Tours By Locals
Tours By Locals
5
About
Enjoy a private tour of Kyoto with the experienced, insightful, English-speaking guides at ToursByLocals. Half-day, full-day and multi-day tours available. All itineraries fully customizable; enjoy experiencing the cultural wonders of Kyoto with a local expert, at your own pace.
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2023

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(12 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles318 reviews
Excellent
313
Very good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
3

Ron G
Chicago, IL69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Couples
We had originally booked a Tour to Madagascar. We(my wife and I) have always wanted to go there. The Tour was booked for March 30th. Of course as everyone has gone through a similar experience, the Pandemic brought all international travel to a screeching halt. Tours by locals changed their policy for last second cancellations and allowed us to receive a full refund. We waited till June and almost booked, only to have Madagascar delay opening. Sometimes you can’t go against the Will
Of the World. The whole time we were communicating with Daniel the local guide and Tours. We rebooked for the end of October, and then three days before I got Covid myself. Tours allowed us to delay the Tour. We rebooked and were lucky enough to have a free exchange with Ethiopian Airlines. We were set to go Dec. 4th and found out a few days before Madagascar had shut their border to 14 countries, including the US. After opening in October, they decided to control their flow of passengers. We were able to switch our flight to Kenya, since we already had a negative Covid test to enter. Tours by locals found us a local guide in Mombasa. We went on a three day Safari tour with Tanke Tours. It went great. Tours refunded us the difference within 48 hours. They always communicated with us, answered our calls and concerns, and were flexible with the changes that took place. They found us a great Tour guide, and reached out to her directly to set up. Needless to say when we can go back to Madagascar, we will be booking with the same local guide through Tours by Locals. It is worth the price for the service they provide in this turbulent travel time for people looking to venture out.
Written December 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aviva333
Boston, MA19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We hired Tomoko for 2 days while in Japan. Not one moment of disappointment. One day was spent in her hometown of Kyoto and the other in Osaka. Everything we asked for during our 2 days of touring was accomplished and it was so very enjoyable! She brought us to interesting shrines, sites, rock gardens, temples and she found us amazing food to try (the Kyoto sushi restaurant was amazing and our crab lunch in Osaka equally so)! (she's also an incredible jazz singer - such a renaissance woman!).
Written January 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DodgeWandering
Washington DC, DC85 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
We did a virtual tour with Gulay since we cannot travel due to the pandemic. This virtual tour was a nice alternative to not being able to travel internationally. Gulay took us to a beautiful shrine, telling us about the history of it and taking part in the rituals so we could do so vicariously. We invited two of my daughters' friends to join us on the tour, and Gulay was engaging and answered all of the kids' questions. I recommend turning your own video off so you can see the tour guide's extra large.
Written August 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike L
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
We took the Uji tour with Brian. We couldn't say enough positive things about Brian after taking the tour. Our group of 5 spanned the ages of 12 to 83 and Brian with his story telling and depth of knowledge was able to keep everyone engaged for the 5+ hours we spent together, which for anyone who has a 12 year old boy knows what an amazing feat that is. We would highly recommend taking a tour with Brian and will hopefully get another chance to take another tour with him on a return trip to Kyoto!
Written April 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

keilder
Nottinghamshire, UK116 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
We spent a wonderful two days with Meiko exploring beautiful Kyoto. Her knowledge of the city is excellent. She knows exactly what buses, trams and trains to take around the city. No wasted time meant that we saw an amazing amount in two days. Meiko took us to great places for lunch that we would never have found by ourselves. She adjusted the itinerary to include sites that we wanted to visit and provided detailed and fascinating information. It was a pleasure to spend time with Meiko. Highly recommended
Written March 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeannie W
Cerritos, CA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Full day Kyoto Highlights tour - our guide Chizuko was amazing. We had a 9 year old child with us, so we had to make more frequent stops to tie shoes, drink water, find a restroom, etc. She was accommodating and patient. She also guided us to experiences at the temples and shrines that would interest her. Could not ask for a more informed guide! Ms. Chizuko is a Kyoto native and we learned a great deal about the history of Kyoto, but also about day to day life.

We chose to see the Golden Pavilion, Gion, Fushimi Inari Taisha, and Nikko Castle. Our guide also took us to an affordable local sushi restaurant frequented by locals and we had a great meal. Because we were new to Kyoto, our guide showed us how to get one-day passes for the bus and how to use them. She met us close to our guest house and also made sure we knew how to get back to our lodging from Kyoto station at day's end.
Written August 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janelle V
Sydney Nsw6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Our family of 6 had a day tour of Kyoto with Toshi a few weeks ago. It was a great day. Toshi was extremely knowledgeable and very friendly. Seeing Kyoto through a locals eyes is the best way to see it. He catered to all our needs and took us to a fabulous Vegan Restaurant for lunch which we all enjoyed (even the non-vegans). Kyoto is such a beautiful city and it was nice to see the old part, some of the famous spots and a few less known. We would highly recommend Toshi for a great tour.!!!
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
Andrew gave us an unbelievable view of Kyoto. My entire family (8 people) was absolutely excited and everyone enjoyed this lovely virtual tour with him. Andrew has the wonderful capability to get everyones attention and to pause every ones in a while to check if there are any open questions. With his personality he keeps everyone fully motivated to listen to many fantastic insides and stories. We will book another virtual tour and hopefully some day a F2F tour with him in Kyoto! Well done, Andrew! Thanks!
Written January 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jan S
Guernsey, UK4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
Tadashi was absolutely fantastic, from the time of booking, he was in contact; about our preferred itinerary & giving very helpful advice about how to travel from Osaka cruise port to Kyoto. Was waiting for us at the agreed time at Kyoto train station. His vehicle was very comfortable & clean. I initially booked for 2 persons but Tadashi was very helpful when I needed to add an additional 4 persons. I would highly recommend Tadashi & this tour.
Written April 24, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

labear
Paso Robles, California7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
Great effort by all. Chizuku was great. She gave her full effort to please us by moving quickly through as many sites as we could in such a tight schedule. Then when a fire on a train line could have caused us to be late for return to cruise ship, she quickly found a series of trains w/ a couple short taxi's to get us back in plenty of time. Chizuku is not only very knowledgeable of Kyoto culture, she is very knowledgeable of Kyoto, Osaka & Kobe + surrounding area....including stores, shops, food & more!
Written March 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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