If you visit Kyoto, how about joining Johnnie's tour?/京都に行くならジョニーのツアーに参加してみませんか？
Have you ever heard of Johnnie Hillwalker? He is a licenced tour guide living in Kyoto and has provided Kyoto Walking Tour for more than ten years. When I went to Kyoto in February, 2007, I knew about him and his tour getting a flier at the hotel reception. Since then, I had wanted to join the tour and could attend his tour in May, 2007.
His tour starts at 10:15 and ends at 15:00. You don't need to apply beforehand. Just go to the meeting place in front of the JR Kyoto Station(Karasuma Gate) and check in with him. If you have the flier, it's really easy to find out the place. The flier has a very good visual map.
If not, it's still easy to get to there. Leaving the Station, you will see Bus Terminal and Kyoto Tower. Meeting place is behind the Bus Ticket Office and Johnnie is waiting for you from 10:00.
This tour is provided on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from March through November. The fee is 2,000yen per person.
When I joined the tour, unfortunately, it rained all day. But places we visited were wonderful and I didn't mind rain so much. He never took us touristic places but places I could feel 'real' and 'deep' Kyoto. I loved the tour so much and as a licensed guide myself, I do want to offer such tour like his.
The photo above is a fan shop and back of it, there is a work area. We visited workshop of Kiyomizu pottery and walked through workshops of Buddhist monks' robes, Buddhist beads, tatami mat, tofu, etc. 上の写真は扇屋で、その奥に作業場があります。清水焼の工房にも行きました。袈裟屋、数珠屋、畳屋、豆腐屋などは外から見て歩きました。
The photo below is a workshop of Kiyomizu pottery. At this workshop, they draw picture on pottery. 下の写真は清水焼の工房です。ここでは絵を描く作業が行われます。
If you want to know what Japanese believe, this tour is good for you. Johnnie takes you to Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines and explains about them.
If you are interested and going to join the tour, remember to bring something to eat with you. There is no lunch stop, though a piece of vegetarian sushi and a small pastry are provided during the tour.
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。