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Charles G

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Charles G

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Oct152013

Tour/Activity

3-Day Mt Fuji, Kyoto and Nara Rail Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The tour was well organized and executed. The tour guide was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, good humored and attentive. There was quite a bit packed into this tour. We had to deal with some weather issues that prevented us from seeing Fujisan, but who can control the weather? The bus driver was excellent and a true professional driving in the mountains with plenty rain. The hand off and directions from the bus to the bullet trains couldn't have worked smoother. The greeters/direction advisers were most cheerful and helpful. The sites in Kyoto where covered at rather a brisk pace, but they were very efficient. The bus driver in Kyoto/Nara was excellent as well. The sites in Nara were covered at a more leisurely pace. Overall, a great tour conducted by wonderful people. This tour is well worth taking, but make sure you are up for a couple of days of busy traveling. Wear comfortable walking shoes (slip offs will make things a little easier). Hotel accommodations at Kyoto Hotel Okura were 4-star for Japan, 5-Star in the USA. Don't forget to keep your umbrella handy. The deer at Nara know how to get your attention if you are passing out food, so be ready for the deer to nudge you in some tender places to get your attention.

Oct132013

Tour/Activity

Kagurazaka Walking Tour

Tokyo, Japan

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Most excellent tour. Our tour guide did an excellent job of showing us one of the older neighborhoods in the Asakusa area of Tokyo. There was quite a bit of walking, so wear good shoes and be able to walk about 2.5 miles at a 2.2 mph pace. We took frequent breaks, so even the least fit in our small group of 9 were able to keep up. This was a very relaxed and friendly tour. Easy to see why it is so popular. We had the added advantage of taking the tour on the weekend, so there were community celebrations, with marathon runners, folks dressed in traditional outfits and entertainment near the temple. I would recommend that you take this tour early in your visit to Japan. Our tour guide explained may cultural aspects and courtesies. She even took us to the subway and gave detailed direction and tips about how to not only make our way back to our hotels, but how to use the subway during the rest of our time in Japan. Our guide was most helpful in answering all the questions that you might feel a little reluctant to ask. There was not a question, about anything, that she did not answer in a satisfactory and most helpful way.

Oct122013

Tour/Activity

Tokyo Tower, Tea Ceremony and Sumida River Cruise Day Tour

Tokyo, Japan

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Fun and busy day. Tower was interesting, but the Tea Ceremony in the garden was most delightful. The execution of the ceremony was most impressive. The precision and grace of movement were mesmerizing and the hospitality provided let us feel like we were truly honored participants. We saw a couple of traditional Japanese marriage ceremonies (from a respectful distance) and had a gang-buster meal of grilled (at the table) meats and vegetables. It was relaxing and fun. The cruise was nice and the temple visit and shopping we fun, but a bit rushed. Once again, the tour guide was most helpful and the bus driver a real pro. Would recommend this tour for a quick overview of important spots of Tokyo.

Oct112013

Tour/Activity

Nikko National Park Day Trip from Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Our tour guide was excellent. He provided every manner of information about life in Japan, on top of being very knowledgeable about the tour sites. He was the lone tour guide for nearly 40 people. He could not have been more accommodating or friendly. The reason the tour gets a 4 is because of his dedication and near frantic efforts to make sure everybody was moving in the right direction and getting the full benefit of the tour. Hari San get 5-stars. The tour should have been divided in at least two groups. Loved the small temples and waterfall view walk. Lunch was interesting and fun. Tried many dishes that we had not experienced before.

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