Posts Tagged ‘Tickets’

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 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

It was all stress free

Thursday, October 20th, 2011
Hello Olivia,
 
Just wanted to say thank you for organising the tickets. They were there ready at the hotel.
(The hotel staff were very efficient in all respects too).
 
The concert (Loud Park 2011, Saitama Super Arena) was fantastic, so I’ll most likely be calling on your services next year (and the years after that).
And maybe if any other concerts pop up in the meantime (holidays permitting!).
 
So a big thanks to you, and the staff at JTB.
It was all stress free, so for that I am very grateful.
 
Regards,
Stuart

I had the time of my life!

Friday, September 9th, 2011
Hi Noriko
 
I had an amazing time at both concerts! Concerts in Japan are definitely different to Australia!
I went to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and I had the time of my life!
It was sooooo hot!! Especially at the concerts!
 
Our tickets were ready for us at the hotel. To be honest we almost forgot to ask about them!!
 
In Osaka, the trains were quite hard, we ended up finding some people who were also going and they helped us to get there.
But in Tokyo the trains were alot easier.
 
The Springs Makuhari was actually quite nice! I didn’t really think of it much more then as a place to sleep, but I was surprised.
Not hugely English speaking though. and no minibar or room service.
 
I also really enjoyed the Kyoto Special Night …. I would highly recommend it.
 
I was very happy with my arrangements, I didn’t have a problem at all!
Thanks so much again :)  I will definitely use you guys in the future for Japan! :)
 
 

My Best Regards
Hayley

Wonderful trip to Japan

Friday, August 5th, 2011
Dear Yoshi and Kieran,
 
Well we are back from our Japan trip and I wanted to drop you a line to thank you for all your help in organising our wonderful trip to Japan. 
 
Our accommodation was lovely – plenty of room for all of us and the staff were very welcoming and helpful at all times.
 
It was easy to get around on the train system – not long to wait if we missed a train.  We found everyone in Japan so polite and courteous and we had a great time exploring Tokyo and surrounds.   Disneyland and Disney Sea Resorts were both heaps of fun – plenty of great rides and the girls really enjoyed getting photos with all the characters.  The Ghibli Museum was also very interesting and well worth a look.  We also had a look at Tokyo Tower.
 
It was a shame we didn’t have enough time to see more of Japan, like Kyoto, we just simply ran out of time.  We hope to be able to get back there some day as we really enjoyed what this lovely country has to offer.
 
We will certainly be telling our friends to book through your company if they are ever planning a trip to Japan.
 
This trip really was a prize of a lifetime and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute and have come back with a lot of wonderful memories.
 
Thank you so much – we really appreciate all your help and efforts in making this trip happen!
 
Kind Regards,
 

Janelle, Denis, Jayden and Maddison

We absolutely had the best week of our lives

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Hi Eri and everyone at JTB Australia!

We recently booked the Ghibli & Disney Special Package for our trip to Japan recently, and we absolutely had the best week of our lives there! All thanks to Eri and all the great services that JTB provided.

For someone like us who had never been to Japan before, the friendly and helpful services that you guys provided made our trip simply hassle-free! We also stayed at a wonderful hotel called the Shiba Park Hotel, which is a part of the package. Our visit to the Ghibli Museum was simply life-changing, and we left there with a completely different outlook in life, for the better of course! And our visit to Disney World simply took us back to our childhood memories, and it was an absolute pleasure to relive those moments.

Once again, I would like to sincerely thank our friend Eri and everyone at JTB Australia for all of this. Rest assured, you guys will hear from us again when we’re visiting Japan again next year! We hope you get to see Japan again in the near future too, Eri!

We now have the right to brag to our friends about our very first trip to Japan! And hundreds of photos and hours of footage we captured will definitely help :)

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Regards,

Indra

Everything that you had booked was GREAT

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Hi Lily

Thought you should know that we have now been and come home. We had a great time in Japan and everything that you had booked was great.

Just wanted to let you know about the hotels if you have any other families looking to stay in 1 room.

New Miyako Hotel, Kyoto – Triple room was great the beds are nearly an Australian Double so plenty of room

Hakone Hotel – Triple room was big – 3rd bed was a sofa bed but other beds were nearly Australian Double beds as well, the location of this hotel is fantastic on Lake Ashi but the rooms are well used and could do with a refurbishment and a good clean but for 1 night and the fantastic views of Mt Fuji – well worth it.

Ghibli Museum – If we hadn’t been to Disneyland & Universal Studios in LA, we probably would have been very impressed with this, but we had and most of the information is in Japanese which makes it very hard to understand what it is all about. Although getting there & back was a real adventure!

Tokyo Morning Tour was very helpful in giving us a layout of tokyo and the guide was very helpful with directions and advise for the trains, etc.

Once again, thank you for all your help in organising our holiday to Japan, it has changed so much since I was there 20 years ago. Very easy to travel around yourself as just about everything is in English and everyone was very helpful if we needed directions.

Regards
Sharon

Thank you very much for your excellent arrangements and service

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Dear Ichiro,
I hope you are well. I just want to let you know that our trip to Japan was very successful. All of the arrangements went according to plan and we had no difficulties. The Shinagawa Prince Hotel was very easy to find when we arrived in the station. We followed your instructions. The hotel was good and its proximity to the station was great. We were able to find our way to Tokyo Disney and elsewhere quite easily. There are many signs in English. This is quite different to my last visit to Tokyo 9 years ago! The person at the information desk in the station also spoke English which was helpful. The coach and English speaking guide to Narita Airport met us at the hotel as planned.
We all had a wonderful time. Thank you very much for your excellent arrangements and service. I was very happy with it.

There was one small thing that happened. One of our students left her mobile phone at the hotel. She did not know until we were well on our way to the airport. The guide telephoned the hotel and they found it in the room. They did not think they could mail it, but perhaps they would pass it on to someone from your company. I was wondering if you have heard anything about this.

Regards,
Lyn, Melbourne VIC

Fun in Queensland!

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Dear JTB,

Thanks for making our trip one to remember. From the first moment we walked in to the Gold Coast Travel Centre we felt very welcome. Our highlight of the trip was at the Gold Coast theme parks in which you helped us get a great value combo.

We will be back next year to do it all again.

The McKenna family.