We did Johnnie Hillwalker's (as he nicknames himself) "Walk in Kyoto Talk in English" tour 8/15/05 (during Obon so we didn't get to see many of the workshops in action but it was still very interesting). I was with my husband, 8 year old daughter and 6 year old son. My husband and I both found his tour fascinating, with easy to understand explanations of religion in Japan (Buddhism and Shinto), history, cottage industry, etc. We were a little disappointed that Johnnie was not very interested in answering questions. His English is very good for telling you what he has planned to say, but if you ask him questions he has a lot of difficulty understanding your English. Also, the tour is fairly long (5 hours) and he probably can't allow much time for questions or he won't have time for all he has to say. In our group, we had my 2 children and another couple's children (probably 8 and 12 year old boys) and he
definitely didn't understand their questions. My children enjoyed many of the stops for a short time, especially the fan shop and, briefly, the temples. If you have children and are interested in doing this tour, I would recommend bringing a Gameboy or some other quiet activity that can keep them occupied so you can listen to what Johnnie is saying, and maybe some snacks as it is a long, though fairly slow and easy, walk. My children enjoyed the piece of sushi (we had inarizushi, which is a fried tofu pouch with rice inside) but did not want the small pastry ("mochi", which is smooshed rice, with "an", sweet red bean paste, inside) or the grain tea that came with it. They managed the walking part fine though were fussy by the end and I think if I had brought a sandwich to feed them, they would have done a little better. And we got bitten up by mosquitos at times so I would recommend wearing insect repellent. Again, if you are an adult (or perhaps a teenager), this is a great experience in Kyoto, not to be missed!