Photos&Messages 2018

Dorantes Family from Mexico (Dec 14th, 2018)

Dear Masao


Today, we finally got home in Cd del Carmen, Mexico.

It was a long journey but we are very happy to have been in Japan.

I would like to thank you because we spent a wonderful time in Shizuoka with you, it was a very nice experience we will never forget.

Japan and its people are amazing, now we have you in our heart.

We hope to see you soon.

Thank you for the pictures.


Best Regards, Mariana Santos and family.

Aline & Dan Locascio san from USA (Oct 15th, 2018)

Hello Yayoi,

We are long overdue sending sincere thanks for the lovely day we spent together. My colleague from China was very pleased with the special tea from Shimizu.  I am trying to learn how to make flavorful tea as we were instructed.  That was so much fun.  We enjoyed meeting you!   

thanks again, Aline & Dan

Gary and Roni Washington san from USA(Oct 9th, 2018)



Roni and I had a great day, a day we will remember and cherish forever.

Thank you so much for showing us around Fuji and sharing the green tea experience.

See you in Hawaii!


Gary and Roni

Bonnie Valentino san from the USA (May 26th)

It was a great great tour - so professional and love everything about it!

We love the tea experience and the trip to the top of the hill to see the view was great.

Our guides are the best part of my trip it would not have been the same without meeting these wonderful people.

Alex Aquino san from the USA(May 26th)

Our guides Masao and Mamiko have done their homework ahead of our tour - they gave us a printed manual guide about our tour. 

The choice of tea tour, Sumpu castle and Nihondaira view was a perfect introduction to Shizuoka and Shimizu. 

We learned an important lesson on the life of the great shogun Ieyasu .We were blessed with perfect weather during our visit in Shimizu/Shizuoka. 

The city that is popular as the Mt Fuji city turned out to be more than we thought - a city famous for tea, wasabi and Shogun Ieyasu.We wish we could stay longer.

Our guide Masao in simple terms explained that where we were standing we could see the deepest bay in Japan and the tallest mountain in Japan all in one picture and live!We boarded a local bus from port to the train station, then train to the city then a small local bus back to the train station. From the city we boarded a special bus to Nihondaira and then taxi down to the port. 

The rides were safe, clean and dependable and on time - nothing beats that! And, everyone was honest and very helpful.

The only time we were delayed was when we waited for the exchange money at the port - but that was nobody's fault and Masao explained everything to us. Most important though was that Masao adjusted our timelines for this delay and we caught up with our target times - thanks to Masao for keeping us on time!

Susan M. Lapinid san from the US (April 29th)

Since Day 1 I communicated with Masao, his follow ups for our itinerary was super and when it was getting closer he even has a liason in Tokyo, her name is Tomoko that helped us to get to the train since we are all Seniors and first time in Japan.  She guided as so well just to get to Shizouka. Masao Nitta is exceptional, he even gave us a 「Welcome Folder」;  for our itinerary and history of the City and Rie Irahara prepared a Japanese Tea Ceremony in the Park with some of her own cooking food.


Our first time to Shizouka on a less than a day tour was not really enough to know the City very well but we are satisfied knowing a few of them like Sumpu Castle Park, Nihondaira Hotel, Shimizu Bay cruise and a little bit of history. Also, the City was so clean and I believed it is always clean that way.

Since we all love Japanese Gardens here in the U.S...., to see the original landscapes of Japan was amazing.


"Masao Nitta, Rie Irahara and Tomoko Suzuki in Tokyo have given us their excellent services, they are highly recommended as tour guides of SFG but no idea of the fee-based.

We were not able to buy items since a 1 day tour was too short except for food and tea."


We all wished that we were able to stay more days to know the City very well, the history and the culture and to see more landscapes. Thank you for teh opportunity to see the City of Shizouka


Amanda Ma san from United States (April 13th, 2018)

Our guide Chisato was excellent.  She showed up early for our arranged meeting.  Had sent a detailed itinerary that matched our needs prior.  We were able to accomplish everything on our itinerary!  We are beyond satisfied with her friendliness,  professionalism and energy!  

Shizuoka was extremely pretty.  We loved our visit to the tea plantation,  Kunozan Toshogu shrine and Sumpu Castle! 

We liked learning about the history and a bit about Shinto religion.


It is a great service toy are providing.  I wish more places would do the same!

Concha Calderon san from Spain (April 2nd, 2018)

Mr Masao Nitta was an excelent guide. 

He was very kind at all moments, and he gave us a complete information written information about the tour, including prices and places to visit. Besides he came with a friend that spoke Spanish, what we apprecciated very much. Masao Nitta is fully recommended. Thanks for the work of all the equipment.

All the tour was very interesting, and the wheather was wonderful, but unfortunately we could not see the Fuji mountain, due to the fog.

Daniela Pearl san from United States (March 11th, 12th, 14th, 2018)

First of all, I had Yayoi for Sunday March 11th, March 12th and March 14th. I have to say that  Yayoi Murata, was the best guide I could ask for. Friendly, happy, polite, knowledge, welcoming... And so on. 

I can tell you that the places, the food experience she took me to try, the story tellings everything was fantastic. 

Whatever  I ask to do,  she looked for it and took me. Thanks to my now (good friend Yayoi) I feel like Shizuoka as my home!!

She deserve a 10 stars!!! The SFG tours is an excellent way of knowing any place. Loved it.

William Roberts san from United Kingdom (February 13th, 2018)


 The guide was very friendly and was well organised. He supplied us with printed information on the places we visited and their history. We would not have seen as much of Shizuoka if we did not have the guide. 

The old castle was a glimpse into the history of Japan that we were interested in.

It might be better to focuss more on Japanese culture and history. Many people in the west are interested in this aspect of Japan.

marion Muller from Switzerland (February 9th, 2018)

Masao did a planned based on our wishes and on the little time we had. He was really kind, taugh us how to take the bus( very usefull) and took us to a great place for dinner.

Shizuoka is a small city but very interresting to visit with the little time we had, i cannot tell you what was the place.

We went to Sumpu Takumisyuku to make bamboo stick. was great. then we went to the restaurant. was also great!

Photos&Messages 2017

Christin Leigh Hare from United States (December 11, 2017)

Yayoi communicated well with me before the tour and was really interested in the things I wanted to try around Shizuoka. I had a great time and I think Yayoi was a very knowledgeable guide and had a lot of information to share with me about the places we went. I was very lucky to have some that could translate for me and I was able to meet interesting people from Shizuoka. I’m very thankful to Yayoi for giving me this guide! I really enjoy Shizuoka and it was nice to see the other areas outside of the city. I think Shizuoka has a lot of interesting local things to experience. I had no idea there were so many interesting things to do in such a small area, Mariko. It's not very far from the city either, so it was a big surprise for me. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and history here. The tororo jiru at Choujiya was amazing and I was also able to try mukago. I really enjoyed it and even bought a bag of mukago for myself to cook at home. I really enjoyed your service! Thank you!

Sakshi-san from United Kingdom (September 7, 2017)

Our Guide, Rie san was amazing. she made our trip to Japan and to Shizouka prefectue wonderful. She suggested and arranged a lot of fun activities for us and we had a wonderful time with her and her associates. She went out of her way to make us comfortable and we feel very lucky to have found her and her service. 

There is a lot to see in the city with the right local guidance. It was a highlight of our tour. The wonderful mountains, activities and people all made the city very pleasant for us.

There was a lot of natural beauty and culture there. The food, the steam locomotive, the tea gardens and the factory visit was all very entertaining.Every thing was wonderful ! Keep up the good work :)

Juliane Stueckmann from Germany (June 6, 2017)

Rie san, speaks a very good English wich makes conversation easy. She was pretty good prepared for the job and gave a lot of information and interesting hinds for every point of our interest. Comfortable was also that she really like to follow our interest, eg. tea ceremony, and she prepared and organized it to our full satisfaction. More over, Rie san has a heartfelt character and a special sense of humour wich makes the tour to an diverting one. She is a real recommendation as volentary tour guide and we would be happy to meet her again fornthe next tour. 

Anna Katherine Linhardt from United States ( May 21, 2017)

The guide was waiting for me at the meeting spot, and had a printed version of the itinerary ready for me! We began our tour promptly, and she told me many interesting facts about the city! We went to each planned area, the traditional tea ceremony (which was wonderful, and was a perfect cultural experience!) the park (which was beautiful!), the sushi restaurant (delicious!), the temple, and the delicious sweets shop! They were all very beautiful and very fun!

Everything was a good price, nothing was too expensive. Bus fair is good, as the route was well planned, and all the food was very reasonable! Sightseeing at the park was free, so I suppose that was the best price!

Thank you so much! I am so glad to have had this experience! I am new to the area, and seeing these things have made my stay here much more enjoyable!

Joycelyn Ho from Australia  (April 15, 2017)

Chisato was very passionate about Shizuoka and went out of her way to make sure my husband and I had a good time. She took my request into consideration and suggested places and events based on the time of the year and our likes!

I love green tea! Shizuoka offers so many varieties such as sweeten instant ones and I tried to the green tea salt, I bought one pack immediately!

Chisato brought us to a tea plantation and the owner was so kind to walk us through the process, took us to his farm and even drove us to the bus stop. Shimizu market was clean and offered delicious sashimi and sushi at a very reasonable price. Nanaya's ice cream was delicious too! 

I like the guardhouse in Sumpu Castle park, the guides were very lovely and knowledgeable about Shizuoka history. It is also near the town centre of Shizuoka and I enjoyed walking around. 

Tom & Val Lisgo from United Kingdom (April 21, 2017)

Hello We have returned from our trip to Japan. We are writing to thank you for providing our guide Mr Masao Nitta san. Mr Masao was excellent. He helped us enjoy our stay in the area. We particularly enjoyed our tea experience with Mr Masao san. We hope that he also enjoyed our company. Mr Masao san is a credit to you and to Japan. We will recommend your service and Mr. Masao to anyone visiting your beautiful area. With best wishes, Tom and Val Lisgo

Joey from U.S.A (April 12 2017)

My family and I visited Japan via a cruise April 2017. Shizuoka was one of the many destinations on the journey our cruise ship would make. Initially, we did not know what to expect. However, upon being put in contact with our guides Chisato-san and Nitta – san, we were greeted with great hospitality and a carefully planned itinerary. Nitta-san took the time to understand our group’s ages and expectations. Our day began with a warm welcome as our guides helped us travel to the city center. From there, we visited Sunpu Castle park (a must see) and Nihondaira Hotel. The view from Nihondaira hotel was beyond picturesque as we saw rolling hills, beautiful greens, and the ocean just beyond. Never in our dreams had we imagined being able to see such a beautiful view, however, we knew this was a view that could only be shared with us by our guides’ careful planning and their knowledge of Shizuoka. At lunch, our family and friends tasted the most delicious Sakura shrimp and Green tea soba. As we traveled throughout the day, Nitta-san and Chisato-san made sure that all of our questions regarding Japan’s history and culture were answered. When our guides heard that we were foodies and wanted to taste the famous Japanese strawberries, they made a quick adjustment and added a quick trip to a local strawberry farm. We feel very fortunate to have been able to have been SFG guests and feel that their service and hospitality can not be matched. Although they are a free tour group, their kindness and professionalism matches and exceeds that of any paid groups we have attended. We highly recommend SFG, and can not wait to visit Japan again in the future.

Jessie from U.S.A (April 9 2017)

My day with Chisato was so much fun! First, we visited Sumpo Castle Park where we were lucky to view the beautiful cherry blossoms. Chisato suggested that we go to the garden and I am so thankful she did! The garden has been grown to represent a miniature representation of the Shizuoka area, and this is definitely a place I will visit again! Then, Chisato took me to a viewing area of the whole city-I would have never have known about it if she didn’t show me! The views were breathtaking! We had lunch at an amazing soba restaurant. I am bad at picking food in foreign countries, but Chisato recommended the cold soba with shrimp tempura and I ate every drop! Delicious! I wanted to take a boat ride so Chisato took me to the S-Pulse Dream Plaza to board a ferry, and we cruised the harbor area to Miho and back. After a chilly boat ride (thanks Chisato for going to the top with me!) we warmed up with some delicious honey lattes at This Is Cafe in the Dream Plaza. Thank you so much for an excellent day in Shizuoka!

Eunice Banaga Chin san From United States (March 20 2017)

The first destination is Nihondaira where you can expect very beautiful and iconic scenery " Mt Fuji and tea farm" I'm sure every foreigners crave to take a shot of this beautiful combination. We are a little bit disappointed not to be able to capture it because of the thick clouds surrounding the mountain. But still it is worth to visit, indeed From the top of Nihondaira, the ropeway connects you to the opposite side called Kunozan area.

Through a window of ropeway , under your foots there is a vast spread of green forests and long stretch of Pacific Ocean. We were overwhelmed the beauty of the scenery . Over a thousand stone steps will lead you to the bottom. You might be stunned to hear the number of steps. So personally I recommend the way we took this time even if it's not official way to go toshogu. Otherwise all the way is just going up.

Until the beginning of May, you can enjoy strawberry picking at the base area of Kuno. There are many arrays of farms and also some eatery spaces. The strawberries were so big and tasty. If dipped in condensed milk , you can savor it even more.

Lan Nguyen san From Australia (Feb 14 2017)

Shizuoka was not on my list of places to visit when I planned my trip to Tokyo but after I saw the ad for Shizuoka Free Guide I changed my mind and decided to go for half a day. 

Yayoi, my guide, was most helpful and attentive. 

She gave me instructions on how to book the ticket from Tokyo. 

The train ride from Tokyo station to Shizuoka only took 60minutes. 

When I got to the station Yayoi was already at the gate waiting for me. 

We went straight to the hill where the famous look out for views of Fuji was located.

 No wonder this place was named one of Japan's top 100 view points. 

The air was fresh, Plum trees were in full bloom and Cherry trees was beginning to open up. 

You couldnt have asked for more. 

After that we went to the port area of Shizuoka for fresh Sashimi lunch. 

After all this area is famous for its fresh food. 

Yayoi then took me back to the station to board the 2.30 train and I was back in Tokyo by 3.30. 

What a day

William Chong san From Australia (Feb 8 2017)

Chisato and Masao are just amazing.

They are both very warm and friendly, we are looking forward to coming back to visit Shizuoka again.

We had such a lovely day at Shizuoka.

It was packed with a lot of sightseeing experience and we get to know more what Shizuoka got to offer.

It was a perfect day for the walk at the garden.

We saw a few cherry blossom trees blooming early and we really enjoyed the tea drinking experience.

The cruise is really fun and we got to buy lots tea and Japanese sweets and snacks.

We are lucky enough to have a good weather and a clear sky to see Mt.Fuji from the cruise ship.

The dock is very pretty too and it is actually pretty cheap.  Love the many teas brought from the shop, good selection and quality.

Love the service, I will recommend it to my friends.  Not many people actually know about Shizuoka so maybe more marketing and advertisements are required.

Gerd K. san From Germany(Stuttgart region) (Jan 28, 2017)

First of all, I had two guides :

1. Yoshina san for Mt. Fuji and

2. Chisato san for Shizuoka city


1. Yoshino san did a very good choice of sight seeing points and managed the location changes as well very fine.

The visit of Fuji san Shrine was very remarkable.


2. Chisato san did also a very good preparation on the planning (schedule plan very fine)

and execution of the different location sides. Thank you all.