I would consider JTB again for the prompt and efficient service
Thanks for your email. Yes, I had a great time in Japan. It was very easy to get around. I only got lost once for about 15 minutes which was quickly resolved by refreshing Google Maps and instructions from friendly locals. The SUICA card was very handy . I used it every day except when there was a day tour on. The recharge kiosks were straightforward to use. I still have around 1100 yen left in the card. Can I use this balance on future trips to Japan or will the card become deactivated after a period of time?
My favourite part of the trip was going to places that I didn’t think I would be able to go to by myself. My tip for other clients is to not plan too much as the transport system is very good and there are plenty of things to do and see that are accessible by train and subway. I had two unplanned free days. I ended up going to Kamakura, visiting the Daibutsu, the Hasedera Temple, making my own okonomiyake, and then going to an onsen by the sea. On the second day, I visited the Miraikan by accident (there was a long queue at the Borderless show). They had asimo and other interesting exhibitions and there were not as many tourists around. Later that day, I had yakitori under the train tracks and watched the last 30 minutes of a kabuki show.
The Shiba Park Hotel was a good choice for a base. It was a short walk to the subways and a station that was not as busy as Tokyo station. The staff were friendly and accommodating. They offer cultural classes. I did the calligraphy class for 500 yen. I would recommend them to future Japan visitors. The Dynamic Tokyo Day Tour provided a good introduction to the city. Kyoko did a good job managing a packed tour bus (around 50) to the different sights and activities, and then still finishing on time at the end of the day. I would recommend this tour to future guests.
I would definitely like to visit Japan again,probably after the Olympics. For my next trip, I am thinking of visiting Osaka and Hiroshima. I would consider JTB again for the prompt and efficient service, and flexibility of itinerary.