High school students guide foreign tourists in English!

The “Special summer course on how to become a memorable guide” that began on August 19th (Saturday) reached its final session on September 9th (Saturday), when autumn could be felt in the morning and evening breezes.

In this course, we have learned not only to become able to guide in English, but also to become a “Memorable Guide” that will make you want to meet the person again.

In the three previous lectures, participants learnt about ‘placemaking’ and were guided in Japanese and English at the Kurashiki Observatory.
(For more information, see below.)

■For the first article, click here↓
The first of four special summer courses (4 sessions) on how to be a memorable guide
■For the second article, click here↓
What is the ‘placemaking’ needed to be a memorable guide?
■For the third article, click here↓
Let’s Start ! Let’s try using English to guide!

In this final course, we will guide foreign tourists in English at Kurashiki Ivy Square.

Learn the key points before guiding in English.
The lecturers were invited from the “Kurashiki Welcome Tour Guides”, who usually guide foreign visitors to the Kurashiki District, they are taught us some key points.
The following those three points are important:

 ・Explain with easy words and sentences.
 ・Speak slowly and clearly about proper nouns and Japanese objects.
 ・Do not speak one-sidedly, but listen to the other person’s interests and guide while QAing.

In addition, the students were told about the guiding that takes place in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, answered questions from the students.
After the key points were covered, the tour finally moved on to Kurashiki Ivy Square.

The student will be guiding foreign tourists, but we felt that it would be difficult to ask for their cooperation on the day of the event, so we decided to have our staff guide three foreign tourists who are fluent in English and live in Okayama. And I was asking for their cooperation.
Of course, the students do not know that foreign tourists are their collaborators.

We took 3 groups of 2 guides and 1 tourist each to Kurashiki Ivy Square.
In each group, the students talked about the history of Kurashiki Ivy Square, the brick walls, the highlights and about Kurashiki Ivy Square in general.

The student prepared a piece of paper with a choice of questions on it, such as “Which country’s architectural style was Kurashiki Ivy Square based on?”, “What are some of the famous things in Taiwan?”, and improvising explanations of the exhibits on the spot.

Afterwards, we returned to Kurashiki Observatory and it was time for feedback.

We also had foreign collaborators come and ask about their impressions:

 『I found listening skills a challenge, but I could understand most of the English spoken by the students.』
 『Students could explain without looking at the script.』
 『I could feel their passion to communicate.』
 『When the topic of the brick on the wall was explained, I wanted to come a little closer and touch it (I thought the distance was too far).』

The students also told us what they thought about the tour:
『I was nervous, but I’m glad I was able to guide him.』
『I felt that my English skills were still lacking.』
『I was frustrated because I couldn’t find the English words I wanted to speak.』
『I wanted to know more about the Bikan Historical Quarter.』

The four sessions of the course were concluded with the awarding of certificates for the “Special summer course on how to become a memorable guide”.

Later, the students who participated in the course answered a questionnaire about the course.
 ・Good to know that it’s not just about English, but about building relationships with people
 ・It was a good stimulus for me to learn English.
Good to have participated. Respondents indicated that they would like to participate again.

Thank you to everyone from Kurashiki Seiryo High School who attended this course.
Did you get close to being a “memorable guide”?
We hope that you will make use of what you have learnt about communication, placemaking, Kurashiki’s history and various English expressions through this course.
We hope that you will make use of what you learnt through this course in the future.

TAKAHASHIGAWA TRAVEL for organising tours around Kurashiki

Based in Kurashiki, we create activities and tours of the attractive contents of the Takahashi River basin and sell them mainly to visitors to Japan. We can also customise tours that are not listed here to meet your requirements on an order-made basis. Kurashiki City is not only home to the Bikan Historical Quarter, but also to many other attractive places. It has a large park close to the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, and is famous for its Sakatsu pottery; Tamashima, a port town where tea culture has taken root; and Kojima, the birthplace of domestic jeans, where you can see the Great Seto Bridge up close. We do not just walk around the towns and return home, but organise trips where you can learn more about the area and leave with a lasting impression through experiences that can only be had in those places. Please contact, for more information.


Private Kimono Photo Walk in Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Kimono tour of photo spots in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Get to Know Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Tour around the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter with an English-speaking guide
Half-Day Shared Tour at Kurashiki with Local Guide
Tours guided by local person who have lived in Kurashiki City for many years and who will show you around the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter

About us

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Address:〒710-0056 Okayama, Kurashiki, Achi 2Choume 25-47