Food Travel

“A unique way to learn about Kyoto” says popular YouTuber: Video featuring MagicalTrip’s Kyoto night foodie tour gains over 200,000 views in 2 months

“Kyoto Night Foodie Tour”, one of MagicalTrip’s latest additions to its lineup of Japanese local experience tours for international visitors, was featured in “ONLY in Japan”, a popular YouTube channel with over 1 million followers.

The video was posted on 6 November 2018 and has gained over 200,000 views in just two months, attracting nearly 600 comments[JK1]  from a global audience. MagicalTrip (operated by Libra Inc., Tokyo, CEO Yasuhiro Suzuki) currently hosts various popular cultural tours in the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima.

Watch ONLY in JAPAN’s Kyoto Night Foodie Tour video


ONLY in JAPAN is a YouTube channel created by John Daub in 2013. Originally from America, Daub is a popular television commentator on major Japanese channels including NHK. ONLY in Japan focuses on unique food and cultural experiences, boasting over 100 million views and 1 million followers worldwide.

What is the video about?

Here is a little summary for those of you who don’t have time to watch the video:

●John meets the guide Mona and the other tour participants at Gion Shijo station in Kyoto – and into the night they go!

●A little stroll down the beautiful Hanamikoji Dori street in the traditional geisha district of Gion brings the group to an izakaya style pub housed in a 120 year-old Kyoto townhouse.

●A chorus of “kampai” (or “cheers”) signals the beginning of the meal, and the participants are introduced to local Kyoto cuisine such as yuba (tofu skin) and obanzai (home style cooking), as well as other typical Japanese nibbles like karaage (deep-fried chicken) and sashimi.

●For round two they cross the Kamo River to Pontocho. Mona has selected another izakaya pub with specialties like maccha green tea beer and tempura. She also teaches them a Japanese drinking game.

●The final stop is a standing bar popular with locals, and the merry group round off the night with a sake tasting set.

Daub, by no means a Kyoto novice, says the tour “makes food a gateway into learning Japanese culture”. Watch the full video here.

Here’s what other viewers are saying about the video:

●Omg matcha beer!?!? Truly a magical tour ^-^ I would love to experience this when I visit”

●“Great seasonal dishes and an amiable guide is indeed the way to get started in understanding Kyoto’s world-class cuisine.”

●“Being a first time visitor, it really gives confidence in trying different foods and understanding how to order. I’ll be back next year and will probably book another when in Osaka. Sometimes you need to just try what’s put in front of you to discover and appreciate the local culture!”

Who are the MagicalTrip guides?

Mona, the guide in this video, is a student of the prestigious Kyoto University. In between her studies she leads a handful of tours a month, which have earned many 5-star ratings on TripAdvisor. Mona says her motivation is to further improve her English after returning from a study-abroad program, and to help more people understand Kyoto culture.

Mona is in many ways a typical MagicalTrip guide. Many work part time, and levels of English fluency vary. But all are enthusiastic locals, passionate about showing international tourists their neighbourhoods and helping them have a good time, about sharing their cultural expertise with a global audience, and about improving their own skills.

About Libra Inc.

Libra Inc. is a travel contents provider, website management company and consultancy founded in 2013. Libra’s international and diverse team develop and operate the MagicalTrip tours.

About MagicalTrip

MagicalTrip is a Japanese tour operator owned by Libra Inc[JK4] . Launched in 2017, its goal is to make “cool” Japanese culture more accessible to international tourists by offering a variety of unique cultural experiences ranging from visits to sumo stables to Japanese foodie experiences that take place at local “in-the-know” restaurants. It is a rapidly growing business which has gained approximately 500 reviews in 12 months for its tours in the four major tourist centres of Japan.


MagicalTrip Official Website

Kyoto Night Foodie Tour

Shinjuku Night Foodie Tour (Tokyo)

Akasaka Night Foodie Tour (Tokyo)

Libra Inc.

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Libra Inc. conducts various quantitative and qualitative surveys targeting international tourists in Japan. Requests for information regarding our research or further details about this article are more than welcome.

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