Nikko has a very gorgeous shrine extremely rich in details. Edo Wonderland is fantastic. Overall great experience. Highly recommended.
This was our second Viator tour on this trip. Again, Shinjuku Washington hotel where we were staying was the pickup point, which was super-convenient. We were again whisked to Hamamatsucho Bus terminal and transferred to our tour bus. This was a very rushed affair as somehow we were behind schedule from the start. Our tour guide was again very good and knowledgeable. On our way to Nikko, she gave a history lesson, interjecting how many of the events are manifested in current Japanese society. Also, on the way, the air conditioning on the bus became insufficient as the bus was full to capacity. This was exacerbated by the 90 deg F temp and 70% humidity outside. Arriving at Nikko, we were rushed thru the complex at breakneck speed (45 min for the entire facility--essentially non-stop walking). From here, the tourists doing the Edo Wonderland day trip were put on a shuttle bus to Edo Wonderland. Edo Wonderland is a theme park showcasing Japanese culture in the daily lives of Japanese people, with an emphasis on Ninjas and Samurai. Some of the exhibits were a bit bloody (simulated, of course), but were very well done. Several good eating spots in the complex as well. The complex closes at 5pm. We were given bus tickets to the nearest train station, and train tickets back to Shinjuku station, at the conclusion of the Nikko tour, so we knew how we were getting back. We had some time at the train station to explore and found a wonderful onsen right outside. Travelers put their bags in a cubby, remove their shoes, and soak their feet and hands (separate soak area on top) to relax. It was a nice relief from all the walking. Afterward, we got gelato across the street and caught the monorail to Kanda, then transferred to Shinjuku. I would have given this tour 5 stars if the bus had adequate AC and the Nikko tour wasn't so rushed.
It is kind of too rush for the second half at Edo Wonderland. I only had around 2.5 hours to roam. The shows are almost overlapping. It was an experience doing so.
Bit too rushed for my liking, plus you need to make your own way to the Edo Wonderland, so a bit concerning. Also got stuck as they book you on a late train back to Tokyo so you have to wait ages to get home. Edo Wonderland was fun though, and good way to experience a bit of culture.
The first part with the shrines was amazing. I do not recommend Edo Wonderland however. No English guides and solo traveller it was not nice to be the only one who went there, either.
Needs more time at EDO wonderland 2 1/2 hours is not enough to be able to see the shows even if your planning is perfect. Also guests should have an option of having earphone that can translate when you he or she doesn't speak the language
There was not enough time to tour around, especially when we still have to catch the free shuttle bus to Edo Wonderland. And the irony of it all was that there was no shuttle bus available to bring us there! Nobody told us until one of the employees in the shop where the bus was suppose to be stationed informed us that there was no bus. We ended taking a taxi to Edo Wonderland which cost us around 7000yen but we already arrived a bit late and we only stayed for a while coz we have to take a train back to Tokyo. I would suggest to change this tour and instead stick to one place at a time, although it was very beautiful.
This tour needed more attention from the tour guide, Sunny. She wasn't effective and she kept walking ahead and leaving some of the tour members. What I also didn't like was that 2 different tours were combined here. Since Nikko takes at least 2 ½ hour trip from Tokyo, by the time we reached there, it was such a rush to go around Nikko National Park and to look into the shrine. This place is worth exploring, however, to combine it with Edo Wonderland Day Trip was too much in one day. I didn't like the idea that we were left to travel on our own just after 1 ½ hour stay in Nikko park, to Edo Wonderland. EDO is good if you have children with you, since they will surely enjoy the samurai, geisha and the medieval japanese atmosphere. Since Edo closes at 5pm, we stayed only around 2 ½ hours since we had to rush to the train station to get the express limited train back to Tokyo. All of these, we did it on our own. Because of this, I think the price was quite pricy since we didn't have to luxury of having a tour guide with us in the afternoon. Having a tour guide is basically the main reason why tourists choose to join tours. They want somebody to guide them.
Excellent guide and we enjoyed the first part of the tour to Nikko Toshugu shrine. However, Edo Wonderland did not live up to our expectations. Not many people about and did not see the geisha parade although we waited longer than stated. Had a bad fall in the ninja house which was like a funfair crazy house. Left early and caught the shuttle bus back to the railway station but had to wait almost 2 1/2 hours before we could catch a train as our tickets were for a specified departure time. I would recommend that anyone contemplating this tour would do better by visiting the museum department's recreation of the Edo period houses, etc.
Very disappointing. Nowhere was viator indicating that for most part of the tour we were to travel on our own without guidance. We were with 2 other couples from Malaysia and Puerto Rico who also said they were not aware of this 'on your own' arrangement. The Express train that was to take us back to Tokyo at 6.30pm was canceled by the train authority after being on it for an hour motionless. We were transferred to regular train and sat on it for another hour also to be canceled. We were then transfered to a bus and me and my daughter had to stand for over an hour on a fully crammed bus to get to the next unflooded train station. All that at the mercy of the train authority-not viator or the tour operator-and at the mercy of a Japanese couple who speak English and kind enough to guide us through the chaos at the Onsen train station. We didn't get to Asakusa Station until 12 midnight. The shrine part was ok if you had a good guide. Ours, named Hiro, said too much useless information. Skip Edo Wonderland, just not worth your precious day in rich Tokyo.
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