We just returned from a 2 week trip to several areas in Japan that was expertly planned and executed by this travel planner and his company. We are experienced world travelers, who have traveled with some of the top luxury travel companies and we'd rate this company among the best. The attention to detail and the literal tabbed spreadsheet with individual components made our entire itinerary of train/car/plane/hotel/tours extremely easy to execute on our own once we arrived in Japan. We were even given a pre-loaded local cell phone and subway/train passes so we could hit the ground running. The couple times we had questions while we were in Japan, they were answered immediately. The trip went like clockwork from start to finish and every stop was amazing. We journeyed from Tokyo, across the country on a bullet train to Kanazawa/Kaga Onsen and then flew down to Ishigaki Island on the Southern tip of Japan and ferried to our stay on the tiny (and beautiful) island of Taketomi. Every hotel was perfect and we couldn't have asked for a better itinerary for seeing city/country/beach on our own all in one trip. Our Tokyo hotel was very conveniently located to the Shibuya subway/train station, making it quick and easy to get around. And, even though the area around the station is busy, the hotel was just a short walk away on a quiet street. The suites were roomy and the staff was very helpful. Our Ryokan in KagaOnsen was top notch. A beautifully designed 16 room ryokan where each room was very large and beautifully appointed. The spa and 10-course meals were something you'd expect at a 5-star hotel in a large city. The trip down to Taketomi island was amazing and we were two of very few Westerners. The resort was designed to be low key and fit into the original design of homes on the island. It was all individual villas with large, private outdoor areas and it was a fun 10 minute bike ride into the small village. Definitely a spot to relax.
The practically deserted beautiful beach on Taketomi - which was like being in Hawaii...if there were hardly any other people and no buildings! For our journey to the countryside, our travel company suggested a stay at a fabulous luxury Ryokan with individual, private hot spring-fed hot tubs on the deck of each room. The friendliness of the Japanese people, the spotlessly clean country wherever we went and the great food at every stop - from 10-course dinners to little "hole in the wall" local spots. The other "wow" moment was being able to ship our luggage ahead of us to the next stop and it was literally delivered overnight for a nominal fee. We felt like we got to experience the fast pace of Tokyo, the beautiful countryside and an extremely relaxing beach stay - all in one trip.
We wouldn't do a thing differently. We enjoyed every stop and with only 2 weeks, we felt the itinerary was the perfect amount of time in each location. We would definitely go back to Japan and would definitely have this company help us plan another itinerary.
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