Posts Tagged ‘Shinkansen Bullet Train’

Absolutely amazing Japan

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Hi Koyomi,

My friend and I have come back from our trip to Japan and it was absolutely amazing. We had such a great time with so many memories we won’t ever forget. I bought so much stuff that after I filled my luggage I had to buy two boxes which I filled up and sent to Australia (they have arrived safe). I did (eventually) get to hand my letter in to Square Enix reception and while I have no proof, from what the lady said I believe the letter will be read by Mr Nomura. Unfortunately I did not meet him but maybe next time I will send another letter and who knows maybe he’ll remember the first letter and I’ll get another chance.

We had no problems with the trains or getting around, it was really easy as you said. The only hiccup was the first day (as you may remember with the rush to universal studios). Believe it or not the plane arrived an hour early but as we got to the terminal we found out that the office that exchanges the JR pass was closed till 7.30. In the end we just paid the extra money to catch a Nozomi and we ended up going to the hotel to drop off our luggage and then to Universal Studios. We did make it to the Harry Potter event and got to do everything we wanted so in the end it was ok. I’ll definitely admit though that first day was very exhausting and I would plan that better next time however I have no regrets as that One Piece show that you helped us get into to was absolutely spectacular. Believe it or not out of all the truly amazing things we saw, for me personally, that One Piece show was my favourite thing of the whole trip (I even teared up at the end) and I will never forget it as long as I live.

I’m sure you get a lot of people saying this but seeing all the anime, manga and games and also how polite and friendly everyone is over there I am inspired to try and learn the language. I did pick up on quite a few phrases and terms over there (which I was happy with) but I want to learn as much as I can. Anyways I just wanted to say a big thank you for helping us make the trip so amazing and all your advice. Again I can’t thank you enough for helping us get into the One Piece live show and even as far as the reception of Square Enix (which in itself is incredible). I really, really, really appreciate all your help and I want to return to Japan within the next 1-2 years and I will definitely seek you out if you are still in the business.

With thanks,

Thanks for the Brilliant Job

Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Good morning Olivia,
We all wanted to pass on our thanks for the brilliant job you did in planning our holiday in Japan. Everything went really well. But  we would have liked to have had more time there!! We all want to go back to different spots to look in more depth.
We decided to use our Rail passes for everything,as we enjoyed the trains so much.Especially the wide view Hida trains which we decided we preferred over the bullet train. Much more space,and great for the views,which of course were stunning through the Alps.
Loved both the ryokan style hotels of course. But we were also very impressed with our budget hotels. In particular, the Shinjuku Washington Hotel scored top points for location-local shops, eateries; proximity to tourist info at Tokyo local government building; the station close by; drop off from the airport bus at the hotel door-great after a long flight; convenience store and cafes in the building; its own laundromat; quietness; and wonderfully helpful staff who even came up and opened the window with a special tool for me as I found the heating stifling [same in all hotels but had opening windows, thank goodness] everywhere indoors.
Also you arranging 2 rooms for most of the trip was a great idea giving us that extra space.
Only disappointment was APA Hotel Kyoto Ekimae. A bit shabby, window  over a stairwell, poor room layout as compared with the others we stayed in, but worst was very disinterested and unhelpful staff- we almost missed our Nara tour because they failed to give us clear directions as to where we had to go and how to get to pickup point for the tour!!
We have already recommended you and JTB to many people. 
Again many thanks,
Susan, Adrian and Zoe.

Only disappointment was a limited time

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Dear Mr Minamino

We are writing to thank you for your very valuable assiatance and advice in the preparations for our recent holiday in Japan.  All of the accommodations selected were most pleasant, with our favourites being the Aso Plaza Hotel for the staff’s friendly service, and the Nikko Kanaya Hotel for its superb location and style.

All of the accomodation locations and travel arrangements were very well coordinated, particularly assisted by the use of the JR Rail Passes, which exceeded our expectations and delivered us many hours of enjoyment on all classes of JR trains travelling through the country areas, and also convenient travel in the cities.

We can thoroughly recommend any visitor to Japan, who has the time, to take the JR tourist train journey from Kumamoto via Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu to Kagoshima.  This was a hightlight of our holiday, made all the more memorable by the JR train crew members conduct of this service.

We had considerable luck with only 2 days of rain during our stay, with 1 being in Nikko which was only light rain shrouding the temples and mountains in mist and only added to the solemnity and beauty of that place.

There were also 2 earthquakes (which we were aware of), the first a minor treamour in Sendai as we were moving from the railway station to the hotel (which was compensated for the next morning by a long shower of large, light snow flakes!)  and the second whilst travelling on the Shinkansen into Tokyo (and only noticeable because the train stopped and an announcement was made)

Although we did not get to a live Sumo match, we did manage to see most of the final seriesof matches on TV, becoming firm fans of the sport and spectacle. 

Our only disapointment in this holiday was that we had sucn a limited time, could not stay longer and had to leave before we had seen enough.  Should the opportunity come again for us to return to Japan and see more of your beautiful country, we weould be most pleased and appreciate if you were also available to assist us.

Many thanks and kind regards
Ian, Linda and Louse

The best and well organized trip

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
The Manager & Jacqueline Horrocks JTB.Travel.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the great holiday that I recently had in Japan.I had never traveled to Japan before,had little knowledge of Japanese language or culture.
It was by chance that I found the name JTB Travel in a guide book that I had bought at Aldie.
I had wanted to visit Tokyo, particularly the Ginza and Akihabara area’s and also to visit Kyoto by the Shinkansen Train, and also Yokohama.
I spoke with Jacqueline at JTB, and she organized the tour for me,It was the best and well organized trip that I have ever been on. My travel from Narita to my Hotel (The Washington at Shinjuku ) by Limousine bus direct to the door, The Sunrise Tour to Kyoto ,Sunrise agents met me in the Hotel lobby and took me by Taxi to connect with the Shinkansen, At Kyoto and agent met the train and escorted us to the Hotel for a buffet lunch,and then the Afternoon tour,we were dropped off at the hotels, and then the tour continued the next morning and afternoon,The tour guides were really good giving us lots of information about everything that we visited, and about Japanese culture.All of the pickups and trips were so well organised , it was like clockwork.Arriving back in Tokyo an agent met us at the train station, and took us in Taxi’s back to our Hotels,There were two Americians on the tour and they also said that the Tour was the best that they had been on.
It wasn’t just the tour but the overall help that I received,such as arranging an early check-in at a Hotel
organising a cell-phone rental,And even help after i got back home to send flowers to a sick friend in Japan.
I would like to thank you for all your help, in making my trip to Japan the best time of my life.

Yours Sincerly 

thanks again for your exceptional service

Monday, October 17th, 2011
Hi Olivia,
We had a great trip and as this was our first to Japan really appreciated the work you did to set it up for us.
The Airport Limousine was easy to find, clean, friendly and efficient, dropping us off right at our Hotel door. very much appreciated after the long haul from OZ!
The flexibility of the package was great and being able to change the Tokyo half day tour meant we could spend a day with a long time Japanese friend.
The JR pass was just brilliant. As well as the usual Shinkansen between cities we also used it to get around Tokyo. We did a day trip to Nikko  from Shinagawa. While in Hiroshima we used it to get to Miyajima including the ferry! And in Kyoto we did a trip to Saga-Arashiyama to the Sagano bamboo forest, all this at no extra cost!
We found booking seats very easy and loved the huge space and comfortable seats on Shinkansen. Everything was spotless, efficient, friendly and well run.
After the structured part of the trip we used JR pass to get from Kyoto to Hachinohe to visit our son.
Finally we travelled from Aomori to Narita before overnighting and flying back to OZ.
We were overwhelmed by the Japanese people who were always friendly and generous and never gave up trying to understand our lack of Japanese.
Our Hotel in Tokyo (Takanawa Prince) was fabulous, with views of Tokyo tower and we loved the huge garden area. We also liked the Granvia in Hiroshima, very convenient location and great views. Our Kyoto Hotel was a good location but not as clean or modern and no views. It was below the standard of the other 2 hotels we stayed at and a pity the JR station was quite far away from the city centre but otherwise acceptable.
We had to check out early to catch our train to Hachinohe (seven and a half hour trip)so the hotel made us up a breakfast box to take with us.
The Shiatsu you recommended was excellent. It was only 5 mins walk away from our hotel and it was clean, friendly and my Therapist spoke some English. I can thoroughly recommend this for anyone who wants to experience a genuine Shiatsu. The therapist had great touch knowing exactly when to use deep pressure and when to ease off. She found all of my aches and injuries without any help from me. She even found some I was not aware of. I had the 90 minute session costing 9000 yen …
money well spent. A 60 minute session costing 6000 yen is also available. They are open until 11pm and you can pay by credit card. I will definitely go back on my next trip.
We had a range of weather from hot and humid in Hiroshima (30+) to cold and snowing at Lake Towada in Aomori Prefecture.
It would be fair to say that we were generally disappointed by the food (there were some exceptions) although it was always fresh and well prepared, we just found it rather boring.
We also found the hotel rooms to be very hot and had some trouble sleeping.No amount of tweaking seemed to cool it.
Overall it was a great holiday and thanks again for your exceptional service.

Tony and Barbara 

Thank you for the wonderful assistance.

Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Hello Yoko:
Thank you for the wonderful assistance provided for my recent trip.
I will send to you a copy of my email to the Park Hotel in Tokyo – truly, the best hotel staff I’ve met. an ideal location – close to the Ginza, Shimbashi JR station, Shimbashi and Shiodome subway stations,  Shimbashi monorail (to the Big Sight) and access to Shinkansen lines.  All staff were extremely kind and helpful – it is very pleasing that from the front desk through to the house staff, everyone was cheerful and bright – and quirky in a contented way.
The ryokan at Kyoto (RYOKAN AZUMAYA KYOTO)  was marvelous experience – if at all possible, could you please thank them again for the three night stay?  I did very well sleeping on a futon!
The JR Pass was very advantageous.
I was bowled over by the fullness of spirit and decency of Japanese people everywhere – many very happy memories – highlights include a performance of Wagner’s Lohengrin by the Bavarian State Opera, with Kent Nagano conducting, at the NHK Hall; horse races at Keiba and Nakayama (the international race meeting last Sunday was spectacular); ramen cooks smiling graciously at my left handed misuse of chopsticks; the culture of Kyoto, buzz of Tokyo and sereneness of Nara; smiling policemen and policewomen; the Prada exhibition at the Museum of Western Art and ukiyo-e and the overall reverence of the aesthetic in everyday life; the amazing food (I love gyozo!); the respect at the core of the Japanese life; wonderful late summer weather; the sheer joy of Japanese individuals; and being chided by a monk for smoking in the grounds of a Shrine at Nikko.
There is some hope of possible business with an Osaka based company, Kalita, which manufactures coffee making equipment, and if further progress is made, I would like to contact you regarding future travel to Japan.
Like a good restaurant, I have had a most pleasing small taste of a sample, and there remain many further items on the menu.
Once again, arigato gozaimasu,


It was greatly appreciated

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Hi Melina,

Thanks again for the itinerary and info it was greatly appreciated.
If I could offer one bit of constructive criticism though.
The shuttle system seems to work best from narita-hakuba as our trip home involved shuttle-bus-train-train which as it looks simple on paper with ski gear and luggage (it’s very hard to travel light with ski gear), the trains dont really offer storage for gear as it’s only above head luggage mostly and when it doesnt fit you have to jam it in front of you (we were lucky with bullet train though as there was a spare seat in front of us but I noticed others having to sit in one carriage and leave there other luggage 3 carriages behind unattended). Also the train-train transfer is farely cumbersome too as there is a fair bit of walking involved.
I have travelled a fair bit abroad with backpack and all but you seem to pack differently with ski trips which leads too not walk friendly travel gear.
Reality is that a 5hr shuttle from narita is one journey as opposed to the other and I think it is a smoother transition.
In saying this it has not dejected one bit of my trip and the bullet train was superfun!!!
Thanks again melina and YOU WILL be contacted again.


Every time we would book with JTB

Monday, February 14th, 2011
Dear Lily;

Thanks for your help with our recent trip to Japan. We had a good time there….and plenty of walking. I will quickly ring you to say thank you and to also say next time and every time we would book with JTB.

Regards Chris and Rita.

A quick hotel report.
Hotel Nikko Narita.
Bus at the airport across the road…ready and waiting. Great…good breakfast…no noise…7 Eleven down the road 200 metres.

Shinyokohama Kokusai Hotel
My choice…good location for Shinkansen. But!!!!! They do not turn off the heating.
Totally stupid. That forces you to open the window to let in fresh air. Leaving you with outside traffic noise. Breakfast voucher…is enough to get you going.
Can’t recommend it because of the heating.

Royal Park Inn Nagoya
What a lovely hotel…which will be demolished next year. Nice room…bigger….older style. Heating is left on in Winter….but it is not connected until you turn it on.. Relief…nice and cool. Drink voucher supplied….a nice touch. Nice and civilised in the lounge. And a good variety of drinks ( non alchoholic ) We paid for breakfast…1650 yen….but very good 4 the price.
Good selection….lovely Danish pastries. A great hotel.Fairly close to the station.
And they allowed us to leave our bags in the foyer without charge until 1.30…while we visited Nagoya Castle. I did offer to pay a fee but they said no.

Cross Hotel Osaka
Great. Beautiful upgraded room with a special Japanese shower and bath. Around the corner is the Shinsaibashi arcade. Breakfast reduced to 1300 yen…and we were happy enough.

Everything just works in Japan…but homework helps.
Thank you for the good plane seats both ways.

Chris and Rita.

An Odyssey to Remember

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
We are back from Japan and all of your travel planning helped make the trip very exciting, educational, and an odyssey to remember.

The Japanese are an efficient people so riding the Shinkansen was a spectacle with the timing and rosters all working together perfectly.

Thankyou very much again for putting everything together so quickly and we hope to be able to ask for the same help again in the near future.

Best wishes

Michael – QLD

They stayed and waved us off smilingly.

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Hi Lily,
Just thought I would check in and tell you I enjoyed my recent trip to Japan and, of course, especially the Sunrise tours, which are very efficiently organised and the tour guides and general staff are very obliging and helpful. When they came to the station with us, they stayed and waved us off smilingly and were at the other end in the same way (not the same person of course), so it was very comforting to know we wren’t being left to our own devices, so to speak.

With regard to my worrying about getting the train from Tokyo Station to Shinagawa, it didn’t turn out to be a problem (1) because on the Mt Fuji trip the shinkansen stopped at Shinagawa station and of course, the Shinagawa Prince is just across the road. (2) on the trip to Kamakura the train once again stoopped at “my” station; (3) on the Nikko trip we ended up at a different station (near Tokyo Station but one down towards Shinagawa) and I was able to return to the hotel with a couple from my hotel who were already familiar with the train system, so there was no need to worry about taxis; it might be helpful for you to be able to pass on this info to other people like me who are useless with trains and worry about where they will end up. I probably could have managed with the guide’s instructions because people are quite willing to help you if they understand what you are saying.

Speaking of trains, they are unbelievable compared with ours – and no graffiti, which was marvelous. I vote for sending a delegation to Japan to find out how they do it, apart from the vast amounts of money that must be required. I was even able to take a photo of Mt Fuji from the shinkansen at 300 kph, and it came out. I was also lucky enough to still be able to see quite a number of cherry blossom tress in bloom, for which I was very grateful.

I was also impressed by the taxis and the drivers with their white gloves and spotless cars.

I would suggest you advise people to wear comfortable shoes, without laces, since you have to take them off so much for the temples etc.

The weather was great until the last couple of days when we had a bit of a battle sometimes with the rain, but it was still okay; pity it was on the walking tour in Osaka, but even so; it was a lot hotter than I expected it to be – everywhere.

Thanks again for your assistance Lily and I hope this finds you well. God bless, Kind regards,