Tokyo Kyoto guided & self guided tours packages and tour services

All-Japan expert private guided or self-guided day tours and walking tour packages in English. From Tokyo to Kyoto and beyond!

Save time before you go and while you're in Japan with our popular private guided tours and digitally self-guided tour services. Including personalized itineraries designed by an expert for anywhere you want to go and how. Off-the-beaten-track trips, walking tours, spiritual hiking pilgrimages, business and pleasure travel . . . Let us know how we can make your journey to Tokyo or Kyoto or anywhere else in Japan better in so many ways!

Dragonfly doorway noren textile closeup and noren are featured in our private tours in spring and summerPlanning international trips is a time-intensive process and getting it right depends, in the end, on what you know and who you know. Your Japan Private Tours (YJPT) founder and owner, Ian Ropke, has been providing high-level Japan travel consulting services to individuals, families, groups and companies since 1990. Everyone is special at YJPT and we look forward to advising and helping you plan a great itinerary for your trip and connecting you with friendly reliable English speaking guides anywhere in Japan. We work with English as a second language speakers from anywhere in the world.

“I work closely with my clients. Even when you're in Japan, I continue to work with you via email, WhatsApp, Skype and Wechat. In addition to our popular day & night tour itineraries(guided and self-guided), I am always creating new customized days and weeks for clients. Everything from morning, day and night tour itineraries to 7-14 day journeys across Japan.

Private tours often bring beautiful surprises like this one

I like a blend of off-the-beaten-track locations mixed with the best-value places in a given area. I have designed all kinds of trips to Kyushu, Hokkaido, Okinawa, and Shikoku. And I have created an amazing range options in and around Tokyo, Kyoto, Takayama, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. Email us today and get your first or your next Japan trip off to a good start!

And you don't have to be with a guide all the time. With our popular PDF smartphone format easy self-guided tours (Wikipedia self-guided tour definition here) you can go anywhere without a guide and still feel in control. Each Digital Tour--walking and hiking tours, city tours, car and driver tours and off-the-beaten track tours--includes blocks of English (or Spanish or Chinese) followed by easy-to-understand blocks of perfectly translated Japanese. For example: "Please take us to Kurama Temple" or "Could you please point me in the direction of the washroom please" or "I don't know how to use this ticket machine. Could you please help us to get tickets for Takayama". Our Digital Tours are ideal for morning special spot picnics or evening city safaris . . .

To sum it all up, we save you time all the time--before you go and while in Japan--and we improve the quality of your trip time with our full range of personalized travel services

A few things to consider when working with us: 1) Guides are freelance agents not salaried employees. In super high season, it can be very hard to secure a good guide and sometimes I prefer to pass on the guides available and use a self-guided tour instead. 2) Expenses are not included in our guided or digital tour rates. Expenses can be low, medium or high depending on your travel style preferences. Please request a quote "with expenses included" if required: We regularly work with travel agents and corporate clients. 3) Cancellation policy: It doesn't happen often but it happens. Cancellation policy details here.

Zen culture is part of a day tour in Kyoto or Kamakura

A few of our popular day and night tours in Tokyo and Kyoto for guided tours or digital tours: The choices are all yours!

The following tours can be done with a guide or in digital format.

An old wedding souvenir sitting in a temple antique marketPopular Tokyo area tours: 1) Old/New Tokyo Full Day Tour: Tsukiji fish and wholesale market, a choice of two 17th-century Japanese garden estates, a ride up the Sumida River, the bustling spiritual tourism of old Asakusa temple town (lunch here), followed by a stroll from Nezu Shrine to the Yanaka Ginza traditional shopping street and ending in the fashionable Harajuku Aoyama zone. 2) Hakone Old/New Tour: Hakone, the traditional hot spring resort next to Mount Fuji, and less than an hour from downtown Tokyo, is great for a day tour or for an overnight in an exclusive ryokan inn (with private in-room bathing). Itineraries include side trips to world-class contemporary museum complexes and off the beaten track locations. 3) Kamakura Amazing Gems Tour: This relaxing day-trip to seaside Kamakura is very popular. It includes 13th-century Zen architecture and culture, an incredible cave shrine devoted to the Goddess of the Arts, a temple bamboo garden forest, Asia's second-biggest bronze Buddha (12th cent.) and lunch in a garden estate with views of Mount Fuji on a clear day. 4) Tokyo Garden & Customized Shopping Combo Tour: Tokyo has an incredible range of 17th century gardens and former samurai estates. These have been selected for this tour to dovetail with high value contemporary shopping and/or edgy hipster neighborhoods. 5) Tokyo Foodie Urban Safaris: A foodie paradise, Tokyo has bustling 1920s food markets, great street food and secret spot high-value luxury eating spots. The choices are all yours. 6) Izu Peninsula Countryside Wonder Wander: The Izu Peninsula, a relaxing 30-min shinkansen bullet train ride from Tokyo Sta, offers scenic rugged coastlines, tranquil countryside hikes, and unforgettable off the beaten track gems and locations.

In summer all over Japan the yukata summer kimono add a bright flash to street lifePopular Kyoto area tours: 1) The Jewels of Kyoto's East Side: Our most popular Kyoto tour follows the Higashiyama ridge using back lanes and includes the Silver Pavilion, Nanzenji Temple, Chion Temple, Kiyomizu Temple, as well as a blend of hidden Shinto shrines, and great craft and gift shopping sections. 2) The Fascinations of Northwest and West Kyoto: This tour includes an exquisite 15th century Zen complex, a tea break in 400-year-plus outdoor Shrine setting, an optional stop at the Golden Pavilion, an exploration of the west side Arashiyama district (including the famous bamboo forest), and the Nishiki food market and Teramachi traditional shopping zone. 3) Horyuji Buddhist Beginnings & Nara Park Perfections: This tour usually begins with a visit to the oldest wooden buildings in the world at Horyu-ji Temple (Japan's first large Buddhist temple), including the temple's excellent museum, and ends in the timeless environs of Nara Park. 4) Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine & Gion Night Walk: This very popular tour begins with an after dark stroll through the vast sacred precinct of Fushimi Inari and its tunnels of orange torii gates and ends with a two-hour back lane stroll through the exotic geiko maiko worlds of the Gion district. 5) Off-the-beaten track Kyoto Secret Spot Tours: These tours feature an interesting selection of top-value areas not mentioned in most guide books. Notably old neighborhoods, serene scenes that offer the quintessential Japan experiences we all hope for, stunning gardens and views over the city.

Thank you for taking the time to read this little overview. When you are ready let me know how I can make your trip to Japan interesting, fun and relaxing from start to finish. The more you tell me about your preferences and interests the better the design.

YJPT Founder & Owner Ian Ropke has worked in the Japan private travel industry for nearly 30 years

Ian Ropke (Canadian) has worked in the Japan private travel industry for more than 25 years and is also an expert in global tourism including community tourism. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Kyoto Visitor's Guide from 1994 to 2009 and is the author of Historical Dictionary of Osaka and Kyoto (available on Amazon). Get your trip started today! Email us today!

For really good trip planning information in English, I highly recommend Japan Guide and Japan Visitor which both offer an excellent overview and practical travel advice for anywhere in Japan.