Posts Tagged ‘Skiing and Snow Boarding’

This is a great time to go.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
Dear Ryoko,

I have just returned from an exciting and blissfully indulgent holiday in Japan. I was overwhelmed by its beauty, its cultural richness, its varied, delicious and healthy cuisine, by the remarkable efficiency with which everything ran, and by the exceptional level of service and the generous hospitality of the Japanese people.

Japan is extremely safe, with the only damage from the earthquake (for which the country is well prepared) and tsunami confined to a relatively small area and not affecting the rest of the country at all. Obviously, potential visitors have been deterred by the irresponsible manner in which the media describe events confined to a small area as though they affect the whole country. This nonsense has been added to by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs recommendations, left in place long after other countries had removed their warnings.

I was fortunate that there were so few tourists, so there were no crowds. The added advantage was the cheap rates. This is a great time to go.

All aspects of the trip ran with smooth efficiency, thanks to the skilled and professional organisation by JTB, who drew up a varied and fascinating itinerary making the experience the holiday of a lifetime.

This was my first visit. It will not be my last as I look forward to returning there as soon as possible.


Thank you for a wonderful trip

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Hi Lily

I have neglected to thank you for a wonderful trip.
Hotels fantastic.
Travel connections very easy.
Japanese people very friendly and assisting.
Snow fantastic. 1.5m deep at the hotel, 3.5m deep on top of the mountain.
Snow Monkey and temple tour excellent.
Hopefully we can go again soon.

Kind Regards


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.


Extremely helpful

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Good Morning Hideko

Just a short e-mail to let you know that Chris & I had a great time at Hakuba even though we didn’t get a lot of powder snow. All your travel documentation and directions were extremely helpful and it made things very easy to find our way. Both the accommodation at in Tokyo and Hakuba was of a high standard and most impressed with the service at the High Mount Hotel from Joe and the staff.




Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Dear Lily
A belated thank you!
Our ski holiday went very well: accommodation great, snow great, transport great regards

I just wanted to say thank you

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011


I just wanted to say thank you for making our initial booking for our trip to Japan. We had a wonderful time and will definitely ski in Shiga Kogen again. The Sunroute was a great venue and I would highly recommend it for first time travellers to Japan. They always had someone available to help with English and their setup for meals was ideal for anyone who was unsure of Japanese food. They offered both Japanese and western style food in a cafeteria setup for breakfast and dinner.

thanks again,


Thanks for your efforts

Monday, February 14th, 2011
The Japan Ski trip was excellent. Great powder days ….. better than Whistler or Aspen and Vail (our previous ski trips).

No issues with the bookings and tour arrangements…. all went better than expected.

We preferred Niseko to Rusutsu. Niseko had more of a ski village feel / atmosphere.
The snow was good to excellent. The Kogen Hotel was very convenient to all facilities as well as being ski in / ski out location. Rusutsu Resort North South Wing had good facilities and the skiing was excellent … great powder days however the resort had a shopping mall feel.

Thanks for your efforts with our bookings it was appreciated. I look forward to giving you further business in the future.

Jim & David

Thank you for your effort

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011


All went well and we really enjoyed it. Snow in Canada wasn’t as good as normal. However, Niseko made up for it. Plenty of snow, and clear days (or part days). Perfect weather.

JAL was very good as usual, and the Hilton was very good. We will definitely go back to Niseko and stay at the Hilton. It seems to be in a quieter area than Hirafu, and access to the gondola was just outside. The chair lifts and buses in Niseko were good and we were able to get around with ease. We’re already thinking about going to Japan next year. Everyone always seems to be polite and we can get around easily (even though we only know a couple of words of Japanese). Just need to get over coming back to the heat and humidity.

Thank you for your efforts, I know I changed it a couple of times, but, all worked in well, and there were no problems with connections. I’ll probably leave it until a bit later this year to book, so we don’t change our minds. But we’re thinking of only going to Japan in 2012, and going back to Hakuba and then up to Niseko. But it’s only February, so we have plenty of time to think.

Thank you again.

Kind Regards


We will be using JTB again

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Hi Olivia

Just wanting to let you know we had a great time and will be using JTB again and recommending you to anyone that is traveling to Japan. We loved Japan the people and the food was amazing.

We did have a small accident though while we were skiing and my son Matthew broke his leg. He is OK now and happy, but it meant that we missed part of the second week of skiing. I was hoping if it is possible please to get the breakdown of costs just for Rusutsu resort accomodation as after the accident Matthew and I were unable to ski and I am hoping that I can claim some of this back from the insurance company.

If you would please be so kind as to let me know just what the costs were I would greatly appreciate it.

I would recommend to anyone to use a travel agent

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Wow, thanks Jacqui, I really appreciate your help, you have been so attentive, thank you so much, having your guidance really helps take the stress out of my situation. I would recommend to anyone to use a travel agent for this kind of thing, doing it yourself is just asking for hassle!
Thanks also for the tip on Echigo Yuzawa, I had also contemplated doing that. We’ll see what the weather is doing, and put it on the list of things to do.
Heard it was hot at home, hard for me to imagine! But i’m halfway through now, so I’ll be back in shorts and tshirt soon enough.
Ja ne, tabi tabi sumimasen deshita.
Honto ni iro iro arigato!

EXPLORE JAPAN BY RAIL 9th May Departure.

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

“Your Escort was outstanding throughout the tour.”
Ron, Canberra

“Please accept our thanks for all your efforts to make our holiday so very special. We had a wonderful time in Japan and your knowledge, organisation skills and sense of humour have made our stay relaxing, very informative and totally enjoyable.”
Michelle and Russell, Melbourne

“Riki was a great asset to this tour. He was very patient, courteous, and of enormous help.”
Keanne, Melbourne

“So very enjoyable.”
Frank and Eve, Western Australia

“I think and estimation of meal costs not included, lunch JPY1,000 and dinner JPY1,500 to 2,000 would assist in budgeting for the tour.”
Peter, Melbourne

“Thank you for a beautiful holiday.”
Gizell, New South Wales

“The optional tours should have been smaller. The tours with Explore Japan by Rail were all very good.”
Amanda, New South Wales

“I enjoyed the tourist friendly atmosphere of Japan. The cleanliness everywhere and the friendly and helpful people. The only thing I would like to recommend is more use of credit card transactions in Japan.
Pauline, New Zealand

Onsen Experience

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Hi Clem

Well, I’m back!! Japan was fantastic!!

All the accommodation was great. Good to be back to a soft bed now though, that’s for sure. They were all in really good locations – even the Tokyu Hotel in Kyoto was only a 10 min walk from the station so we only caught a taxi once when we arrived.

Takayama Ryokan was amazing. Hubby loved it, and was mega scared to try the onsen, but after much encouragement he attempted it and then I couldn’t get him to stop raving about it. He was first to go back the next morning (may have had something to do with the fact we were the only ones in there both times in each of ours, which made it easier).

The only thing that was a bit crappy was My Fuji. We left Takayama at 9.30am (you had suggested 10.30), and caught the train back to Odawara via Nagoya, but by the time we got there it was 3.30pm even though we caught the bullet trains where possible and all the trains connected perfectly (love the rail over there!!). By the time we transferred to the little train to Gora, cable car etc, it was quite late and we had the basically race through everything, and literally run from train-cable car-ropeway-pirate ship to make the last departure at 5pm.

The weather was really crappy that day, and we didn’t see anything (no Fuji-san), and it was really cold and overcast, so we just got on the train straight away back for Tokyo. We were gonna skip it altogether, but decided at the last minute to go for it, but was kinda a waste of money, then we couldn’t be bothered going back and doing it all the next day again even though the weather was perfect (of course).

So, of course not blaming you for that, but just a handy bit of feedback for next time that it takes much longer to get there, so prob wouldn’t advise people do it in one day as you don’t have time to see anything.

Other than that one day of craziness, we had great weather. The cherry blossoms were amazing, and it was so great to get back after 10 years (can’t believe I could still speak & understand some Japanese). Thanks for planning everything!!


Lucky Trip for Cherry blossoms

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for your email.
The trip was amazing! Everything went to plan and ran so smoothly – we kept calling it the lucky trip.
Our luck finally ran out at the airport though – as our flight was delayed 5 hours! We didn’t end up departing until 2:20am!! The kids were incredible though – no whinging at all!
The weather was also great – 20 degrees in Hiroshima – we all wore t-shirts at Miyajima!
Cherry blossoms were in full bloom and we actually got to see Mt Fuji!!
The school visit was a huge success too – we are now officially sister schools! Yeah!!

Thanks so much for all your hard work too – things went well due to your organisational skills and attention to detail. We all very much appreciate your professionalism and genuine love for your job

The Monterey was a beautiful hotel – great breakfasts. Quite good location – we walked everywhere from there, and the staff were very helpful. The Starbucks across the road certainly benefited from us being there!

One student hurt her knee while we were there and we had to take her to the Doctor. Not sure what the problem is but I think she will be claiming insurance for physio back here in Australia.

A friend of mine stayed at an inn in Kyoto and hired a maiko to come and entertain the group. She also agreed to answer questions at the end. They said it was a real highlight and as the Inn was near Kawaramachi it was very handy. I think we’ll look into that accommodation for our next trip – which will be in September 2012.

The bags were good – a very good size, but the front pockets fell apart when kids put things in there – the mesh parts came away from the zip area. We saw another group with the same bags the day we went to Miyajima!! I thought of you that day : )

So happy to be home with my babies – who are now TWO! I missed them heaps, but I also appreciated having time just for myself too!

Thanks again Kathy. I’ll certainly be in touch before our next trip as we will definitely go through you again.