I have nothing but good things to say about Zicasso, my travel company and my agent regarding our recent trip to Japan. There was not a single glitch in our hotel reservations, train, subway and bus travel or any of the special lectures, classes and demonstrations he arranged for us. Each personal contact we had with our Sumi-e instructor, Our Sushi Teachers, our Kabuki lecturer and the teahouse ceremony was professional, informative and delightful. I can safely say our trip would not have nearly as enriching without their kind and professional expertise.
We loved that we felt we got a true "flavor of Japan" on our tour. From the Las-Vegas like energy of Osaka, the graceful elegance of Kyoto, to the bustle of Tokyo contrasted with the solitude of Mt. Koya, our Ryokan, and Takayama, all our destinations were interesting. None of the destinations were so far away that we felt like we wasted time traveling. The accommodations were nothing short of spectacular. We especially enjoyed that they were so close to mass transit. We never had trouble finding each of the sights we wanted to see. Our packet was crammed with possible things to do and we never lacked for information on the best things to do. We especially appreciated having breakfast taken care of each day as we felt we got the earliest and best possible start to each day. We travel a lot and the hotel breakfast is the BEST we have ever seen. We were always close to good food for lunch and dinner, too.
Kanazawa was a very pleasant surprise. We loved this little city and felt it had the best of all worlds. I know most people probably want to see the big places but the Takayama/Kanazawa leg of our trip was just our speed.
I feel like everything was so amazing that the little things that went south were nothing we or Zicasso could have anticipated or fixed. It was unbearably humid. I quite literally spent the entire time soaking wet. However, since this was the only possible Mt. Fuji climbing season there was nothing we could have done in order to fit in the climb too. It really only rained about a day and a half that we were there and certainly would have put a damper on the trip if we had had more rain. The rain was the reason we skipped Shirakawago. We had 5.5 hours to go until we could check in and it was Jeff's birthday that day so the last minute choice to head on to Kanazawa ended up being the best for two older folks not looking forward to our last night on the floor!! We solved the issue by resting in our hotel each early afternoon (desert dwellers understand "siesta") and that helped. And, of course, not being able to summit Mt. Fuji was quite literally heart-breaking. I was really stupid enough to believe I could do it. I thought I had researched how strenuous the climb would be but it was so much more difficult than I had imagined or prepared for. Fujisan certainly does not suffer fools gladly. It was a humbling experience all the same and being there for my niece to summit for the family instead made it worth it. She was thrilled. If you want any more specific details about a place or accommodation or class, just ask and I'll be glad to throw a few thoughts down for you. Thanks so much for the trip of a lifetime.
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