Just wanted to (finally) email you regarding our recent trip to Japan.
We had a fantastic time! There was plenty of snow (we just missed being snowed in at Takayama!) and plenty of cold weather but we loved it just the same. The two tours we had booked, the Mt Fuji-Hakone tour and the all day Kyoto tour, were facilitated by energetic, enthusiastic guides who were very knowledgable about the areas we were travelling through and the sites we got to see. We were so pleased that we spent the extra money to go on these tours as they showed the best of the areas as well as not having to do it all ourselves. The lunch had on the Mt Fuji-Hakone tour was a highlight! Unfortunately the day we went on that tour, it was cold and very bleak so we didn’t get to see many of the beautiful views. It has already been decided though that next time we go we will do the same tour again so we can see what the views were supposed to be like!
It is so hard to pick a highlight city as we enjoyed all of them so much! The culture, the people, the food and the scenery (even when it was whizzing past when on the bullet trains) was spectacular! The bullet train system and the JR pass is just so efficient and easy to use and we were so grateful to have the pass as it meant we could just go to the station, reserve a ticket and know that we would be able to get a seat for our journey. It also meant that travelling on the public transport system was generally a breeze.
The hotels we stayed at were of high quality and had superb, attentive service. We often found ourselves saying ‘we can’t afford to stay here!’. The breakfast package that we purchased is highly recommended (especially in Tokyo – the breakfast selection was phenomenal!). Unfortunately we can’t rave about the hotel or the service we received at our hotel in Osaka – we found the staff to be very rude and unhelpful, the hotel to be dated, rooms very small in comparison to where we had been before and we were given a ‘sanitised’ smoking room when you had specifically requested a non-smoking room for us. We realise that these factors are beyond your control, however we thought we should bring them to your attention for your own reference.
A couple of things we would like to suggest are that some directions be provided on how to get to the hotel from the JR Station that you arrive at. Even if it is just which exit to take and then a simple ‘turn left’ would’ve been very helpful as we often ended up exiting at the wrong exit and having to rely on Google maps (which is not always reliable!). The other would be that an extra night in Takayama and Kyoto would’ve been fantastic so that we could really soak up all that was on offer. We are very happy that we added on an extra night in Tokyo and perhaps next time would add another day as we didn’t quite get to do everything that we wanted to.
We left Japan with a heavy heart as we had enjoyed our stay so much. Don’t worry – we will be going back again soon!
We would like to thank you so much for all your help and service in booking our trip. It was so easy and pain free (we had been to a couple of travel agents before getting in contact with JTB directly, and had not been happy with the service or the prices being quoted to us) and we will be recommending you highly to anyone who asks who we booked through. Thank you for helping us have such a wonderful trip and for helping us to create so many wonderful memories.
Our many thanks, Ashton and Lucy