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GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

Do we really need a guide to travel in Japan?

K

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Kenzia V.

Last updated : Apr 28, 20225 min read

General

I think we can agree everyone would want the best Japan vacation possible. This involves many things to take into consideration, one of which whether or not we need a guide to travel in Japan. 

 

Great and easy-to-find information is readily available on the web and it won't take you more than a few minutes to answer your question. 

 

In this article, I will inform you in which cases you should and should not hire a guide, advantages of hiring one, and where to easily hire them. So, keep reading! 

blog imageShould you hire a tour guide in Japan?

Japan is a stunning country attracting millions of tourists each year. However, traveling in Japan can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing with the language differences.

Japan is considered a well sign-posted country, however, some of the places, stations, and street names are complicated; usually, there are also multiple exits and entrances in each station, and these things alone can be confusing. 

 

There are many aspects to consider when traveling to Japan, one of which is should you get a guide in Japan or not.

Cases when you should hire a guide in Japan

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If you want to make the most out of your trip

It is impossible to experience all of Japan, especially if you are only in Japan for the short time. It takes time to figure out how to go from one place to another, especially if you want to visit more than one city. Guides can figure out the directions for you and save your time.

 

A good guide will also know the best hours to visit the attractions to avoid big crowds, how to avoid rush hour, and tricks to let you experience the most out of major tourist destinations even with big crowds. They can also bring you to off-the-beaten-path spots.

If you want to learn the culture and destinations more profoundly

If you want to learn about the history and context of the places you visit in Japan, guides can give you local insights about them. Guides can also teach you the culture and traditions in Japan.

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If you want convenience

If you want to have a great trip but don’t want to have to do the tedious task of planning an itinerary. If you want convenience and not having to care about the details  (directions, transportations, etc.) when traveling in Japan.

If you want to save money

You are probably thinking that hiring a guide cost money, how can it save money? Guides can create a great itinerary plan for you, they can structure it well to make it time and cost-efficient.  

Cases when you should not hire a guide

Get this:

In almost all cases, hiring a guide can be really helpful. However, there are times that maybe guides aren’t all that necessary. Maybe if you are in Japan solely for business purposes only and have no intention to travel around, or if you have friends/relatives that live in Japan and can bring you around. Hiring a guide or not is really up to your own decision.

Extra advantages of hiring a guide

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There's more:

Like some of the mentioned above, hiring a guide can add value to your trip. They can help you make the most out of your trip, allowing you to learn about the context and local insights of the destinations, make your trip more convenient, and help save time and money.

Being looked after

Private guides are locals who can help translate for you, so you don’t have to worry about language difficulties. They have a better understanding of how the local system works and can help you with things in Japan you are not familiar with.

 

Also...

They can give you cultural insights and make sure you don’t accidentally disrespect the local culture. You don’t have to worry about getting lost as well.

Helps you give a better understanding of Japan

It is easy to memorize facts and look up things on the internet. Hiring a guide can give you so much more than that, local insights, traditions, history, and up-to-date factual information about the sites. Guides can also let you see the spots from another angle, and give you access to spots you probably would not have otherwise. 

Where can you hire a guide in Japan?

If you decide that hiring a tour guide is the best option, you will want to start to look for sites where you can hire one in Japan. There are many places on the internet where you can hire tour guides, but you never know what you are getting into, or predict whether they offer quality guides or not.

My recommendation is to use GoWithGuide to find a guide for you because they screen every guide and make sure of the quality of their work. Here is a list of great tour guides in Tokyo, and another one for Kyoto tour guides. And if you are looking for guides in other areas of Japan, you may want to click here.



 

I hope this article helps you evaluate the need of hiring a tour guide or not to travel in Japan and give you some information on where you can hire a tour guide to travel in Japan. I hope you have a great time in Japan!

 

Gifu Tour Guide - Akiko W.

Akiko W.

5.00 / 5
(8 reviews)
Japan

Hello! My name is Akiko from Gifu prefecture. I am a National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter. I like going out with my family, talking with my friends over coffee at a cozy cafe, reading books, baking bread and cake when I have time. I passed the national tour guide test in 2017 and have worked as a guide since then. I have guided in Gifu city, Seki city, Takayama city, Shirakawago , Mino city and Nagoya city. I have lived in Gifu for more than forty years. Gifu prefecture is rich in nature so you can enjoy the rural atmosphere. Gifu city has a beautiful river 'Nagara river' and Mt.Kinka which has Gifu castle on the top. You can go up the mountain on foot or use a ropeway. The view from Gifu castle is so fantastic. At the foot of the mountain , there are many places to visit such as parks, a temple having a big image of Buddha, and a street preserving the historic atmosphere. At Nagara River, you can enjoy seeing a traditional way of fishing ‘cormorant fishing’ which is thought to have started 1300 years ago. Many cafes have unique service called 'morning service' in Gifu along with Aichi In the morning (until about ten thirty or eleven) when you order a cup of tea or coffee, they serve toast and salad ! Near Gifu park , you can find a nice Japanese style cafe where you enjoy good coffee and seeing a Japanese style garden. Seki city is a small city but so famous for its cutlery. At Japanese sword museum in Seki, you can see authentic Japanese swords! Mino city next to Seki city is well known for its hand made Japanese paper 'Hon minoshi' designated as intangible cultural asset by UNESCO . Until recently it was not easy to guide guests because of COVID-19 pandemic; however the situation is getting better. Some strict rules about COVID-19 have been lifted. Please visit Gifu. I am looking forward to seeing you. Please feel free to ask me when you need information about Gifu. Thank you for reading my introduction.                                                                                                                                 

Fukuoka Tour Guide - Kazue I.

Kazue I.

5.00 / 5
(17 reviews)
Japan

Hi! I am Kazue. I am from Fukuoka and live in the central city. I spent almost 20 years traveling around the world as a cabin attendant. Meeting different people, different cultures and eating local food were best things in my career. This experience definitely widened my perspective and will help me in some way when I work as a guide. Since I spent half my life outside of Japan, I noticed our culture and traditions are very unique and became more interested in historical sites in Japan. For my personal life, I am a mom of twins. It is still a hard work but I am enjoying a lot with them. We take them around Kyushu whenever possible for their fun and experience. We all love traveling after all. I am looking forward to showing you around our hometown soon!                                                                                                                                  

Okinawa Main Island Tour Guide - Tateo U.

Tateo U.

4.99 / 5
(69 reviews)
Japan

My name is Tateo. I am officially registerd English tour guide and introducing about Okinawa's history,culture, and nature.I am elderly person but have gone through lots of expericences that happened during US occupation after WW2. For the example, change of monetary system(US dollar to Yen),Change of traffic regulation(driving vehicle from right to left).The reversion of Okinawa to main land Japan was biggest historical event.The US administered Okinawa for 27 years. As a result, thing were Americanized in many aspects. Historically, Okinawa was once independent nation until 1872.During Kingdum era, Okinawa actively traded with China, South Asia Countries, Korea, and Japan. In the end, our culture is quite differ much from main land Japan. For instance, architectural technique, daily customs, and culture are also unique. Okinawa is the only prefecture belong to subtropical climate zone. Even winter time, it's neither hot nor cold. People can enjoy marine sport all through the year.Canoeing, Kayaking, Diving, and Snorkeling are popular. Besides, beatiful white sand beaches and attractive coastline are abundant. Green sea water and blue sky have been lured people from all over the world. Traditional music and dance are worth seeing. Please visit Okinawa and enjoy extraordinary trip. I will be looking forward to seeing you soon.                                                                                                                                  

Osaka Tour Guide - Kazuyoshi M.

Kazuyoshi M.

5.00 / 5
(4 reviews)
Japan

This tour mainly tours Osaka and Kyoto. I have lived in Osaka for 10 years and have been to Kyoto 300 times through tourism. I can also offer hands-on guided tours. I can offer maiko and geiko viewing, furoshiki (wrapping cloth) making, matcha (powdered green tea), professional acupuncture in ninja costume, and introduction-type experiences. My Instagram account has been viewed by 55,000 people in one month. Not to mention famous places. I can also guide visitors to places where foreign tourists do not usually go. I can be flexible. Best regards.                                                                                                                                 

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