Our Guides & Team

Discover Another Kyoto is a guiding service based in Kyoto’s Keihoku region, created with a vision to revitalise the Keihoku countryside and to usher more of Japan’s city-dwellers and foreign travelers into this special rural part of Japan.

 

The founders of Discover Another Kyoto are a bunch of well-travelled young Japanese urbanites, who, after being fascinated by the Japanese countryside, decided to leave their lives in the mega cities behind and to settle down with a more sustainable lifestyle among the Keihoku mountains.

Kei, multilingual guide in Keihoku and Kyoto, Japn
Kei Nakayama /
 

I have to say that Kei is a phenomenal host. He's extremely intelligent and personable, and answered all of my (many) questions with thought and clarity.

 

It is no exaggeration to say that I learned more on this trip about Japanese history, language, and culture, than I have from any book.

Jennifer

USA

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Host and Interpreter

Languages Spoken: Japanese, English, Chinese, Spanish and French

Even if he isn’t taking guests out through the secret alleyways of Kyoto or trekking through the mountains of Keihoku, you would probably be catching Kei in a deep conversation about Japanese history or be hearing him learn his next foreign language.

 

From travelling around the world twice to completing the “El Camino de Santiago” pilgrimage of 900km walk in Northern Spain, Kei has been travelling extensively within and outside of Japan since his university days. His love for discovery extends to him being a self professed “language and culture” nerd, enthusiastically learning about Japanese and foreign culture. He currently speaks Japanese, English, Chinese, Spanish, French and basic Russian!

 

What's important is that Midori are very knowledgeable, communicative, flexible, cooperative, and easy going!

 

We felt like we were staying at our close friend's house!

Albert

Indonesia

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Midori Ota /

Host and Tea Ceremony Master

Languages Spoken: Japanese and English

With an ancestral homeland in Kyoto, and a father whose family owns a traditional Kimono shop, Midori is someone who grew up understanding and appreciating the intricacies of traditional Japanese cultural ceremonies.

 

An expert in traditional Japanese Ikebana (flower arrangement) and Sado (tea ceremony) Midori is well-known among her guests as being an excellent cook and a highly knowledgeable guide on Japanese arts and culture.

 

Midori also greatly enjoys being with nature through trekking and forestry among Keihoku’s many forests. She has been able to blend her two passions together by teaching guests to pick wild flowers from the mountains, and to use them for Ikebana.

 

If you're musical in any way, you can even jam with Hiro on the guitar!

Ryan Dudley

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Hiro, English and Japanese speaking guide in Keihoku, Japan
Hironori Fukumoto /

Host and Photographer

Languages Spoken: Japanese and English

Local guide, host and professional photographer, Hiro is an outdoorsy, funny and music-loving “mountain man” who has backpacked across the world and lived Australia for two years. Originally from Kagoshima, Hiro moved with his family to Keihoku about 2 years ago to start an agricultural project with the local community here.

Hiro speaks fluent Japanese and English and he loves chatting with his guests over a beer. So you like music, dancing and a relaxed countryside experience, Hiro would be your perfect guide.

 

Hideo and Yukako's hospitality, helpfulness and warmth, combined with the delightfulness of the house itself, made it all worth it. It felt like staying with friends. 

Connie

USA

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Hideo Ueda /

Local Host

Languages Spoken: Japanese and English

Not your typical country-side guy, Hideo is a manufacturer of kimonos and the owner of a traditional thatched house himself. Born and bred right here at Keihoku, Hideo loves riding his motorbike, playing with his dogs, sea fishing, and making pickled vegetables. 

Hideo is someone who sure knows that adventure knows no bounds. At age 20, he travelled to South Europe and North Africa alone, and at age 50, travelled through 14 countries in Eastern Europe by himself on his cruiser bike.

 

Thanks to his extensive travels, Hideo is one of the few locals who speak perfect English. He was inspired to be a guide here at Keihoku because of all the help he received during his travels, and would like to help tourists in return.