Japan is an amazing destination! I felt that our travel agent and his associates planned the entire trip with extreme detail and finesse. I really enjoyed going to Japan; I thought that the food in general was awful but was able to find some Western food at times to make it through the trip.
Seeing the snow monkeys--a MUST!
Staying at the ryokan--memorable but not necessarily enjoyable--got to do it
Seeing the sights of of Kyoto--the guide we had in Kyoto was excellent and fun!
Everywhere we went the Japanese people were friendly and helpful.
There was too much to do in too little time. I would spend another day in Kyoto and not go to Shirakawaga.
I would definitely fly out of Osaka, not matter what, from Kyoto. Our trip back to the hotel at Narita after a full day of sightseeing was exhausting. Also, I would take a taxi from Narita train station to the hotel. It took over an hour to get from train station to hotel; we were picking up lots of Chinese tourists and stopping at a variety of hotels. The shuttle was crammed with people and we had to put our luggage in our laps.
I would allow a little more down time in the schedule if possible. Constantly on the move.
I would not fly ANA airlines. The food was awful on the flight both directions. Went premium economy. 4 1/2 hour delay leaving Narita Airport.
Would save up and fly Business class next time on another carrier.
Also, it is a nightmare after you have flown 20 hours to have to meet with the Tokyo guide and go over all those details of the trip right after you land. Tourists want to be left alone overnight to recover. Go over details of the trip the morning after arrival, not the day of arrival. Made us irritable.
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