Excursions + Events

KYOTO

Do you have plans to visit Kyoto?

I’m now living in Kyoto & the Tokyo area. In both areas, I am leading private & group excursions, creating travel itineraries/packages, offering exclusive dinners with geisha (in Kyoto), and more! Contact me for more information: excursionsjapan@gmail.com

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KYOTO EVENING EXCURSIONS – Join an existing group tour or book me privately.

Four Geisha Neighborhoods & Kyoto’s Red Light District – Explore the lantern-lit alleys of four of Kyoto’s five Geisha districts and the red light district built around one of them. Learn about: the area’s history, Geisha culture, and my favorite restaurants/cafes/shops (including some hidden spots). Hopefully we’ll also catch a glimpse of Geiko and Maiko heading to/from work. *Not held on Sundays or during August Obon period.

Best of Higashiyama – Wander the cobblestone alleys that snake through Higashiyama – from Kiyomizudera Temple to Yasaka Shrine, and learn the history, culture, and secrets of Kyoto’s most popular day-time district (which is even better at night!).

Off the Beaten Path: Daitokuji Temple & Northern Nishijin – Walking through the stone-paved paths of Daitokuji Temple at night is like stepping back into a bygone era. Visit local hangouts in Nishijin, an ancient shrine on a mini mountain, and a sento-turned-cafe/bar. Optional visit to a real historic sento (bathhouse) whose pools are full of actual hot spring water.

Drinking & Dining in Gion – Gion is the home to two Geisha districts, Gion Kobo (the most famous) & Gion Higashi (smaller, surrounded by a red light district). Explore and learn about both – with stops along the way to sample tasty Japanese sake, delectable local specialties, and more. Hopefully we’ll also catch a glimpse of Geiko and Maiko heading to/from work. *Not held on Sundays.

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EXCURSIONS IN & AROUND TOKYO

Led in conjunction with Heartland JAPAN & Mandy Bartok of Uncover Japan

For more information on any of these excursions, or to book one privately for your own group, send an e-mail to: uncoverjapan1@gmail.com

NOVEMBER

Tuesday, November 19 Setagaya Temples & Shrines 9:00-12:15

Explore some of Setagaya’s most atmospheric temples and shrines, including Gotoku-ji – the famed “beckoning cat temple” – and Shoin Jinja, a shrine with fascinating historical connections. Wander a revitalized shopping street before catching one of Tokyo’s two remaining streetcars back home.

Monday, November 25 Mitake River Walk 8:30-17:00

On this active excursion, head to the Mitake River Valley, still a part of Tokyo but worlds away in appearance. Ramble along the river path, soak up the fall foliage and enjoy a riverside picnic. Participants have the option to visit two museums along the route, one which is home to a noted rock garden.

DECEMBER

Yokohama X-mas Display

Wednesday, December 4 Kanda River Gardens 9:15-12:15

Kanda River’s quiet paths are perfect for a late autumn walk. Visit a home once belonging to the poet Basho, a traditional Japanese garden and a small museum devoted to a private collection of artistic treasures. End with a final garden stroll and an optional lunch.

Friday, December 13 Yokohama Xmas 8:30-12:30

Get in the holiday spirit while touring gorgeous historic Western homes built in the early 1900s on the bluffs above Yokohama.  Each home is decorated for Christmas in a different country’s theme. Afterward, take a quick walk through Motomachi, a famous shopping street that has catered to foreigners since the 1800s, ending with a visit to Chinatown (with an optional lunch there).