Archive for May, 2011

We were very pleased with the services offered

Thursday, May 26th, 2011
Dear Olivia,

I know that Lorraine has already sent you an e-mail describing how well the trip around Hokkaido has gone. We fully endorse her comments!

In addition, we want to let you know that the arrangements that you made for us personally – JAL trips between Osaka Kansei and Sapporo Chitose, and overnight accommodation at the Bellevue Garden Kansei Airport Hotel – all went according to plan. We were very pleased with the services offered and would like to that you for making the arrangements and helping to make our trip a great and memorable success :-)

Kind Regards,
Eileen and Mike

Most enjoyable time

Monday, May 23rd, 2011
Dear Olivia,

I was wondering if you could pass on the following comments/ review to JTB in Hokkaido?

We have just spent the most enjoyable time with two wonderful people helping us understand and come to love this amazing island of Hokkaido. Our bus driver, Kumada San was always extremely courteous, kept the bus impeccably clean, impressed us with his careful, smooth and safe driving and his ready smile.

Suzuki Michiko San is amazing. Not only does she have very good English, she is extremely well researched and seems to be able to read our minds. We often start off with questions about the topic or sightseeing spot but before we can voice them, the answers come in her descriptions, which are clearly presented and very interesting. From the very beginning, we were impressed with her excellent manner, her kindness, patience and willingness to help as best she can. We learnt so much, not just about the sights we visited, but about what it is like to live in this land of long winters. We came away with a better understanding of the culture of the peoples of Hokkaido, even some of the stories and songs. It was sad to say goodbye to a lovely person, whom we came to look upon as a newfound friend.

With Kumada-san and Suzuki-san we had the best team in Hokkaido. Thank you to all involved in making this possible.


How magnificent!

Thursday, May 12th, 2011
Dear Olivia,

Could you please pass the message on to Takeda San.

The taxis were waiting for us at the right time at Toya Station, the weather was brilliant, the scenery was magnificent and the accommodation (Kohantei) was superb. We all tried the onsen and some of us were able to sit in the rotemburo and gaze out across the lake at Yoteizan. How magnificent! We were all tired out from all the walking we did yesterday (some walked about 20kms) exploring the various walking trails in the area. We could have spent another day there.

Thank you very much for all the organisation especially the taxis at the last minute and insisting on sending us to Kohantei.

The weather tomorrow (Friday 13th May) will be cold with a maximum of 7 degrees, but we are all prepared for that. Today is a rest day in Obihiro, although most of the group have gone out exploring as soon as we checked in. We have a very genki group.

Also it looks as though the Sakura will be following us around. It was in full bloom in Hakodate, and is just coming into bloom in this area.

Thank you for all your organisation. With a start like that, the rest of the trip will be magnificent I’m sure.

Kindest Regards,


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.


Home after a fantastic trip to Japan

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Hi Clem
We are back home after a fantastic trip to Japan and a bus tour of Taiwan. Everything worked exactly as planned. First let us compliment you on the level of accommodation chosen for us. The Nagoya’s “Marriott Associa Hotel”, once we found it, was very up market for our normal level, the Matsumoto “Tokyu Inn” was satisfactory and the Ryoken in Yudanaka was an extremely pleasant experience even though we only stayed at the “Biyu-No-Yado” for only one night, as they had no other guests they closed the Ryoken for maintenance and moved us to other Ryoken where the accommodation and food was just as excellent, unfortunately we never found out the name of this Ryoken as nobody could speak English and only Japanese identification was evident. The Takayama Ryoken “Hotakasu Yamano Iori” was not as spectacular as the other two but more than satisfactory. From there on the Quality of accommodation in Kanazawa, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka was of a great standard.

Your recommendations of sightseeing and transport option were excellent. We did improvise some train travel and incorporated more stops particular a Cherry Blossom stop in Hikone and Himejei. Travel by train was on the whole easy except getting lost in the huge station like Nagoya and the Osaka subway system. On our arrival at the Nagoya Station, it was late evening, we got hopelessly lost and only through numerous enquiries did we found the Marriott hotel. The following day our tour guide, Sumiko Fukami, gave us an orientation tour of the station even though it was not on our itinerary and way past her tour time. This basically set the tone of the whole trip, every time we were lost or looked confused somebody was always ready to help even with the language barrier. A good example I like to recall: we decided to take the train from Yudanaka to Takayama via Nagano, Naoetsu, and Toyama. The Journey through the mountains was fantastic and once we arrived in Naoetsu the conductor from the previous train made sure we were at the right platform and than shepherded us to a warm waiting room and only than did he leave us.

Japan is a country of Temples, Shrines, Castles, Fantastic Landscapes, Cherry blossoms, Beautiful Customs and History. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to experience this extraordinary country and welcoming people.

The shortage of tourists made our trip even more memorable as we were often the only foreigners in restaurants and at sightseeing spots, however the opposite is true for Taiwan which is being over run by main land Chinese whose behaviour of pushing and very loud behaviour is opposite to the more refined Japanese people behaviour.

One note of something you were probably not aware of, the Free Novotel Shuttle bus in Taipei does not operate between midnight and 6:05, we just had to wait for over an hour for the shuttle.

The Taiwan bus tour was well conducted and delivered everything its promised but after our own sightseeing in Japan it came a bit of a shock by the tour leader always pushing and given time limits on sightseeing some times not even enough time to take a decent photo. Such are group tours.

I am starting to ramble on so to close off again we are very glad we did visit Japan and maybe one day in the future we are able to see more of the fascinating country and helpful friendly people.
Thank You Clem and JTB.
Many Regards
Erich & Rebecca

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