Overall, my family enjoyed this tour even if it was raining hard. We found Nijo Castle and Todaiji Temple amazing! We got to see the interiors of Nijo Castle and my daughter really enjoyed feeding the deer at the Todaiji Temple. The statues inside the temple were all massive it was awesome. The part I like least about the tour was the terrible lunch (part of the food was cold and did not really taste good) and how we were rushed during the tour of the Imperial Palace. We were not really given time to take photos. If you linger a bit (5 min or so) for picture taking, you miss out on the explanation from the tour guide. She was rushing from one building to the next and did not really wait until the whole group was nearby before giving the history of the place. Same with the tour guide in the afternoon. He was really nice but I wish he would wait for the whole group before he gives his spiel. It would help if the tour guides inform us ahead of time the itinerary for the place - i.e. stop at the gate to get tickets, then see the temple for explanation, then 20 minutes free time (shopping, feed the deer), etc... so we know where to go and when we can take photos of the place.
Of the 3 tours I booked, this is the tour I liked the least. Meiji Shrine was okay - the shrine is not even old and not much to see except for the bonzai. Asakusa Temple was too crowded for us to appreciate it well and I don't think the bay cruise was worthwhile. I would have preferred to experience something else (i.e. sumo wrestiling, etc..) in Japan. Unfortunately, I guess this is why it's a packaged tour - you don't get a lot of options. Finally, we were fed lunch way past our normal schedule (past 1:30 pm) so my kids were really starving. I wish we were informed about this ahead of time so we could have been better prepared.
We were lucky as the weather was great during our visit to Mt. Fuji. So we were able to go to Station 5 and had a clear view of the mountain top. So on this note alone, I think it was a good trip. Hakone was okay - not much to see during the boat or cable car ride except maybe for a glimpse of a japanese resort. We did not select the package with lunch thinking that we will stop someplace where there are restaurant options. Lunch stop was at a hotel that's almost in a middle of nowhere. So your only option is the other restaurants at the hotel. In the end, we had lunch at the restaurant with the other tour members (who paid for lunch) except we ordered what we liked.
© 1997–2015 Viator, Inc. 330223 All rights reserved. Viator is a registered trademark of Viator, Inc.
is a Service Mark of Viator, Inc. Travel with an Insider is a Service Mark of Viator, Inc.
Use of this website constitutes acceptance of Viator's Terms & Conditions.