Michele, Hillary, Raphael and I had a wonderful time in Japan. We cannot compliment you enough on your understanding of our needs and the detailed itinerary that followed. Thank you. Are you available to meet next week for lunch. I want to buy you lunch and pick your brain on Japan.
Warm regards Martin
I cannot begin to tell you about the blast that all four of us had on the holiday. Between me insisting on that crazy best of the best tour and your booking of accommodation ….. wow wow wow …..My brother and Helen said to say thank you to you too for all your efforts.
Blossomed bloomed in Tokyo the day before we arrived and we got them in full bloom in Hiroshima and Kyoto. We talked to people that started in Hiroshima and they were too early and were going to be in Tokyo too late to see them. The hotel in Ikebukuro let us check in early and my brother woke up on the second day texting me that they could see Mt Fuji.
I tried to call you this afternoon but you had left work. I’ll give you a buzz tomorrow with the feedback on accommodation ….. all great. Belinda Gerometta
Japan…..we had a great time there…..with a major part of that experience due to your knowledge and expertise on the country itself.
The Japan Rail ticket worked wonderfully well in getting us around between cities. We were able to produce your itinerary with the very specific trains nominated for each trip to have the staff issue tickets for reserved seating on those trains. I think we would have really struggled to book any train trip without your advice. Thanks for the maps of the different cities where you took the time to mark out highlights which was a great help to us getting around and the places we should see in our limited time.
We appreciated your quick response when we found the ship would be heading to Kobe instead of Yokahama and we were able to follow your instructions to find the hotel in Shibuya.
The hotel in Kanazawa reception gave us a key to room 1 on 15th floor.
Well, that was an amazing room, … entry foyer, buffet with Nespresso type coffee machine, the means to make Japanese tea including tea pot, a dining table with 8 chairs, couch facing large tv, bed further down with another tv, separate toilet, double hand basins between toilet and shower room with separate spa bath. Windows ran the entire length of room with great views.
The gardens in Kanazawa were beautiful, quite cold though and then we had snow!!! At Miyajima I liked the signs up to the ropeway indicating how long it should take for each stage, like 10 minutes walk or 7 minutes if you run a little. A long walk back to Ryokan but we found our way back up there.
The room was interesting and a kimono clad hostess informed us of the etiquette there. On returning to our room the bed fairies had been in, moved the low table and seats and set up our beds. Did we thank you for the ice cream treat that you had sent to us. Different flavours, but very nice. When heading to Narita your instructions again made sense as we headed there. I got some photos of Mt.Fuji. So, Alan, thank you for the effort put into our itinerary and working out all those train trips. It always seemed like rush hour at the stations and some places like Shibuya had amazing food malls underneath. It was easy to buy foods that you recognised.
The travel agent who booked the cruise part of our trip asked who organised the Japan part, so I gave her your details, which I hope was ok with you.
Many thanks for organising a memorable trip for us and your efforts with the marked maps and other advice. We will be sure to recommend your services to any friends wanting to visit Japan. It really made
such a difference to have such clear instructions and suggestions of places to visit which enabled us to find our way about and ‘survive’ the experience.
Jenny and Colin
Just a note to tell you how much we enjoyed our trip. It was easy to follow your itinerary. It was very successful in regard to cherry blossoms, they were everywhere, in city streets and all the marvellous parks we visited according to the plan.
The rail passes were easy to use and we loved the Shinkansen trains, a wonderful experience.
The hotels you chose for us were excellent and our room in the Cerulean Tower Hotel in Tokyo gave us a lovely view of Mt Fuji every day!
We’re glad you advised us to try the Ryokan. The area around was very interesting as well. It was a very spacious unit with attentive staff & amazing food. The garden at Hiroshima was spectacular in spite of slight drizzle which cleared up by midday. The Peace Park was very moving. We loved the excursion to Miyajima. So you can see our little glimpse of Japan was a huge success and your plan with detailed itinerary made it possible for us. We thank you most sincerely.
Ruth and Graham
We would like to thank you for your great itinerary and your attention to every detail including informing the Cerulean Tower Hotel of Joan’s birthday (they had a card and a little gift on our arrival). We loved Kanazawa, Miyajima and Kurashiki and enjoyed the unique Japanese art and of course the people. We also loved Tokyo and Kyoto and watched a night show on the canal at Kurashiki and Joan and I were recruited by a group of Shinto followers to carry a red and gold painted wooden shrine through the main street of Ginza. Joan helped with another 20 women I can only say that we had a great time and will recommend you to our friends who want to visit Japan. With many thanks Harry and Joan
Hi Steve and Alan
Just to let you know Japan was absolutely fabulous. Thankyou for suggesting we go down south- it was one of many highlights. Loved Onomichi and the inland sea area. Everything went without a hitch and the accommodation was great. So thankyou very much.
Hi Alan, Just wanted to let you know we had a wonderful time in Japan. Your itinerary was great and kept us on track. Train travel was made so much easier with your detailed notes. We missed a couple of things due to the kids being too tired or spending too long in one location but overall everyone enjoyed the trip and I feel we did a lot in our short time there. Thanks again. Camille
Colin and I returned from Japan last Friday. We both wanted to thank you for arranging a fabulous itinerary for us. We thoroughly enjoyed every single place we visited – even chilly Koyasan where the monastery was startlingly cold. It was fantastic travelling around on the Shinkansen and your directions were faultless. The hotels were really good – the only one that was a bit tired was the hotel in Kanazawa. But all the other accommodation was superb and the meals were fantastic. Although it was winter we were never really cold and I think that we managed to avoid the tourist rush during the warmer months – we got an appreciation of what tourist season must be like where we visited the markets in Kyoto! The bike ride from Onomichi with Sarah’s family was wonderful and riding across those bridges was fantastic.
We had a really nice time and are already planning another walking trip! Thank you very much for all your help.
Kind regards Charles and Colin
This is just a note of thanks for the wonderful itinerary that you arranged for our recent trip to Japan. We thoroughly enjoyed our time.
Your detailed suggestions were just the thing for ‘newbies’ to Japan. We did about 90% of the activities on the list and were lucky enough to experience a university student parade in the park at Ueno, with spectacular colourful floats and costumes, and a traditional wedding at a shrine.
Himeji’s White Egret Castle was my personal favourite, but I think that Graeme’s was the Okonomiyaki hawker center where we had entertainment from the chef as well as excellent food. Of course, the reality of the Hiroshima bombing really brings home the devastation of nuclear weapons.
The surprise Gelato gift from you in Kyoto after a blistering 35 degree day of sightseeing, along with the repeat of that in Miyajima was wonderful. A thoughtful and very much appreciated touch!
Before we left home, I was a little apprehensive of how we would manage the trains, but after a while we became experts in Shinkansen travel.
All the hotels were fine, the Ryokan was a wonderful experience and the final night in 34th floor luxury was a nice surprise.
All in all we had a wonderful time and will definitely make a return trip to experience more of Japan.
Many thanks and regards Jenny and Graeme
Thank you so much for the detailed itinerary that you composed for our trip to Japan. It was a fantastic adventure and we are very grateful for your expertise in creating such a wonderful holiday for us. There were so many things that we would never have known to do, and we had a blast as we tried all the different things and experienced so much of Japan. We both loved Nakasendo and Yamadera 1100 stone step climb to the temple with the stunning views. Bike riding in Kyoto was good, although we only just made it to the recommended sights (and didn’t get to your friend’s café). We also borrowed bikes from the ryokan in Takayama and that provided more opportunity to get about the town while we were there. Every day provided us with a wealth of Japanese experiences. Oh and thank you for organising the sumo tickets. We had a great day there. It was quite an experience. Overall, a truly great holiday, and thank you so much for putting it together.
Kathleen & Kim
We’re all back safe n sound, having had a wonderful trip to Japan. We must Thank You Very Much for an outstanding plan. All we had to do, was follow the bouncing ball and consult the various brochures you supplied. It was just what we wanted. It satisfied our need to be independent, but got us around to the best of what was on offer. We did skip one or two specific sites along the way, in favour of just walking the streets and taking everything in, after a while you get Temple overdose.
We did not miss any trains or connections and we did not get lost.
Being ex QF, I have to say JAL and the 787 were very good. And thanks for relocating us to the window/aisle seat pairs (that weren’t available on the 777). After seeing so much and covering a good chunk of the country, it is hard to pick the favourites, but some highlights are:
The people – warm, friendly, courteous, respectful, helpful (where do you stop). On one occasion a gentleman who spoke limited English, gave us some instructions to get to a place. We noticed he walked at a discrete distance behind to ensure we got his instructions right. When we were definitely on the right path, he just turned around and walked back. The trains – they operate with military precision.
The quietness and order of things – for a country of 127mil, everyone seems to go about their business quietly and efficiently. No car horns. No screaming people. Everything just happens. Again, thank you very much for the very detailed plan and your guidance. Regards Peter n Toni
Kathy and I wish to thank you for arranging an excellent self-guided tour of Japan. The itinerary and scheduling you engineered for us ran like a well-oiled clock. On two separate occasions we met with Japanese American families – visiting Japan – they expressed amazement at what we were doing, when shown the plan, they said only Japanese would visit the places you suggested, generally not foreign tourists and how fortunate we are to have a travel agent package up such a tour, we agreed. Dare we suggest that you would be safe in packaging and promoting self-guided tours such as this to individuals – who have moderate travel experience. Again, thanks for devoting your time and skills in developing a plan that made it an enjoyable holiday.
Kathy and Terry
Thank you from the whole family, who visited many places in Japan in October. Thanks to your meticulous attention to detail we confidently travelled the country and had a wonderful time. Our daughter was captivated by Japan. We will be sure to recommend your services to anyone planning a Japan visit.
Just wanted to thank you very much for the OISHI ice cream!
We so enjoyed it in Osaka!
We have had a wonderful time so far! Kurashiki is our favourite place thus far!
Naoshima was superb and inspiring. Tomorrow we go to Kyoto. As you know, I didn’t get there last time so am looking forward to it.
Hope you are well. We are following the news of the fires. What a nightmare! Thanks again for your great service and for making our time in Japan comprehensible. Warm wishes, Marina.
Had a FAB holiday!! THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HELP! We LOVE Japan!!!
What a great time we had in Japan. You made it so easy. Our accommodation was well situated, and you even gave us directions to get out of the train stations! Wow, it really helped. The highlighted maps and brochures helped us make decisions each day. The places you suggested gave us a variety of experiences, from the shrines and history of Kyoto, to the rebuilt and beautiful Hiroshima and bustling Tokyo etc.
Thanks from our families, who all felt that the holiday had something in it for everyone. Kind regards, the Hawkins family and the Cooks family.
Thank you so much.
Sorry for the late reply been busy since back.
We had a wonderful trip to Japan enjoyed every minute. We do need to go again to Japan. So much more to see and do! Ghibli was a great day far better than we expected. We all loved Fuji-Q Highland. There was lots of queuing and it was very cold but was well worth it. We also ice skated.
Hiroshima was a favorite with all of us. Found some great restaurants in Hiroshima. Kind regards Robyn
Alan, We have made it back and managed to avoid the typhoon and then the heatwave. We both enjoyed the different places you recommended. We were very happy with your guidance and suggestions. We like the quiet places in Japan more than the big cities. For the Rugby WC trip we will come back to you (first we have to get tickets).
Best wishes and many thanks. Chris
Hi Alan, I’ve been meaning to email you since we returned from Japan just to say thanks for all your JR rail and subway tips and to let you know the holiday was a success. All the connections worked smoothly and we were able to get around without any problems – thanks to your good instructions. The cheap rate you managed to get us for JAL premium economy was definitely worthwhile. Nice to have the lounge availability. Everything about the ryokans were fabulous. Couldn’t fault it. Kyoto was ok but again, tourists swarming everywhere. Osaka was great. Lots happening. Great food too. Travelling in Tokyo at peak-hour was quite an experience! In all I would say it was very successful. Loved the gelato. Thank you! Amanda
Apologies for replying back so late! I’ve been meaning to call you but never got around to it and got straight into the humdrum life when we got back. The trip to Japan you planned for us was fantastic! WE LOVE JAPAN! Ryan and I had an amazing time and wished we could have stayed longer, and would probably love to go again some day to explore the other prefectures too.
We showed our family the pictures and told them about it and they got jealous haha. I think Mum would love to go but I’m not sure when, as she’s often spending her money on traveling back to the Philippines to see the family. The last time she was in Japan was in her hey-day on a student trip or some such thing. However, I wouldn’t want her getting around the way Ryan and I did. I think she’d enjoy something guided, not tailor made. Anyway, she’s looking at next year some time but she’s not 100% sure yet, but I’ll let you know if she decides to go ahead or if we win the lottery anytime soon lol.
The ryokan was ok but the staff were really pleasant and accommodating and the Hot Sand Baths were a really lovely experience. The dinner on our last night was a very nice romantic touch too 🙂
I think our favourite city was Hiroshima. Everything about it, the mix of the traditional and modern life were perfect for us and visiting Miyajima was sooooo lovely! Thank you for suggesting the Okonomiyaki. The one we visited was very nearby the memorial, I’ve forgotten the name but we were lucky enough to get front row seats to the food making theatrics hehe.
I could go on and on and on about the trip, but I just want to say thank you so much for helping us put together this first time trip to Japan. I can’t even explain it but if I could describe with one word how I feel about Japan and our experience there, it would be MAGICAL! Corny, but true lol..
Emilia & Ryan
Thank you for making our trip an exciting and memorable one!
Despite everything going on, we still had a good time.
Feels good to be back, how things have changed so quickly!
Thank you Rayan
Sorry for the belated email.
We had a good trip to Japan.
Thank you for the very conveniently located hotel bookings, and comprehensive advice/recommendations and maps marked, sightseeing suggestion at every location and along the way and what to avoid etc. This was great help and I have recommended you highly to my friends who may plan to visit Japan.
We walked a lot, took no conducted tours (as you advised), the public transport system was great, and saw a lot.
Many thanks again.
Regards Viren & Debika
Sorry for not getting back to you on feedback on your itinerary and bookings you had done for our trip to Japan.
It was excellent and thank you for helping us.Just to confirm the below is actually your web address?
as I am recommending a good friend, Brittany who is looking for advice on a trip to Japan. Alan, you may like to introduce yourself to Brittany who has been copied in this email. Brittany, as per link which I believe is where Alan operates. They are not big on advertising gotta tell yah. More word of mouth
We are leaving for Kanazawa tomorrow after 2 wonderful days in Tokyo. The hotel is perfect and your itinerary contains excellent instructions. We have reserved all our bullet train trips and so far not one hitch. To cap it all – an ice cream from you this evening! This goes far beyond our expectations and is an awesome gesture. Thanks so much. Will keep you posted. Warm regards Hillary and Raphael.
Hi Alan, We are back!
We had a lovely time, thanks for all your assistance and last minute changes when our flights were delayed, you were a fabulous help. We also met a few people who you booked in at Hotel Niwa. I have a 1000 emails to get through but I am keen to email you some things that you may like to add to itineraries or feedback etc. Will get onto that next week but just wanted to say a big thank you. Georgie