66 Reviews of Hakone Tours
Fascinating culture, country, food & people October 20185.0
public transport rather than buses. Good mix of tempkes, activities and
scenery. Noku hotel in Kyoto was our favourite hotel, excellent location. The
people were very friendly, courteous, respectful and helpful. Loved Kyoto and
the alps. Tokyo was very tiring. Our guide Ayaka Tsukamoto was very
friendly, extremely helpful, great sense of humour, brilliant organisational
skills and imparted the right amount of infirmation.
What we didn’t like about the trip: Only organise one meal in the first
Ryokan instead of 2. The second Ryokan banquet meal was good but the
accommodation was very, very old, tired and not very nice at all. The onsens
were disappointing too. The description of these experiences didn’t match
the reality. Loved the idea of staying in a Ryokan but you need to find
better ones, maybe with a nice garden.
The people, culture, efficiency of the transportation system and the food. We
organised a trip ourselves to see the Sumo which was excellent and a major
highlight. We adored Kyoto and the geishas, the little old streets and the
Noku hotel was our favourite of the trip. We loved the alps and the scenery
too. Our favourite temple of the trip was a slightly weird one on Miyajimi
island which our guide recommended- excellent.
Absolutely brilliant. Very friendly, organised, great sense of humour, always
made sure everyone was OK and knew how to get to things they wanted to do in
their spare time. She was hilarious, great fun and showed us many thinfs we
would never have seen on our own.
Would have liked to have known a bit more about Japanese peopke’s lives and
how things work e.g. health service but it’s very difficult when using
public transport. It’s not like being on a bus for hours with the whole
group when such information coud be shared with everyone at the same time.
Ayaka was always happy to answer our individual questions.
Do the Hakone trip. We didn’t and regretted it. I think it should be part
of the itinerary rather than an option.
Trip notes need updating. Easy to obtain cash from Seven Eleven stores so you
don’t need to being loads of cash. We used cards quite easily for meals
etc, just not small purchases. We spent a lot less than expected. Wifi was
excellent in all types of lodgings.
Tip! Use the hotel’s mobile phone in Tokyo and fiwnload the Tokyo metro and
google maps. Brilliant! Saved us a lot of time.
Tip! Buy a 2 or 3 day metro/subway card. It aaves a lot of money and makes
moving around a lot eadier. You need your passport to purchase one though.
Book Sumo tickets if it’s on. Very interesting and brilliant fun.
Operator Exodus Travels
Ancient and Modern Japan October 20185.0
so that I want to return in the next couple of years. I loved the fact that
quite a few of the train journeys were made by bullet train. We were
fortunate to be in Tokyo whilst the Cherry Blossom was in flower. Big tick on
the bucket list.
I enjoyed Kyoto. One of the reasons I want to return to Japan is to spend
some more time in Kyoto. One of the highlights was the first sighting of
Mount Fuiji - from the bullet train. Don’t think you can get more iconic
than that. I enjoyed Matsumoto. I could have spent another day / half day
there. Standing in Hiroshima at the iconic site of the exhibition hall was
thought provoking. Takayama was good. Actually there wasn’t a location I
didn’t like. I omitted the trip to see the snow monkeys though, choosing to
spend a morning in Obuse instead to visit the Hokusai museum and wander round
the town before rejoining the group.
Misa was wonderful. So calm, patient and organised. Nothing was too much
trouble. She helped me plan out the train journey to Obuse. She did a good
job of herding us and keeping us together, especially in the face of one or
two individuals who didn’t always appreciate the importance of timing and
one who I think was seeking travel advice for an extended stay that was over
and above Misa’s remit.....
Fantastic trip. Was a once in a life time for me but I would love to return.
Japan was everything I expected and more.
Operator Exodus Travels
Ancient and Modern Japan January 20185.0
The contrast between the charms of the ancient castles, gardens and shrines
and the modern sky scrapers and bullet trains .
The courtesy and warm welcome of Japanese people in all the hotels,
restaurants and places we visited.
Ayaka was an excellent group leader going above and beyond ensuring we
enjoyed and got the most from our time in Japan. She made sure we could find
the most interesting things to see and do in our free time and teaching us to
negotiate the wonders of the subway independently as well as suggesting good
places to eat and shop for all sorts things and an idea of how to fit into
the Japanese way of doing things.
She also gave us good basic understanding of how the places we visited and
the things we saw fitted into the bigger picture of Japanese history and
She rearranged our trains after the Typhoon closed some lines to close and
made sure we didn't miss any of our itinerary.
If you want an overview of Japan and its varied and fascinating culture book
Remember to check the weather forecast just before you go and pack with this
We encountered Typhoon Lan and were really pleased to have waterproof
trousers and tops, Japan is green country and it does rain.
Operator Exodus Travels
aop ancient and modern japan January 20185.0
really helped us appreciate that to the full.
Seeing parts of japan off the normal tourist trail
Ayaka was fantastic - she couldn't do enough for us all - full of energy and
infectious enthusiasm, and very knowledgeable too. She clearly listened to
what people said about what they wanted to get from the trip and delivered
on this. Impressive.
Operator Exodus Travels
Japanese exploration January 20185.0
interesting sites to visit and different modes of transport to experience.
Being able to visit Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Takayama, Matsumoto, Yudanka and
Tokyo was just superb and everything went exceedingly smoothly with all the
trains, buses, subways, trams, and PIRATE ships! The group was 18 in number
and we always were able to travel together and experience all the sights.
Hotels were good and offered restful nights and hot spring water baths at
one. Meals were usually together and fish eaters were well catered for
alongside the meat eaters. The two luggage transfers were great and suitcases
were whisked off to be reunited a couple of days later. The trip schedule
meant that most days we had several sights to visit and even on 'free-days'
our guide, Ayaka, skilfully put together individual packages depending on our
needs. The variety of experiences across the main island of Japan was
Too many to mention but obviously the emotions of Hiroshima Peace Park, the
busy food markets, the opulent shrines and temples, the extensive art
treasures in Kyoto and Tokyo, the snow monkeys in snow, the hot spring bath
in snow as well, Mount Fuji, the impressive time keeping of Japanese Rail,
the patience, knowledge, good humour and infectious laugh of Ayaka.
Ayaka brought together a sizeable group in a calm and unflustered manner and
made sure that we were able to fully experience the 'wonders' of ancient and
modern Japan. Ever present and always preparing material for free days and
helping us get deeper into Japanese society, made the whole tour a really
memorable experience. Thank you.
Book for next year
12 full days made Japan a very accessible country, Shinkansens speed us to
far-flung places effortlessly, everybody we came into contact with throughout
the tour was pleased to see us and help us unravelled so many aspects of the
vibrant Japanese culture.