Doi Taxi Tours. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is among the past customers of the extremely popular Mr. Doi, whose English is nearly perfect. Mr. Doi will take care of everything as you travel with him in comfort and style in his seven-seater, Wi-Fi-enabled van. Contact him directly or have your hotel concierge do so. Kyoto-shi, 090/9596–5546; From ¥6,100.

Esprit Travel. This respected U.S.-based outfit creates deluxe culture-oriented private package tours that include encounters with artists, craftspeople, landscape designers, and other artisans and contributors to Japanese culture. On these tours you might visit places not generally open to the public. Esprit also arranges custom itineraries. Kyoto-shi, 800/377–7481; From $5,250.

JTB Sunrise Tours. JTB's half-day morning and afternoon deluxe coach tours highlight major city attractions. Kyoto-shi, 075/341–1413; From ¥4,500.

Kyoto Sights and Nights. Peter MacIntosh of Kyoto Sights and Nights is a seasoned guide whose late-afternoon 90-minute walking tour of the geisha areas provides insight into the mysterious world of the female entertainers known as geisha. Kyoto-shi, 090/5169–1654; From ¥3,000.

Kyoto-Tokyo Private Tours. Ian Roepke, a consultant to the Kyoto Visitor’s Guide, operates this company that provides customized half- and full-day tours based on clients' preferences. You can focus on popular highlights, off-the-beaten path sights and restaurants, or a little of each. Kyoto-shi, 090/5895–8425; From ¥43,500.

WaRaiDo Guide Networks. The five-hour Walk in Kyoto Talk in English daytime tour is this company's flagship offering. The walk, which starts at Kyoto JR Station, takes in a temple, Shinto shrines, former geisha areas, and artisans' workshops, with a final stop for dessert and tea. The company's guides also conduct a 100-minute nighttime tour of the Gion geisha district. Kyoto-shi, 075/622–6803; Daytime tour ¥2,000, nighttime tour ¥1,000. No tours Dec.–Feb.

Windows to Japan. A Kyoto-based company, Windows crafts custom tours to places all over the country based on clients' interests and wishes. The tours aim to provide a "window" into Japanese culture and society. Kyoto, Sakyo-ku, Konoe-dho, Yase 723–12–2, Kyoto-shi, 075/601–1253; Call for prices.


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