Kamakura Welcome Guides

Tourists from all over the world enjoy our free guided tour.

FAQs


1. Application
Q. Can you arrange a guided tour for only one person?
A. Yes, we can. We are happy to give individuals a guided tour.
For 1 to 5 participants, we provide one guide. When there are over 6 participants, we provide two guides if guides are available. For every other additional 5 participants, we provide an additional guide in the same way.
Q. How much is the guide fee?
A. No guide fee is required. However, you must pay for your transport expenses and admission to shrines and temples.
You must also pay for the same expenses for your tour guide(s).
Q. When is the deadline for application?
A. Please apply between 2 weeks and 3 months before your desired tour date (bearing in mind the time difference!).
For a group of more than fifteen people, applying earlier than 3 weeks before your desired tour date is advisable.

Q. Can we apply as a group?
A. Yes, you can. If your tour party is more than fifteen people, it is advisable to apply earlier than three weeks before your desired tour date. The number of tourists for an application is limited to 40.
Q. Do you accept short tours (such as one or two hours)?
A. Yes, we do. Please contact us.
Q. What is the procedure following my application?
A. After you make an application, we will send a receipt of your application to the email address you specified in your application. Please keep it for your reference.
Next, we will recruit a tour guide appropriate for your requests. If we find and assign a tour guide, the tour guide will contact you at the email address you specified in your application.
If no tour guide contacts you by seven days before the tour date you requested, then your application cannot be met.
Q. Can I request a guided tour for Japanese guests?
A. No, unfortunately not. Our basic policy is to guide non-Japanese guests in their own language. We also do not provide tours in a foreign language to Japanese guests.
If you would like to be guided in Japanese, please contact "NPO Kamakura Guide Kyokai"
http://www.kcn-net.org/guide/
Q. Can Japanese people accompany their foreign guests?
A. Yes, they can.
Q. Can I apply through a travel agency?
A. No, you cannot. Since we are a nonprofit organization, any applications either directly or indirectly from tourist agencies will not be accepted.
Q.What languages are spoken other than English?
A. French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Mandarin (Chinese), German, Korean and Thai are spoken.
If your group consists of people speaking several different languages, you can divide them into groups by language. Please inform us which languages you need.

※Remark: Tours in Korean have been suspended.
Q. Can foreign guests be guided in Japanese?
A. No, unfortunately not.
We do sometimes use some Japanese phrases for students studying Japanese, but our basic policy is to guide in a foreign language.
Q. Does submitting an application automatically ensure us a tour guide?
A. No, it doesn't. Please note that our receiving your application never means a guarantee of tour guide arrangements.
If we receive a couple of applications requesting tour guides for the same day, it might be difficult to meet all the requests because of the number of tour guides available. Therefore, we recommend you send in your application as early as possible.
Please note that we will never accept any applications that involve tourist agencies in any way.
Q. What are your working hours?
A. Our working hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The whole tour should take no more than 5 hours excluding lunch break.
Q. Can I request a female tour guide because I am a woman traveling alone?
A. Yes, you can. Please specify your request in the application form.
Q. Can you assign a tour guide for the end or beginning of the year?
A. No, we cannot, because the relevant tourist bureau and offices, as well as Kamakura Welcome Guide Association, are all closed during that time. You can get information as to the dates that they are closed at What's NEW on this site.

2. Tour Routes
Q. What are your recommended tourist spots?
A. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, a native shrine, and the Great Buddha are recommended sightseeing spots. Adding Hasedera, a Buddhist temple, to them is a popular full-day tour.
If you are interested in Zen, Zen Buddhist temples like Kenchoji and Engakuji are highly recommended.
For those who are tempted to get exposed to the culture of tea ceremony or matcha, powdered green tea, both Hokokuji and Jyomyoji, Zen Buddhist temples, are popular choices.
Whatever it is, you can let us know your special interests, if any, by specifying them in the application form or by correspondence in emails with our tour guide.
Q. Can you include Enoshima Island in your guided tour?
A. Yes. We will give you a tour of Enoshima Island if you request it.
Q. Can you give a guided tour of sightseeing spots not specified in your pre-set tour routes?
A. Yes. We will set up this type of guided tour, so please specify any places of your interest.
Q. I cannot walk a long way. Can you still give me a guided tour?
A. Yes. Just let us know about it when you make an application. We will try and arrange an appropriate sightseeing tour, for example by using public transport or taxis if you wish, in order to make the tour convenient for you.

3. Cancellations.
Q. What if I need to cancel the guided tour?
A. You must contact us as soon as possible.
Our tour guides always look forward to meeting our international guests, and so please try your best to avoid cancellations once a tour guide has been assigned.
However, cancellations will be accepted.

4. Meeting Your Guide
Q. Where is the meeting place?
A. We meet at a place in the Kamakura city area, usually in front of the East Exit of JR Kamakura Station. Please contact your assigned guide and choose the meeting place convenient to you.
Q. How can I spot my guide?
A. Our guides usually carry our blue flag for easy spotting.
Please contact the assigned tour guide for details. logo

Q. How can I contact my guide on the tour day?
A. The guide will inform you as to how to get in touch with him or her on the tour day.
Please contact the number below if you cannot get in touch with your guide.
Kamakura City Tourist Association
TEL:0467-23-3050    AM8:30 -PM5:15
Closed at Year End and New Year
Q. What if I am late arriving at the meeting point?
A. You must contact the tour guide usually by calling his or her mobile phone number. In case you do not show up within thirty minutes after the meeting time without any notice, the tour will be considered cancelled.

5. Lunch and Food
Q. There are certain things I cannot eat for religious or personal reasons. Will I be able to join a guided tour?
A. We are happy to give advice on restaurants for those who have special food requirements. Please consult us in advance.
Q. Will you make reservations for restaurants?
A. We do not make reservations for restaurants. If you wish to eat at a certain restaurant, we could provide you with relevant information, and advise you to make a reservation yourself.
Q. Do we have to pay for our tour guide's lunch?
A. We have no specific rules on the lunch expense.
However, please pay for his/her meal if you ask him/her to stay with you for lunch.

6. Transport, Lodging and Money exchange
Q. How can I get to Kamakura?
A. Go to the website below.
http://en.kamakura-info.jp
Q. Can I drive to Kamakura?
A. Kamakura has heavy traffic and limited parking spaces.
We strongly recommend you use public transport.
Q. We will be traveling by chartered bus or hired car. Will you reserve a parking space for us?
A. We do not make parking reservations.
Car Park Information (in Japanese only)( http://www.kcn-net.org/access_guide
Q. Will you reserve a hotel for us?
A. We do not make hotel reservations.
Q. Where can I exchange money in Kamakura?
A. You can exchange money or withdraw Japanese yen at places shown below.
1. Mizuho Bank ATM (Currency Exchange Machine and International ATM) : a minute walk to the left from the East Exit of JR Kamakura Station.
2. Kamakura Post Office (International ATM): 5 minutes' walk from the East Exit of JR Kamakura Station. Walk straight until you come to Wakamiya-Oji street and cross the street and turn right.
3. Near the Hasedera (Currency Exchange Machine): 5 minutes' walk from the Enoden Hase Station, 20 meters before the Hasedera.
4. Hase Post Office (International ATM): 5 minutes' walk from the Enoden Hase Station. Walk towards the Great Buddha (Daibutsu). It is on your right.
There are some stores where credit cards are not accepted. So we recommend bringing enough Japanese yen with you to cover your expenses in Kamakura.

7. Recruiting Guide Members
Q. How does Kamakura Welcome Guide Association (KWGA) recruit new guide members?
A. We don't regularly recruit new guide members.
When we recruit new guide members, the announcement is published in the Kamakura City Office PR Brochure. It will be shown on the website of Kamakura City Tourist Association, too.

8. Other Questions
Q. For other questions, what do I do?
A. If you do not find the answers to your specific questions in FAQs, please contact us at :
E-mail : info@kamakurawelcome.guide
Fax No : 0467-22-3516 (in Japan)     81-467-22-3516 (from overseas)

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