The service is "excellent". They are a well-organized tour company. Every step of the way, there was a guide providing “clear” instruction of the next step. They did not try to go the cheap route to make few extra dollars. The bullet train ride was the fastest one, which took 2 hours and 20 minutes. 1st class seating is not necessary. (There are luggage compartment at the back of each train, so don’t worry about the note on the voucher about the day pack.) Day 1’s lunch buffet at the New Miyako hotel was fantastic; we were all well fed and were not rushed. All of our tour guides spoke good English. Upon returning to Tokyo, a guide greeted us at the platform. Each of us had a "limo" taxi taking us to our hotels.
New Miyako Hotel's location is more convenient than Rihga Royal Hotel. Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto is only a 5 minutes’ walk from New Miyako, but it goes under a tunnel and at night, it felt a bit scary. (You can also access RRH from the north side of the station.) 1st class hotel in my opinion is not necessary. My standard hotel is Marriott or Courtyard. Both New Miyako and Rihga Royal Hotels’ standard room are nice and clean. The room size may be smaller than the US standard, but it is not cramp.
If you have time, I highly recommend the 3 day tour and use the last day to visit sites that are not included in the trip. Day 1 afternoon was Nara. Day 2 morning included Nijo Castle (my favorite), Kitano-tenmangu Shrine (was the alternative because Imperial Palace was closed on Sunday), Golden Pavilion, and afternoon included another shrine, Sanju Sangendo Hall, and Kiyomizu Temple. We walked from Kiyomizu to Gion. Don't eat meals on the Hanami-koji street...tourist trap. You will find much better quality food else where; just have snacks. Day 3, we went to the Imperial Palace, Nishiki Market, and Arashimaya for the bamboo groove.
Fantastic tour to see Kyoto highlights in a short period of time. Super well organised and well looked after. Absolutely loved it! Thank you for a great experience!
As a solo traveller, this 3 day visit to Kyoto was fantastic. I couldn't fault any part of it. Everybody was reliable, everything ran to the timetable, the hotel and food was exceptional and most of all a very friendly experience.
Thank you Sunrise tours and Viatot.
Tour Guides were excellent and provided 5 stars service. Hotel Kyoto Okura is fabulous with majesty quality and service way exceeding our expectations. High speed trains were comfortable and better than air. Most surprisingly, we were transported back to hotel in Tokyo in big luxurious Lexus.
This tour was outstanding. Everything was extremely well planned. There was someone to meet me every step of the journey. The tour guides were knowledgable and humorous. I would recommend this tour to anyone. It was an excellent way to see Kyoto in a limited amount of time.
All very well arrenged for total confort. Good visits, all guides are knowledgeable, although the morning tour one had a very difficult accent for not native English speakers. Good food.
This was the best way to see Kyoto. They guide you through ever step, including taking you to the train platform. Our hotel was great and the attractions were awesome.
It was very good, everything was perfectly on time and of a good quality.
My tour of Nara was with Mickey and I loved it. He was a wealth information and so helpful afterwards with tips and suggestions for the evening in Kyoto. The tour of Kyoto and the guides for the bullet train was nice as well. Only note is the bus air con might need antifreeze. Overall amazing tour!!
EXPERIENCE WAS VERY PLEASING. GUIDES PROVIDED INTERESTING AND WELL PRESENTED INFORMATION IN EXCELLENT ENGLISH AND WERE ATTENTIVE AND FRIENDLY WITHOUT BEING OVERBEARING. SITES VISITED WERE CULTURALLY RELEVANT AND WE WERE GIVEN EXACT INFORMATION ABOUT THE DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY OF ACCESS (ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT SINCE I WAS TRAVELLING WITH AN 87 YEAR OLD PARENT). FROM LEAVING OUR HOTEL IN TOKYO UNTIL OUR RETURN, THE TOUR WAS SMOOTHLY EXECUTED WITH PRECISION BUT NOT ANXIETY OR BUSTLE. I WOULD HAVE NOT HESITATION IN HIGHLY RECOMMENDING THIS TOUR TO OTHERS. ON REFLECTION, I ALSO REALISED THAT THERE WERE NO "FORCED" SHOPPING EXPERIENCES WHICH IS SO OFTEN THE CASE ELSEWHERE. CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU.
OVERALL THIS WAS THE BEST TOUR I HAVE EVER UNDERTAKEN. CONGRATULATIONS
This tour was very interesting and very well organized. The guides were very good and they have a very good English.
Your tour was really good! Our guide was brilliant, really informative and numerous!! We really learnt a lot!!
The day off was great too, pick up and drop off was great too!!
This tour was so well organised, we had 2 tour leaders they were both so professional and helpful!! I have already recommended this tour to my friends and family, best tour iv done!!
Excellent. Gave us a quick overview of Nara and Kyoto. All the details were done so we could just enjoy the sightseeing.
Unbelievable. Very organized and we had so much fun. Guides were very good as well
Enjoyed this tour greatly. The Bullet Train is amazing, so fast, so quiet.
Kyoto and Nara are so different from Tennessee. The tour guides did a wonderful job.
Knew their history and answered questions well.
The hotel was better than expected. Well worth the money to go with the first class option.
Well worthwhile. Superbly efficient arrangements and very knowledgeable and friendly guides. We stayed in Hotel Monterey in Kyoto which was very nice,but we struggled to find somewhere to eat close by. We actually found an 80's style bar in a basement down the street on the left which was great and quite cheap
We had a fantastic time! We were well looked after from beginning to end. We were taken to every site on the itinerary (although Mt. Fuji did not make an appearance for us) and they were all phenomenal. We scheduled our trip during the week, which meant the crowds were at a minimum everywhere we went. This meant no waiting in lines and awesome photo opportunities. Our tour guides were very knowledgeable about the sites, the cities, and Japan in general. They were pleasant, accommodating, and humorous too! There were several hotel options and we stayed at the Kyoto Hotel Okura, which turned out to be a great choice due to the roomy accommodations and the wonderful location near several historical sites, restaurants, and shopping. The only problem occurred because we were staying with friends in Japan, not at one of the downtown Tokyo hotels where they'd pick you up. We'd been given a phone number for the local contact to call once we arrived, but the phone number was incorrect (a number had been left out) and so there was some stress involved in finding out where we needed to go. Since Viator only takes email contact, which they don't answer immediately, we thought we may miss our trip. Luckily someone local helped us find the Japanese tour company location and helped us figure out how to get there. Viator did respond to my emails, 20 minutes before our tour left from downtown Tokyo, which was an hour away from where we stayed. Once we found the tour operator at the bus terminal, all was well and we had a great time. Overall, we would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants a taste of Japanese history, culture, and architecture.
Nara was something else, I really felt like I was far far away from reality. The deer park was amazing and fun. There were a ton of school kids there giggling and eating ice cream. Kyoto was out of this world, seeing the Imperial Palace and the 500 Buddha statues...now this is TOTALLY different than Europe! The Okura hotel will make you feel like a celebrity and has several great restaurants tucked in all over. It is also near a river with restaurants lining that all the way up and down. We had free time on the last day so we arranged a bike tour which was great and went to the mall! That was fun too since we got a foot massage and had a nice long lunch in the air conditioning. If I returned to Japan, it would not be in summer. Saw the back of a real geisha getting into a cab (the tour guide told me) and the Shinkansen made me wish the United States was this streamlined and organized. Worth every penny.
This was a great tour! We were picked up at our hotel, escorted to the bullet train (actually put us in our seats), picked up at the Kyoto station (a host was waiting on the platform) and taken to lunch. After lunch we started our Nara tour with a knowledgeable guide. We were returned to our Kyoto hotel by the tour bus.
The next morning, the bus picked us up at the hotel and we did the morning tour and afternoon tour of Kyoto. The bus took us to the Kyoto station and the host put us on the bullet train back to Tokyo. We arrived in Tokyo and we were met by another host at the platform. He escorted the group to cabs, which returned us to our hotel.
The only recommendation we have is that the lunch breaks should be a little shorter. This would have provided us more time at the Kyoto sights.
Everyone related to the tour company was friendly and extremely competent. We highly recommend this tour to everyone.
I had a great experience during this three-day tour. Simply fantastic! Nice sightseeing in the first two days, and a very usefull day-off, allowing me to visit the very pleasent city of Osaka. No complains at all about the staff, who, like the Japanese population, was so kind and effective full time
This tour was fantastic, from start to finish (literally in our hotel lobby). The tour staff were all remarkably polite, very sincerely friendly and interesting, and helpful at all times. The tour was "pricey" but worth every penny. We would recommend it heartily.
Cesar C USA
If you have a limited time to see Kyoto and Nara, this is an excellent tour to take. The tour company took very good care of us...picking us up at our hotel and bringing us all the way to our seats on the train. Someone else from the company met us at the train platform in Kyoto and brought us for a wonderful lunch at the New Miyako Hotel before starting on a tour of Nara. There is so much to see in these two cities and we felt like we saw most of the highlights of the area. The tour guides were all very good and well informed. I would recommend this tour to friends visiting Tokyo.