Hi, I'm Terin and I'll be your guide as you explore and experience Kyoto with KyoTours Japan!
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.
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.
In 2018, I won first place in the annual Writers in Kyoto competition with a short descriptive essay about a unique festival held at one of my favorite temples in Kyoto. This small seasonal celebration is unknown to even most locals, and rarely witnessed by overseas tourists. This is the side of Kyoto that I want to share with my guests as I take them to locations that they might not have found without the help of an expert local guide!
A focus on customer service is a huge part of how I run KyoTours. 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!