also explored Okochi Sanso villa.
The amazing gardens were so lovely, and we probably wouldn’t have gone there if we were on our own but was so glad that Chris suggested it. It was such a serene place with amazing views. We were lucky enough to be in Arashiyama during the festival of lights and wandered up to an old temple that was transformed with the most amazing light display and we turned up just in time to see an amazing performance and watched it while sipping hot apple tea. Such an unexpected but special experience.
We couldn’t recommend Chris highly enough. He bought Kyoto alive in a way that doesn’t happen when you are wandering on your own. Learning about the local people and culture made our experience so much better. Our walking tours with Chris were simply some of the best things we did in Japan.