Great tour of less city/crowded conditions where you have the opportunity to stay in a region longer with shorter train rides to each place, and get a better feel for all that the area has to offer. Great concept and the itinerary fully meets this objective. I look forward to future such \'off the beaten track\' tours having done several of the main tours covering all of Japan except Okinawa (which I have done three times on a cruise in conjunction with a Samurai Tours). Perhaps one suggestion is to look at cruise schedules for arrival/departure in Tokyo for scheduling Samurai tours in conjunction with cruise lines as this is how I love to combine less air travel and make a trip halfway around the world worthwhile. I can get on or off a ship in Vancouver! Maybe other cruise lines go to US west coast ports too? I constantly recommend Samurai Tours to friends and in conversations where people are looking to travel to Japan! This is the best company with the best formula for really experiencing Japan...my bow to Sensei Mike and the fabulous Samurai Tours family...domo arigato gozaimass!!____________________________________________________________Thank you so much for your kind comments regarding your tour with us! It was a pleasure to have you traveling with us again and we are so glad you had such a good time. Returning clients receive a discount on future tours! We hope to see you again in Japan, Brian! ~Samurai Tours Staff
The selection of places to stay/send main bag forward and activities/sites was, as always, exceptional. The pace is well planned.
An excellent mix of ryokan and western hotels of very good quality and amenities, right in the centre of the action!
Fabulous as always!
There is sufficient flexibility assigned to the guides to meet the on-site needs of clientele whose needs and interests vary within the scope of the posted itinerary. Our initial Tokyo guide (Ogikubo-san) is a lovely lady but having told us it was a short 10 minute walk to teh hotel, she was disoriented and we took over 25 minutes to get there pulling our main bag as well as our backpack. Needless to say, thsi was not a good start and we appreciated the hand-off the next morning to a new guide, Aya Masuyama, who was wonderful. We were than handed off to Masako Takahashi for the rest of the tour in Hakodate and she was absolutely top notch on all counts! Her ability to assess our physical capabilities and we 3 all deciding not to do Yamadera on 10 April, Masako prepared an alternate plan of sites and things to do which we all enjoyed! eg, Funaoka for the cherry blossoms (sakura) along the canal.
The published pre-tour information regarding pick up at the pier was accurate but during the cruise I let Samurai Tours in Denver know by email of a change in port (from the commercial to the Obanbashi Int\'l Passenger Cruise Terminal). This information apparently was not received by the Tokyo guide greeting us (Yasushi Furutani) so as he waited at Obanbashi we were at the JR station Starbucks from 08h30 to 11h00 without ability to call as the guide\'s phone number as printed in the itinerary was incorrect. I called the hotel and confirmed our arrival, we took a taxi independently there and after a while he arrived and immediately reimbursed me for the taxi ride which was much appreciated. Other than this hiccup, the guide is accurate and gives clients a good idea of expectations, timing and walking levels.
Couldn\' t ask for a better laid out tour for all that we saw and did.
Wonderful and efficient mix of public transportation. One of our group had mobility issues after walking/climbing steps for a while so the guide\'s discretionary use of taxi or mentioning distances if we chose to walk or take taxi, took into account our feedback in the moment and the much appreciated delegated authority for the guides to decide on taxi use where needed.
Would you go on another tour operating by Samurai Tours: Yes!
Would you recommend Samurai Tours to friends or family: Yes!
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