Posts Tagged ‘Kimono’

Amazing, as simple as that .. "perfect

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Firstly let me say that the trip to Japan was completely amazing, as simple as that .. “perfect”. I will break down my feedback into sub headings to ensure that I cover all points.

Flights and organization at airport.

Fortunately we were not affected by the customs strike and had not problems at all. On arrival at Tokyo airport all went very smoothly with the funniest thing being that we were met by our Japanese guide as “Stefan XXXX and Party” (He is the 20 year old). this “giggle” continued as everywhere we were booked in and met with “Stefan XXXX and party”.. he was most impressed. This did not cause any problems at all for us, so please do not worry.

Hotels- satisfactory

Keio plaza- lovely thank you. would stay there again. excellent location, staff very helpful etc. Non smoking room was a true non smoking room. Graham found bed far to hard.

New Miyako- sorry never again. The location was excellent but the entire place wrecks of cigarette smoke and made us all feel really unwell. We are avid non smokers and there is no way it was a non smoking room, really horrible. Coughed all night.

Hiroshima-Granvia, no problem would stay again. (small thing is that restaurants and food areas closed a lot earlier in Hiroshima than anywhere else e.g. 8pm so can be tricky to find somewhere to eat after that..which lead to an hilarious evening of drinking sake and eating Hiroshima oysters with a charming (albeit very drunk) Japanese Doctor who loved “Australia”.

Osaka- Granvia only place with comfortable beds during the whole trip. This did not worry me at all but Graham has a bad back and all the rest of the hotels have rock hard beds. Had to laugh bed was great but they put the boys in a room miles from ours! Best of all the hotels though.

Travelling within Japan

very comfortable vans

excellent drivers

trains all worked like clockwork only got mildly lost once

really no problems

train from Osaka to Kansai airport perhaps you should recommend not travelling with luggage in peak hour but .. it all adds to the atmosphere

Tour guides

our guides

Noriko – Tokyo

Yumi- Kyoto and Osaka

Akiko- Hiroshima

were in one word – exemplary. It was a delight to meet such wonderful people, their knowledge, friendliness, professionalism was faultless. I’d like to highlight two charming instances .. one was Noriko making us sing Japanese folk songs to take my mind of my major fear of heights on the cable car.. the second was Yumi travelling back to see us on our last day at Osaka because she wanted to bring gifts to us and to make sure we got the right train!

I cannot sing their praises enough. Having the guides enhanced our experience of Japan enormously. I intend to write thank you letters to their companies as well.

in terms of the tour guides and drivers I had wished in retrospect that I had brought more thoughtful gifts rather than the mundane soap and books we gave them so perhaps this is a good hint to others as their service was wonderful. In general too I had only very small things for the drivers and would have loved to have given them something better too.

Weather and food

perfect weather only one wet day in Hiroshima which added to the ambience

food – fabulous as we love Japanese food, we would have been happy not to have bothered with the western meal at Miaggio and to have had a Japanese meal but not a problem and the buffet was very good. we did pay for one meal that we thought was included but this wasn’t a bother either. the highlight in terms of arranged dinning was the meal in Osaka with Yumi so much fun!

Timing of trip

originally I was disappointed to miss the Sakura when the first trip had to be canceled but the timing was perfect as it was between seasons so to speak (after the Cherry Blossoms but before the Autumn leaves) which meant very few crowds. all tour guides remarked that we had been extraordinarily lucky with how easily we got around the often crowded areas e.g. Golden Pavilion.

Other highlights apart from the planned itinerary

we were invited to join a wedding party in Kyoto- seriously

we saw a traditional Shinto wedding

we were 2 metres from the Crown Prince who we saw twice in an excited throng at Kyoto station

we met and talked with two (young) sumo wrestlers

we saw many many many ladies in Kimonos

..where do I stop!

Overall, a wonderful holiday that exceeded our expectations and Graham and I will book another trip soon…

we also plan to go with “empty bags” next time as the clothing and shoes etc were wonderful as was the art work. (we purchased some incredible original contemporary wood block prints and three fabulous antiques)

I will be in touch!

thank you again

Sue

Just wanted to thank you all.

Thursday, September 8th, 2011
Hi Noriko,

Just wanted to thank you all. My passengers had a great trip and they are saying in last 20 years they haven’t had a trip like this. It was spot on!!!

I even got some handmade kimonos and sun umbrella (I hope I spelled it correctly).

Thanks again and I hope to deal with you in the future.

Cheers,
Gorica

We had a wonderful time.

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Hi Lily,

We are back safe and sound and happy. We had a wonderful time. I would go back to Japan tomorrow if I could I took about 700 photographs or so!

Tokyo is an enormous city, however for the massive population it didn’t feel crowded where we were and the transport system ran like clockwork. There was a lot of English in Tokyo, signage and on the trains, and we managed quite well I thought. Loved the hotels and locations we stayed in, and the Nozomi was fabulous.

The autumn leaves were AMAZING!

We were lucky to see a Shinto wedding, on a Friday, at the Meiji Shrine. Also lucky to see lots of little girls and boys in very special Kimonos for the name day festival, after the15th, when it is less crowded. The parents are very happy for you to photograph their kids in their special Kimonos and the traditional boy’s outfits.

The Ghibli Museum was also a highlight, for me and Calem. So pleased didn’t miss out. Calem wanted to live in a house like that. Really beautiful stained glass windows and interesting objects all around.

After seeing Enkoji Temple, a group of young women – students, with bicycles actually walked us the short distance to the bus stop, as it was getting dark around 4.30 pm! Can you imagine any where in Australia where that might happen?

Overall we had a ball in Kyoto, though there was less English and the trains and buses seemed more complicated, we adapted fine. We saw 3 Maiko, only quick enough to photograph one. Butterflies of the night indeed.

However there was no photo opportunity with the Maiko after the show on the tour we did, the guide didn’t know about it? Overall the Tea Ceremony and walk through Gion was another highlight for us, we both really loved it.

Qantas was great, really good service and yummy food. We didn’t sleep well, but that’s to be expected.

Next time I’d love to see more of Japan, Hiroshima, Mt Fuji (only saw it from the plane), Nara, Osaka, Takayama and Kyoto again.

Thank you for your kindness when my Mum rang up during our holiday.

Thanks so much again Lily,

Warmest regards,

Kate