Scott did an awesome job in pulling together a fantastic trip to Japan. He managed to include all of the things we had asked to do, arranged excellent boutiquehotels, and found wonderful Japanese guides (especially Kondo). Our experiences were varied which was nice, and he centered us around as few hotels as possible so our moving was minimized. Everything was thought through and taken care of in advance, so all we had to do was show up: greeters at the airport, all transportation tickets including trains, day passes etc., all entrance fees, and even some special meals. Scott provided a truly stress free vacation for us. The planning process was also great. Scott had excellent communications. We traded many emails to make sure we zeroed in on our wants and what he was thinking of. We had to change things as our dates changed, we added in a day with friends when their schedule came into play, had to meet up with and collect our son doing a study abroad as his program ended so he could join us, fly in and out of Nagoya due to our son's program, and my breast cancer when we thought we would have to put it on hold. The attention to detail was evident down to our final day, where the greeter met us at our bullet train, got us to the connecting train taking us to the airport, and then not only got us to the counter but we also saw her again inside when we finally got to our gait (we had stayed 2 hours in the airline club) at boarding time and she was standing in the sky priority line for us so we would have a spot in the front. I am glad I found Zicasso, as finding a travel agent in an area we have decided to travel to is always one of the first major elements to our planning and execution. With Zicasso, I was able to save a lot of time of trying to select a group from the internet, then vet them as best I can with communication with them, and then select someone and yet still be unsure as I have no experience with them. With Zicasso, I shortened that time as they did the selecting, and I also felt even more comfortable, as they had experience with them and only started with the best of the agents. I am copying my email to Scott in the week back from our trip, as I think it would let you know a little on how things worked.
First and foremost that everything was already planned for us so it was stress free, while also being totally individualized where we could take the day or the moment where we wanted. Second would be the cultural aspect: food, people, the roofs, the temples/shrines and history, the snow monkeys and the Japanese hotel we stayed in as all were amazing: the little babies, the Onsen baths, the service at the hotel, the dinner we had there, and the beauty of the area. And of course it was great meeting up with our son's childhood friend and his parents for a day. Truly, the whole trip was enjoyable and memorable! I am copying my email to Scott in the week we got back, as I think it captures our enthusiasm for the experience:
thank you for an amazing trip! Bill and I both commented to each other about what a great job you did i pulling this together and making it run seamlessly and stress free. All of our guides were great and did an impeccable and professional job, and the hotel selection great. Of special note would be Kondo for Kyoto/Osaka who we really enjoyed and was a great fit for us, was very knowledgeable and generous of spirit, and Ms Nimi who was so nice and greated us into the country and then sent us off! She even held our place in line for us so when we got to the gate, she had us near the front for boarding! We had an absolutely awesome time with the snow monkeys! The hotel and its staff were our favorite, the dinner great, and the snow monkeys exceptional experience. We got there about a half hour before they arrived to the park, and then we spent about 2.5 hours with them as they ascended on us! The babies were so cute. The walk in and out were also quite beautiful. In Kanazawa we caught the eve of their festival, and had street food for dinner and saw the light procession, and as we were leaving also got to see them staging for the parade — archers, dancers, dragons, the 3 string musical instrument players etc. And, the business hotel in Fuji was just fine!! We had a great and full day with the Tsuemoto’s, even getting up to the top of Mt. Fuji and eating at the conveyerbelt sushi for lunch, and that grill at the table for dinner. Kirt even came in to join us for dinner (he is North of Tokyo for work so we really appreciated his taking the time to join us). It was great to catch back up with them. At any rate, we had a fabulous time, and we really want to thank you for all of your hard work and coordination and in giving us such an excellent vacation and introduction to Japan. We will definitely use the link to give feedback, and if there is any other site you would like, please let us know as we would be very happy to give a glowing review. You have been excellent! Once we get the pictures downloaded, I will send a good one of the baby snow monkeys! Once again we really appreciate how planned out everything was, the attention to details, and that we didn’t have to worry about anything or have to take care of something not done. All the transportation and admissions needs, special lunches and dinners meant that we just had to show up and enjoy ourselves!
Stay longer! We truly feel that all of our expectation were exceeded, and honestly wouldn't do anything differently! And that is unusual, as I am an engineer and usually have many small things I notice could be done better!!... READ MORE