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“Cancellation fee, Cancellation fee, Cancellation fee”

Kyoto Cycling Tour Project
Ranked #6 of 138 Outdoor Activities in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: A city where is full with history and culture. In such a city, ancient traditional daily practices are remained in the backstreets, where usually not put in travel guide books. KCTP cycling tour leads you to explore those Kyoto’s chessboard like backstreet’s culture and custom with professional English speaking guides. Probably, it is the slowest cycling tour in the world, so even senior has no hesitate to join. Let’s explore Kyoto’s little treasure together!
Reviewed December 7, 2011

Cancellation fee: that´s the only words we heard from them while on the phone. It was pouring rain so we decided to call and ask for a different slot.
Their answer: "No its not possible, and you will have to pay a cancellation fee. Otherwise you can do a guided walking tour"
Are you kidding me? 130 USD for a 3hr walking tour? We wanted to do a bike ride, and were offered a walking tour for the same price? We only wanted a new slot!

It seems they are not interested in allowing customers to join other groups, that way they can charge more per customer. Tours are offered for 1 to 6 persons... but obviously they are only interested in having a couple persons per tour since they get to charge each individual more money for it.

In summary, we felt their practices are very scammy and the staff is only interested in making a quick buck.
I can´t say anything about their tour since we never got to do it.

4  Thank zkad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KyotoCyclingTour, 営業ディレクター at Kyoto Cycling Tour Project, responded to this reviewResponded December 26, 2011

Thank you for your precious comments and suggestions.
Our company has expressed concern over the cancellation of your cycling tour. Kyoto Cycling Tour Project (KCTP) runs 50 thousands bicycles for rental or tours every year, the service situation, outcome and points at issues are reported in our service site in details. For the case of yours, our company record your booking date, time and the content of your cycling tour in details as usual and also all the requests that you made by every phone call. Our company apologizes for the miscommunication due to inadequate explanations.
As you indicated the ‘Cancellation fee’, KCTP mentioned the cancellation policy clearly in your confirmation letter which sent to you for confirmation. Our company’s cancellation policy is that a fee will be charged for any cancellation or changes within 3 days before the cycling tour departures. Our company hopes you understand our situation as the cancellation policy does not violate the industry guideline.
For the further explanation about how KCTP shape the cancellation policy, one of the important points is all the tour guides KCTP hire are certified interpreter-guides.
Our company is the only cycling tour provider in Japan which have special education programme to train certificated interpreter to be a cycling tour guide. In order to provide a safe and enjoyable cycling tour for our customers, all KCTP cycling tour guides are professionals and have passed proficiency tests.
The important point which linked with the cancellation policy is the contract between KCTP and all cycling tour guides are tied down by time. They are not our internal staff who our company can control their working time and salary. Therefore, our company has to pay cancellation fee to them if there is any cancellation on the day of departure. Thus, our company shapes this cancellation policy and provides options for customers, such as free raincoats or shift to walking tour if it rains. Most foreign customers are happy to wear raincoats and continue their cycling tours.
Our company feels so regret that we could not explain everything in detail to you.
If we could explain more in detail, our company believes you would understand our position quickly.
Although our company always train our staff to hold an honest heart to serve and commit their tasks, most of our staffs are still very young and with few social experiences. They are still too young to handle and also for the language problem, our staffs may not be able to make a good communication to all the foreign customers. For this problem point, our company expresses deep apologize to you.
For the last point you indicated about the pricing system. Our company expresses my deep concern over it.
For the ‘private tour’ (except those collaborative programme with others travel agents), the highest portion of the tour fee is the cost of hiring a certificated interpreter. The price is different than hiring English speaking part time staff and so, even it is a walking tour, it costs such amount. For the price of cycling tour, our company did our best to minimize our profit and negotiate with those certificated interpreters for the lowest possible price. As a matter of course, you may view that price is a matter for a walking tour. For the price of our private tour, it has high evaluation both from interior and oversea travel agents which foreign customers get a lot of use.
Our company understand many visitors many misunderstand KCTP’s cycling tour is a big group tour which guided by 1 tour guide only. Collecting visitors for a group tour is a common method to run local tour both in Japan and around the world, our company understand 130USD for 2 participants for that kind of tour looks expensive.
However, KCTP’s cycling tours are all private tour and for the safety our company set an upper limit on 6 participants for a group. Therefore, our company serves from 1 participant and cycling tour will not be canceled because of being undersubscribed.
It is true that the cost per person for 6 participants is cheaper than 2 participants and at the same time, our company earns more profit from 6 than 2. However, KCTP’s cycling tours focus more in customers’ sense of safety and satisfaction than profit. Moreover, private tour allows elderly or other participants have no worry about their physical strength are different to others participants.
Although the cost of hiring a private tour guide for a short tour is varies from countries, in Japan, a short while ago, it usually cost 20 thousand to 30 thousand yen. Now, vary from different languages, it usually cost around 30 thousand yen. Our company believes you would understand the cost of hiring a private tour guide.
Our company expresses more concern to promote cycling tour around the world than profit. Although many management professionals point out our business is unprofitable, our company did not change our business aims. Our company apologizes for the messy handling and unclear explanation.
Last but not least, our company did our best to rearrange a tour guide for you to have the cycling tour on the other day as what you requested by telephone without charging you any additional cost or cancellation fee. However, our company paid the cancellation fee to the tour guide who was well prepared to guide you on the day you used to have the cycling tour. Our company wishes you could sense our sincerity and to forgive our staff’s inappropriate language.
Now, due to the earthquake happened on March 11, foreign tourists to Japan have been decreased dramatically. Towards this issue, our company does poorly in terms of sales and profits. Our company feels grateful for your visit to Japan, to Kyoto, showing interest in KCTP’s cycling tour and had made a reservation of it. KCTP deeply apologizes for the unhappy ending and the unclear explanation.
Our company wishes you would like to join KCTP’s highly regarded cycling tour when you visit Kyoto again.
Our company inspects cycling tours held in different European cities in order to improve our cycling tour products to the world top-class. Our company is confident that you will satisfy on our tour.
KCTP deeply apologizes for the inconvenience.

Yours sincerely,
Eiichi Morita
Marketing Director
Kyoto Cycling Tour Project

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Reviewed December 5, 2011

The Kyoto Cycling Project was one of the best things we did in Japan. We booked a short tour (3 hours, 9am-12pm) but it was plenty. We had a very knowledgeable tour guide (Hiroka - I think!) and she spoke very good English and certainly took us to areas we would never have known to go to ourselves. The tour included a visit to a tea house where we were introduced to some of the finer points of Japanese cuisine.

The other advantage was that the price of the tour included use of the bikes for the rest of the day until 7pm. So we were able to create our own adventure once our guide had left.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a great day out. My only advice would be to take warm clothes. It is very easy to ride around Kyoto and requires very little exertion so you are unlikely to warm up by riding!

2  Thank SwansFanSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

We also tried just renting bicycles (even one with a navigation system) but our bicycle tour with the Kyoto Cycling Tour Project was so much better than trying to find our way around on our own.

Not only did our guide Akie-san take us to the places we specifically asked to see, she took us through back roads that not only allowed us to avoid the more traffic-heavy streets but also allowed us to see things that aren't listed on your typical tourist map. Her English was excellent and it was a real joy to have her explain and point out all the tiny things along the way that we would have otherwise missed.

We rode our bikes all the way out to Sagano-Arashiyama, and Akie-san made the entire trip enjoyable and made sure to take us a different way back so we could again experience something new. Parking our bikes was also never a problem when we had Akie-san with us. When we rented bikes and went out on our own the next day, not only did we struggle with finding our way (even with navigation), but we often had to search for a place where we could park our bicycles.

Making reservations on the English-language KCT site was also a breeze, and I can't recommend the whole experience enough. So if you're in Kyoto and you get tired of walking, give your poor feet a rest and book a tour with the Kyoto Cycling Tour Project. They do custom tours too (which is what we chose), so there's something for everyone!

2  Thank zubora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2011

We did the Full Day West Kyoto tour and can honestly say it was one of the highlights of our whole trip. Our guide Julie was both friendly and informative. We visited not only some of the main temples and gardens but also some lesser spoted areas. Tour price also fantastic soba lunch. Overall i would highly recommend

Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2011

My wife booked the mystery tour based on reviews from Trip Advisor and it did not dissapoint. Our tour guide Akie had travelled all over the world and spoke immpeccable English and was very good at introducing us to some of the very interesting stories that we would not have otherwise bothered to look at. I really enjoyed learning about Buddhism and Shintoism as well as learning about the ghost story (don't want to spoil it for you). During our ride we saw a Maiko (apprentice Geisha) and were introduced to their training and lifestyles, we also learned about the place where Samurai executed traitors.

They use bikes with Shimano Nexus gears which are really easy to use even for beginners. I reccomend the mountain bike if you are going to take it to some of the cobblestone or gravel roads.

The half day tour also includes bike rental until 7:00pm (2000 Yen value) we used it to ride the Path of Philosophy to Ginkakuji. It is very easy to return to the KCTP as you can use the tower as a waypoint.

5  Thank ParadyNexus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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