Takuya Yanagisawa Private tour guide in Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto - Japan

Takuya Yanagisawa

Guide profile:

Are you tired of “regular” tour schedules? Do you want to have more freedom or privacy during your tour? Would you like to experience a bit of the real daily life of Japan? Or perhaps you’d like t to explore Japan’s beautiful back country? Then, I’m here for you.

I’m located in Osaka, known as the kitchen of Japan, and within an easy distance to Kyoto, with its splendid temples, to Nara, the first capital of Japan with a huge statue of Buddha, and to the historic international port city of Kobe, all less than 60 minutes away.

If you would like to visit a quiet out-of-the-way hot spring (“onsen”) village, or go sailing or bike riding around the Shimanami Kaido area, I can guide you. Or perhaps you would like to visit a sake brewery or whisky distiller? Learn about Japanese customs through the private authentic tea ceremony at the tea master’s residence? Or do you want to enjoy a fine dinning at the authentic Micheline star Japanese restaurant? Whatever your interest, I can help you. I welcome your inquiries!

I lived in Canada and the US as a foreign student during my university years, and thereafter travelled extensively during my international business career. I’ve always enjoyed experiencing new cultures and meeting new people., And during that time I was fortunate to have the chance to develop good, colloquial fluency in English.

Now, as a professional tour concierge, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to pay back some of the wonderful experiences I’ve enjoyed overseas. If you would like to learn more on me, visit privatetourconcierge.com or you can check out my face book, https://www.facebook.com/privatetourconciergeJapan/.

Let me help you with your travel plans in Japan, whatever your interests may be!

Recent reviews of this tour guide:

5 stars Susan E.

Takuya is an amazing guide. We saw more in a day than we could have seen on our own or with cruise excursion in a week. He was fun, personable and flexible. His English is great. He took us to places that he knew we would enjoy as he got to know us better. We had an amazing lunch and then an even more amazing dinner experience with him at a very small out of the way sake bar. It was the coolest part of our 17 days in Japan, China, and S Korea while on a cruise. Definitely book him!!

Tour guide services/sample itinerary:

My Philosophy—Catch of the Day

I wonder how many of you are aware of the “local” way of ordering and enjoying sushi ?

The best way is also the easiest. Don’t bother with the menu.

Quite simply, you ask the chef for the freshest catch of the day and order what he recommends.

Then, your chat with your chef begins (sorry, in Japanese!).

And with the “ice broken”, your meal unfolds and you get to know the chef. If you come a number of times he’ll soon treat you like a regular customer that he intends to keep forever.

That’s how I like to approach my services.

My offer is a customized private tour according to your interests, schedule and priorities. You have complete freedom to change your mind along the way as well. I can attend your tour from a day to up to over a week, throughout Japan.

Japan has four distinctive seasons and each one brings new and special things to do. For that reason, and to ensure you get exactly what you’d like, I prefer not to list-up specific sample itineraries.

Instead, let’s have a talk and I’ll design something just for you.

Of course, you may need some tips as to what kinds of attractions and activities I can arrange for you. No problem! Check out "Tour Guides Interests" below.

Again, there is so much to see and experience in Japan. This country is a treasure box for your exploration. I can offer you more. So don’t be shy to ask me for the fresh catch of the day for your wonderful unforgettable tour in beautiful Japan!!

Transportation by tour guide:

Yes, transportation can be arranged upon your request.

If you need a rent-a-car, I can drive and you pay the cost, both car, fuel, toll, and parking etc.

Or I can arrange the English speaking driver upon request at the extra cost for our better convenience.

Private sightseeing & group tours offered by this guide:

Osaka bar hopping tour Price Per Group 250.00 USD
Osaka suburbs tour Price Per Group 300.00 USD

Tour guide interests:

- Historic and authentic city tour, the combination of "Must visit places" and the niche but beautiful quiet places or limited time only National Treasure Exhibits in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara (including Horyuji Temple and Ikaruga area), Himeji, Koyasan (Mt. Koya), HIroshima (including Miyajima) and Shirakawago (including Gokayama and Shokawa).

I usually add least one limited time national treasure exhibits in Kyoto or Nara.

- Back alley walking tour in Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe.

- Bar hopping tour in Osaka, the Kitchen of Japan, usually enjoying the selections of traditional bar food and sake etc. at Tachinomi, standing only bar, or Izakaya, the Japanese dining bar.

- Sake brewery or Japanse Whisky distillery tour in Kobe, Kyoto, and Osaka

- Traditional super sharp Japanese knife store, do you want to learn how to use and sharpen them properly for your better cooking and dinning.

- Back country tour to Naruto Eddying Current, Iya Cannyon (Oboke & Koboke), Shimanami Kaido, Takeda Castle, Yubara Onsen, Hiruzen Kogen, and Obama

- Bike tour through Shimanami Kaido or Hiruzen Kogen

- Authentic Japanese dining at the Michelin single star restaurant in a suburbs of Osaka

- Onsen tour for your relaxation (And I am an Onsen expert!!)

- Baseball (or Yakyu in Japanese) at the authentic Koshien Stadium, beautifully located Kobe Hotto Motto Field (Kobe Green Stadium), or Kyocela Dome (Osaka Dome) for the local teams as Hanshin Tigers or Orix Buffaloes and enjoy the Japanese style stadium food.

- Authentic tea ceremony at the tea master's residence in suburbs of Osaka or the authentic classic villa in Innoshima, the part of Shimanami Kaido.

Reviews of this tour – by clients who booked!

5 stars Susan E. 24 Oct 2018

Takuya is an amazing guide. We saw more in a day than we could have seen on our own or with cruise excursion in a week. He was fun, personable and flexible. His English is great. He took us to places that he knew we would enjoy as he got to know us better. We had an amazing lunch and then an even more amazing dinner experience with him at a very small out of the way sake bar. It was the coolest part of our 17 days in Japan, China, and S Korea while on a cruise. Definitely book him!!

5 stars Stuart S. 26 Apr 2017

Takuya was excellent. He knows the area well. He also spent time in the US in college; so he not only knows the local area but also has a pretty good understanding of an outsiders perspective. Highly recommended.

5 stars Stephen B. 09 Apr 2017

Takuya felt like a member of the family by the time we had spent 1 1/2 days with him. His English is outstanding (he lived in the US for 3 1/2 years) and his knowledge of Japanese history, culture and geography is boundless. He as a wonderful sense of humor and a very warm personality. He took us everywhere we had on out itinerary even though I did not think we could do it in the time we had, and whats more we never felt rushed. You will be lucky to have him as your guide.

5 stars Anthony C. 05 Apr 2017

AMAZING! We set up a multi-day tour with Takuya and had an incredible time. He was super knowledgeable and really customized the trip to our interests in architecture and amazing Japanese food. One day we finished at this tiny local sushi bar with unbelievably delicious mackerel that I still have dreams about to this day. Takuya lived in the Midwest before so has perfect American English. He is an expert guide in Osaka, Kyoto & nearby cities. Definitely book him if you can!

5 stars Spencer G. 11 Feb 2017

What a great day we had with Takuya-san! We are a family of four, visiting Kobe, looking for an off-the-beaten-track day, and needing to accommodate food restrictions and allergies. Takuya-san took it all in stride. We had a tentative plan agreed by email ahead of time, but a few minutes after meeting in the morning we had thrown that out and come up with something better - stuff we didn't know existed. It was just what we were looking for.

5 stars Kenneth T. 28 Jul 2016

Best tour ever! Our family (including teenage children) booked a 1 day tour of Kyoto with Takuya and had an absolutely terrific day. We worked out the itinerary together. He is extremely thoughtful and we're very pleased that we listened to his advice to create a tour that fit our interests and tastes. On tour, he intuitively sensed when to explain less and when to go into much more detail. His English is excellent, and reflects the 5 or 6 years or US education. Awesome tour!

5 stars Marilou O. 26 Jun 2016

Writing this on behalf of my Aunt who raved about his service. They thoroughly enjoyed their 3 day tour with him and appreciated how patient he is in explaining details of the places they visited. He even helped in looking up specific souvenirs that one of their companions wanted to buy. I was the one who booked him and like the fact that he replies to my emails promptly and adjusted to all my requests. Would book him again if ever I need a guide in Kyoto or Osaka. Highly recommended~

5 stars Anne A. C. R. 23 Apr 2016

At our request, Takuya took us on a full day tour of Kobe and Himeji Castle. With only short notice, he arranged for a visit to a sake brewery that ended up being a highlight of our stay in Osaka.

He is a highly educated, very caring, flexible individual with an excellent command of English. He is energetic, well informed, and provided us with a wealth of historical background that brought the sites to life. We would certainly seek him out on any future trip to Japan. Highly recommended!!

5 stars Karen C. 06 Jan 2016

Takuya did a tremendous job touring my husband and I around Osaka. It was our first time to visit and we thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Takuya was an amazing guide--giving us a good mix of history, popular culture, and local flavors. He had an agenda set out based on our preferences, then made some adjustments during the day based on what he thought we'd like, which was great. So nice to be with a guide that doesn't adhere to a strict plan, but can accommodate based on our personalities :)

5 stars Tamela H. 29 Dec 2015

Takuya is such a great guide! If you're looking for some exploring off the tourist path, he is your guy, for sure! We have used tour guides on several trips, but this was by far the best experience. We feel like we really experienced Japan, while also remaining flexible for last minute changes (like shopping! and sake!!!). We definitely recommend Takuya for his knowledge, flexibility and especially for his personal touch. He is our friend now and we will see him again.

5 stars Keith R. 24 Sep 2015

I would highly recommend Takuya as your tour guide. Our group consisted of 8 adults and we had the pleasure of having Takuya as our guide for an evening in Kobe and a full day tour in Kyoto the following day. Takuya was very receptive to our needs and arranged for our transportation as well as providing insight into the Japanese culture and daily way of life and touring some of the many sights. Our only regret was that we didn't have more time to spend with him.

5 stars Jay P. 25 Aug 2015

I highly recommend Takuya as a guide without reservation. My girlfriend and I requested a non-traditional tour to see Osaka through the back alley and he delivered exactly what we requested. We literally went through back alleys and neighborhoods to give us insights into an Osaka rarely seen. His enthusiasm and obvious pride in his city was quite evident and infectious.

5 stars Liew C. B. 26 May 2015

Strongly recommend Takuya if you would like to explore real Japan apart of ordinary tourist attractions.

Takuya guided us for a day tour to Kyoto and the following day tour to Kobe. We greatly enjoy those places recommended by him, e.g. A quiet Honenin Temple, Local pubs that provide local snacks food with beers, Sake brewery visit, Mt. Rokko view and a unique Japanese dining experience before we ended our tour with Takuya.

We have a great memories in Japan and thanks for his guides

4 stars Alicen S. 09 Nov 2015

We booked Takuya because we were looking for someone who would listen to our needs and not provide us with a stereotypical tour. He arranged a sake brewery tour that was amazing as well as surprised us with a temple visit that he knew we would love because of its gorgeous gardens. He helped us to see many things that were important to us as it was also our last day. The only downside is that we sometimes felt rushed so its important to let him know if you prefer quality over quantity.

Did you know?

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