Japan holidays, tailor made

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor-made and departures can be arranged all year. The sample itinerary below can be modified to your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used & how long you spend in each destination.
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Japan holidays, tailor made

This itinerary shows the visitor to Japan a more cultural and historic side to the country, which is often overlooked among the tourist rush from city to city. Clients will have the chance to get out into the countryside and experience older, more traditional towns, and the itinerary has a strong emphasis on experiencing and enjoying cultural pastimes which are becoming less and less subscribed among today's youth and are in danger of disappearing.

Starting and ending with the two most famous cities in Japan, the central part of the itinerary is entirely based in the mountainous scenery of the country's interior, visiting well-preserved historic towns and allowing an insight into the Buddhist religion on which Japan's seemingly arreligious culture rests.

Accommodation will be in small local hotels and traditional inns, helping to support local communities and allowing you to try the famous Japanese hospitality and local food, and at Mount Koya you will also be invited to join in the prayer rituals at your temple lodgings. Travel will be by local public transport throughout.

Reviews of Japan holidays, tailor made

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 18 Nov 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The autumn colours were just amazing in Japan. Its a fascinating culture with so many memorable experiences, just a few spring to mind, walking the Nakesendo highway, staying at the Mitsui Garden hotel in Tokyo, the views are mind blowing from here, Geisha spotting in Kyoto, visiting a multitude of temples, the Japanese people, experiencing the highly technical toilets (!), having a cooking lesson in a Japanese person home, staying in traditional ryokans with steam baths, staying at a Buddhist temple and joining them for early morning prayers.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Thoroughly research exactly what you want to do before you go. We squeezed in some additional visits to places that we didn't think were possible e.g. by getting up early and making use of our Japan rail pass. If you want to upgrade your flight class then try to do this at the time of booking as additional fuel surcharges may make this very expensive. If you are going on your honeymoon, it may be worth finding out if there are additional people travelling at the same time as you and staying at the same places. This may make you change your itinerary so it remains a private holiday for just the 2 of you. Don't bother with the Park Hyatt in Tokyo, its over-rated and very expensive for fairly average food. If you stay at the Mitsui Garden hotel in Tokyo then you still get amazing views from here (and they’ve got a good cocktail bar)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes in several ways, particularly doing having the cooking lesson at someone’s home through WAK, this was an amazing cultural experience. Also staying at traditional ryokans supports the local economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


First class, although expensive I think it was worth the money.

Reviewed on 25 Nov 2007 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


In all honesty it is very hard to pin point one defining moment. It was all brilliant.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Learn some basic Japanese.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


It's hard to say just which part was the most memorable because it all was - but it was extra special because it had a personal aspect to it - we were not 'just tourists'. We wanted to go to Japan because through my family history research I had discovered I had relatives there whom I had never met. The big thrill was meeting them - and finding the family graves of my ancestors. This aspect was built into the itinerary with free time.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We made a few business cards with our names in Kanji and Katakana on the reverse. These proved extremely useful, especially with introductions to people with very limited English. If you can't find anyone to help with the Kanji, at least have cards with your name in English. If you do take business cards, be sure to keep them in pristine condition. Take the time to try and learn a few basic words - such as thank you and excuse me! The Japanese appreciate the effort even though the conversation will continue in English. I also bought a book on Japanese etiquette, fearful of making a terrible social blunder. At least you will know what to expect! Finally - don't be afraid to try Japanese food!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I don't think we were able to offer the locals anything they did not already have, and we could learn a lot from them about environmental issues. The streets were totally litter-free because nobody dropped anything, and if they did, they picked it up themselves instead of leaving it. Recycling is big there, too.

4. Any other comments?


Five out of five!

Reviewed on 10 Dec 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing the first macaque monkey appearing in the undergrowth upon entering the "monkey park" outside Kyoto. Eventually it got a bit overwhelming being surrounded by so many free + living monkeys, but seeing the first few was very exciting.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Try not to plan to do too much - especially with regards to temple visits! Unless you have a particular interest in comparing and contrasting temples and shrines of different types and ages it is probably enough to focus on a few or you may get templed-out!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


No, not particularly. While the hotel chain in Tokyo was Japanese, staying in a hotel is not really very environmentally friendly. And in the roykan I was surprised (shocked) to realise that our sheet, towels and dressing gowns had been changed whilst we were out - and we were only staying two nights! We used public transport or walked to get around, but other than that there wasn't anything we could have done to make the holiday any more green, that I can think of. Going on a long haul flight probably cancelled out anything positive we might have done in any case!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


**** - Very good, we enjoyed it thoroughly.

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