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Nagano Prefecture

Meet the locals

Our most recommended Nagano Prefecture Meet the Locals

Otaru: Private Guided Walking Tour with Local Guide

1. Otaru: Private Guided Walking Tour with Local Guide

Discover Otaru’s historical sites, favorite local spots, and hidden gems on a private walking tour with nationally licensed guide. Choose from a 6 or 4-hour tour, whose itinerary can be customized to fit your interests. Be introduced to some of the best spots, restaurants, and sweet shops in Otaru, a famous historical city and a popular vacation spot in Hokkaido Take a relaxing stroll through the footpath of the Otaru Canal, the most famous sightseeing spot in Otaru, running through the central area of the city. Taste fresh seafood at Otaru Sankaku Ichiba, a historic triangular market established in 1957. Get a unique souvenir at Otaru Music Box Museum, featuring a brick-clad main building that exudes a nostalgic atmosphere. Feel and touch Otaru craftsmanship at Kitaichi Glass. See the impressive glasswork created here and learn about the company’s history and the important role it played in the city’s fishing industry.

Osaka Food Tour (10 Delicious Dishes at 5 Hidden Eateries)

2. Osaka Food Tour (10 Delicious Dishes at 5 Hidden Eateries)

Explore the hidden gem of Shinsekai with your guides and discover the real Osaka. Osaka’s Shinsekai district is a vibrant place combining modern and traditional cuisine. Fill your belly with some of the best food you will have in Japan. Discover hidden, original establishments which have been chosen by two local expert guides. Wander in and around the markets that serve traditional Osakan food for an authentic local experience.  Make your way to the first eatery, a takoyaki, or battered octopus balls, stall. Then visit an Izakaya restaurant and sample some authentic Osakan kitsune Udon along with japanese style chicken wings. Also taste the locally invented kushikatsu, which are lightly deep-fried vegetables, meats and seafood on skewers. Head off the beaten path and visit a cosy, traditional Japanese restaurant you will get dishes of mouthwatering nikudoufu or beef and tofu stew, original yakitori or skewered beef assortments, plus an alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverage. Then visit specialized delicious gyoza dumpling establishment. The last dishes of the night will be at a unique Japanese eatery. Enjoy a tonpeiyaki, or pork omelette plus an abundance of edamame and karaage, Japanese fried chicken with spices. Another drink of your choice here is included. Finish off the night at a market eating Japanese castella cake shaped as the local mascot of Shinsekai.

Hakodate: Private Customized Guided Tour

3. Hakodate: Private Customized Guided Tour

Explore Hakodate in your own way with a private licensed guide. Choose the 6 or 4 hour option depending on what fits with your schedule. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. Hakodate has a long history of international trade and is home to European-style buildings, churches, and red-brick warehouses, as well as nostalgic streetcars that makes their way around the city. Meet up with your guide at your hotel or anywhere convenient for you in Hakodate. First visit Goryokaku park to get in touch with Japanese history. This popular tourist attraction is a star-shaped fort that became famous as the final battleground in the civil war about 150 years ago. From Goryokaku Tower you have a great view of not only Goryokaku, but also the mountains and the strait between Hokkaido and Honshu. Stop for lunch at Hakodate Morning Market. Also known as Hakodate Asaichi, this market boasts approximately 250 stores offering seafood and souvenirs. Try the mouth-watering "seafood rice bowl", a local specialty. The final stop on the tour is Mount Hakodate, which you can reach by cable car. Admire the incredible views of the city and the sea far below.

Kyoto: All-Inclusive 3-Hour Food and Culture Tour in Gion

4. Kyoto: All-Inclusive 3-Hour Food and Culture Tour in Gion

Explore the Gion district by night with an experienced English, German, French, or Spanish-speaking tour guide who knows everything there is to know about the area. The tour starts near Kamo river, where you’ll learn about how the tradition of Geishas came to be. After a short stroll along a busy commercial street, you’ll slip into a calm, quiet area to visit the Yasaka Jinja shrine. After that touch of education, it’s off to the Gion.   The Gion has secrets and history scattered across its narrow streets, but this is also a modern entertainment district—so it’s time for a deep dive into what goes on here. Your guide will keep it light and fun, and explain some of the more interesting cultural mores of these parts. Step into a restaurant and graze from a multitude of small plates at a sort of Japanese-style tapas experience. Enjoy a drink as well before continuing on.   Between restaurant stops, there will be an exploration of Kiyamachi, Ponto-cho, and some other commercial and nightlife streets. Your guide will show you both modern and historical Kyoto, painting a well-rounded picture that gives you a real sense of the place. This tour keeps the groups small and includes your food and drinks, so that you can have a carefree night like you’re simply hanging out with someone who knows the neighborhood. A delicious Kobe (or nearby sourced) Beef option is available on top of the usual food and drink. This option is for bookings at least 10 hours in advance.

Kyoto: 45-Minute Tea Ceremony Experience

5. Kyoto: 45-Minute Tea Ceremony Experience

You will take you place on the tatami, the traditional Japanese floor mat and be met by your English-speaking host, who is a licensed tea master from Urasenke, the biggest school of tea ceremony in Japan. Watch as the host carries out the ceremonial preparation of matcha, powdered green tea. Then, you will have the chance to make tea yourself, while the host informs you about the history and spiritual role of the tea ceremony and the effects each tea-making method has on its flavor. Afterwards, savor some traditional Japanese sweets Once the ceremony has come to a close, you will have the chance to take photos and see examples of kimonos and beautiful woven textiles made in the Nishijin district of Kyoto. If you'd like to wear a kimono during the experience, you can select it as an add-on during booking and take photos to remember the experience.

Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

6. Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

Accompanied by your tour guide, head straight to one of Nara’s top historical sites and one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, the Todaiji temple. Its famous centerpiece is the 15-meter bronze statue of the Great Buddha, Vairocana. On our way, you will be greeted by the friendly deer of Nara. The deer are divine protectors of the ancient capital living in perfect harmony with the locals. Next stop is the second of the seven great temples of Nara, Kofukuji. Make a brief stop at the Sarusawa pond, well known for its turtles and the pretty scenery surrounding it; this is considered a perfect spot for a romantic evening walk in Nara. Move forward into the quiet alleys and backstreets of Nara-machi, the well-preserved former merchant's district, where you will be able to see and experience unique traditional arts and crafts. As the best way to experience a city is through its food, you will get the chance to test some of our favorite local delights. The last stop of your journey will take you to a shopping street, where you can find colorful and diverse shops, perfect for souvenir hunting.  Both the JR Nara station and the Kintetsu station are within comfortable walking distance from the finishing point of the tour. Your guide will be happy to help you with directions to your hotel or to provide a restaurant recommendation for lunch. Do not forget to ask for more hints and tips on what else there is to do in Nara during your time here. 

Kyoto: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

7. Kyoto: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

Explore the traditional neighborhood of Higashiyama from the comfort of a rickshaw with a knowledgeable guide. Admire the well-preserved wooden townhouses, see some of Kyoto's most famous temples, and pass through the vibrant geisha district in the Gion area. Learn about Japanese culture, heritage, and customs on this private customizable tour. Meet your guide on the cobbled streets by the Kodaiji Temple in Higashiyama, a nationally designated historic area. Travel back in time as your guide pulls you through the historic neighborhood, filled with traditional buildings and shops. Stop to take photos at the most scenic spots in each location. Choose from 4 different tour durations to suit your schedule, from the introductory 45-minute tour, to the comprehensive tour of 3 hours and 10 minutes. With the longer tours, you’ll continue through the wealth of sights in Higashiyama and the northern part of Gion. Pass weeping willows that line a picturesque river, explore ancient temples, and travel through the streets of this amazing neighborhood.

Tokyo: Off the Beaten Path Private Guided Tour

8. Tokyo: Off the Beaten Path Private Guided Tour

Explore Tokyo in your own way with a private licensed guide. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. If you want to experience authentic local life, the backstreets of Yanaka, Shibamata, Fukagawa, and Asakusa are recommended. This tour feature a morning pickup at your hotel in Tokyo, then a visit to any number of possible sites. You can customize your itinerary according to the specific places you want to visit. See a suggested itinerary below.  First stop is the Shibamata neighborhood, where many historical shops can be found. Some have even been there for over a hundred years. It’s a great place to sample some classic Japanese snacks and street food, such as senbei, soy sauce crackers, and chewy rice balls. Next, head to the Yanaka Ginza neighborhood. Even among locals, it’s a lesser-known area that retains its old-Japan charm. Edo-era shops and restaurants line a small shopping street. Though the shops include modern 100-yen stores, there are many handicrafts, ceramics, and street food stores too. If you’ve become a fan of Japanese food during your travels, Kappabashi Street is a place to bring home something to cook or serve your own Japanese food with. Kappabashi is a long street lined with kitchen shops, plus the occasional kitchen clothing or fake food store. Other popular places you could visit on this tour include the Nezu and Sendagi areas, the Fukagawa Edo Museum, and the Asakusa district.

Kanazawa Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

9. Kanazawa Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

Explore the city with a friendly local who is passionate about his/her city and eager to share all the tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your trip. Meet where you're staying to get familiar with the neighbourhood, find out about the best places to eat and buy groceries, the easiest ways to get around, and the hidden gems you might have missed. By the end of the tour, you'll feel more comfortable in navigating the city and confident that you have all the information you need to make the most of your stay. Once the supplier has received your booking, they’ll get in touch with you to confirm all the details for the tour: meeting place and time, language and your contact information, and also ask you some questions to get to know you better. The right loca is hand-pickedl for you based on your interests. Each tour is completely customized so you can choose the meeting location, start time and length that you prefer (minimum: 2 hours).  During the walking tour you will have the option of taking public transportation or taxi to get around the city (at your expense). The local guides that we work with (Lokafyers) are locals who are passionate about their city and love to meet travellers and share what they love about their city.  They are not professional tour guides and do these tours occasionally, which provides an authentic and personal experience that is like having a friend show you around their home city.  Through conversations with your Lokafyer, you’ll learn what it’s like to live in Kanazawa, learn about cultural differences, local events and politics and also get to know each other on a personal level. With this experience, you won’t be just passing through the city, you’ll be part of it.

Yokohama: Eat Like a Local Private & Personalized Tour

10. Yokohama: Eat Like a Local Private & Personalized Tour

The food in Yokohama is as diverse as the people and culture of this glittering port city. Get ready for a slice of that diversity as you join one of our hosts to eat your way around Yokohama, visiting local haunts full of culinary delights. Try dishes like gyunabe, a beef hotpot that originated in Yokohoma, and the locally famous napolitan, a Yokohama-born pasta dish. You'll indulge in the Chinatown specialty, Annin soft cream, slurp on the best ramen in town at the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum (more of a food court than a museum) and sample beer from a local brewery. Within 24 hours of booking, you'll receive a short questionnaire about your personality and interests. Based on your responses, you'll be assigned a like-minded host. Your host will communicate with you directly to suggest an itinerary to help you discover what makes the city's food scene so special. You will also agree on a meeting time and place. Your itinerary is flexible, so during the experience, you can always change your mind about what you want to do. Together with your host, you’ll visit two or three different restaurants, eateries and markets and try 6 - 8 dishes, which could be anything from the house special to the dish of the day, chosen specially for you. Your host can't wait to introduce to the many dishes that define the city's best foods – just make sure you come hungry.

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What people are saying about Nagano Prefecture

Overall rating

3.0 / 5

based on 2 reviews

Mardi was right on time on a crisp Christmas evening with a cheery demeanor and a pleasant smile, even though we both wore COVID masks. She had an exhaustive knowledge of Japanese history and culture, including local landmarks from temples to tea houses to brothels. My favorite tale was the creation of a local shrine to the tenuki spirit that dragged people into the nearby river. She also picked excellent places to grab some refreshments. The cheese and tofu soup was the highlight of the trip. I totally recommend Mardi's tour of the Gion and surrounding area if you find yourself in Kyoto.

Andy was a terrific guide!! Incredibly personable. I was actually staying nearby the spots he took us on and he truly did take us to hidden locations I never would have sought out on my own. He gave some history and pointed out some interesting facts about the area. We even got to play some of the games at the shops in the area. I traveled to Osaka alone so this was a nice chance to be social! PS it is A LOT of food so come hungry!

This was such an incredibly insightful, unique experience of Osaka. I would particularly recommend this for well travelled people who understand that there other layers to every city. Andy is informative, engaging and is a natural story teller. His humor & wit add to this well rounded tour. I recommend going to the dinner after as we continued the fun with delicious food. Thank you

The local Tour was amazing! Really made me feel like a local. An impossible task but one he really tried to accomplish. Helped me understand how Kyoto works from the ground up. Great experience and a great visit!!

The guide was extremely well versed in Japanese culture as well as sights and attractions. Japanese and English was fluent. 10 out of 10 would recommend this tour guide specifically Taibi.