First things first, would I use this Japan travel agency again?
The simple answer is yes, they provided a well rounded trip for my wife and myself. It included all of the "must sees" my wife and I had listed. They also provided a large binder with the entire itinerary of the trip, as well as tickets, train times, maps of the areas you would be visiting and anything else that you had requested or they thought would be helpful.
If I ever have the opportunity to go back and visit Japan and decided to go through a travel agency rather than planning and booking the trip myself I would use this agency once again.
Now, all of that being said, were they perfect...
No. But is anyone or any company?
Some things even though the binder provided to us was large and packed with useful information were confusing and hard to understand. Perhaps this company has more confidence in a none native speaker in a foreign country than they should. Especially several of their direction instructions, I am sure the instructions were clear to the person who wrote them, but they weren't always easily understood by us, the person that had never been to any of these places before and could not read Japanese.
Kind of like me telling you the bathroom in my house is down the hall. Okay... you now know it is down the hall, somewhere, but not whether it is the first or the fifth door, or on the right or left.
We never were truly lost, (as in panic mode) but things could have been a little clearer to help a foreigner out.
Though even that comes down to personal preference, you might like the struggle of finding the subway, train or hotel with limited information. An adventure for some, but not for all.
Some of the pricing information provided to us was also off, never by a large amount, but off nonetheless. Again this agency isn't necessarily to blame, the economy shifts quickly and businesses raise and lower prices randomly. I only mention this so one is aware that not everything will be covered money wise before your arrival.
Make sure you do a lot of research about Japan and the things you would like to do, see and experience there yourself before contacting this company. The more you know about what you want to do the more they will be able to help you achieve.
In summary, my wife and I had a delightful trip in Japan and I believe this travel agency did a very good job planning the bulk of the trip and in being there quickly by email or phone if there was ever a problem. Especially the guides they provided to us. Phenomenal!
Staying in a ryokan/traditional style Japanese Hotel and experiencing an Onsen/Hot Springs.
Going to the Osaka Aquarium.
Seeing Mt. Fuji.
The Jigukudani Monkey Park.
Our guided days in Tokyo, Okayama and Kyoto, learning about the history and the culture from these three well educated guides.
All of the shrines, temples and castles as well as the history behind them.
Seeing the Emperor! We happened to be in the right spot at the right time. This was unplanned.
More time out in the country for relaxing and some downtime away from the crowds.
Also being able to spend more time with local craftsman and artists would be nice.
Because we were there for 20 days I think having an extra day or two planned for a guide would have been nice. We were fortunate enough to luck into two random English speaking guides that hadn't been planned as part of the trip who led us around two different cities and were able to share their knowledge with us.
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