Hi there, thank you for the welcome home.
The whole experience was absolutely amazing! I didn't want to come home. A big thank you to Emirates and for providing me with the gluten free meals. They were superb!
The hotels that I stayed in were absolutely beautiful! The Tokyo hotel was a bit basic and small but very understandable being situated in the middle of Tokyo, but it was very handy for the train station. All my fellow travellers' in the tour group were very nice and very friendly making it a pleasure to share my experiences with.
The most amazing part of the holiday was our guide Yuki, she was absolutely amazing. Very knowledgeable, so friendly, so helpful and went out of her way to make the whole holiday extra special, showing us so many places, giving us ideas and places to go on free time and also places to go and eat. She deserves a gold medal, absolutely perfect host and guide. I felt so lucky to have her as our guide. I miss her already!
Tokyo was really busy and mainly aimed towards people who enjoy shopping, but the historical sites we saw were amazing and we also went into a workshop to watch a performance and to learn how to play the Shamisen - a traditional musical instrument, because on our first day the typhoon was about to hit and it was raining so much. Again thanks to Yuki our guide for arranging that! I did enjoy Tokyo but really not the highlight of the tour!
Kamakura was amazing, such a beautiful traditional little town with a beautiful shrine and shopping street amazing day. When we left Tokyo and travelled to Lake Kawaguchi the tour for me really started. The traditional hotel was perfect, and hot tub spa was amazing even though it wasn’t a natural hot spring. The food was sensational and the whole experience was mind blowing a second night at the traditional Japanese Ryokan hotel would have been preferable most of us said so. It’s what I went to Japan for and to experience. Seeing Mount Fuji so clear made it perfect.
Kyoto again was amazing going around the traditional streets and the contrast with the new shopping street was unreal. I absolutely loved Kyoto, the shrines, the shops, Gion District was like travelling through time, and hotels we stayed in were amazing, the people I met were so friendly and helpful. It was really easy to get around, unlike Tokyo. Again thanks to Yuki for all the advice and maps she drew up for us.
Himeji was a quick trip, stop off on the way to Hiroshima so it felt a little rushed although Yuki never ever rushed us. We saw the castle, shopping areas and bonus markets and festival that was on and I actually had lunch with her on free time before meeting back up with the group carrying on to Hiroshima. We felt it was a bit of an awkward time to arrive in Hiroshima with all our luggage. It was very busy on the tram on the way to the hotel, but again with the help and advice from Yuki we made it safely to the hotel.
Hiroshima was one of the highlights and most humbling of experiences I have ever had. For a huge town/city it was so calm and peaceful to walk around either by day or night. We saw ground zero of the A-bomb and the Peace Park and A-bomb dome at night thanks to Yuki, as well as during the day. Fantastic food in Hiroshima.
Going to Miyajima Island and going up Mount Misen was, to say the least, incredible. A note to other travellers, you must be really fit to get to the top it was a hard climb, but you can just stay at the observation base when you get off the cable car. I made the climb to the Eternal flame shrine, but not to the top. I knew my limit lol.
Heading back to Kyoto was a bonus because I loved it there. Got some shopping in and went off on my own to Nara on our free day after leaving Yuki. We were sad to say goodbye to our amazing guide. With thanks to her guidance I managed to find my way to Nara and have another cracking day.
The last day, the day of my flight was not so good, I checked out of the hotel at 10.30am. The only other gripe was that at the hotel in Tokyo we had to pay for breakfast and it wasn’t the best breakfast buffet at that. At the last two hotels I didn’t have breakfast so I don’t know if I had to pay for it but at the first hotel in Kyoto I didn’t have to pay and it was an amazing breakfast buffet Also foreign travellers entering Japan now have to fill in 2 small forms one for security and the other for customs, I found that out on the plane.
Overall my whole experience was absolutely amazing and I would recommended the trip to anyone wanting to visit Japan. It was full on everyday but I got to see so much, it was perfect. Yuki our lovely guide was absolutely amazing and she made my time in japan even more unforgettable. Yuki our guide was absolutely perfect!! It would be rude of me to rate her. Thank you all for arranging my amazing trip, so unforgettable!
Looking forward to my next trip with you, maybe china.