Click here to “Contact us for guests who requested a guide” page. June 3, 2018
Guide Policy FAQ (This is a part of TFG Guide Service Policies.)
Q1. I am currently 17. Can I book a free guide?
A1. If you are under 20 years old, please find an adult person who is 20 years old or above to accompany you.
Q2. We are a group of seven people. Can we still request a guide?
A2. We are sorry but we cannot accept a tour request from a group with more than six persons. To maintain the safety of the guests and the quality of our volunteer guide service, we limit the number of guests in a group to no more than six. Thank you for your understanding.
Q3. I’m a travel agent. Can I request a guide on behalf of my client?
A3. We don’t accept requests from travel agencies or for-profit organizations. Please advise your client to send their guide request directly to us.
About Guide Services
Q4. How much does it cost to use this service?
A4. Our guide services are totally free of charge and no tips are necessary. However, please be prepared to pay all the expenses of the guide during the tour, such as admission fees, restaurant meals, transportation fees, etc.
Q5.What language do guides speak?
A5. Currently, many of our members are English speaking guides. Also some of them are Spanish, Italian and French speaking guides. We have few numbers of Korean, Chinese, German, and Russian speaking guides.
Q6. For how many days can I request a guide?
A6. You may request a guide(s) for as many days as you wish, but we can’t guarantee the availability of guides for all the dates that you have requested.
Q7. Can I request a guide for weekdays?
A7. Yes, you can. However, we would recommend booking a guide for weekends or Japanese holidays, as more guides are available on weekends and holidays.
Q8. What are the basic guide hours?
A8. Our basic guide hours are from 9 or 10 am to 4 or 5 pm. However, you can request a guide for a longer or shorter period. When your guide is arranged, please discuss with him or her and agree to the time period of the tour.
If you request to start your tour early in the morning (for example, 7 am) or to last until late at night (for example, 11 pm), a guide may not become available. Please keep in mind we are all volunteers and many of our members are employed.
Q9. When is the busiest time for TOKYO FREE GUIDE?
A9. The largest number of guide requests are during the cherry blossom season (from middle of March to middle of April) and the summer season (August).
Japanese people traditionally return to their homes for the new year holidays and in the middle of August. Many guides are not available during that time.
Requests which we may not accept
Q10. Can I request a guide to pick me up at the Haneda or Narita airport and take me to my hotel?
A10. We do not arrange a pick-up service at the airports.
Q11. Can we observe a practice at a sumo stable?
A11. It is difficult to arrange a visit to a sumo stable.
Q12. Can I request a guide who can guide me to Nikko, Hakone and Mt. Fuji?
A12. We arrange guides for Tokyo and its vicinity only. We do not cover those areas because they are far from Tokyo.
Q13. I’m traveling alone. Do you have any tours that I can join?
A13. We don’t provide predetermined group tours. You can request a guide just for you.
Q14. Can you recommend any accommodation?
A14. It is not appropriate for TFG to recommend any accommodation to our guests.
Q15. When should I request a guide?
A15. Please submit your request about four to six weeks before arriving in Tokyo. You can submit a request up to two months in advance, but you may need to wait for several weeks or more before your guide is arranged. We are not able to comply with last-minute requests. We need a minimum of two weeks for the arrangement.
Q16. I haven’t booked our accommodation yet. Can I request a guide now?
A16. Yes, but we recommend that you request a guide after you have finalized your accommodation. It is difficult for us to arrange a guide for you before your accommodation is finalized.
Q17. It seems my request didn’t go through. Is your system working correctly?
A17. Please try to book from another computer. In most cases, the problem is solved by using a different computer/device.
Q18. How long do I need to wait before I am contacted by a guide?
A18. We cannot tell when your guide will be found. In many cases, our guides make an appointment with the guest a couple of weeks before the requested date.
Q19. I want to make sure my request was made.
A19. If you received the automatic email titled of “Your User Account was created & Confirmation of Receipt of Your Guide” for new guests or “Confirmation of Receipt of Your Guide Request” for registered guests, your guide request is registered.
If you didn’t, your request may not have been received by TOKYO FREE GUIDE. Please login and check whether your request was properly made. The login button is located in the upper right corner of the Web Page or click here. After login, you will find a calendar. Please check if you find your name on the calendar of the month you plan to visit. If you don’t find your name, your request was not received by TFG.
Q20. What if there is no guide available?
A20. We have more requests than we have available guides. Please understand that if you do not hear from a guide by two days prior to your requested tour date(s), it may mean that no guide is available for your tour. In that case, you will not be notified of the unavailability.
Q21. I received an automatic message “Your guide has been assigned!” but my guide hasn’t contacted me.
A21. Please check your spam folder first. If you don’t find his/her email, please contact your guide directly. The email address of your guide is provided in the automatic message.
Q22. We are coming to Tokyo next month but I haven’t booked my accommodation yet. Can I request a guide?
A22. Yes, but we recommend you request your guide after your accommodation is fixed. Your guide usually comes to your accommodation to pick you up so the information is important to arrange your guide.
If you request a guide with your accommodation “TBD,” there may be less chance that a guide will be arranged, as your trip will appear to be in the planning stages.
Q23. I want to change the date of my tour (or hotel, places to visit, etc.).
A23. Please login from here, or push the login button on the upper right corner of the Web Page, and find your name on the calendar. Please click your name, then make necessary modifications, confirm and push the “Register” button.
If your guide was already assigned, please tell him or her the change directly by email.
Q24. I want to cancel my request
A24. If your guide hasn’t been arranged yet, you can cancel your request by yourself. Please login from here, or push the login button on the upper right corner of the Web Page, and find your name on the calendar.
Please click your name, then push “Cancel Request” button, provide the reason of your cancellation, and push the “Register” button.
If your guide was already assigned, please tell him or her of your cancellation directly by email.