Stellar Private Tour Guide
Nobu Nagata was our private tour guide.
We were picked up at the hotel and chatted about our itinerary.
We wanted to see "off the beaten path" sights, away from the crowds, and Nobu delivered!
We started with Fushimi Inari, arriving early enough that we avoided the tourist rush.
We then visited other beautiful temples and shrines recommended by Nobu, and were lucky enough to witness a dance and prayer ceremony in one of the temples. He then took us to a delicious local restaurant for lunch, and ended with a stroll through Gion.
Nobu took the time to explain in detail the interesting points as we walked through each of the sights.
He is very pleasant, and aside from being knowledgeable, he also has a good sense of humor!
I can highly recommend Nobu and the Private English Tour.
Great Private Tour of Kyoto
There were 2 couples in our group of 4. Corresponding with Nobu was easy and we received quick responses to our questions.
Nobu really encouraged us to let him know what we were interested in seeing in Kyoto (do some homework re. your list of sites).
His van was very comfortable and being a former taxi driver, Nobu knew Kyoto like the back of his hand.
He was extremely knowledgeable and his English was excellent.
When we return to the Kyoto area we will definitely use Nobu again, but will let him decide the itinerary.
From Mr. Fred Yim and Ms. Joanne Yim.
Tenryu-ji Temple, head temple of the Tenryu-ji Rinzai Zen sect
“Nobu was the best!”
Everything was amazing!
We chose 4 of the busiest temples and locations and Nobu got us to all of them!
He even helped us to find stores for souvenirs that were on the way as well as calling to make us a reservation for us for dinner!
I highly recommend Nobu and this private tour group!!
He was very knowledgeable and was very pleasantries ride with!
He knew all the best photo spots.
From Torey Kikukawa-san.
“Nobu was a wonderful guide”
We most certainly enjoyed our 4 hour tour with Nobu.
He was knowledgeable and interesting as he guided us through some popular and an "off the beaten path" sites in Kyoto.
We learned a lot about Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, Shogun, Zen and Rock gardens.
Nobu was friendly, respectful, efficient. A great way to add meaning and depth to our brief few days in Kyoto.
From Ms. Laura Krug
“ Private English Tour in Kyoto ”
My wife and I booked a 7 hour tour with Nobuaki Nagata from Private English Tour in Kyoto on October 18, 2017.
Nobu was very professional, knowledgeable, spoke good English and was quick to suggest changes to our itinerary as he sensed, from our conversation, what our interests were.
He made our day very interesting and educational.
From Mr. Roberto Sivit
Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple, a temple famous for its 1200 Rakan. Sambo-no-kane, the bells of the three treasures: the Buddha（佛）, the dharma (law)（法）, and the priests（僧）.
We arranged two guides for our group of 8 people.
We were very fortunate to be assigned Nobuaki Nagata and Hiro.
Each guide drove 4 of us in their respective vehicles.
We essentially followed each other the entire time so we could enjoy all the sites together Both Nobu and Hiro were exceptional!
Most of my interactions were directly with Nobu, and he was very responsive and patient with all my questions.
We visited interesting sites, including the unique moss garden, bamboo forest and rock gardens with faces of the artists, spent time in Gion (the Geisha area) and even had time for a delicious lunch.
The vehicles were in great shape, the price was reasonable, and the guides spoke good English.
Of all the ports we stopped at on our cruise ship, this private excursion was our favorite.
Bottom line....would highly recommend these guide(s)!!
From Mr. and Ms. Wong
Full day private custom tour in Kyoto - excellent and highly recommended
We had a few days to spend in Kyoto, and wanted to use a guide to enrich our experience at the sites and to increase our efficiency at seeing different sites.
We found Mr. Nobu Nagata and excellent reviews here.
Communication before our arrival was clear and prompt.
The most important to us was Mr. Nagata's willingness to customize our day with him. He is cheerful, polite, warm and incredibly well informed.
We spent 7h starting in the western mountains to see Tenryuji, Otagi-nenbutsu, Arashiyama bamboo forest, and then headed in a northern loop to fit in Ryoan-ji, Kinkakuji and finally Ginkakuji. It was a fantastic day, fairly packed but never rushed, and Nobu's approach to informing us and keeping us laughing was perfect.
We would not hesitate to use him again when we next return to Kyoto.
From Dr. Steve Kay
My father and I visited Kyoto and had Nobu Nagata as our guide.
He was fantastic and very knowledgable.
He tailored our two day itinerary to reach both the major can't-miss sites in Kyoto (like the Golden Pavilion), as well as a number of smaller temples and shrines that were absolutely gorgeous and not crowded at all.
At many of these sites, we were the only visitors.
Nobu used to be a taxi driver before he got his guide's license, but he still has a taxi driver's knowledge of the streets of Kyoto.
I can't imagine how we could have seen as many great sites without his guidance, and many of the places he recommended we could never have known about at all.
We actually visited the great temples at Nara before meeting up with Nobu and I wish we had him in Nara as well.
He has our highest recommendation.
From Dr. George C. Leef, MD
Internal Medicine Resident
We had been given the recommendation to use this company by a friend who visited Kyoto several years ago.
We were a party of five adults so needed a bigger vehicle to tour the city and see some of the sites that are difficult to reach by train, bus or subway.
Nobu picked us up at our hotel promptly and ready to make the best recommendations so our time was not wasted.
His car is a beautiful new model minivan that was very comfortable and impressive.
Nobu was a complete delight. It is a wonderful way to learn about the historical and picturesque city of Kyoto, in addition to spending the day with a lovely, intelligent man who knew so many important facts about the sites we visited and added his humor and personal knowledge to everything.
We hired Nobu for six hours and we visited Tenru-ji Temple, the Bamboo Forest, Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple (our favorite), Gio-ji Temple, Ninnaji Temple, Ryoanji Temple and lastly the Golden Pavilion.
He knows this city and its back streets and alleys like the retired taxi driver he is and you certainly get your money's worth with him.
Wear comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off, bring bottled water and perhaps a light snack.
Have ample cash for parking and entrance to each Temple and prepare money for his guidance before departing.
We had wanted to stop for lunch, but he knew we could continue and not waste time and money eating, so we pushed on.
He allowed time at the Golden Pavilion to buy ice cream and we finished our tour by him dropping us at the Nishiki Market with a lunch recommendation and bus directions to return to our hotel.
It was a perfect day and the highlight of our trip to Japan.
The people of Japan are what make this country a wonderful place to visit and the customer service everywhere you go is beyond your expectations- Nobu-san lived up to all of what his country represents.
From Mary Spencer.
Dear Mr. Nagata,
Thank you so much for helping to make a very special day for Rae and myself yesterday, with our dear friend Ushida-san.
Your knowledge and love of Kyoto and Japanese history really ensured we got the most from our time.
We particularly enjoyed the variety of temples that you took us to and your explanations of Buddhist values and how these are integrated into Japanese culture. You have a very special talent.
Thank you so much for your kindness in dropping my sunglasses to our hotel this afternoon. That was so generous.
If we return to Kyoto or if we have friends coming, we will certainly be recommending you.
“The Only Way to See Kyoto!”
We were referred to Mr Nagata as we were a family of five.
Nobu Nagata was waiting for us on the platform as we arrived in Kyoto.
His service was professional, friendly and energetic.
He tailored our day to enable us to visit our must-see-sites.
His knowledge of the sites and getting around Kyoto was A+.
In addition, he was understanding of my jet-lagged kids and the extreme heat that day.
He brought us to a phenomenal ramen place that my family loved.
He was accommodating with our requests and our constant desire to capture the moment with pics and selfies!
He truly made our Kyoto visit. Thank you Nobu!
From Keith Kato
“Kyoto's Best Kept Secret!”
We have a new trusted friend, Nobu-san, in Kyoto!
We have already recommended him to friends and are looking forward to our next visit to Kyoto with him.
His English is good and easy to understand.
We greatly appreciated his patience and knowledge of the city.
His recommendations for restaurants and other sites were spot on.
All 5 of us comfortably fit in his pristine van.
We also hired him to take us to the train station when leaving.
Wonderfully happy and fun personality. Very courteous and thoughtful.
Customized our tour on the fly and added a few fantastic off-the-beaten path spots.
Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a guide in Kyoto.
From Benny Ang
“Great times with Nobu in Kyoto!”
Nobu was always on time picking us up in his seemingly brand new black minivan.
He allowed us to make the itinerary making helpful suggestions along the way.
He went out of his way to accommodate my two daughters (2yo, 4yo).
He is extremely knowledgeable about Kyoto's history.
When it was time for lunch, he always had a great recommendation ready for us.
Thank you for a great tour Nobu
From Seth Goodman.
My dad and I had only a day in Kyoto (traveling from Tokyo in the morning and back in late afternoon).
Luckily, we had Mr. Nobu as our guide and driver - 2 in 1!! He was very friendly, hospitable and very knowledgable.
We arrived on a very busy day (Japanese local holiday) but Mr. Nobu planned the trip for us so efficiently that we made it to 4 must-see places.
Thank you so much Mr. Nobu for making our experience so memorable!
Our family of 6 had a wonderful time with Nobusan!
We had toured with him for 2 days. He was very knowledgeable and speak good English.
He picked us up at our Airbnb and took us to every place we wanted to see.
He knew all the good photo spots. He is very attentive to details always keep the van neat and clean.
He also tried to go back to the van quicker to turn on the air conditions for us. Which was very appreciated in the hot and humid weather.
He took us to his favorite tonkatsu restaurant. It was very tasty!
Highly recommend him for your trip to Kyoto. Especially if you travel with small children.
Mr. Nobu Nagata picked us up at our hotel & drove us in an air conditioned pristine mini van--which was very much appreciated especially in the hot & humid August weather!
He took us to many more shrines & temples than I thought we could cover in one day.
Plus, he gave us direction to the best photo locations.
Mr. Nagata is very knowledgeable & answered our numerous questions about past & present history & customs.
He gave us helpful hints for visiting other sites (the following day) to avoid crowds.
His warm personality & joyful demeanor made our day very enjoyable & memorable.
Mr. Nagata is the ultimate professional--prompt, reliable, friendly, fun & is an excellent historian.
We highly recommend his expertise for your visit.
My friend and I booked a private tour and had Nagata-san (Nobu) for the day.
He was excellent all around.
On time, thoughtful, and full of great recommendations for the major attractions and off the beaten trail places.
We were able to set our own pace and managed to squeeze in more than any of the group tours were offering, and see some unique places.
I would highly recommend anyone that wants an English speaking tour to book a tour with them.
We originally sent an email with about 5-6 sites to visit. Based on several e-mail back and forth we decided all day adventure would be too much.
We decided that we would try to get 3-4 sites with the minimum requirement of 4 hours. We looked this up before our trip and luckily, we did because they are very busy.
Since we were there for 14 days, we were able to get a tour booked on our last weekend of the trip.
Once we booked the day, it was pretty easy to correspond using email. In fact, we were emailing up until we got off the train which helped us tremendously. I was able to give him my train number and he was able to meet us on the platform of the Shinkansen. Mr.Nobu had a nice van that could accommodate 6 adults.
He spoke English very well and his knowledgeable of Kyoto and provided a deep understanding of the history, architecture and even touched on the zen/Buddhist religion.
The sites we saw Kinkaku-ji, Ryoanji Temple and the bamboo forest. If the crowds were a bit less we may have been able to squeeze in one more sight.
You have to pay for his parking with is nominal 300-500 yen for parking but you get to park really close to the entrances. You pay for your own entrance fees but the tour guide gets in free.
In the 4 hours we got in three sights which was about right for the amount of walking we did at each sight.
It was well worth the money and I would highly recommend booking this private tour.
Mr. Nagata took care of my family during three days (two in Kyoto and one in Nara). His vehicle is impecable (Toyota Van for six passengers).
He is very knowlegeable, knows very well the city and the sights.
Three days may seem like a lot of time in Kyoto. You can be there for a month. There is no way that we would have covered as much as we did without Nobu´s help.
I strongly suggest any traveler to Kyoto to use a private service.
You will waste a LOT of time moving from one place to another. You have already made the expenditure to be there. Do not waste time walking or waiting for the bus.
Spend that time visiting the sights.
We (a family of four) booked Mr. Nobu for a day and had a fantastic experience.
He planned an enjoyable itinerary for us and was extremely knowledgeable about the cultural and historical aspects of various shrines/temples.
He was simultaneously an excellent driver and guide, with a good sense of humor, refined manners, and a very accommodating nature.
He knows Kyoto intimately and brings life to its ancient locations (ask him to bring you to the temple with statues of Buddha's many disciples), and has an impeccable sense of where many very specific shops (woodblock printing, tea, etc.) are located.
We highly recommend taking a tour with him!
京都観光タクシー運転担当 ＆ 英語通訳案内士（観光庁認定 英語案内ガイド）
永 田 信 明 Nobuaki Nagata