Ichi was a joy to have as a guide. He was super organized and friendly, and an excellent communicator in English. We had told him about our interest in seeing a Bunraku Puppet performance at the National Bunraku Theater and I had bought tickets online ahead of time for us and him to attend a performance. In messages back and forth, he helped us figure out the train schedule and logistics of train stations to make sure we arrived in time at our hotel to meet him and get to the performance on time. Ichi was very organized about the schedule and set of neighborhoods, fish market, shopping areas and historic sites that we could see during the day. At the same time, he was flexible about adjusting the schedule when needed, and catering to our interests. When we let him know of our interest in crafts and ceramic ware and my husband and I became immersed in looking at ceramic ware at one shop, Ichi did a great job of keeping our teenage son interested in other things rather than impatiently waiting for us. He taught him how to play a wonderful local game with a wooden toy and taught him to fold a crane with origami paper. He also taught our son how to write his name in Japanese. We went through a number of interesting neighborhoods that he told us the history of, and he told us interesting stories about other events and places in Osaka. We were especially interested in history and politics and we enjoyed learning about Japanese history and culture from his insights. Finally, Ichi went to great lengths to help us understand transit routes on the train and helped us get our tickets for our next day's trip to Koyasan; his explanation of the transit options for the subsequent day proved invaluable in helping us make the early train to start that trip. Ichi is friendly, has a great sense of humor and keen insights, and a can-do, upbeat, pragmatic attitude. We would be glad to work with him again when/if we visit Japan in the future.
Dear Susan, Thank you very very much for your detailed overwhelming review of the tour! I had also enjoyed every minute of a day with you, and I am glad to hear the rest of your trip in Japan also went well. By the way, in a way you were lucky with the weather because Japan became excruciatingly hot after you left. I was walking all day under the screamingly hot sun today, and I thought I was going to pass out. You are a lovely family, and I sincerely hope we as the world can provide the great future for such a lovely son you have. Keep smiling and Good Luck!!!