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“Visiting Japan after the Tsunami”
Review of Japan

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Mississauga, Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
19 helpful votes
“Visiting Japan after the Tsunami”
Reviewed June 7, 2011

My girlfriend and I just returned from a long-planned vacation in Japan. We had purchased tickets about a month before the tsunami hit. Media reports were dismal, and some governments were advising their citizens to avoid travelling to Japan due to the threat of aftershocks and radiation. It sounded like the entire country was at risk of imminent disaster! We decided to go anyway, but to avoid Sendai. It was great! There was none of what the media led us to believe. We arrived on Sunday May 22; everything was running normally, and the transportation systems were like clockwork, exactly on schedule. We travelled to Tokyo, took in Ginza, saw the famous Hachiko(faithful dog) statue, and did some shopping. We had Shinkansen(high-speed train) passes, and used them to go to Yokohama, Mishima(very pretty, ecological city), Shimoda and Lake Yamanaka. The Izu Peninsula is very natural, with a rocky coastline. There were no crowds; I could easily have been on an isolated island, for all I knew. Yamanakako was much the same, with fantastic views of Mount Fuji. The last four days of our trip were spent in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. What a contrast in weather! Warm and sunny in the city, but when we took a bus into Daisetsuzan National Park, it was cool due to the elevation. We took a cable car 1600 metres up to Mount Asahi, and hiked another 500 metres up to where there was sulphuric gas spewing from the face. The snow was 30 cm thick up there! Great experience. In short, Japan is more than fine. Go, shop, eat, drink, meet friends, and just enjoy. Never believe the negativity which is so quickly propagated by the uninformed.

6 Thank worldcitizen002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York
2 reviews
16 helpful votes
“Samurai Tours of Japan, Guided and Self-Guided”
Reviewed June 4, 2011

Just had the most excellent experience working with SAMURAI TOURS for a trip to Japan. They made everything easy for a Self-Guided tour.

We could not take advantage of their Guided tours due to our dates of travel, so they customized an itinerary for us for Central Japan including suggested cities and things to do, train tickets and schedules, a guided tour of Tokyo, hotel and ryokan reservations, sights to see and cultural activities and events to participate in at all locations. They even provide a guidebook which tells you a lot of what you need to know about Japan and its culture

They do trips, both Guided or Self-Guided, all over Japan based on different geography and themes. Mike , the gentleman who helped us, is extraordinarily knowledgeable and helpful actually lives in Japan part of the year. He and everyone else at the company is patient, helpful, courteous, and they are REASONABLY PRICED if not inexpensive which is incredible.

I would recommend them highly for anyone considering going to Japan. My husband and I have travelled around the world for both business and pleasure, and it is RARE to find such a great first class Company that is so excellent at what they do and gives so much personal attention at such a good price. Please check their web site if Japan is on your list of places to go.

16 Thank JJMBNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
5 helpful votes
“My Dream Holiday to Japan”
Reviewed December 26, 2010

Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima
Date: 27th November 2010 TO 8th December 2010
Reviewer: Member of Trip Advisor , Singapore

We had a fantastic holiday in Japan for 10 days. It was planned completely by me and my husband and we did not take any packaged tour. But with the help of valuable tips from various members of tripadvisor.com, we managed to sail through our time in Japan without any difficulty.

In Tokyo we stayed in two hotel:Hotel Urbain Kamata (near Kamata station and a mere 20 mins ride from Haneda Airport). The hotel is a clean, cozy place suitable for families with young kids. The staff is extremely helpful and very friendly. They have b'fast facilities... and the b'fast we had there was very nice. My kids loved it !!

In Kyoto, we stayed in a hotel called: Urban Kusatsu. Although not located in central Kyoto, but very well connected by trains to local Kyoto. It has nice , clean and spacious rooms. We stayed there for 3 nights and we had a memorable time in Kyoto.

We visited Nara for a day. There we were extremely lucky to get a goodwill guide , courtesy the YMCA chapter of Nara, which has many English Speaking guides. Our guide , who we requested at a very short notice of only 15 mins, arrived at the station to pick us up and then walked us around the whole town of Nara. :) It was a superb experience.

In Hiroshima, we stayed at Hotel Sunroute, Hiroshima. This was a superb hotel. Staff was very friendly and helpful. The rooms were very big and very well furnished. We had a view of the A-bomb dome from our room and it was a superb sight. Hiroshima is a beautiful town. Our time in Hiroshima was made more memorable as the Goodwill Guide we had was a very nice, friendly and a very well informed person. Although we had only ONE day in hiroshima, he had the whole day planned out so well that we were able to cover the Hiroshima Museum and Miyajima temple very comfortably. We had a nice sushi lunch at a restaurant which our helpful guide recommended. All I can say is that we were extremely fortunate to have the company of this goodwill guide. :)

In tokyo,we also stayed at Sakura Hotel in Ikkebukoro. This is hotel in a suburb of Tokyo. Although clean, the hotel is minimalistic with NO facilities. The staff was friendly, but there was no service what so ever. I would not want to recommend this hotel to anyone. :(

Before the holiday, we had heard a lot of concerns regarding "language problems" in Japan, overall difficulty in navigating oneself in and around Tokyo as well as inter-city travel. However, thanks to all the fantastic tips and feedbacks from various members of Tripadvisor.com , we did not even once face any problems in our inter-city travel through shinkanesen. The JR pass is a boon for tourists. The staff at all train stations is extremely helpful and at many times go out of their way to help tourists.

Even at local Japanese restaurants , we did not face any problems in communicating with the staff. Most of the places have menus in English. The waiters and staff are extremely kind and friendly and go out of their way to make you feel at home and comfortable.

Overall, it was an enriching experience and an unforgettable time in japan.

Anu SG

4 Thank AnuSG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 helpful votes
“Great tour company”
Reviewed August 13, 2010

I recommend Explorient travel services whttp://www.explorient.com/.
They put together a terrific family trip for me and my two teenagers to Japan. We were well taken care of every step of the way: met at every hotel or train, transported where we wanted to go by knowledgeable and interesting guides, and shown a wide variety of attractions, some off the beaten path. The tour put together a great mix of opportunities for a family to really experience the real Japan.We were so spoiled by the excellent customized service. We especially loved seeing the countryside like Hakune and Inuyama, with cormorant fishing and trying on kimonos. Everything was so well planned and organized, and all the hotels were gorgeous. We would wholeheartedly recommend their services to anyone contemplating a trip to the far East.

4 Thank pepster39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
8 helpful votes
“Robert Day's Japan Architecture Tour”
Reviewed July 21, 2010

I went on Robert Day’s Japan Architecture Tour in April this year and it was truly fantastic. As it was my first trip to Japan, I found so many aspects of the built environment, culture, character of the people, food and scenery fascinating.

Robert’s knowledge of Japan is extensive and he has great insight into the Japanese culture and lifestyle. My partner and I appreciate good food and reasonably active holidays and were not disappointed on either score as we walked and toured every day. It was both visually stimulating as well as offering excellent food, and many places of contemporary architectural and historic interest.

The highlights include the contact with the Japanese Architects and local people; great meals in traditional restaurants; visits to the busy markets, beautiful parks and gardens, and the many fascinating buildings including those by Frank Lloyd Wright. Being immersed in such a safe, clean and welcoming culture made for an enjoyable trip on all counts. I realise I couldn’t have done it without Robert’s expert guidance. He packed loads into his well considered itinerary with excellent tips to give us a great experience.

Anyone interested in architecture, design, lifestyle, how cities work and Asian history would enjoy this tour. I work in an architectural office but am not an architect and hope to go on another tour in Japan with Robert Day.

I would highly recommend this tour to anyone considering a Japan Architecture Tour.

For details of Robert's next Tour in October 2010 visit his Tour Blog at this web address: http://rdayarch.com.au/blog/?p=9

8 Thank jen6jen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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