Posts Tagged ‘Hiroshima’

fabulous trip!

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Hi Paul

Our trip was fabulous!! The accommodation – Hotel Monterey in Kyoto was in a great location within easy walking distances of city, Gion areas etc. The room was probably a bit small (but I think they all are!) but clean and comfortable. The day tours were excellent and we certainly learnt a lot of history and saw all the amazing temples. We particularly loved walking around the older parts of Kyoto. Because it was National Holidays so many women and men were wearing traditional clothes which were so beautiful and colourful. The Ryokan Hotel Kikunya on Miyajima was terrific. Highly recommended. We had an ocean view room and loved the Onsen baths. A great experience. And it was very interesting and sad visiting the bomb site and museum in Hiroshima. Miyajima was beautiful and catching the ferry with the JR pass made it very easy.
The JR Pass is a great way to use the trains and we certainly did that!
We also loved our stay in Tokyo and catching up with our friends who live there.
Oh and the weather was perfect – only one day of rain.

So thank you again for all your assistance in making our trip so memorable.

Kindest regards
Angela

Very well done of the recommendations.

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Hi Paul,

Just got into Tokyo, and back into the world of free hotel WiFi. The ryokans may be terrific, but wi-fi isn’t one oftheir strengths..

So far, it has been terrific! All connections worked really well. Everything is so much easier than when I was in Japan last time, about 100 years ago. Lots of English spoken; buses, trains, subways all do signs and announcements in English now. Before there was none of this, and it was quite baffling. Often got off at the wrong stops, and unable to ask anyone. Much general frustration.

Loved the onsen experience. Miyajima and Takayama were very good, but both places were full of foreign tourists. Arima…no-one in the English-speaking world seems to know about it, so we were the only foreigners in the ryokan, and two of the very few in the whole town.

Kosenkaku was a delight. We have never experienced anything quite like it…anywhere.  The service was extraordinary, the food astonishing, the location peaceful with beautiful mountain views. Complete silence, other than the eating, hot tubbing, and sleeping. The whole hotel, from Manager down came out to fare well us.  It was quite moving.

Also, Hiroshima and Tokyo hotels very good. So, very well done of the recommendations.

Regards, Ross

Loved the Snow Monkeys

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Hi Clem,
 
Ashley is back, really enjoyed the trip
He has worked out the trains now..thinks he should go back now..
 
Just didn’t like Tokyo much, but loved up at the Snow monkey’s & Hiroshima & Kyoto
People very kind & friendly
 
Thank you so much for your help with him
 
Kind Regards
Peta

Fabulous Trip

Monday, September 24th, 2012
Dear Yoko-san
 
I hope you are well. The trip was fabulous. I had a very enjoyable time. Everything went well, the food was delicious and the hot springs were soothing. I had no problems driving in Hokkaido and saw a fox, deer and squirrels.
It was very hot though.
I did see the Hiroshima vs Yokohama game and enjoyed it very much. It was nice on hot summer’s evening. (Yokohama won by 1 run)
 
Thank you so much for your kind help
Arigatou gozaimashita
Yoroshiku

Peter

A superb holiday

Monday, May 7th, 2012
Hello Yoko,
Well what a superb holiday it turned out to be. We hit the jackpot with everything. The weather was good (less 1 day) Cherry Blossom in full bloom. And Mt Fuji you couldn’t get it any better.
 
Our tour escort  Kierin words can’t describe him. Each night when we didn’t have anything planned for a meal he took those of us who wanted to go with him to a differently Japanese style meal. In Hiroshima he found one (okonomiyaki restaurant) that could do gluten free so I went  with the whole group. Enjoyed it so much I had 2 of them. 
 
The tour far exceeded what I thought it would be like. And I have recommended it to friends here since my return. An extra day or two in Tokyo as I had originally planned would be an idea for your tours as 1 day is not enough. And name tags as it is hard to remember everyone’s names. 
 
The tour was excellently organized. You just could not fault it anywhere. And I’ve had almost 30 holidays overseas.
 
And the tour guide—next time he goes on a tour let’s know.
Our whole group might go again.
 

Regards Graeme 

Kieran Okonomiyaki

Thanks for organising things for us

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
Olivia,

We got back from Okinawa ok (just a little late due to fog in Sydney). For your interest I have attached the travel plans we put together for the trip. The version I have sent you has had minor updates, since we got back, to add in the things we found out while we were over there. eg. how to get to Hedo Misaki.

General comments on the trip

  • Sue and I had a good time in Okinawa and feel it was a worthwhile trip.
  • If we had another two days we would have included Tokashiki Island and checked out Shikina-en Gardenand Sefi-Utaki. Maybe even a stay in the Nago or Cape Manza area if time permitted.
  • Okinawa is an entirely different place to the parts of Japan that we have been to before. We would not recommend Okinawa as a good place to get started in Japan. We would however recommend it as a place to visit for someone already familiar with other parts of Japan
  • The basic 3 day package in your advertised offer would not have satisfied us at all. Extending the trip and including the stay in Okuma worked well.
  • Nahana Hotel was fine, although the first room had a damp smell to it (possibly due to the high humidity on the island). Service & Breakfast were good.
  • JAL Okuma Resort was outstanding. The service, the accommodation, meals and the  facilities were all of a very high standard. Being a resort and a bit far away from alternative restaurants meant you were pretty well locked in to dinner there (unless you felt like walking the 1.3km to an alternative).  Dinner at the resort worked out about 4000¥ per person.
  • There was nothing complicated about the express bus 111 to Nago or the bus 67 to Okuma Beach. The usual Japanese bus ticketing system applied. Although we had worked out which stop we had to get off at Okuma, the driver made sure we knew when to get off. The bus to Cape Hedo was more of a problem to work out in advance, but we did get a timetable from the Tourist information at the Yuiyui Road House and the lift to Hentona bus depot by the resort made finding the required  bus terminal easy. We would have liked to do more in the Cape Hedo area but the restricted timetable and the fact that bus stops (aside from the one at Cape Hedo) were not easily identified or marked on a map meant we had to be conservative to make sure we got back to Okuma ok.
  • Finding places to eat in Naha was not a problem. Okinawa has it’s local food variations, but we didn’t mind that. It can be confusing choosing from the many restaurants in Kokusai-dori but there are some restaurants in the area around the Hotel Nahana which are a bit quieter. Another good place to eat was in a shopping centre near the Prefectural Museum in Omoromachi called “Naha Main Place”.
Comments on the Shurijo Castle World Heritage Tour
  • Doing the tour allowed us to see a number of things in the limited time we had but the flip side is that we always seemed to be rushing through things.
  • Looking at the map it seemed there was a lot to see in the area around the castle and we guessed we would not get much time on the tour. We made a point of spending time ourselves in the area surrounding the castle on the day before and focused on the “paid area” including the Seiden during the tour. There wasn’t a lot of point following the guide around listening to explanations in Japanese. As it was we just had enough time.
  • The audio guide could only be used while on the bus and had a lot of good information on most things but was light on in some things. eg. Himeyuri Kaikan
  • We could have done with a lot more time at the “Cornerstone of Peace”  and time to visit the nearby “Okinawa Peace Prayer and Memorial Hall” which we only saw from a distance.
  • Okinawa World consisted of a walk through a very long limestone cave with a walk back through a shopping area. We would probably trade this with more time at previous stop.
  • Lunchtime meal was good.

Comments on the Northern Okinawa Tour

  • The guide on this tour did an excellent job and worked very hard, providing commentary, telling jokes (which we couldn’t understand but got the crowd laughing) and even singing traditional songs. Even though we couldn’t understand a lot we appreciated the amount of effort she put into it.
  • We liked Ryukyu Mura better than Okinawa World from the previous day. At least it was laid out as a village and you could see the traditional architecture as well as the artisans at work. We gave the Habu Show a miss.
  • Ocean Expo Park and Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium were very good. It would have been worth staying overnight in the area so we could spend more time there.
  • Nago Pineapple Park didn’t really have much to see as a park. The highlight was the tastings of all the pineapple and tropical fruit products. Mind you they did have some nice fruit wines, juice cordials and cakes. 
  • Lunch was good.

Trip Highlights

  • Shurijo and surrounding area 
  • We enjoyed the walk to Hiji falls and the Ufugi Nature Museum.
  • Cape Hedo and the view along the bus route of the more rural areas of the island.
  • Naha Prefectural Museum. The history museum needs a fair bit of time. The Art Gallery is not very large.
  • Himeyuri Kaigun and Cornerstone of Peace. Very Reminiscent of the peace parks and museums at Nagasaki  and Hiroshima.
  • Tsuboya Pottery District and museum
  • Lacquer ware Shop (Kakuman) in Kokusai-dori
  • Kokusai-dori was an interesting street to walk along with the shops and arcades. We walked the length of it several times over the duration of the trip.
I have some photos of bus stops, the hotels and strategic intersections I can send you for reference if you like. We have excess pamphlets from some places and the tours so I will probably drop them in to you at some stage for your reference. They might be useful if you get any enquiries.

Anyway thanks again for organising things for us. Aside from the glitch at the Stamford, things went quite well and we were able to enjoy ourselves.
Regards,
Tony & Sue 

Thank you for all your effort

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
Dear Lily;
We had a phantastic time at Niseko, the accommodation at the Vale was excellent as it offered a very spacious lounge with kitchen and dining as well as two very comfortable bedrooms with beautiful views to the slopes and Mount Youthie. The location of the Vale is also very convenient. Overall we had good weather and fine snow. However the biggest discovery was the friendlyness of the japanese people, they were just so kind and helpful wherever you went and we found them so accommodating. Please promote it as every visitor will enjoy the overwhelming japanese hospitality.
After one week in Niseko we had a nice time in Tokyo at the Prince Hotel in Shinigawa, again a great and convenient location to get around in Tokyo which is just so exciting with all the variety it can offer. No problem to go by train everywhere. We also went to the fishmarket at 5.00 am in the morning and had a beautiful fish breakfast with all the delicacies what a unique place in the world.
However the highlight for me was the train ride on the bullet train to Kyoto and Hiroshima, what an experience, but that is just the daily life for the working people.
For me Kyoto is a beautiful city including the surroundings, again very friendly people and unbelievable culture unfortunately we could not make it to the “SUMO Wrestling”. Kyoto was very peaceful and relaxing.
Our final destination was Hiroshima where we stayed at the RIHGA ROYAL HOTEL close to the A-Bomb Dome and the Peace Museum. This is the most impressive  location one can visit to find peace in yourself. Everyone has to visit this place to learn how we should shape the world for our future, the we will realize we cannot continue as we are now as we have to seek and find peace for this world. Again we just indulged in the kindness of the japanese folkes.
After two days Hiroshima we returned to Tokyo for an ovenight stay at the Prince Hotel and again enjoyed the busy atmosphere.
We left on Sunday 18 March and can only find praise for the time we spent in Japan  and are looking forward to discover more.
Therefore please help us to find more beautiful spots in the country where we can meet more local people.
I would like to thank you for all your effort to make all the necessary arrangements for our holiday you just have made it so good for our journey.
looking forward to planning our next holiday during 2013/14 to Japan.
Kindest regards from
Werner 

Thank you for your efforts

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
Hello Olivia,
 
We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 weeks in Japan.
Just to recap a little, we spent the first 4 nights in Tokyo (Shiba Park Hotel); the next 2 in Yudanaka (Ryokan Biyu no Yado); 4 nights in Kyoto (Ryokan Hatoya); 4 nights in Osaka staying with Japanese friends; 3 nights in Hiroshima 1 in Kurashiki and, our final 2 nights in Tokyo at Shiba Park Hotel again.
In Tokyo, we had two pre-arranged tours you booked for us.  A half-day Tokyo tour and a full day Mt Fuji / Hakone tour.  Both of these tours were excellent.  As we were travelling with our 11yo daughter, having English-speaking tour guides made everything so much easier for her … and for us too.
Shiba Park Hotel continues to be a friendly, comfortable and conveniently located as well.
I’ve already mentioned Yudanaka and Ryokan Biyu no Yado.  What a wonderful little town and a brilliant inn.  The Snow Monkey park was my wife’s choice, so I didn’t know what to expect.  However, the two nights we spent there could easily have become ten! 
We had the best time there with Yuki, Masao and Craig.  They couldn’t do enough for us.
Kyoto and Ryokan Hatoya was a different story.  This was my third visit to Japan, and third to Kyoto so, I’d seen most of the touristy things already.  My wife and daughter enjoyed it though.
Ryokan Hatoya was excellently located, so close to the station.  It was very comfortable.  Some of the staff spoke quite good English, but it was hit-and-miss as to whether they’d be on duty when you needed them.  Their onsen was good too.
One area that was curious to us was breakfasts.  Not only at Hatoya, but it was highlighted there.  There seems to be a notion that Westerners eat huge breakfasts.  Here, and at Yudanaka, our breakfasts were far, far bigger than we could eat.  It resulted in a lot of wasted food and a feeling that we’d ‘let down’ our hosts.
My last visit to Japan was 18 years ago and, back then, the breakfasts were not nearly as big as they seem to have become.  Maybe there could be some education of accommodation providers to offer a ‘tick the box for what you’d like’ for the set breakfasts.
Some of the places we stayed at, offered buffet breakfasts (Shiba Park Hotel and APA in Kurashiki).  We found that a good option too.
While in Kyoto, we did a day trip to Arashiyama.  This was a very pleasant, easily accessed area.  The unfortunate part for us was that we chose a long weekend to be there.  Naturally, that meant we had several thousand of our closest friends there too.  Oh well, you can’t do much about that!
If you were lucky enough to be there on an average weekday, it would be quite scenic and a lovely day out.
Apart from the very well conducted Kyoto/Nara all day tour, we also found Nishi-Honganji Temple; walked the Gion District and found some great places to eat.
Can’t say too much about Osaka.  We stayed in the home of friends in the southern suburb of Yao.  They showed us around their town, mainly the Tennoji area and, we went to Horyuji Temple, one of Japan’s oldest temples and a truly amazing place!  On top of that, we saw the Osaka Aquarium, Tempozan Harbour Village and Osaka Castle.
Our daughter loved all these.  Tempozan Village was new to all of us and the Ferris wheel afforded great views of the city.
In Hiroshima, we did all the usual things; the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Peace Park, Shukkeien Garden (beautiful … and so close to Flex too!) and, Miyajima (always good to visit).
 
Next stop was an over-nighter in Kurashiki.  In hindsight, I’d not recommend an overnight stay in this town unless there was no other choice.
The Canal Area of town is beautiful and well worth a day trip, even a long day trip to take in as much as possible.  However, we didn’t find too much else to interest us in the 24 hours we had there.
Forget the Museum of Natural History … it seemed like it hadn’t been updated since it opened in the ‘80’s.
From Kurashiki, we went back to Tokyo and the Shiba Park Hotel for our final two nights.  It was nice to be back in an area we knew well.  Jane and Mia went to Disneyland on the following day, while I checked out some motorcycle shops.
 
On our last day, with an evening flight home, we just took things nice and easy, got to the airport early, shopped, ate and, thought of what awaited us at home.
We had a fantastic trip, made so much easier by the efforts of yourself and JTB.  Thank you for your efforts … especially after we re-arranged everything following the March disaster.
Regards,
 
Jeff & Jane and Mia

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

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.
 
Regards
 

Tony and Barbara 

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

The service we received from JTB was outstanding.

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Good morning JTB people

We are now all safely back in Australia and we wish to express our thanks for all the assistance given to us whilst travelling Japan recently. Due to the devastating earthquake and subsequent problems it was necessary for us to change our travel plans.

The service we received from JTB was outstanding- within an hour of cancelling the remainder of our trip to Mt Fuji and Tokyo, JTB guide came to our hotel and assisted us greatly. In consultation with your office and our travel agent in Melbourne all necessary arrangements were made for alternative accommodation and a tour at Hiroshima.

Ms Murai was an excellent guide and we really enjoyed our visit to Shirakawago – complete with lots of snow.

During our trip we have phone calls to JTB, and when alternative arrangements were finalised they forwarded a very detailed fax to our hotel with all the arrangements including train travel that would be required plus location maps – fantastic service.

We would also like to add that Ms Furutani was a wonderful guide at Hiroshima, her knowledge of the area and her friendly manner ensured we had a great day with her. The bus provided and the professional driver added to our enjoyment of the day. We were thrilled with our changed itinerary and the choice of Hiroshima.

There must have been hundreds of travellers in similar positions to ourselves and the volume of work must have been daunting. Everything was handled in such a professional and friendly manner.

We are very, very grateful and thank you all most sincerely. We would appreciate if our thanks could be particularly forwarded to Marie, Ms Murai and Ms Furutani (plus the bus driver).

JTB certainly turned what could have been a worrying time for us trying to find alternative accommodation/tours into a very pleasant and smooth operation.

Our accommodation and tours throughout all our time in Japan was excellent and our tour guides/drivers were freindly, professional and proficient at their jobs – they all certainly knew their area very well and were able to give us a wealth of knowledge. The hotels were of a very high standard and comfortable.

Congratulations on a job well done and sincere thanks to everyone concerned

Ross & Rhonda

Shibuya, Meiji shrine, Ginza and more !

Friday, January 7th, 2011
Hi Hideko

Our trip was awesome!
Everything went well and all the planning payed off.

We loved your country and saw many interesting and varied places.
My husbands friend took us to Shibuya and the famous intersection, the Meiji shrine and we saw a traditional wedding and saw all the illumination down the Ginza district.

The Hyatt Regency was a stunning hotel and the free shuttle bus to and from
Shinjuku station was a bonus. We used it many times.

One of the best experiences was the Nikko Hakone tour with our guide named Kathleen.
She was originally from New York but has spent the last 36 years in Tokyo working and raising a family.
Her excellent knowledge and friendly nature was an added bonus.
We saw a lot of snow at the lake in Hakone and I believe the temperature there was -2C.
The weather was cold but we enjoyed it instead of the hot summers we have here.
We spent an amazing time with our daughter and had a wonderful xmas and new year.
The only down side was the Hiroshima museum not being opened on new years eve (to be expected) though.
Your countries people are so courteous, helpful and friendly.

We would not hesitate to recommend Japan as a tourist destination to other Australians and recommend JTB for the service you provided.

My husband and I agree in saying that it is the best holiday we have ever had.
Thanks you so much Hideko for your patience and time.

Happy New Year!
Donna & Mark

School Group Travel

Friday, June 18th, 2010
Hi Kathy,

I’m glad to be back!
The trip did go well and I was happy with the arrangements. It was great to be met at the airport and taken into the YH at Iidabashi (great location). I wouldn’t exactly rave about the food at the YH, but having breakfast and lunch provided was convenient. Next time, I think I would prefer room at the YH with a smaller capacity (like 4 or 6 to a room).
I’m glad we started at the lower end of accommodation and went to the higher end last in Kyoto. I would maybe go to Kyoto before Hiroshima.
I would definitely do all those locations again.
It was good to have use of the Japanese mobile and having the bus pick us up in Osaka to take us out to the airport was excellent.
Having now done my first trip in charge I would certainly have more confidence to do another one in the future.

Thanks for all your work and help to make the trip as smooth as possible.

Kind regards,
Jenny

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.

Cheers,
Leanne