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Jun072013

Tour/Activity

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

Tokyo, Japan

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The tour was wonderful! It was a cloudy day so Mount Fuji wasn't visible from the base but as we headed up to the 5th station, the peak suddenly became visible. Our guide, mindful that this might happen, quickly asked the bus to pull over so that we could get our pictures of the top, lest the clouds obscure the peak again. Luckily the clouds were cooperative and we had plenty of time at the 5th station to get those shots. The obento box lunch at a nearby hotel was amazing! The lunch included fresh sashimi, fried chicken, rice, miso, mochi, and more food that I'm probably forgetting. Our guide was also very kind and knowledgeable. Mika (the guide) told us all about Mt. Fuji and Mr. Hakone and kept us entertained on the long drive with talk about the Japanese businessman schedule and way of life. I highly recommend taking the bullet train at the end of the tour! What an experience! It took us an hour and a half to get to Mt. Fuji by bus and only a half hour (if that) to get back into the heart of Tokyo by bullet train. What a wonderful tour! The only way the tour could have been better is if the weather had cooperated more, but what can you do? All in all, a very successful and well-run trip.

Jun062013

Tour/Activity

Tokyo Tower, Tea Ceremony and Sumida River Cruise Day Tour

Tokyo, Japan

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This city tour is a must do!!! When my husband and I arrived in Tokyo it was hard to tell from my guide book, which sites we should see first and how we get around to them. Luckily, I booked this tour before we got there and so our trip was not dependent on me and my ability to glean information from a guide book. This tour hit most of the iconic sites that you would want to see if you only had a day in Tokyo and was at such a nice (quick) pace that my husband never lost interest even though we had been in Japan for 10 days already. First stop, Tokyo Tower, (get your pictures quick because it can be a bit of blitz up to the top and back). Then we were off to a traditional tea ceremony and Japanese garden. The ceremony was beautiful and our guide (Keiko) walked us through all of the steps on our way over to the ceremony so we knew what to do while there. Then off to our ishiyaki lunch (food grilled in front of you on a hot stone) which was super tasty and entertaining. Next, was a walk by the imperial palace (of course you can only see the gate but it's still beautiful) and then our river boat trip. The boat trip is relaxing but don't bother taking pictures of skytree tower in the beginning, the best pictures of the tower are at the end of the trip when you get to Asakusa. The tour end at the temple in Asakusa and it was absolutely stunning!! Huge red gates and lanterns with large golden statues. Really breathe taking (and again, this is after we've seen plenty of temples and shrines). For those of you who like to shop (don't we all?) there is a good sized open-air market at the temple with all the souvenir and food purchases you would need. I would also like to say that our guide, Keiko, was great. Very knowledgeable and interesting! This tour is a must!

Jun052013

Tour/Activity

Tokyo by Night: Japanese Food Tour

Tokyo, Japan

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

My husband and I loved this tour and trying Japanese food we didn't even know about! Coming from San Francisco, we of course know about Sushi and I have a love affair with Japanese curry, but we knew very little about yakitori and even less about okonomiyaki and taiyaki. Our guide (Miko) was a Japanese-American who had lived in Japan for five years and so was able to easily describe Japanese customs and relate them to our American customs. She took us around to three different shops and described each dish as well as made our okonomiyaki since our waitress was somewhat inattentive. Overall, a really fun night, well organized, and a great introduction to the city and the variety of the Japanese cuisine.

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