The trip was very well organized and a great introduction to Japanese culture as well as local living by getting exposure to modes of public transportation. We were able to gain knowledge that gave us independence and a thorough appreciation of the subtleties of the culture. The guides were very helpful, although we didn't get to learn more of the language from them directly. We were VERY well fed and given hospitality everywhere we went, including the shops! This travel agent planned everything out and organized everything in advance to make this a pretty smooth experience overall. Looking forward to coming back for more!
Some of the more spontaneous side trips that our guides showed us in addition to the base itinerary. For example, hitting up a rice cracker shop where the shop owner showed and allowed us to make our own rice crackers. Also, witnessing the tuna cutting display near Tsukiji market at a sushi shop we ate at. Feeding the deer in Nara. Traveling to Shibuya on our own spontaneously using what we learned about public transportation. Experiencing a traditional Japanese style Inn. Vising the local convenience and grocery stores. Going off the beaten path so to speak to really get the experiences of how the locals live and enjoy their communities were our favorite highlights as we learned a lot of what you don't get to see on TV or movies. We were all so fulfilled by these moments that our sisters' bond was enriched and strengthened.
I would get more independence and down time to allow for gustatory exploration and recooperation between major commutes. Taking out any time constraints to just be in the moment while balancing detailed, planned out days.
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