Re: Tour Guide around Kyoto and Nara for the 5 Wonderful Families from US

[In English]

I did a sightseeing tour guide for 5 families from a foreign country (all were from USA) during last 2 months. The destinations were the representative spots in Japan, i.e., Kyoto and Nara. I had been extremely overwhelmed by the vast amount of pressure before the tour, since this was the first experience in 4 years. (*_*; (We haven’t had any jobs in last 4 years due to the COVID-19 spread.) So, I had tried to prepare a lot for my precious guests, since they must have been looking forward to visiting, seeing, enjoying and tasting whatever they want in the ancient capitals. To help and support for satisfying their expectations is the guide’s job.

What I had put all my energy into are:
1) To have prepared detailed itinerary for each of the guest (7 pages including my self-introduction)
2) To have had a little time (10 minutes or so) at the hotel lobby after our first meeting, explaining the days’ schedule, together with the highlights and the surrounding information
3) To have added some small but seemingly interesting spots on the way to a next spot (e.g., NHK 8K Plaza at the Broadcasting BO of Kyoto)
4) To have made a careful preliminary check beforehand
5) To have added some “genuine” and “low-key” spots where only a “connoisseur” wants to visit, if the guests wish to go (Of course, without any additional cost)

I was relieved from the big pressures, and am now able to get around some reflections and reviews about the 5-tour guide jobs, including the income and expenditure, as follows:
1) Though I tried my best, I’m still an “amateurish” and “awkward” guide…, my self-evaluated score this time was around 60 points, much better from 4 years ago, when my self-evaluation was only 20 points.
2) The total income is scheduled to be around 350,000 JPY, including guests’ transportations (Subways, Bus, JR, Private trains, or Taxis) and admissions. Since I have to pay my own transportation fares, foods, hotel expense, and my private pleasures (e.g., drinking), so the balance was not so much. (I don’t have to pay my own admission, since I’m a licensed guide.)
3) Though I had almost been discouraged by the big pressure before the tours, I now think that it was good to have accepted. I was able to meet very nice and friendly American families, and they all kindly gave me lavish thanks, when I said “Now, I have to say good-bye, and thank you, all”.
4) For this June and July, I will not accept any job offers, since I have to make the arrangement “perfectly” for my own big tour visiting USA and UK in coming July, in order to fully enjoy the 2 weeks’ private travel.

[In Japanese]


私は、この2ヶ月間で海外からの5つのご家族の観光旅行案内をさせていただきました。(国籍は、たまたまですが、すべてアメリカからのお客さんでした) 私は、これが4年ぶりの仕事となるので、事前はものすご~いプレッシャーで両手を挙げて逃げ出したくなるほどでした。(*_*;   (過去4年間は、コロナ禍にあったので仕事はまったくございませんでした。) したがいまして、私は、これらの大事なお客さんのために周到な準備を進めるように努めました。即ち、お客さんはこれらの古都で訪れてみたいところ、見てみたいところ、楽しみたいこと、味わってみたいことなどなんでも楽しみにされているに違いないからです。お客様のご期待を支援し満足していただけるようにすることがガイドの仕事なのです。




3)主要観光地へ移動する際、途中にご関心を持っていただけるような場所があればちょっと立ち寄ること。(例:NHK京都支局の“8K プラザ”)









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