Aiko Murakami is a tour guide in Japan
Hello, everyone! My name is Akiko (暁子). I'm a government-licensed tour guide in Nara, Yamato.
“Yamato” is the name of this Japanese prefecture before Japan’s modernization during the time of Meiji (1867). In older times, it was used to describe Japan as a nation. When written in kanji, or Chinese characters, “Yamato” reads 「大和」, meaning “大Great)” and “和Harmony or peace)”.
Nara is famous as the ancient capital of Japan. Here, there are many historical Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, including UNESCO World Heritage sites. Later, when this ancient capital was moved to Kyoto (794A.D.), many sacred sites in Yamato remained important and have been worshiped for over 1300 years.
Here, you can still feel the presence of kamis (the gods of Shinto) in the air as you enjoy Japan's seasonal natural beauty.
I used to do tours mostly to major sightseeing spots in the Kansai area; Nara, Kyoto and Osaka. However, as I experienced my own spiritual growth, both in and beyond Japan, I came to realize the true value of the spiritual heritage of Japan, especially in Yamato, which is rarely explained to tourists in English.
As in a Japanese saying, 「温故知新」 or "Onko chishin"; if we want to learn about the future, we should consult the past. I believe history has much to teach us. True heritage is the spiritual teaching and wisdom of those who came before us. These are not religious, but universal teachings. In this sense, Yamato has a lot to offer.
Therefore, beginning in 2017, I decided to focus my tours in the Nara Yamato area to illuminate the beauty and spiritual aspects of Japan. It is my passion, mission and honor to share what I've discovered about the long and rich cultural and spiritual history of Yamato.
I truly hope you'll have the most memorable and meaningful trip ever in Japan!
Please feel free to contact me. I am looking forward to meeting you.
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