Listen to what some of our previous Clients have said.
We got home early Tuesday morning after a brief, but lovely, visit with our friends in Vancouver, and as you can imagine, we are still combating the effects of jet lag as we try to get back into the swing of our work lives. Except for my beautiful Kintsugi dishes (I cherish them), we haven’t even fully unpacked yet.
Your email captured so much of what we felt about the trip. Our interests, combined with your wise and wonderful recommendations, made for a pretty amazing experience and we are so grateful to you, Nao, and your team of guides, in particular June (Kyoto, Nara), who were spectacular. We left feeling so good about all we had learned and been exposed to in Japan. And when it came to crafts and food, our days in Kyoto were a real highlight and we’re grateful to you, Nao and June for sharing with us some of your favorite places/vendors/restaurants; we are all the richer for those experiences.
Thank you again for the trip of a lifetime. I cannot wait to return (maybe as an apprentice, lol). In the meanwhile, as you said, after this incredible experience, we certainly consider you and Nao to be our friends.
With gratitude and our warmest regards, “
Paula and Jeff
New York, USA – October 2023
I felt very heard during our itinerary planning. You seemed to really understand the type of vacation/travel we were looking for. Everything went very smoothly and we had no issues for pre-arrival. It was nice to know we would be met at the airport after such a long flight. While in Japan everything went like clockwork. Our assistants and guides were always on time and on point. We were grateful to have such care and assistance. In Tokyo we loved exploring the Tsukiji Fish Market area and Meiji temple on our own. It was a super fun day exploring by ourselves on the train – we could have stayed at the market even longer – so great. The peaches were to DIE for. Takayama has my whole heart. We will absolutely go back there to visit. We loved our hotel, the Onsen, the food, the village, the people – basically every single thing. Exploring there was so easy and fun. We took a cab out to the other side of the village (I was feeling a little tired) and then walked it back through the village to see everything. It was incredible. We both were in heaven. Our guide (Mayaso) and driver (Yoko) from Takayama to Kanazawa were incredible. They made Shirakawago and Gokayama Villages just so so fun. It was the best day and we went home with full hearts and minds. Kyoto. Kyoto. I don’t know where to start. We loved our location in Kyoto. Being by the river; close to Teramachi for shopping and fun. The BIGGEST highlights were Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine (and the short hike to the top), the Bamboo forest, the Golden Pavillion and our amazing hike to Kurama-dera Temple with our river lunch. That was everything and more. A fantastic day. The highlight of our entire trip was the exclusive Temple and our private tour. I don’t think I have words yet to convey how amazingly powerful and awe-inspiring it was. We were honored to be able to have such an experience! We still talk about it daily.
I really don’t think there is anything more you could do. Now that we have experienced the beauty and culture of Japan it will be easier to plan our return trip. We would probably add a few more ½ days of free time; we really enjoy exploring once we figure out where we are! We will absolutely call you again when we return! “
Denver, USA – August 2023
Experience Japan Travel’s ability to manage the minutiae was truly impressive. From train schedules to interpreters; I felt taken care of. That comfort increased my immersion into the culture and community of Japan.
By far and away the most memorable part of our trip was the exclusive Temple and our personal experience there. Words can only give weak reminiscence as to the overwhelming awesomeness of that day. From the personal loveliness of our Buddhist Monk to the extraordinary peace I felt, I left that place changed within and truly humble.
The village Shirakawago and its timeless community and homes spoke to my affinity for Japanese Architecture and I loved meeting the family who has been receiving people in their home for 19 generations. Truly beautiful.
That said, meeting and sharing in the lives of our wonderful guides filled my soul. Their eagerness to share and laugh will forever warm my heart and bring a smile to my face.
There really isn’t something I could ask you to focus on more. It seems as though you tailored our experience perfectly for us. Next time, I’ll allow a little more time to roam with less scheduling because of the comfort Experience Japan Travel instills“
Denver, USA – August 2023
What can I say, everything was perfect. Service was wonderful. Impeccably clean hotels. Shinkansen , very comfortable and well organized, train timing excellent.
The cities I visited were wonderful, duration was excellent. I loved all the cities I visited. Of course I followed your suggestions to visit more places on my free days, Mount Fuji, Hakone, Shirakawago, in fact all your recommendations.
The guides were wonderful. I invited them occasionally for snacks or ice cream.
They were all excellent and we became quite friendly. In Tokyo, The day of the guide sept 7 was typhoon day, it did not deter us, the guide was wonderful. As you know it was very wet, windy and rainy, but still had fun.
I also took a day tour to Hakone and Mount Fuji, unfortunately visibility was very bad!
My favourite is Kyoto! I just loved it! Again the guide was great! I loved Arashiyama and the bamboo forest and the golden pavilion. I went to Fushimi Inari and Nara! Nara’s deers were aggressive and one of them bit me in the belly!
Hiroshima was amazing and emotional. Miyajima outstanding, the deer’s were much nicer as no one feeds them. On a free day I went to Onomichi which was ok.
Okayama was wonderful too especially the visit to Naoshima! I loved the art.
Kanazawa is beautiful. Loved the garden, the market. The castle. Second day I went to Shirakawago, beautiful.
Kyoto is my favorite. I had fun ate the famous shaved green tea ice cream with red beans, drinks in a nice hotel with a view of Kyoto zhinza district, the dinner Kaiseki in the geishas district was unique.
By the way took a small group tour for almost 4 hours in Gion. It was really good! We encountered maikos and I do have good videos! Fascinating.
Compared to my other trips: Japan is unique, very impressive, friendly. Courteous, clean! Nothing negative. I Will certainly visit again.
People are so helpful ! I got very confused sometimes in stations, there was always someone to help as well as in carrying my heavy carryon always someone that will volunteer to carry it 😄
The only problem was the killer heat! I suffered especially in Kyoto, close to 36 with high humidity. Nothing deterred me!
I will certainly return to Japan and visit other places.
Thank you again for organizing the trip which was exceptional.“
France, September 2023
Our Japan trip that you arranged was literally perfection – the places we saw, the food, the guides, it really was magical and beyond our wildest expectations!
The people were so welcoming, and several times we said the food was the best we have ever had!
The travel plans were perfect, I loved that we could tweak them as the years passed while we were waiting for covid to lessen, and your kindness when I asked for crazy things – like one week before could we go to a baseball game, and that Claire thought we could climb Mt Fuji in a day!
The itinerary was perfectly specific for each day, and we appreciated things like the etiquette reminders!
The guides were so great too, especially Kamura San who was with us for several days in Kyoto. (Of course, you were fantastic…Kyran’s dream to talk marathons with a guide as he trains for Boston!)
Where to start: the day with you having lunch over the river, the Kyoto day with the tea making was fantastic, Nijo castle and the Golden Pavillion – and of course the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima. Honestly, I want to list each day because I wouldn’t want to do anything differently!
And the Peace Park museum and grounds – such a moving experience, to stand with my adult children and spontaneously join hands as we heard a school group sing before the flame. They had never seen me cry from shame/sorrow before…other than after the death of my dad.
On a lighter side, the Royokan was amazing: the food, the onsen…I will forever cherish the image of the 5 of us, wearing kimono, at the foot bath on the rooftop under the stars after dinner!
Hmm…I really wouldn’t want to change anything. I was thinking later that I should have asked your recommendation for books to read before going (I found “A Beginner’s guide to Japan: Observations and Provocations” by Pico Iyer fascinating and a quick read.)
Really, it was amazing, and I would sing your praises to anyone who asks – and will refer you to friends planning a trip to Japan! (My sister Anne and her family are having a wonderful time there right now!)
Thank you again Scott, you helped us create such spectacular memories for our family!
And, come visit Chicago
The Quinlan Family
Chicago, USA – May 2023
On the Day travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto:
Scott, We had an awesome experience in Tokyo. Ben is living his dream. We are on the train to Kyoto. We can’t wait to meet you and continue our adventure.
On departure day from Japan
Scott, We are getting ready to board the plane. We want to thank you so much for making Ben’s dream come true. We have been waiting so long and finally made it to Japan. Ben is already tasking when he can return. We appreciate all of your patience, hard work and care about details. We loved everything!! I will write a review on your website. And recommend to friends and family.
After arriving back in to the US;
My son has wanted to visit since he was in sixth grade. He was first inspired when one of his babysitters showed him pictures of Tokyo. He was able to take Japanese in Middleschool and then started looking at travel Japan videos on You Tube. In 2021, Ben had his Bar Mitzvah and his present from us was a trip to Japan. We connected with Scott. It took two years to finally travel to Japan because of CoVid. Through that period we kept in contact with Scott and finally where able to travel to Japan in June of 2023. We can’t thank Scott enough for his patience, professionalism, guidance, and focus on my son’s interests. My wife and are are not experienced in traveling outside of the USA, so we relied on Scott’s guidance and expertise. We arrived in Tokyo on June 18. Scott arranged an assistant to meet us at the airport and delivered us to the hotel. The assistant showed us how to navigate the train system. We spent four days in Tokyo. Scott booked a nice hotel in a quieter neighborhood with a delicious breakfast . We had a tour guide for one day and then two days on our own. Scott was waiting for us when we arrived on the bullet train to Kyoto. Scott provided us with an amazing Kyoto experience including what became most of our highlights. He and the other tour guides provided interesting information and details about shrines, temples, Japanese history and culture and cuisine. We can’t thank Scott enough for helping make my son’s dream come true.
Ben loved every minute and especially appreciated your focuses on his interests including food, fashion and Ghibli. When friends and family ask about highlights the first explained is the ******* Temple. Ben fell In Love with the Philosopher’s Path. He found it so quiet and peaceful. Ben is already asking us when we can return to Japan. When we do, we will keep in contact”
The Shanedling Family
Saint Paul, Minnesota – USA. June 2023
We arrived home fine, thanks for asking. Mary and I were discussing what we would change about the trip but couldn’t think of too much. Perhaps too many set multi-course meals at hotels. That said, the sushi dinner we had the last night, recommended by our hotel, was outstanding. We were the only guests at the restaurant (for most of the time) and had a great bond with the family that runs place, even though we all struggled with language. I don’t even know the name of the place, but you can recommend it to future clients.
We also tried to rate our several hotels. The Kyoto Hotel was the classiest and I think only two rooms were occupied, so we had close attention. I visited the owner’s gallery next door. The Mie Prefecture Hotel was excellent, with a great rooftop garden lounge where we spent a lot of time.
I also would like to mention that it was significant to have meet and toured with you, because as I told you that has not happened before.”
Jan and Mary
California – USA, July 2023
We wanted an immersion in the culture of Japan while seeing sites that should not be missed for first timers. With that in mind I asked Scott with Experience Japan Travel to stay on the main island of Honshu and minimize one night stays and travel time. He came back to me with a fairly detailed itinerary of what cities we would be staying in and travel arrangements between cities. I had the opportunity to request changes but on my investigation of what he suggested, found it to be right in line with our desires.
The longer distance segments of travel were on the bullet trains. I found this a very reliable and comfortable option. Daily travel included local transportation or private vehicle depending on the situation. Throughout the trip I felt that we had the most efficient use of our time to maximize each day.
Most days we had personal English speaking guides (with several days on our own out of 2 weeks). I found the guides to be a representation of what we encountered with most of the people we dealt with whether at our hotels or at other locations during the day. I have travelled all over the world and have never dealt with a more uniformly helpful, polite, prompt and orderly population as in Japan.
In preparing for the trip, any questions I had were answered in a very timely manner and my concerns addressed.
We felt very fortunate to have experienced the peak of the cherry blossoms throughout the entire 2 weeks of our trip. It is more crowded but well worth it. Staying in a traditional Ryokan in Hakone was a great experience and felt all the more authentic since very few other westerners were there. Any language difficulties were dealt with easily with a translation app such as Google translate or “Say Hi” with the Japanese speakers showing patience and good humor.
It would be hard for me to pick a favorite part of the trip. As I look back at our pictures, there is not a day that I would have wanted to leave out.
I can without reservation recommend Scott and the Experience Japan Travel company and would use them definitely if we get to return. They stuck with us through the crazy Covid times as we were originally scheduled to take this trip in the fall of 2020.
This is a country with a long and interesting heritage with beauty in nature and clean and efficient cities. Try to experience it once.
Paul and Doris Neis
Arkansas, America – March 2023
Dear Scott, I’m finally over my jet lag and back to life as usual in New York City. Stuart and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Japan, and it was largely because of you and your planning for us.
Experience Japan Travel took care of everything we could have wanted – from train reservations to hotels to tours in the various cities. All of the tour leaders (especially you and Nao) were so informative and you both went the extra mile to make sure the trip was enjoyable and we learned so much!! My favorite part of the trip was Hakone. It’s so beautiful there, I loved where we stayed, taking all of the transportation options was so much fun. If I were to come to Japan with Experience Japan Travel again, I would opt to go to less cities and I’d visit more places in the mountains or by the sea. I would also try to stay in more Ryokans and less large Western style hotels.
Thank you so much for all of your hard work to make our trip so special. I do hope our paths cross again.“
Karen, Ellen, Stuart, Stepehen
New York, USA – April 2023
Experience Japan Travel was amazing. Scott and his team were very responsive to all my questions. The travel plan that they created for us was excellent. Our trip with the guide hit all the famous places plus more. Unlike the big tour, we could enjoy some locations for a bit longer, taste the food and take plenty of pictures. Experience Japan Travel also set up all our transportation and hotel. If you are planning a trip of the life time, Scott and his team are the go-to company for your trip. “
North Carolina, USA – May 2023
An epic Japan trip that was 3+ years in the making. We started working with Scott and team in late 2019 for my wife’s dream trip to Japan. Then COVID shut everything down. Scott stayed in regular contact as the years rolled by. Finally, we were able to take the trip this spring. Thanks to the work of Scott and team this has become one of our top trips. From the time we landed in Japan, until we left, Scott and team made sure our trip was memorable. Scott & Nao also took the time to personally show us various Kyoto sites as well as Ine and the incredible Japanese countryside. This went above and beyond. The itinerary included the beautiful sights and sounds of Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Hiroshima, Ine, & Kyoto. We would recommend Scott and team to anyone who wants an exceptional Japan tour.
Japan is the most spotless country we have visited. The sights and sounds of Tokyo where you have the old world buildings and modern architecture next to each other was amazing. Being lucky to land in country just as the cherry blossoms were hitting peak was breathtaking. The shops and food at Tokyo station are memorable. Being in Tokyo just as students graduated and seeing them in traditional Kimono’s made you believe you were going back in time. The Shinkansen bullet trains were an experience that should not be missed. Mt. Fuji was astounding. We were lucky enough to view it without cloud cover one evening and one morning for sunrise from out Ryokan room. It’s hard to not be emotional when visiting Hiroshima. So rare to see and capture history and their promotion of peace. The sights of Kyoto with so many World Heritage sites was a truly memorable. The trip was topped off with a private tea ceremony by a Grand Master. Each movement was a story, and the tea was remarkable. Make sure this is on your itinerary!
If you could take your trip again, what would you do differently? The next time we visit Japan we will make sure to pre-book dinners. We did happen into the country during spring break. As a result restaurants were pretty full so we had to look around to find tables. planning ahead would make this so much easier. Also, we would suggest you pre-book taxis or transportation from your hotels to the train station. In Kyoto, when we were heading back to Tokyo it was raining that morning. The cabs were nowhere to be seen, and the hotel shuttle was full. Made it a little exciting to get to the bullet train. We arrived with 4 minutes to spare. “
Darrel and Jessica Palmer
Denver, USA. March 2023
Thank you so much for planning such a wonderful trip. It was everything we were looking for, and couldn’t have imagined having any of it happen without you.
We’re happy to be back home, but also looking forward to our next adventure. We will be sure to send our friends and family your info for their Japan travels, as well!
Thank you for everything!
Alexandra and Andrew Doomany
New York, America. March 2023
Our trip to Japan was truly memorable. Our itinerary offered a variety of experiences and locations combining culture, city and rural, local cuisine, beautiful scenery and range of accommodations. Our guides were very knowledgable and competent – it was a pleasure getting to know them. The itinerary information provided by the company was very specific and organized, and with one exception, all train and other transportation tickets were provided in a timely way. The hotels and Ryokans were very well located, very clean, with extremely helpful staff. We had the pleasure of spending 2 days with our trip planner as our guide in Kyoto, which was a special treat.
There were many highlights on the trip, but our stay in Koyasan at a monastery, or shukubo was especially memorable for the opportunity to experience a morning Buddhist ceremony with the monks chanting and performing a dramatic fire ritual. Other highlights include the stay at Benesse on Naoshima island and the amazing art installations there, as well as the hot springs at our hotel in Hakone. We saw many beautiful gardens, one of the most memorable being the grounds at the Silver Palace in Kyoto. The Japanese people we encountered everywhere in the country were so warm and friendly, and always eager to help.
I could have spent more time exploring Kyoto, although we were able to see quite a bit of Japan in just three weeks. I would have liked more time at the Open Air Museum in Hakone, and maybe less time at the shrine there. On the whole, I wouldn’t do much else differently.“
Carol and Sol Hartman
Boston, America. April 2023
It was an incredible trip. Scott set up an itinerary that matched our desired interests. He was a great communicator. The travel guides were excellent. Their local knowledge and easy of travel made it a stress free trip. Hotel accommodations
and locations were good. The places we visited and the activities were fabulous and we saw cherry blossoms everywhere!
The cherry blossoms especially in Kanazawa were incredibly beautiful. The Myoryuji (Ninja) temple was really unique. All of Kyoto was great. We loved staying in the Japanese style hotel in Hakone with the fabulous onsens. If you could take your trip again, what would you do differently? Not much different. Maybe we would stay longer!
Block & Adrienne Andrews
Kansas City, USA March 2023
We had a truly amazing experience that exceeded our expectations with Scott at the travel agency! Our guides were perfectly matched to our family with kids aged 14 and 12. Our entire family was engaged and excited about everything
we saw. Our specific activity requests were incorporated into our plan beautifully. It was an 11 out of 10!
The hot spring baths, the bike tour and the food were the most memorable.
If you could take your trip again, what would you do differently? Have more time so we could fit in Hiroshima.
The Cramer Family
Denver, USA March 2023
We hit the ground running upon our arrival home. We had the most amazing time in Japan! I am part of a larger physician travel group and will be passing along your info on there. Thank you for everything you did for us. It made for an unforgettable trip. If you would like me to fill out anything on google please let me know.
Patrick is still on the hunt for his small Japanese car 🙂
Natalie has created a small market in the 2nd grade class trading erasers she got in Japan.
Ben is missing his daily Ramen.
We were easily able to get into the dog cafe in Tokyo- Harajuku. Apparently it is the same ownership as the one in Kyoto. That was a HUGE hit with the kids (parents were slightly bored but kids found it to be one of their favorite things). Team Labs was sold out for 4 days ahead of time by the time I finally felt we could commit to a date and time (oh well!).
Again, thank you sooooo much!
The Pickett Family
Denver, USA March2023
Hi Peter, Thank you for your email ! We all had an amazing time in Japan ! Unfortunately, we were not lucky with the planes… To go to Japan, our flight fro Brussels was cancelled due to a storm, we had to leave one day before, and my parents almost missed there connextion, but we made it 🙂 And to return, our flight in Kagoshima was also cancelled due to some fog. We left the day after. but the most important is that we were home safe ! Beside this, we indeed has an amazing time in Japan ! we were happy to be almost the only tourists, and to have good weather. We loved going to Kyoto again, and the ramen cooking lesson was really funny. Beppu was also nice to relax in Onsen. Fukuoka is a bit more a big city, nice to see, but I don’t think we would go back again. And finally Kagoshima was really nice, we enjoyed visiting the Sakurajima island, and we enjoyed some sand bath in Isubuki. We were very happy with hotel you booked for us, all very nice (especially the bath room like a private onsen in Kagoshima !). And transport was also very well organised ???? I really don’t regret that i contacted you to organise our trip ! If we visit Japan again, I will for sure ask your agency. Thank you ! kind regards, Camille… read less
Camille and Family
Brussles – Feb’20
Hi Scott, Another great vacation— thanks! Your people are excellent, and your attention to detail amazing. The vacation was great and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the site. Hemeji castle was extraordinary, and as an Engineer I really appreciated the workmanship and design. The Buddah’s were spectacular and we were glad we went south for those days. The drum concert was a lot of fun and we were glad to get to it, and Kyoto is awesome. And I cannot say enough about the people you choose. The lady who met us at the airport was particularly impressive in how she communicated my Son’s needs to those downstream in our itinerary, including the airline. Once again, thank you for another fantastic trip. Cheers, Molly…
Molly, Bill, Sean, Eamon
Detroit, USA – Dec/Jan’20
Experience Japan Travel gave us the trip of a lifetime! Amandine Nakasone promptly answered all my questions throughout the year it took to plan the trip. Everthing about my trip was memorable! I would have stayed longer!… read less
Fredilyn & Kevin
Washington DC, USA – Nov. 2019
Our family enjoyed our trip to Japan immensely! The trip planner did a wonderful job of getting our trip together and after a couple of times of tweaking the shedule, it was so much fun and enjoyable. We had a few days of rain, expected during late fall, and a minor earthquake in Tokyo, which is common…so much to experience in all different ways!! We travelled through Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Hiroshima in about 2 weeks. Upon arrival, our guide directed us to purchase our Suica card at the airport, to avoid the fee if purchased elsewhere. Tokyo, the first days, we explored on our own. Hakone, Akiko, was a knowledgeable and entertaining guide! Though it was foggy and rainy, we had a nice time in Hakone! Kyoto, with our guide was a lot of fun. We spent 4 days there and covered a lot of areas. Shigaraki, was an experience to see so many pottery and raccoon pottery! Uji, very scenic and pretty along the Hozu River cruise and fall colors with temples. Tea ceremony was educational and an experience!! Kiyomizu Temple area, my favorite!! Hiroshima, on our own & the hotel was great!! Stayed at the hotel at the station – very convenient next to the station and loads of food and restaurants. Really appreciated The planner putting the tour together, hotels and trains, along with the wonderful guides we had! Thank you!! Doo mo arigato!! Tokyo-Ghibli Museum with lunch at a boutique hotel was memorable. Hakone-the Hakone Open Air Museum (art/sculptures) Kyoto area- Kinkakuji, Hozu River boat trip, the shops along the way to Arashiyama, Kiyomizudera Temple and it’s surroundings – Ninnenzaka and Sannenzaka Hiroshima-The Peace Memorial Museum and the Children’s Peace Monument as many schools come with paper cranes for Sadako and perform songs or poems. We shall never forget… Visiting relatives from Tokyo and Onomichi and seeing where grandparents and great grandparents were born. An important highlight!!! Next time, Spend more time in Tokyo. Though the hotel in Shinjuku was very convenient, it was a bit too tight and we didn’t care for the bathroom. I think I’d upgrade to a roomier space. Eliminate the trip to Fushimi Inari. A bit crowded…instead include more gardens….
Bess and Family
DSeattle- USA, Nov’19
Our trip to Japan was amazing. I started planning it a year in advance and chose the itinerary we were interested in based on internet research. I contacted te agent and they helped me put it all together with reservations, timelines etc. She provided many valuable suggestions and was very diligent with details. Highly recommend…
Julie and Jean
Los Angeles, USA – October’19
Hi Scott, We are home now and I am writing to say “Thank you”. We enjoyed our trip, liked Japan, and everything was organized very well. Unfortunately, weathe did not cooperate, but we understand that no one can control it. Special thank you to you for organizing our trip and your always prompt responses and suggestions during the planning process. Our special thank you to tour guide Ms. Sashiko Okunishi, who spent 4 days with us and was able not only to show us great historical places, but also helped us to learn about Japanese culture, customs and everyday life. Everyone who worked with us was very friendly and helpful. I also would like to make some comments about hotels. First of all, they all had a great location. There were some negative aspects in each hotel and maybe my comments will be useful for your future clients. Hotel in Tokyo did not have in room safe. Hotel in Osaka did not have any wardrobe or any shelves to put our clothes except hangers on the wall. Hotel in Kyoto had the most friendly English speaking staff. However, the breakfast was poor and hotel in need of some TLC ( tender loving care). Once again, overall it was a great trip…
Luba, Luda and Families
New York/Chicago, USA – October’19
Thanks Scott. All is good and the trip was fantastic. I would be happy to be a reference to recommend you if you need it. We have arrived home safely with no mishaps. Please thank Ruby for us for the precise information on the train in getting to Narita. It was thorough and we had no problems finding the trains! She is a real jewel and takes her job very seriously. Every thing went very well with only a couple of exceptions. I felt like the Mt. Fuji (Consolidated Trip from the Optional Tour Company) should have been cancelled because of the typhoon. There were road problems in Hakone which effected our schedule as they could not access it as planned. I know the weather was not something that could be controlled but since there were also problems that day with bad weather the whole thing should have been cancelled the night before. Cancellation was offered that morning but seeing as we had a reservation for our hotel in Hakone we could not cancel. So we ended up spending about 10 hours just riding on a bus with only a short boat ride, a souvenir stop and lunch. We got to the hotel too late to enjoy the hot springs so just had dinner and went to bed. Like I said, I know you cannot control the weather, but we wish we had the offer to cancel the night before and we would have stayed in Tokyo. Concerning the bar hop (Consolidated Optional Tour), which was a lot of fun and we would recommend it, we had to pay at the completion. I was under the impression it was included. It was about $50.00. If we were suppose to pay on the spot that is fine, just did not realize it. The itinerary was excellent, every where was a stimulating cultural experience. I was reminded again about the friendliness and sincerity of the Japanese people. We had a wonderful time and I would recommend your services to anyone. Sincerely, Connie …
Connie and Presley
Tampa, USA – October’19
Scott at Experience Japan Travel was sensitive to and supportive of our wish to travel as independently as possible, including in several less frequently traveled areas in Japan. He selected a range of appropriate accommodations, provided timely travel arrangements with detailed information, and arranged for guides early in the trip while we were adjusting to traveling in Japan, as well as travel assistants at complicated train/bus transfer points. Although we would have rated his service a “5” even if he hadn’t, Scott took the time to go to a hospital with me to have my broken hand cast while we were in Kyoto. The injury occurred four days before I left for Japan. The hand was too swollen for a cast initially. Scott also found us upgraded accommodations at no extra charge in Hakone when our hotel was damaged in the typhoon that occurred a few days before we left on out trip. Our sincere thanks for working with Experience Travel Japan. We enjoyed every segment of our trip. I even enjoyed Kyoto although I had a bad cold while I was there, plus problems with my broken hand. This was in large part due to Scott’s having booked us into an unusual small hotel in the center of old Kyoto. If we were to take this trip again, we’d spend more time in Okayama,Takashima and the offshore islands in the Sea of Japan with art installations and hiking…
Judy and Louise
San Francisco, USA – September’19
Our tour coordinator Amandine was amazing! Our itinerary was organized and very detailed and our tour guides were very knowledgeable. Thanks to the overall service received our vacation will be very memorable….
Melene and Courtney
USA – October’19
Like you knew us as just clients we had an amorphous image of the person who organized our holiday. That began to change when I looked up at the Onsen and saw your welcoming face. Then the day progressed through touring and lunch all of which began to tear down the curtain of tour organizer/clients. But when I got injured the curtain no longer existed . What we had was Scott, a friend in a foreign land doing everything he could to make our life comfortable in a very difficult time. I will never forget how much you eased my mind as I laid in that hospital bed (I am sure Aurora has similar feelings). Although the circumstances that precipitated the change was unfortunate the end result is wonderful. So looking forward when you come to NYC. Very fondly, Robert Just a note to say hello. I can’t believe I’m home a week already. Watching Rugby on American TV was a little strange for me, I had gotten used to the Japanese announcers. I was sorry that the All Blacks didn’t make it to the finals, they were a fun team to watch. Especially there opening act. But they came in 3rd! The “Springboks” played a great game. On the flight home I happen to watch the movie about them and Nelson Mandela! (1994 & 1995 when they first won Enviscous spelling?) It game me a deeper understanding of the game and the commitment to it. I was cheering like a made women. Robert is going to catch it later. He’s coming along slowly, but happy to be home. More importantly my connection to you, Nao and let me not forget Richmond Hotel’s, Takada and Yui. I miss you all. I have come home to cultural shock! It’s taking me a little longer than any other trip because I really fell in love with the country of Japan and it’s people. I had always wanted to go there and my expectations were met. I miss my walks to the Temples, they gave me great peace when I needed it! Plus the green man at the corner, who told me when I could cross and the Din Don. Hope to hear from you again, and with plans for your NYC trip. Take care from your friend, Aurora
Robert and Aurora
New York, USA – September’19
(Chad) Scott made planning incredibly easy and got us very excited long before we even left. every guide and assistant we had bent over backwards to make us fel welcome and ensure we had a great time. Even during one of the worst Typhoons Japan has seen we em we’re in constant contact and felt very well taken care of and on top of the situation with Scott and his team. We know that if we are ever able to make it back to that part of the world again, we will definitely use Experience Japan Travel. There are probably way too many to mention here; the food was amazing, every place we went we felt welcomed and that we were very lucky to be there. Whether it was a sports enthusiast trying to buy us beer just to see how many we could drink, or the snow monkeys following us in Kamikochi, we had the trip of a lifetime. A little less on some of the main sites, and look for things a little more off the beaten path. Maybe a museum or two instead.
(Doug) I didn’t want to let too much time elapse before writing to you and thanking you for the wonderful experience we had in Japan. To borrow a baseball analogy, you knocked it out of the park . Our accommodations were lovely, all of our English speaking assistants and tour guides were knowledgeable and pleasant, and there were no glitches when it came to train, bus, or attraction tickets (except, of course, these caused by the typhoon). We had a marvelous time in every city we visited, at least in part because you did such a masterful job of paving the way for us. It was also a treat and a bonus to get to meet you in person. (Meghan) It has been a wonderful break from the city up in Kamikochi. Our guide was awesome and we enjoyed the days of hiking and relaxing. (Jodie)We arrived at Kamikochi and loved it! It is absolutely beautiful and the fall weather was much anticipated!…
Chad and Group
North Carolina, USA – September’19
Dear Scott We arrived last night after an easy flight from Tokyo. We are now totally jet lagged. As for a summary of our trip. We had a very successful and thoroughly enjoyable tour of Japan, for which we thank you.The day spent with you in Kyoto will remain one of the high lights of our travels. The few places that we found disappointing were outweighed by the many that left us in awe. The hotels that you recommended were terrific. We had great luck with the weather, which is always a help. We do hope our paths will cross again. One last thing: Is there any way that you can send me our detailed itinerary in word form so that I can open it and then add my comments.It is solely for my use as kind of an aide memoire of the trip. Best regards. Jeffrey
Jeffrey and Joan
New York, USA – September’19
Scott and his team provided us with a wonderful trip. From the first contact with Scott, he was very responsive to any questions we had. His itinerary was detiled even as to what track our train would depart from, which was quite helpful for a group that has never been to Japan. Scott and Kno (I apologize for the incorrect spelling) were gracious to lead us in a bike tour in Kyoto. We met other tourists from The States, that did a similar tour (Tokyo, Hakone, Hiroshima and Kyoto), but did not experience the culture as we did because Scott made sure that our itinerary was personalized and included such experiences as staying at a ryokan in Hakone, and a lovely lunch on the river and many other experiences that others did not have. The most enjoyable and memorable parts of the tour WAS THE entire experience!!! If we came again, we might have extended our stay at the ryokan
Lori and Group
Connecticut, USA – September’19
Our trip was overall really fantastic. Wherever we went there were lots of local summer events happening. We did a huge walking mileage and also became masters f the underground system. Hakone was great (other than cable car wasn’t operational). One of the trip highlights was the open air museum. The hotel was excellent and very convenient. Sapporo was wonderful. Beautiful parks, the beer festival, the cable car etc. Mercure is in ideal location. Otaru was well worth a visit. Would like to overnight there at some point in the future. Furano was also very good. So beautiful. The hotel was basic, but clean and large room. Was only non-Asian in the place Not in a good location (unless you going skiing) . But we managed well and the hotel organized us a taxi with English speaking driver to show us the sights. Saw the blue pond and lots of magnificent flowers plus nice drive seeing rural Japan. (For Assisting other clients public transport does not get you to good sights). I would like to thank you for doing the arrangements that you did and for all the clear and detailed instructions. Truly appreciated. Am happy to Skype with you if you want any further feedback. Also if you want any photos probably easier for me to WhatsApp/line to you. I look forward to working with you to plan a trip to other parts of Japan that we have not been to. Let’s look at it after the Olympics. Kind regards Michael…
Michael and Naradet
Thailand – July’19
Service exceeded my expectations by far. The stop at a traditional Japanese style resort: Gora Hanaougi ryokan. Amazing service, food fit for a gourmand and ttally luxurious. Next time, we would spend more time, visit other islands too…
Kahled, Family and Friends
USA/Canada – July’19
Thank you Soooo much Scott. Great Stay in Hakone too. The hotel in Kyoto is fantastic and had a nice dinner. Just wanted to say thank you again for showing s Osaka and having us at the Robata restaurant. Everyone was so kind, warm and charming. We all had a fantastic time. Still in the middle of sorting Japan photos this week. What a fantastic trip. Thank you so much. We cant stop thinking and talking about it
Mark, Monica, Lucas, Lauren
California, USA – June’19
We had an amazing and unforgettable honeymoon in Japan. We definitely saw things we would have not have known to visit, plus all the places we knew we wanted tosee. The structure of the trip was perfect. Our two days of private guides were picked perfectly, and when we moved on to the next city was timed really well. There was a good balance of structure and flexibility. Some of the information in our itinerary (for example the subway passes to get) was slightly out of date, but all the big important things were spot on. Our hotels were great and in perfect locations, and we had all the information we needed to avoid the trouble with the language barrier. The planning was also easy as our travel company did all the work, but we had lots of great communication prior to our trip. All our many questions were answered and our preferences were incorporated. Overall, I would 100% recommend our travel company. We stayed at a traditional Japanese Inn on Miyajima Island which was a beyond incredible experience. In addition to being treated above and beyond with fabulous meals and a very unique room, we loved walking around the island at night by ourselves. In such a crowded country, we felt so alone. It was very peaceful. We also were very glad we got to see Hiroshima, which was another place we would never have known to go to, but really was easy to get to on the bullet train. We were there in June and the entire trip we kept hearing it was the rainy season. We got very lucky and only had 1 rainy day, but if I did it again I probably wouldn’t want to risk it by going during the rainy season because so much to see and do is outdoors. We did hear that season had smaller crowds though, which was nice. I think I’d also have liked to spend 1 or 2 more days in/near Tokyo. There’s so much to see and our trip just wasn’t quite long enough!…
Erica and Daniel
Toronto, Canada – June’19
The agent (Amandine) was phenomenal: professional, kind, helpful, dedicated. I would highly recommend her in particular and her agency, Experience Japan Travel,based in Osaka. We had one small mis-happening with one guide who was less perfect than the others. The rest of the trip was very much enjoyed by all. Kid one: the sheer amount of people on the street shopping and moving around Kid two: the kindness, politeness, and cleanliness of the Japanese people and their public places we encountered Father: the ease that the travel agent prep work and schedule and program created so that we were able to focus on the experience and the activities instead of the logistics that can always be a challenge in a foreign country. I would add two or three more days (at least one in Tokyo), one in Kyoto, one in Osaka. I would avoid the rainy season. I would better profile the guide profiles that would be best suited for our family. I would give permission for the guide to change or adjust or complement the things to do and things to see to enhance our experience…
Phillip and Family
Vancouver, Canada – June’19
After offering my nephew a trip for his college graduation present, and he accepted, I could not have asked for a better experience than the one I had using Exprience Japan Travel. Working together, mostly Amandine working, an itinerary that included the things that my nephew was really interested in was put together. I had been to Japan several times before, so this really was his trip. Although, I had never attended a sumo match on previous trips, it was a highlight for both of us. The ceremony and fan participation was awesome to watch and by the end, we were as involved as everyone else! Amandine gave me so many great suggestions and the best one was to send the luggage on to the next hotel and not have to maneuver big suitcases on the Shinkansen. Thank you, thank you for that one! One thing that I was particularly pleased with were the excellent personal guides that Amandine organized for us. We had Mina in Tokyo and had so much fun with her. Amandine had organized a private sushi class for us and Mina took loads of photos of us while we prepared our sushi. I must admit we did not have to debone the beautiful yellow fin tuna, that was done in front of us and then we started the lesson and feasted on a beautiful meal. My nephew is a huge Japanese food fan so everyday was a great day! In Kyoto, we had a fabulous guide, Katsue, I can’t complement her enough. My nephew is a history major and he really soaked up a lot of history of Japan while we were traveling around the Kyoto area with Katsue. Hiroshima we did on our own. Self explanatory history lesson there. In Osaka we met up with Amandine and we had such fun with her. My nephew wanted Takoyaki and she took us right to a place for some street food Takoyaki. Next, DinDin City for some anime shopping which was definitely a topic that my nephew and Amandine could share. I was so pleased that she knew about anime, I knew nothing. The one thing that I would do differently is take fewer clothes and then I wouldn’t have had to purchase another suitcase to get all my treasures back home!! One last time, I would like to complement Amandine on her ability to connect with her clients and to show them all the best that Japan has to offer, which is a lot….
Marjorie and Nephew
Seattle, USA – May’19
Amandine was our agent with Experience Japan Travel, and she was wonderful! I had been to Japan many times, but was taking 3 others who had never been there beore. Amandine had great suggestions that I had no idea about, and was able to help me craft exactly the trip we all wanted! I would 100% use her and the company again to travel. I think for a person new to Japan, she would be even more valuable. Staying in a Machiya, which was our agents suggestion, was wonderful. It was so authentic to Kyoto we all fell in love with it! Wouldnt change a thing. Nothing, we enjoyed every bit of it….
Oregon, USA – May’19
I surprised my boyfriend with this trip to Japan for his 30th birthday, and it surpassed anything I could have imagined and even surpassed my expectations of th trip despite the fact that I had been pouring over the hotels and activities for months before leaving. It was even better than I expected!! The most enjoyable part was getting to be with my boyfriend and worry about absolutely nothing. We didnt need to worry about getting train tickets, missing trains, missing tickets or any logistic that usually causes stress during a vacation like this one. We got to spend 100% of our time staying in the moment and enjoying all the food and activities without worrying about how to get to the next one. Also, shout out to our travel agent for changing the entire trip to be a month earlier due to my school schedule. She wasn’t given a lot of notice and never made me feel like I was in the wrong for needing the change. She was incredible from start to finish. Every time I contacted her, I never felt like I was a bother and things were fixed immediately. One of the hotels was having a problem understanding my deadly shellfish allergy and she spoke to them several times to straighten everything out and make sure I was okay. She even met us in Osaka to take us to our hotel so we wouldn’t have to stress about finding directions. She was incredible and I would recommend her to family and friends (I already have!) I would buy more sake and ramen to have with me in Los Angeles! haha! Every part of the trip was perfect, I wouldn’t change anything expect maybe stay longer…
Los Angeles, USA – April’19
Hi Scott, In a word – PERFECT – !! You listened to our brief and together over many months we formulated the plan which was executed in total without a single iccup. Along the way you threw in some lovely surprises which made our 50th very very special. The weather played the game with only two half days of drizzle, and the cherry blossoms seemed to come into full bloom sequentially as we moved along from one area to the next !! As a result of all this i ended up with 2976 photos to now review and edit !! It was altogether a challenging schedule which we simply could not have achieved on our own in the time available. To say the Assistants, Guides and Drivers were each brilliant would be a total understatement and we certainly appreciated the professionalism, kindness and friendship they showed us, each in their own way. Ineko was the best possible introduction to Japan. She was a total delight and we thoroughly enjoyed her company in Tokyo and on to Hakone. On day one she walked us 12 km in Tokyo and we loved every minute of it. Greenclass travel turned out to be a welcomed novelty for her as we travelled to Hakone where we had a wonderful time with her with lots of laughter. Also the brilliant accommodation made this special. Miyuki was at first a little unsure of our fitness levels, given our advanced years and the challenges of the Kyoto mountains. We soon overcame her fears and set out on 5 days together on vigorous and amazing sightseeing, including the incredible Miyama experience where our hosts were also exceptional. It felt like Miyuki had become family by then !! Finally in Kanazawa after a very informative and i nteresting day with our first guide (whos name Ive forgotten), we teamed up with Fumiko who did a brilliant job in showing us the local areas. Again i think we surprised her by our fitness level and she too saw things that were new to her, given that in depth visits with tours of 45 people are not possible. I think we might have worn her out !! Topping this off, our final fling on the Funasei boat was a riot and we loved it. Great way to finish the tour. So thank you Scott (and your team) for a unique experience where we saw and learned a massive amount. We found Japan to be a vibrant, exciting and beautiful place. The people are friendly, polite and incredibly helpful as well as being blessed with a great sense of humour – which was quite a surprise us. There is no doubt in our minds that Japan and its people stand head and shoulders above their immediate neighbours, and indeed above much of the rest of the world. There is so much we could learn from them ! Travel arrangements were excellent and we enjoyed both the public transport and the Bullet Train GranClass. Accommodation was excellent throughout with Yoshiike Ryokan and Miyama (Hisaya) being standouts. Scott the trip was expensive but at our age wisdom dictates that Value is a much better measure than Cost. In that regard you should be proud that for both Jenny & I after 50 years of travelling together, this experience ranks as equal number one for value ( the other being a 2 week adventure cruise in the Kimberly region of WA). I think this speaks for itself and once again many many thanks to you and the wonderful team. We will miss you and hope one day to return for another adventure. With Thanks and Very Best Wishes to all our new friends
Keith and Jenny
Australia – April’19
I contacted Scott at Experience Japan Travel as well as having My wife and myself interview two other agents by phone and decided that being based in Japan, Scot was the most familiar with Japan. He lives in Kyoto and has extensive experience with tourism in Japan. After a thorough discussion about our expectations and any limitations we may have, our travel planner drafted a 14 day itinerary that included all our requests. He confirmed that the hotel accommodations would reflect authentic Japanese culture and be friendly to my back problems. The entire trip from the moment we cleared customs until we departed for home was extremely well planned and executed. Hotels were perfectly chosen, guides were well informed and spoke excellent English and sites that we visited were outstanding. We feel that we have had a wonderful look at the wonders of Japan and the remarkable culture. If you are looking for a travel agent that understands how to customize a luxury vacation in Japan and make your experience unforgettable, Scott and the team at Experience Japan Travel can make it happen. If I were to go to Japan again I would start with a call him instantly. Tokyo hotel, Ryokan in Hakoni, shrines and temples in Kyoto, visit to Nara, Zen hotel in Kyoto, excellent guides, Kaiseki meal in Kyoto, a bottle of wine sitting under the cherry blossoms along the river in Kanazawa. I would add one more day in Hiroshima. The travel from Hakoni to Hiroshima takes a half day and leaves only a half day to tour the museum, see the A bomb dome memorial and travel to Mijama (sp) Island. We left early the next day for Kyoto
Kevin and Maureen
USA, Florida – April’19
I cannot say enough about our beautiful trip to Japan! Our travel planner, Scott from Experience Japan Travel that Zicasso set us up with, put together a perfec, stress free itinerary. My husband and I wanted to make the most of our quick trip to Japan, and the Japanese guides our planner set us up with were lovely and allowed us to experience more of Japan then we ever could have on our own. The cherry blossoms everywhere were dreamy! The blossoms in Nara and Gion were particularly beautiful! Scott set us up in beautiful accommodations, and their locations allowed us to explore the surrounding area with ease. My husband and I are so grateful for all that we got to see, eat, and experience on our trip. If I could take the trip again, I would take more time at each location even if that meant we saw a few less sights….
Brittany and Husband
Our experience with this travel agency was incredible! From the beginning, they were easy to work with and helped us make the greatest vacation. Every hotel we stayed at had great service, great rooms, and were all four star hotels. Our travel agency also provided all of our transportation to every city we stayed at in Japan. Every guide that came to pick us up from the hotel and the train station were all very pleasant people to talk to and made you feel welcome. We Loved ALL of our tour guides!! Each tour guide brought their own opinion and their personality to the tour, and we LOVED the fact that is was private! Thank you, for making our first visit to Japan an unforgettable one! Everything about our trip was enjoyable and memorable. Seeing all the different stages of the cherry blossoms blooming in each city. A couple things I would do differently would be to extend our stay in each city to view the cherry blossoms in full bloom, and to pack lighter to bring back more souvenirs….
James and Maris
USA – March’19
Hi Scott, The family has returned in The Netherlands. They have had a faboulous trip in and around Japan. The guide om the last day was better, at least they could talk and understand each other. Unfortunately the guide had not been able to collect the tablet, as the hotel would not pass it. So they went by the hotel to pick it up. They had an amazing cruise, beatuiful time of the year and enjoyed Hong Kong after Japan. Thank you very much for taking care of my guests. I hope we will be in contact for new guests ! Best regards,…
Mr. de Jong
We were a little apprehensive about the difficulty of getting around in Japan, where we could not speak or read the language at all. But Amanda at Experience Jpan Travel planned an itinerary that felt both leisurely and fun-filled, and saw to it that every transition was easy to handle and stress-free. She really listened to our lodging preferences and found us six small characterful hotels, all different, all charming. On our breeze through Osaka, Amanda met our train and helped us find our way through the maze of Osaka Station to our hotel, then showed us around Shin-Sekai, a fun neighborhood we might have missed on our own. When we wanted to make last-minute changes to our itinerary en route, Amanda was right there on the other end of a phone to tell us how to make it happen. Altogether a delightful way to travel! We had our breath taken away in exquisite gardens in Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanazawa. We were enchanted by the art installations on Naoshima and Teshima. At a nearly-empty izakaya on a rainy night in Kanazawa, we sat at the counter enjoying yellowtail dumplings and Kaga-jibuni while the chef amused us with astounding card tricks. Keep the day-guides we hired to introduce us to the cities, but not let them take us to museums and shrines (where we can do fine by ourselves) but have them walk with us through hidden neighborhoods we would not easily find on our own, and help us converse with the the locals in the various trades. We would allot more time to Tokyo and Kyoto, which offered so much more than we had time to enjoy….
Barry and Deborah
USA – March’19
We had a terrific trip. Every detail was perfect, and Scott was a pleasure to work with. We went to Niseko, then Tokyo and Kyoto. Scott’s recommendations were terrific and everything from the planning, to the guides, hotel, bullet train and side trips worked like clock-work. Scott also helped me find a backcountry ski guide in Hanazono and the entire experience was wonderful. Thinking about going again next year. I highly recommend Scott!!…
Steve and Rochelle
California, USA – February’19
Both my trip and my experience with Experience Japan Travel exceeded expectations. As I was tacking travel onto the end of conference attendance, I only had a lmited amount of time. Scott from Experience Japan Travel helped me to maximize that time and focus my experience on both Kyoto highlights and some hidden gems. He worked with me to understand my “must sees” and recommended other important stops based on his local knowledge– many of which ended up being my favorite spots. Scott also knew that I was a hobbyist photographer and that having time to take photos when sites where less crowded was important, as such, he arranged for some earlier pick up times to beat the mobs of tourists. Scott was incredibly responsive to my emails, made numerous changes to my itinerary (as my plans were altered several times during working together), and answered countless questions (many just general questions about Japan travel, what to pack, getting around, etc). I felt incredibly well taken care of, and this is VITAL when you are a solo female traveler. I knew that if anything had gone wrong or come up during my trip, it would have been addressed right away…but, nothing went wrong! Everything from start to finish was seamless. I came home with incredible memories and an even greater love and respect for an amazing country and culture. It’s truly hard to pick one (or two). As I was there during the peak of fall foliage in November, several times the garden views of reds, yellows, and oranges simply took my breath away. While the Silver Pavilion is not as ‘flashy’ as the Golden Pavilion, the gardens were just incredible and made the Silver Pavilion one of my favorite stops. The less popular Kosanji temple was a hidden gem that spoke to me personally, for it’s gorgeous approach through the trees, it’s garden, and it’s location in the mountain valley– I found it so peaceful and pleasant (and joked with my guide that I wanted to retire there…). I would stay longer so I could explore more of Japan beyond Kyoto. Scott helped me to maximize my time and I really felt like I got to see a lot of Kyoto and surrounding areas (while at the same time barely scratching the surface of this amazing cultural paradise!)– it made me realize that Japan has SO much to offer and I look forward to coming back to explore more of the country as soon as I can manage it….
Washington DC, USA – November’18
A trip to Japan was #1 on our bucket list. As my wife noted on the flight back, the trip as arranged by Scott Kent at Experience Japan Travel, met and surpasse our highest expectations. It was fantastic from start to finish! Scott listened to what we wanted, in all the diversity of types of things we wished to do, and he delivered. He met us for an incredible experience at a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, and much to our surprise, met us again when our bullet train arrived in Osaka, where he escorted us to our hotel and then to a fun and tasty local restaurant for lunch. The hotels, inns and ryokan were each in their own ways, wonderful. As travelers to Japan we had the extra complexity that my wife does not eat any seafood, shellfish or otherwise, and Scott made certain everywhere we were booked, breakfasts and arranged dinners, met her needs. Most of all, the people that guided us, including Scott, were lovely and insightful. If we could give more than five stars, we would. So many things. The diversity of experiences was one of the most memorable things. The people were wonderful, including our guides and Scott Kent who we met up with on a couple of different occasions. One of those occasions was a phenomenal experience at a Buddhist temple in Kyoto arranged by Scott. Another was our visit to Naoshima with a wonderful guide, Nobu, and our stay on the island at the Benessee House Hotel. Yet another was the visit to Hiroshima with a lovely and very thoughtful guide, Mitchiko, whose husband was a survivor of the atomic bomb blast, and our visit to the Peace Museum. I could go on and on about wonderful and beautiful sites, both old and modern, about stays at wonderful hotels and inns, both traditional and Western, and with stories of people who go out of their way to be courteous and helpful and take incredible pride in what they do and create. This was a great experience. We stayed for 17 days and would have been happy staying another 17….
Alan and Debra
Chicago, USA – October’18
Hi Scott, Apologies that this took so long to get back to you with, but we were busy. In general I want to tell you that the trip met all our expectations wit margin. You did a wonderful job covering all the details and making sure nothing fell in the crack. We had a fabulous experience for all 30 Days! The hotels were all first class with very attentive staff other than the last one in Tokyo which was much more of a business hotel. Nothing against the Park Hotel for being what it is, but after such delightful, attentive service everywhere else, it wasa bit of a let down. The Ryokan and Onsen experience was beyond words and truly gave us the taste of Japanese culture which we were looking for. I particularly like the Asaba Ryokan. We will remember them for the rest of our lives. Of the other hotels,my favorite was the Kanra in Kyoto. The staff there went way beyond anything necessary to make things right. We were comp’d a bottle of plum wine, a bottle of sake, and a glass of Scotch whiskey after commenting on the first morning after breakfast thatthe service of de-caf coffee was very slow – which they fixed immediately and wasn’t a problem on the rest of the days we were there. The guides were very knowledgeable and all of them had sufficient English language skills. On occasion it took a little adjusting to tune our ears to each new guide’s accent when we first met them (particularly with Endo-san in Kyoto), but once we gotused to each of them, everything was fine. Toshi-san on the Izu peninsula was particularly flexible which was a big help because the weather impacted some of the scheduled activities, but he (and the driver) improvised and we had a couple unscheduled experiencesthat were delightful as a result. We were very impressed with his ability to change on the fly and clearly his many years of experience as a guide were apparent. One general comment of a situation we ran into Hiroshima when attempting to pick up pre-paid passes was the need to present our passports which we did not have with us as they were stored in the hotel safe. We went back to the hotel to get them, but ageneral note to future travelers that they need to bring their passport (and only a passport was acceptable photo ID) with them when claiming pre-paid tickets would safe the back and forth we experienced. The food in the included meals was all very delicious and offered a range of Japanese cuisine that was stellar, although I must admit the runny tofu in the Koyasan guest house was quite a challenge to pick up with chop sticks. I think I ate more flowersin those three days than in the rest of my life, but we compensated by finding a little coffee/espresso shop in town that had fabulous chocolate croissants and espresso that washed all the flowers and runny tofu away Emoji. The dinner at the Kurishiki Ryokan was extra special. I also want to thank you for the gift you gave us in Kyoto. The sake holder and cups are now proudly displayed on a shelf in our dining room. The trip was an in-depth, varied, broad yet focused exploration of Japan and we enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you so much for your extra efforts resurrecting our trip after the changes three months before departure. You are clearly a master of your craft and we will recommend you and your company to any of our friends who want to travel to Japan. Happy Holiday season and thanks again, Ron…
Ron and Alison
Los Angeles, USA – October’18
My husband and I have just come back from the most amazing trip to Japan. We knew we wanted to go to Japan but that was all we knew. What to see, what to d we needed a little guidance in working this part out. Our travel co-ordinator, Amanadine, was wonderful. She listened to what we had to say, and formulated an itinerary that has left us wanting to return to Japan again and again. Before we left Australia she ensured that we had all the information we would need for our trip ranging from a detailed final itinerary to follow as well as city maps and simple instructions on how to move our suit cases between cities rather than taking them on the bullet trains. She had thought of everything! And knowing that we had someone in Japan that we could access if we had any concerns certainly was reassuring. Amanadine sourced quality hotels in each city together with very capable Guides for our personal tours around those cities. She organised our train travel and even on those days where we did not have a formal guide she provided us with must see places to visit and things to do together with all the necessary maps on how to get there. We cannot speak highly enough Amanadine, we will be definitely using them again. We were blown away with the beauty of the temples and shrines. The knowledge of our Guides in each of the Cities was incredible. We walked away learning so much about the rich culture and history of this place. Our experience at Hidatei Hanaougi in Takayama where we had our own private garden and private hot-springs, was utterly delightful. The traditional dinner and breakfast provided was wonderful. Our visit to Hiroshima left us wanting more. This is one city that we will be coming back to. Nijo Castle at Kyota was a huge highlight and we were amazed by the Nightingale floors. Walking around down town old Osaka with all its lights and bars and shops and restaurants, fantastic! Our whole holiday was memorable it is very hard to pin point…
Australia – October’18
The package we went with was a tad on the expensive side, but I definitely feel we got our money’s worth. Both the Agent and tour guides were very friendly and quick to respond to any request we had. Highly recommend the trip to Nara. Next time I’d like to spend more time there. If I was to do something different, probably fly from Kyoto(Osaka) to Tokyo. The bullet train gave my wife motion sickness….
Noah and Abbyanne
We’re back in New York after a rewarding trip to China an Japan. No new ravel until Christmas week (Mexico) and two European trips in March and May. Your itnerary worked very well for us. It was the right mix of escorted and self travel – and we could not have had better weather in both countries. The bullet trains were great (living in the Northeast corridor of the US and dealing with Amtrak makes for a sad comparison) The guides were all knowledgeable, articulate and friendly (with special kudos to Tomomi Azuma in Kyoto), and the hotels were al excellent. A small nit for which I probably should have warned you is that I have some back problems (not debilitating as I play tennis at least three times a week), so two ryokan experiences might have been too much (but that’s on me). Again, thanks so much for your guidance. We won’t hesitate to recommend your services in the future. Richard…
Richard and Roberta
New York, USA – October’18
Good itinerary making efficient use of our time, great meals, outstanding guides, nice mix of accommodations, and all transfers and transport worked well! All ur expectations were met, even the weather was fine. Most enjoyable was the interactions with the locals and the discussions with our guides. Naoshima. If we did the trip again, maybe add a few days and go further west and east….
Michel and Josee
Vancouver, Canada – September’18
Experience Japan arranged a trip to Japan for my three teenage children and me. It was the trip of a lifetime. Our coordinator, Amandine, was fantastic. She made excellent suggestions and arranged special outings for us that made the trip unforgettable. I was impressed with the value I received, with the guides, and especially with how well-organized and efficient the Experience Japan team was. If I had attempted to plan a trip like this on my own it would have been incredibly difficult and stressful. Experience Japan, with their excellent guides, carefully planned transportation arrangements, and meticulous attention to detail, allowed us to have a stress-free, thrilling adventure. My children and I got to experience a whole new land and culture, and it has been a life-changing experience. We WILL go back to Japan, and we WILL use Experience Japan again! I recommend them wholeheartedly. A private sushi-making lesson with a Master Sushi Chef. A stay in a traditional Ryokan in Hakone, with traditional lodging and hot spring mineral baths. Petting an owl in an Owl Cafe in Electric Town, Tokyo. Castles, temples, shrines, gardens…I can’t even begin to list all the wonders we saw. Allow at least two weeks. We only had nine days, and there was so much more to see. But we’ll just have to go back….
Katherine and Family
America – August’18
Super planning from Scott – every little detail was just perfect! What were the most enjoyable or memorable parts of your trip? The part of the trip outside f big cities where we hiked a lot – Koyasan, Komano Kodo, Kamikochi. If you could take your trip again, what would you do differently? Less big cities – visit more rural parts of Japan…
Torben and Family
Luxembourg – July 2018
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: Hi Scott, 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! Cheers, Molly 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!!…
Molly, Bill and Sean
Detroit, USA – May’18
Scott Kent listened intently to our interests and tailored a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan. We felt immersed in the culture and integrated into the daily livs of the cities that we visited. It was the perfect mix of culture, traditions, indoor/outdoor adventures and culinary experiences. The accommodations were also perfect…some of the best places we have stayed in all of our trips around the world. The guides were friendly and very knowledgeable, as well as adaptable. Flawless experience with very little effort on our part to make it an extraordinary vacation… We enjoyed the food, living among locals, and also the free time to explore on our own. Our hike to the top of Mt. Karuma was very memorable, as well as our walks around the streets of Kyoto. We really enjoyed the local, cheaper food options versus the fancier dinners….
Claudia and Miquel
Washington DC, USA – May’18
Scott and the team did an outstanding job in accommodating all of our requests. We were especially impressed with the arrangement of the Chinese-speaking tour gide, Kitagawa-san, and that he managed to book the best room at Arima hot springs resort, plus the microbrewery for sake in Kyoto, the Matsui Shuzo brewery. We had such a good time, especially as it was my parents’ first time visiting Japan. They now like it so much they want to visit the country every year! The Arima hot springs was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Everything from the in-room kaiseki cuisine to the in-room soaking tub on the balcony and the views! We could not have asked for more. We would probably pick a cooler time to visit, which of course is not the fault of any agency! We would like to come at a different time such as April or March to experience the sakura blossom season, and so we can walk around and it wouldn’t be so warm. We would also probably space out the major meals, such as the kobe beef lunch and the hot springs kaiseki meals, as we were super full after that day! Finally we would probably have spent more on the hotel rooms in Tokyo, the accommodations were neat and clean and the breakfast was great, alongside a great location, but the rooms were quite small even for Japan….
Lisa and Family
San Francisco, USA – May’18
Our trip to Japan was sensational in every way.Scott Kent of Experience Japan planned a wonderful introduction to the country.We had an ambitious itinerary withevery logistical detail completely organized We were able to concentrate on every cultural ,historic and culinary highlight. Everything was memorable! I think it was the Japanese people themselves who made the greatest impression because they so often embodied the unique cultural and spiritual power of the nation.Tokyo and Osaka overflow with energy while Kyoto,Kanazawa and Takayama convey the authentic soul of Japan. If we did this again, maybe perhaps more time in the countryside where the pace is more relaxed and conducive to contemplation!…
David and Pegeen
New York, USA – May’18
My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful vacation planned with the assistance of Experience Japan Travel. Our agent Scott Kent listened to our needs on our first intrductory call, and based on that assembled a proposed itinerary. With some feedback from us, he fine tuned it to meet our unique needs. He designed a special day of tours in Kyoto for my wife’s interest in interior design, fabrics and ceramics. He went above and beyond in also booking restaurant reservations for us. The guides that he arranged to take us on tours were each exceptional and added a layer of understanding of the culture that otherwise we’d have missed out on. In all, because of the highly informed and precisely laid-out itinerary, all my wife and I had to do was enjoy the ride and take it all in. In the process, we discovered a beautiful country with lovely people Hard to identify the “most enjoyable.” It was really an across the board enjoyment of the tours, food, accommodations, the unstructured time where we just wandered. It all worked. It was the absence of low notes. We spent a ton of money. I was just too buy to find ways to economize. While I feel we got value for our money, there were definately areas we could have cut back on. That said — this was the first time my wife and I got to travel internationally since we had kids 13 years ago, and I didnt want to take any chances of creating a bad experience. So, no regrets….
Roger and Lou
New York, USA – May’18
We had an incredible trip to Japan. Scott Kent planned it with our input and was careful to include all of our special requests. Our English speaking guides andassistants were just wonderful; informative, friendly and delightful to spend our days with learning about Japan. We enjoyed our hotels; The Tokyo Station Hotel, Kinnotake Tonosawa in Hakone and the Kyoto Hotel Okura were all wonderful. The hotel on Miyajima island was just ok. We saw other rooms that were lovely but ours was not one of those. We let Scott know and while he tried to get us moved the hotel was full. Not a game changer for sure. Our guide Misayo brought Tokyo alive for us as did Mira in Kyoto. Ms. Hase in Hiroshima was also wonderful. The food was one of the most memorable experiences; shabu shabu, Kaiseki, Okonomiyage, Sushi, Sashimi, Tempura and more. The Golden Temple and the Shrine of 10,000 Tori Gates were breathtaking. We loved the mountains surrounding Kyoto and the mountains of Hakone. Bullet trains and subways were amazing…always on time to the minute. We loved the people, the cleanliness and of course our visit with our Geiko-san in Kyoto was unforgettable. One suggestion – Carry less luggage. Highly recommend that when traveling in Japan, carry only a carry-on as it makes train and subway travel much easier….
Nancy and Jerry
Hawaii – April’18
Japan is beautiful, the people are friendly and helpful and polite. Their public transport system must be the envy of the world, from the Shinkansen bullet tran down to local intracity buses. We asked Experience Japan Travel to craft a highly custom trip that emphasized culture and gardens. Scott worked all our requests into an itinerary that took us through Okayama, Kurashiki, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Kameoka, Kanazawa, and Takayama with very little time in Tokyo. This was a tour of great ancient cities. Two days in Takayama coincided with the annual Spring float festival, and it was crowded, but not unpleasantly so. Experiences, not sights. We had lessons in ?Tea ceremony and its historic meaning ?Ikebana flower arranging ?Traditional bare bow archery. ?Wandering through formal gardens, where the view changes every few meters for the attentive viewer. These are what we’ll remember after we have forgotten the names of the Temples, Shrines, and gardens….
George and Katherine
California, USA – April’18
Dear Experience Japan Travel, Mrs. Beck and Mrs. Schulz arrived back in Frankfurt on Saturday. Mrs. Beck called me on Monday morning and told me, that it wa one of her best journeys ever. Everything was great and she told me to tell you, that you had been doing a great job. Weather was excellent and the two female tour guides had been very helpful and professionel. The two ladies enjoyed nature, hot springs and onsen. And now they are loving japanese trains …:-) So let me thank you for all your help and the outstanding cooperation. Kind regards to Japan…
Ms Beck and Ms Schulz
Frankfurt, Germany – March’18
Hi (Experience Japan Travel), hope all is well. The trip was an absolute pleasure for my wife and I. We had a wonderful time learning about the culture and enjoyed the sights that you organized for us. The guides were delightful and created a very pleasant experience. The first Guide made us feel very welcomed on our arrival. She was very sweet and kind in assisting us to the hotel from the airport and for providing a brief insight to the itinerary. The Tokyo Guide was insightful as well as open to diverse discussions about Japans culture. It was very impressive how much she knew about Manga and the arts. She also was able to explain how the train system works in order for my wife and I to move around Tokyo with no issues, which worked out great. The Guide in Kyoto was delightful and made all the sights fun and interesting, specifically choosing the Imperial Palace in Kyoto in leui of one of the temples that was on the agenda. Overall, they all had something special to contribute to this wonderful trip. I also wanted to thank you personally for recommending Karuizawa, my wife especially enjoyed this particular stay for its relaxing ambiance. We cannot wait to go back and experience other parts of Japan. Well be reaching out to you for this future trip. Thanks so much! Best Regards, Fabio & Leslie…
Fabio & Leslie
Miami,USA – March 2018
Scottie was the BEST! He kept in good contact with updates and planned our trip based on OUR needs and wants. We felt we got a great overview of Japan for our 2week trip and the Cherry Blossoms were off the charts! 10+++ As were our guides. Very good English and not your typical guide that repeats themselves over and over. That is very annoying as a tourist! The variety of all the cities and landscapes we saw. Seeing all the UNESCO sites and having my Temple book with all its stamps! only have 3 empty pages. Kanazawa – The Park was exquisite! Love the chi & feel of this city! The hotel was fabulous and we had 2 of the best meals based on their recommendations. Kyoto – having a driver for all the temples was the best! And then Scottie taking us out for the whole day to sip Whisky & Sake plus takes us to the secret temple not in any guide books was very special! (Personal remarks) 4 star hotels are not the same in the US. We would have only stayed at 4.5 and above. for the Wide view train – seats 1 are least desirable – farther back is better. Honjin Hiranoya has a free shuttle – found that out when we asked for a taxi – not sure if they will pick up guests arriving & the walk with luggage takes more like 15 minutes – TI next to station with map was very helpful. In Hakone we had no guide and communication was difficult as we wanted a driver to take us to see the temple, the lake & then to Odawara. It didn’t happen but we did see Mt Fuji from the train..better than nothing. Ryokans – I thought we would be staying at a place more like a B & B than a hotel. Not as charming as I had envisioned. The one in Takayama really did a better job of creating more hominess and explaining how it all works. Osaka Hotel was in the train station which would have been helpful to know on our itinerary. Slight mix up as guide was on the platform and we assumed she would be on the other side of the exit gate. My personal thoughts – the trip should get better as it goes along and Kyoto was the main reason we even went. That hotel was only 4 star because they put a toothbrush & some cheesy amenities in the bathroom. The room was small with cheap furniture. it was disappointing after the Kanazawa experience….
Susan and Chris
California, USA – March 2018
This was a dream vacation fulfilled. Experience Japan Travel did amazing with the itinerary and accommodations. And in the end we got to meet our agent who made t all happen, in Osaka. It was really nice of him to show up, help us with our luggage, and accompany us to our bullet train ride to Tokyo. We had such a great time, saw so many beautiful places, met a number of very nice people and ate so much good food. It was awesome! I admire this beautiful progressive country that is Japan and its hardworking, honest, and most courteous people. I will come back given the chance. Our trip was definitely high-end. We enjoyed everything although I enjoyed Kyoto best. I appreciate my request to do “samurai” was granted at whim. That was so much fun. I would visit other places I haven’t been to in Japan but do not mind revisiting Kyoto or Tokyo ( maybe in warmer weather)….
Milagros & Danny
Chicago, USA – March 2018
We’ve traveled all over the world and this was without question the best trip we’ve ever taken. Scott and the flawless Experience Japan Travel team delivered a trip of a lifetime. Every day was filled with enjoyable and memorable parts. The variety of activities was staggering, from non-stop delicious ramen to getting Ninja training in Kyoto to wandering through the pristine gardens in every major city to the contemporary art in Kanazawa to drinking in the Ebisu Yokocho until morning. Visiting Japan was an embarrassment of riches. Only having more time in Japan could make the trip better!…
Charlie and Angela
Chicago, USA – February 2018
All our expectations were exceeded by far! Japan is an amazing country. From breath taking sky scrapers in Tokyo, to beautiful mountains, the very special Snow Monkeys, old traditional Japan on the Nakasendo trail, the exotic food, the kindest friendliest people – and just so many more. Scott Kent from Experience Japan Travel is simply the best! From the 1st emails some months ago, I knew that this was going to be a very special experience. Scott’s attention to detail, the prompt emails, very comprehensive detailed itinerary, website links and all the extra little bits of info made it an unforgettable trip. The choice, variety and locations of the accommodations were absolutely perfect and easily accessible from all the stations. We never felt lost or unsure of where to go or what to do. The itinerary was so well planned, with enough time to see and do. The guides with chartered Cars that you provided on the guided days were excellent, professional of high standard and caring. Ms Yuka in Tokyo was delightful, taught us a lot and was like a real mother hen – so concerned about all our travelling days by ourselves. Scott and Mr Nakagawa were so helpful in getting us to the doctor when Stef got ill. Ms Saiko is a knowledgeable easy going and caring tour guide. It was such a privilege that we could meet Scott in person. The day in Kyoto – although cold and wet was a high light of the trip. Kosanji Temple and surrounds touched our souls. Your easy way of going around with clients, passion for what you do, and sharing knowledge made it a fantastic experience. I’ve dealt with various travel companies before but I must say – Experience Japan Travel is in a league of its own. This was surely one of our best organized trips – to a country so far and different to anything else – it was just magic! Japan is a must see destination! – and we will be back to see the many other faces of Japan. Best regards
Stef and Inamarie
South Africa, February 2018
Wonderful trip, well planned out by Experience Japan Travel. They paid attention to all our needs. Very happy with the level of care and professionalism. Each location we visited was a great taste of the Japanese culture. We were there over the Christmas holidays and it was interesting how different it was in Japan. When we go again, I would go in warmer weather when the foliage is in blossom….
Margo and Family
America , December 2017