Hi, I'm Terin and I'll be your guide as you explore and experience Kyoto!
Since I moved to Japan in 2012, I've lived in both the countryside surrounding Kyoto and in the city itself. I originally came to Japan as an English teacher, but decided to start giving tours of Kyoto after I found myself captivated by the culture of the city. I saw so many tourists wandering the stations and temples of Kyoto looking overwhelmed and lost... surely there was something I could do to make their experience more enjoyable!
I run KyoTours Japan as a solo operation, but I get some help from my wife (born and raised in Kyoto) and a few local friends. I do my best to know Kyoto inside out, but having the support of locals has proven invaluable when a guest asks for something specific that I've never experienced myself.
I'm originally from Los Angeles, but I've been interested in Japanese culture and art since I was a child. Moving here just seemed like the right thing to do! I remember what it was like to discover so many new things in Japan and how everything seemed so intriguing and special, so I feel that I'm in a unique position to help other foreigners experience Japan for their first time as well.
As a westerner, I can provide an experience that is comfortable and fits your interests and needs. It's important to present information in a way that is not only interesting and helpful, but easy to understand. For example, not only can I share some great stories about Kyoto history, but I can explain how to take a bath at a hot spring or use a traditional Japanese toilet in a friendly, honest way that you won't get from most hotel staff.
My academic background is in history, and I earned a master's degree in world history in 2011. But don't worry... my tours aren't just a history lesson! Many Japanese tour guides just rattle off a list of dates, names, and Japanese terms in a way that puts visitors to sleep or confuses them. I take a much different approach. To me, history needs to come alive through memorable stories and unique historical individuals. Tying together the sites I take visitors to within a broader tale of Kyoto's history and culture is an important part of how I design my tours. You will absolutely walk away from one of my tours with a deeper understanding of Kyoto's rich history and culture in a way you never could with another guide.
A focus on customer service is a huge part of how I run KyoTours. No request from a guest will go unresearched, no email unanswered. You're in Kyoto for a once in a lifetime vacation, and I fully intend to make sure you experience something amazing that exceeds your ALL of your expectations.
See you in Kyoto!