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Japan Custom Tours

Shinjuku, Japan
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About Japan Custom Tours
From Tokyo day tours, day trips and multi-day tours across Japan, we specialize in delivering custom tours for small groups (10 max) or private excursions.
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Y3434VTchrisb wrote a review Jan 2020
2 contributions1 helpful vote
We had a great time travelling around Japan with Patrick and our small group of fellow travellers. Patrick was an excellent guide and showed us all sorts of interesting aspects of Japan. He went out of his way to make sure we were well looked after. Thoroughly recommend
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Kate S wrote a review Jan 2020
Melbourne, Australia83 contributions9 helpful votes
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My husband and I travelled through Japan for three weeks from the end of October 2019. Mostly with Patrick from Japan custom tours with the last few days in Tokyo on our own. I had heard lots of people saying how they loved Japan so my expectations where probably a bit high from the start. My communication with Patrick via email was quick and easy and I felt well informed especially when Japan was struck by a strong typhoon not long before our arrival. Patrick greeted us at the airport as planned and we took a local train to the hotel as the express was an hour wait. After a good nights sleep we had a full day looking around Tokyo. My only regret here was that we are not interested in museums and we should have made that clearer. My husband and I could of spent more time walking the gardens rather than looking through the museum. We were also unsure where to eat dinner and only found out later, when we returned to a Tokyo, of some better eating places. We left the next day for our Autumn leaves tour around Japan. While we saw some lovely parks, temples, castles and popular tourist attractions my favourite experience was the ryokan. It was great to experience the more traditional food, geisha show and the onsen. While the ryokan was a little run down in areas they are working on it and I enjoyed my time there. The hotels varied from amazing to very average. The average happened due to heavy booking over a holiday weekend. The positive side of the tour was we really did see some lovely and interesting places. The downside was that we felt we spent a lot of time travelling on trains, walking to and from accommodation and looking for places to eat dinner with some variety. Overall we saw some lovely and interesting places but I wasn’t wowed by Japan. I do think I would have liked to explore some places such as Sendai and Kanazawa a bit more. I also liked the scenery through the Japanese alps. Possibly our mistake was trying to see too many places and maybe having time to just wander through less places would have suited us more. But everyone is different and others may enjoy visiting more places. It was also recommended by others to spend more time in Tokyo which we did. Our day trip to Hakone to see Mt Fuji on a Hakone pass was fabulous. We are not bright lights and shopping people so while we visited gardens, temples, city viewing areas and a hedgehog cafe we found our extra 4 days more than enough.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Response from JapanCustomTours, Owner at Japan Custom Tours
Responded Jan 6, 2020
Hi Katebeth67, thank you for your review and feedback. For the early autumn leaves tour, yes we did travel quite long distances to get to the areas with the best colours for the time of year. And this tour is one where we do more travelling than usual. Probably the later autumn tour could have been a better option as it covered less ground. Certainly we are looking at changing the schedule the 2020 autumn season. And I also agree that the "very average" hotel we struck was very disappointing for a first time use and we will be avoiding that chain in future.
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holsaddictGlendowie wrote a review Dec 2019
New zealand127 contributions23 helpful votes
My husband and I travelled with another couple for a 2 week tour of Japan organised by Patrick at Japan Custom Tours. From the outset Patricks’ responses to my questions were extremely helpful and replies very swift. We all loved the itinerary that he put together because it was so diversified and incorporated our 2 Rugby World Cup Games we had gone to see. Highlights of the trip were getting out of the large cities into the smaller cities of Takayama, Kanazawa and Nagano. We loved his insight into the different cultures and food experiences which all mounted up to an everyday adventure. Patrick made this possible without any stress by navigating us through the maze that are Japanese Train Stations and delivering us to our accommodation every night in time for a drink and ‘get together’ at the end of the day. All of our accommodation was in excellent locations and we had a variety of hotel styles. My personal favourite the Kanazawa Holiday Inn which had huge “Japanese style rooms”. Patricks organisational skills managed us around the chaos caused by the Typhoon without any of us really noticing any major disruption. Because of the typhoon disruption in Hakone he organised a trip to the Hakone Outdoor Sculpture Park which turned out a highlight for all 8 of us. Patrick’s personal touches went as far as delivering us to the Park for the Rugby Game in Tokyo. Another example of us enjoying the atmosphere without the stress. I’m sure my husband and I would have been close to divorce without his help and guidance and he made our first trip to Japan a memorable one.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Ellen P wrote a review Oct 2019
1 contribution3 helpful votes
I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to Japan with Japan Custom Tours. Every day was packed with memorable adventures! My friend and I picked JCT for several reasons: the itinerary, the value and the quick responses to our questions about the tour. I’m so glad we chose this company. I am still amazed at how much we saw of Japan. It was quite fun traveling by Shinkansen, bus, or taxi to get to Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa, Takayama, Nagano and Tokyo. Our group of eight (six from New Zealand and us two USA Midwestern’s) became close travel companions. A bonus was watching some rugby games with the kiwis since the Rugby World Cup was taking place in Japan. Everything went remarkably smoothly throughout the trip. The hotel accommodations were very nice and comfortable – modern, immaculate and spacious. One room even included a private tea ceremony area. Most had breakfast buffets with a delicious mix of Western and Japanese foods. You really could buy anything else you wanted nearby such as wine, clothes or souvenirs. We enjoyed dining at a variety of restaurants throughout the trip -- there was something for everyone’s food preferences. JCT picked remarkable places to visit, each different and vibrant for Japan’s history and culture. The Peace Park and Museum in Hiroshima, the 1000 hand-carved Buddha statues (all different), the world’s largest Buddha, the gardens, the temples, shrines and Torii gates, the sacred deer ready to eat your ice cream, the snow monkeys in their family units, and the giant pandas eating bamboo were all fascinating to behold. And the Hakone Outdoor Museum’s sculptures were truly extraordinary! The other places were also interesting, but there are too many to include now. We must credit our guide, Patrick Harnett, for designing and working so hard to make this an amazing trip! He was very personable, smart and patient with his eight travelers. He flexibly tailored the experiences to the needs and interests of our group, giving us options for places to visit. He also helped us to understand much about Japan and its lovely people. These are just words that cannot do justice to the superb time we had in Japan. It was a trip "of a lifetime!" Ellen P of Cleveland, Ohio USA
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Elayne wrote a review Aug 2019
Palmerston North7 contributions4 helpful votes
We are at Narita Aiirport reflecting on the last two weeks with our hosts! Wow, we have had a fabulous time and it would have been much less fabulous and much more stressful if we had tried to figure out an itinerary, accommodation, what to see and particularly what train to catch. Everything went like clockwork but the clock was invisible so we felt very relaxed. Patrick was our first contact point and arranged our itinerary to suit our dates. We prefer not to be with a preorganised tour and there was flexibility to fit in a trip to Naoshima which had been recommended to us. Wendy and Koji were a great mix of advice and information. I think we especially liked being taken around and having things explained from a Japanese perspective with a lot of respect for the complex and deep history. Wendy knows all the good shopping spots and gave another perspective. We have tried almost everything on offer and it was good to have someone explain where to eat and what to try as the specialty of each area. We have gained so much but best of all we really feel like we have had a holiday as well as an experience.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Response from JapanCustomTours, Owner at Japan Custom Tours
Responded Sep 1, 2019
Thank you for being great guests to show around. Koji and Wendy enjoyed being able to provide you a great experience and different perspectives of Japan.
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