This was a great tour with many varied activities and sights. Shikoku and Kyushu are absolutely beautiful and quite a change from the places I have bvisited on Honshu. There was a really good variety of physical and cultural activities as well as city and rural locations. The performances we attended were really interesting. I had a great time and really loved every minute of the tour. The two guides were wonderful. I chose to travel with Samurai again as no tour company in Australia offers anything which matches the experiences which Samurai offers.
The itinerary was very varied and interesting with a good selection of physical, cultural and historical activities. I enjoyed everything we did. I would have liked to spend more time in the Iya Onsen and was thinking that perhaps if less time was spent on Megjima Island, maybe it would be possible to visit Ritsurin Garden the same day so that it is possible to arrive earlier at Iya Onsen the next day. It would also have been nice to be able to enjoy longer at Kamigakure at Takachiho so perhaps an earlier departure from Matsuyama or a later departure the next day would have been good. One site we visited that just blew me away was the kabuki theatre in Kotohira. It was wonderful, particularly the backstage tour. This tour was full of delights.
All lodgings were very centrally and well located which is very important. Everybody loved Kamigakure in Takachiho and wished for more time there. What a wonderful place. The other standout was Iya Onsen. The Matsuyama Mielparque and the BW Premier Nagasaki were both very comfortable with large rooms and good views, particularly the latter. The only hotel I didn’t really care for was The Hotel Sunroute Namba where the room was so small it was claustrophobic and where the front desk staff seemed confused about my booking both times I arrived there. On the plus side it is in an excellent location and has a fantastic breakfast selection.
As with my last tour with Samurai, the food and restaurants chosen were wonderful. The kaiseki dinners were perfect but the little local restaurants were also great. I loved the lunch in Senganen Gardens in Kagoshima. Rei, our guide, went out of his way to help with suggestions for lunch and dinner when they were not provided. I was impressed at how many lunches and dinners were included.
I can’t say enough good things about Rei. He was an excellent driver and negotiated some pretty difficult roads very skillfully. He went out of his way to make sure everyone was catered for and was able to participate to their ability. He was knowledgeable, had a great sense of humour and spoke faultless English. Our guide for the Nagasaki days, whose name I have unfortunately forgotten, was also really excellent and took great care of us.
Great organisation and documentation. I would like to thank the Samurai staff who organised the pre-tour information and booking. They were very helpful and informative, which is great as I am not American and that makes the tour organisation just slightly trickier.
Would you go on another tour operating by Samurai Tours: Yes!
Would you recommend Samurai Tours to friends or family: Yes!
Samurai Tours Responds
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments regarding your recent tour in Japan! We try very hard to take special care of our clients while they are with us, and we're so happy you enjoyed your trip. Our rail and drive tours are an excellent way to see parts of Japan that are off the beaten path. We're so happy you came for another tour in Japan and look forward to traveling with you again in the future!
Got a Question?
Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are an expert team and we are happy to talk to you.