Steve J

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Steve J

Steve J

USA

Dec152010

Tour/Activity

Mt Fuji, Lake Ashi and Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

For once, the description provided by Viator does NOT do justice to this day trip - it's even better than advertised! Here are the highlights:

First, you see Mt Fuji from many angles, and from far away and up close, throughout the day. It's not a one-shot, drive out, see Fuji, go home things. You see it from afar on the scenic bus ride out to the mountain, you see it up close and majestically at the visitors center, you go to the mountain itself (we made it to stage 5, half way up).

Best of all, the drive to the south to the lake gives many opportunities for viewing Fuji from another perspective, and then the view of Fuji from the top of the "sky tram" near Hakone is breathtaking!

Logistically, everything worked like a charm - all the buses were on time, the tour leader was lively and entertaining, and Viator took us everywhere they said they would, including the ride back on the bullet train.

There is one caveat i'd mention: This trip is heavily weather-dependent! What stage on the mountain you make it to depends on recent snow-fall, and whether you see Fuji at all or not depends on cloud cover.

Our day, December 15, happened to be crystal-clear, sunny, just perfect. Also, as you can see from my pics, going in December mean we got to see i crowned with snow. But had it been cloudy/rainy like the day before, we probably would have seen much less, and if you go in the summer, maybe you don't see the snow-cap Fuji is famous for.

But for us, it was PERFECT and well-worth the $500+ dollars for three people.

My Photos

  • Valley + Fuji
  • top of hill near Hakone
  • Misty Fuji
  • trees and Fuji
  • Fuji through the clouds
  • Fuji from up the hill
  • majestic fuji
  • Fuji sunset
  • fuji 'smoke'

Aug062010

Tour/Activity

Quebec City and Montmorency Falls Day Trip from Montreal

Montreal, Canada

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
I've been on many day tours in many cities and this was one of the very best. Comments 1 Quebec City This was a GREAT destination! Set on a cliff overlooking the St Lawrence river, and a captivating European-colonial ambiance. We had a wonderful time wandering around the the city. Countless little shops, churches, sidewalk cafes. If you've been to Montreal's Old Town, Quebec City is like that, but even MORE captivating. And, the hour-and-half boat ride on the river was great fun as well. Beautiful broad river with pretty sites on both shores. 2 Efficient and comfortable logistics The timing was as advertised. We were picked up at our hotel right on time, and returned 14 hours later right on time. We got the lunch we were promised, and the tour bus was very comfortable. The tour guides were lively, courteous, and knowledgeable, without being overwhelming. Cons and qualifiers 1 It's a pretty LONG ride from Montreal. We were gone 14 hours, but about 5-6 were spent on the bus, as the ride is almost 3 hours each way. HOWEVER, this was not onerous, because there was a bathroom stop halfway through coming and going, as mentioned the bus was comfortable, and the Canadian landscape was picturesque from the bus as well. 2 Montmercy Falls is NOT quite as advertised. The advert makes it seem like you get to really see the falls but the actual experience is that the falls are seen during the boat ride, and from quite a distance and for a short period of time. You don't really experience the falls. BUT, this is a SMALL matter given the overall high quality of the tour and the experience.

My Photos

  • View of St Lawrence river from upper Quebec City
  • View of Quebec City from tour boat
  • Ceremonial guard at the Citadel

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