posted by Barry James, England
date of activity: August 23, 2005
I used the services of my guide (Kaori) on two occasions, and I found her very useful on both. I traveled to Japan once before but it was not very interesting traveling alone with no one to translate the sounds and sights that I encountered. Having a knowledgeable local was very enlightening.
I was concerned that the guide would be like a police officer or too “professional” even, in other words rigid, official, and speaking like a television announcer. Police offices and television announcers are fine, but it really makes a difference when the guide is relaxed and happy to not only speak about the history, buildings, and monuments of the city, but also to speak about how people live and work in the city today. I have an interest in people and contemporary life and so I found an aitaiJapan guide much more interesting than an official commercial tour.
I have special needs in that I am a Vegan (strict vegetarian) and I was also pleased to see that she had done some research and identified restaurants that were suitable for my needs.
I think aitaiJapan offer great services that really help visitors enjoy one of the most interesting countries in the world. I have a feeling aitaiJapan achieves this because their guides are volunteers who do it for the love and the passion rather than the money. But this is just my humble opinion, and who am I? Just a traveler.