Get to know Dave Gardner

As part of our series of short interviews with leading tour guides

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Tour Guide-Dave-Gardner

Why did you become a tour guide?

I think I was boring my friends-and-family with too much New York stories.

What do you like the most about being a tour guide?

The vicarious thrill of out-of-towners seeing my city.

What is the hardest part about being a tour guide?

New York has all-around weather. I have toured in heat waves, rain, and blizzards.

Pick a city you love, and name your top five things tourists must do in the city

I choose Tokyo

  1. Visit temples and shrines
  2. Visit cemeteries
  3. Go up in the Tokyo Skytree
  4. Browse the stores and look at the hipsters on Takeshita st
  5. Walk randomly anywhere between Shibuya and Shinjuku

In that city, name one dish they must taste and in which restaurant?:

Japan is known for its local specialties.

What do you take with you on every tour?:

I take my Phone, so I can take pictures and type notes. Also camera, monoculars, and hat with visor.

Why should tourists join a guided tour or hire a private tour guide?

Tourists should join tours because we don’t just give facts. We are greeters.

Could you tell me an interesting or funny story that happen to you with tourists?

When I was speaking on a boat in New York Harbor – and near Liberty Island – A tourist asked me “where’s Alcatraz Island”? I smiled and said “It’s about three-thousand miles away”.

Which destinations are still on your bucket list that you still haven’t traveled to?

Germany, Angkor Wat, and the wreck of Titanic

If you could recommend one place in the world everyone must see, what would it be?

Everyone must see Mt. Fuji. There is a bus that goes specifically there from Tokyo and it’s the final stop, so there’s no mistaking the destination and no sleeping through the stop. The other side of Fuji-san is ugly with many smokestacks and power lines, but the good side is beautiful with a lake and swan boats.

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