Thanks for helping us put together a great trip. Japan Roads was perfect, and its guides could not have been any better. We had a blast and learned a lot. A perfect trip all the way around.
Travelers from Chicago
We are still on cloud 9!!
Mae, Michael and Alexander enjoying a Samurai Class in Kyoto
Your organization deserves a HIGH 5!!
GREATIDEA! And a GREAT sense of security! - -the cell phone with mainoffice number and Miwa’s # in contacts. And yes, we were thrilled to have it for callswithin Japan.
Also, incredible and, something we would never have thought of…the cooking class and the sword fighting class in Kyoto!
After the 4th day or so, the two boys age 27 and 19 were “templed and castled” out…no more please!!
InCooking class, we made 6 dishes from scratch(!!), it was amazing andthe instruction was so informative about ingredients and preparation. The result wasa delicious, bento box for lunch that looked totally restaurantprofessional.
Bento Lunch made by travelers
The2 hour samurai sword fighting class was physical and fun! The boys wereimpressed by real metal blades and grips. We learned explanations and executionsfor the moves (cleaning sword, presenting sword, special samurai walk,slicing vs. chopping stroke (!!) etc.).
Yourselection of hotels was brilliant-breakfasts were museum qualitygorgeous with broad selection of Japanese and/or Western dishes. Locationswere “spot on” in the center of transportation (subways, taxi’s andtrains) to minimize walking, esp. for Bob with a foot problem. Service was impeccable – responsive, always courteous, accommodating. Never a hesitation to give help.
Also,the Mt. Koya Monastery stay was priceless and totally absorbing for us & the 2 boys. We wanted to stay longer. A photo of the monasteryentrance wouldhave been more informative than a photo of their beautiful garden sincethere are so many monastery hotels on every street.
Finally,the booklet was our bible, with hotel confirmation #’s as b/up when we lost the vouchers, addresses in Japanese was vital, and maps to obscurelocations(cooking school). Photos of destinations, including hotels washelpful. The picture of Todaiji Temple helped us to realize we had gone to the WRONG temple!! In the massive Nara complex !! We did not need tobuy additional guide books for information.
When I get time, I will send some minor comments that might help users.
Thank you soooo MUCH! It was a fabulous bonding experience for the 4 of us—we give you all the credit for its success.
We would be happy to talk to any of your prospective clients.
Now that we've almost recovered from jet lag, we want to tell you howmuch we enjoyed our recent trip to Japan. Your company put together a superb itinerary. The tour organizer book was very helpful, and Miwa, your representative in Osaka, was extremely patient and helpful in filling in the details. Marco was very helpful and responsive when my wife called the office. The hotels were excellent and centrally located, of a higher class than we might have expected on our budget. The Buddhist monastery and the town of Mt Koya were among the high points ofour visit -- thanks so much for suggesting that stop. Kurashiki was another great discovery for us. My wife's family (some twenty of them!) in Fukuoka took us to dinner, and one of them devoted the next day to driving us around. Miyajima was another great stop, as I anticipated from my previous visit. (Our room at the ryokan was fine, though alittle too modern for my taste.) The classes we signed up for in Kyoto were both excellent.
Travel arrangements were great; they madetravel very easy.. We tended to remain a half day behind schedule, postponing many train trips from morning to afternoon. (Although thissometimes meant losing reserved seats, that never posed a problem.)
So thanks very much for setting this up for us, and doing so at fairly short notice. I can't imagine a better way to have toured Japan with my family.
If your company is listed on Tripadvisor or other travel review sites, I'd be delighted to write a glowing review.
- Bob, Mae, Michael and Alexander, St Louis, MO USA
Our vacation was a huge success! Both Ted and I feel it was the best trip that we have ever taken. Our accommodations were top notch and the trip far exceeded our expectations. Part of our ability to thoroughly enjoy the trip was the detailed guide book and instructions you provided. At every train station, I turned to Ted and thanked you because I am not an easy traveler; the train tickets in separate envelopes, the time table for train switches and ways to spend the station time truly made our trip much easier than expected. I have done nothing but rave about our trip and your organization since we have been home. I have told people that the only way for them to travel to Japan is to use you. Attached are some views from our ryokan rooms and some photos of us totally enjoying our most excellent travel experience!
Thank you for all your work!
- An and Ted, New Jersey, USA
Now that we're back and have caught our breath, I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our month in Japan, how pleased we were with your selections and recommendations, and impressed and grateful we were with the superb level of foresight, planning and organization we experienced from Japan Roads. We were regularly amazed at the care and thoroughness of each step of the journey, and regularly wowed by the places we visited and stayed. Not sure what was "best" in a month of superlatives, but the ryokan at Fuji (with its private balcony bath facing Fuji) was a spectacular place to end the Japan Roads portion of our trip. There were only two small hitches (neither the fault of Japan Roads), and I want to particularly call out Marco who came to the rescue both times very quickly, with abundant good cheer, and, most importantly, with excellent solutions. Bravo to you and the entire team!
Thank you from a very happy and satisfied Entis family,
Glenn, Maria and Katie, San Francisco, CA, USA
We are in the airport ready to start our trip home. We have turned in the phone at the hotel desk. I'm happy to report we didn't miss any trains and we did not have to use the phone. We are so impressed with how organized your company is. It was easy to follow all of the instructions and all of the tickets were well labeled so that we had no problems. We are so glad we found your company. The trip was great. The home stay was such an important part. Just doing cities and temples would not have been the trip we would want. We liked all of the accommodations and were grateful for the private room at the monastery. It gave us a chance to practice all of the rules! Fukiko was great. The stay in her house was special and she was an excellent guide in Kyoto. Meeting her at the hotel was like greeting an old friend. If you ever need references you can use our name and you don't have to get permission beforehand.
- S & B Payne Ridgefield, CT, USA
Just got back from our trip overseas. Japan was awesome! The people are by far the most friendly and helpful we have ever encountered in our travels. Very polite, considerate and helpful. We can't tell you how many times assistance was offered when we got that "where the heck do I go now" look on our faces. One lady walked us out of Shinjuku station, got us a cab and even gave the driver instructions where to go!!
Accommodations were great. The ryokan was superb and the host and hostess were fabulous. The dinner was out of this world and very delicious. We just loved all the temples, the train, everything. Even found ourselves a Starbucks in Kyoto! Only thing was, they were playing American Christmas carols! In fact, we were amazed how big Christmas is there; obviously more of a secular holiday. Overall, a wonderful experience and we want to thank you for all your help and answers to all our questions. We didn't even use the cell phone! Only comment I can make is that you guys let people know that the cabs in Kyoto are quite expensive ($25 - $35 per trip); that if they can figure out the bus signs, it is a much better alternative because once inside the bus, the stops are both in Japanese and English. Our only real regret is that we didn't spend more time.
Thanks for everything, Jeff, Marco and staff. Great job.
-- G & J Pagosa Springs, CO, USA
Thank you so much for helping us plan such a wonderful trip to Japan. We had an amazing time exploring Tokyo and Kyoto! Both places that we stayed at Park Hotel & Sakura Inn were impressive in location, appearance and most of all the friendly staff that were so welcoming & helpful. Chris and I were able to get around easily with our Japan Rail Pass throughout our week. We are blessed to have had such a memorable experience. Chris & I would highly recommend both places to anyone looking to stay in Tokyo or Kyoto. Thank you again and we look forward to planning our next trip! Have a Happy New Year!
-- CL & SK Michigan, USA
I got back on Monday night from Japan. All your arrangements were spot-on, and everything went like clockwork. Thanks for everything.
-- SM New York, NY, USA
My apology for a very belated THANK YOU to you and your staff. We all agree that our Cultural Diversity Tour of Japan plus side trips to Okinawa and Mt. Fuji were memorable and unforgettable. Everything went as scheduled by your staff. The accommodations were great, meals were delicious and presentation of the dishes were colorful and exciting. The places we visited were exciting and unique. I think the best part of the Japan Roads Tours was having our own private tour guide to everywhere we visited. Having our own guide prevented us from getting lost, wasting time figuring out which train tickets to purchase, and having someone translate for us. Visiting the sites with a translator helped us to understand so much more of the history and culture of the various places we visited. All the guides were friendly, patient, knowledgeable, and went out of their way to make our visit outstanding.
I am so grateful to you and your staff for arranging the visit to the orphanage. We spent about 3 hrs. talking and touring the facility. I met a gentleman who knew me when I was 7 yrs. old and he was able to answer many of my questions. He even gave me a copy of a picture taken when I was 7. My family and I were near tears as we talked and learned more about my mother and my unusual situation. We will always remember the visit.
Julia and Christina survived the climb to Mt. Fuji and had no troubles. They enjoyed the overnight stay at the hut and meeting other climbers of various age.
I will be happy to share our wonderful experience for clients who would like to speak with someone who has actually taken the tour and answer their questions. I have recommended Japan Road Tours to my friends and relatives who want to experience an unforgettable vacation.
You were very kind to remember my husband Frank's birthday. We were all so surprised and very appreciative. The gift of the glass paper weight of Mt. Fuji and the coaster will be a wonderful remembrance.
I am so happy that I found Japan Roads Tours when I searched tours to Japan on the website. You have created a unique and all encompassing tour packets of Japan. Thank you again for your patience and understanding when I had to request many changes to our final itinerary. You'll be happy to know that Julia's flight home alone was without any complications and she has survived one month of medical school.
Again, our many Thank Yours. With gratitude and appreciation,
-- C., F., C., and J. L., Silver Spring, MD, USA
Thanks for the superb preparation of our Japan trip. The facilities were great, and having a contact, Mrs. Waller, was extremely beneficial. I made it a point to call and thank Mrs. Waller from the airport before departing for America. She was really helpful.
Thanks again. You help make our vacation very special.
-- W.O., Glenview, USA
I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for an exciting, problem free, journey in Japan. Your help and advise was extremely valuable. Money well spent!!! All through the process I became more and more confident that Japan Roads was a wise choice. And when Cindy and I arrived back in Osaka from Okinawa, Takeo was there waiting for us and was the model of professionalism. He took us under his wing and guided us into an amazing experience. Then sent us off with all the tools we needed.
I can't help but surmise that your organization had a lot to do with the fantastic hotel accommodations with unbelievable views from our rooms at every stop on your tour. At first I thought it was our good fortune. We could have just as well have gotten a view of the brick wall next door. But when EVERY HOTEL was a winner, we realized it was no accident.
Once again, THANK YOU!
-- J. Ferguson, Foxborough, MA, USA
It has been a couple of weeks since we returned from Japan, and we can't stop thinking about it. This, in spite of having to return to the normal routine of work and catching up! Our thoughts wander to our wonderful memories of a very beautiful country with a fascinating history and culture.
Jim, Jon, Robin and I had a very special, most enjoyable vacation. We enjoyed time together as a family (as you know we live quite a distance and an ocean apart) and exploring, discovering and indulging, as vacationers should.
The experience was, simply, joyful and priceless.
Japan Roads provided, prior to our departure, written directions, advice and information, all which were clearly written, easily understood, easy to follow and extremely helpful. Reading through them all contributed to our anticipation of an upcoming vacation. All this was in addition to many preliminary e-mail correspondences, full of questions and requests, which were responded to very quickly by you, Jeff, at Japan Roads.
We cannot express how satisfied and happy we all were with the service provided by your company. It was a bit of a leap of faith to communicate almost exclusively by e-mail, then transfer substantial funds, but our faith was well-placed. Like so many family businesses and individuals in Japan, the trustworthiness and integrity of Japan Roads proved remarkable.
Our experience began with our flights (two separate ones) from the U.S. to Kansai Airport in Osaka. On arrival, we were each met by an extremely pleasant English-speaking guide who assisted us in obtaining our rail passes, then escorted us to our first hotel. The experience of first taking a train in Japan with a guide gave us enough familiarity and confidence to independently use rail service in Japan for the remainder of our visit. We maneuvered quite successfully, as we never got lost or missed any train due to poor timing.
The accommodations (four hotels and two ryokan) were excellent! We were expected and greeted at every check-in since the arrangements were clearly communicated and established. The meals which were included were excellent, no doubt, a reflection of good choices of accommodations by Japan Roads.
Japan Roads also included some expenses in the total package price which we did not expect (prepaid bus and train tickets, even some subway fares in cash), so not having to pay for them meant having a little more to spend on souvenirs. In addition, the convenience was certainly appreciated. This also reflected an attention to little details which are almost never thought of and included by other tour companies.
And so, Jeff, we all thank you for your impeccable service and more so for facilitating a special experience in our lives.
Good luck in continuing your work and profession, which we know will enrich the lives of those who (wisely) chose to use your service.
-- C. O., Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Cultural Diversity Private Tour
"It was great for me as a person who had never been to Japan to have so much packed into a few days. I really felt that I got a feel for the country and its culture and people. It was great also to feel that one was in the hands of such well informed and generous guides.
The way in which Fukiko and Takeo looked after us was better than we could ever have expected. they went out of their way to make sure that we enjoyed every element of the tour whilst in their company. They were well informed and sensitive and made the holiday what it was. One particular personal kindness shown to me by Takeo will always stay in my mind. We could not have asked for better."
-- Sakai and Davies, Cardiff, UK
Shikoku Independent Tour
"I would like to commend you for the excellent preparations made for my family's Shikoku Tour. Although I was not able to join them, my wife and daughter enjoyed themselves thoroughly through out the seven-day tour. All of the accommodations were top class, and your self-guided tour instructions were very effective in helping them to get around all the interesting sights. Best of all was the assistance that they got from Takeo-san who went out of his way to be a very good host to them. I will certainly recommend services of Japan Roads to my friends who are planning to visit Japan."
-- C.H., Bangkok, Thailand
Tokyo & Beyond Independent Tour
"Just got back from a fantastic trip. Everything worked out perfectly. Your staff and associates in Japan were hugely helpful and provided lots more very useful information. Not to diminish anyone's contribution to this excellent experience but I would like to single out for special praise whoever chose and booked the Hotels/Ryokans. I suspect it might have been Mizue, who's handwriting was on all the cards, and most of the added information. There was only one Hotel I would have called average. Many were good, several were outstanding and a couple were truly memorable, and I say this from the perspective of a man who has travelled the world for 35yrs (well over 2 million miles at the last count) and stayed in some of the best.
"Please convey my heartfelt thanks to those involved, but especially to the person who arranged the superb accommodations; it is, as you know, not just (or even) a matter of the infrastructure that makes an accommodation outstanding, it is mostly to do with ambience, staff, location and that indefinable something. Whatever "it" is your accommodations person can spot it.
"Once again, many thanks for arranging everything, and effusive praise for all your staff. I would unhesitatingly recommend your company to any like minded folks who want to explore for themselves, need guidance and want the assurance of top quality accommodation at the end of the day."
Shoguns & Samurai Group Tour
"I believe the Shoguns and Samurai Tour was the best we went on after 5 previous Tour of Japan especially the Minshukus and Ryokans."
-- P. Fujimoto, Lanai City USA
"We want to commend Mari Ohara in the highest terms possible. She said "Yes, of course!" to every request anyone made and followed through. You couldn't possibly have come up with a better ambassador of Japanese culture than Mari. It was a terrific trip. The food, the variety of sites, the pace: everything was superb. Hats off to everyone involved, and, again, thanks especially to Mari-san for sharing her love of Japan with us."
-- D. Kirby, Tallahassee, USA
Land of Fire Walking Group Tour
"Aria is a golden asset. When I first met her I was surprised that such a relatively young person would shoulder so much responsibility. But she is well up to the task. She accommodated a wide variety of requests and requirements with the most practical aplomb I could imagine. And even when taxed beyond what I would have thought reasonable, she remained chipper and upbeat.
The trip lived up to my expectations or exceeded them on many levels. Thanks for the great memories."
-- R. Patterson, USA