Holiday Reviews

Thank you for designing such a wonderful itinerary for us

Alan visited Japan in Dec - Jan 2018

Q. When did you visit Japan?

Dec 25 - Jan 5 2018

Q. How long did you stay in Japan?

12 days

Q. Which city/cities in Japan have you visited?

Fukuoka, Kurokawa Onsen, Takachiho, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Kumamoto

Q. Did you use a Japan Rail Pass or other Pass Types (SunQ, etc...)

No

Review

Thank you for designing such a wonderful itinerary for us. We enjoyed all the hotels, ryokans and stops. We got a real feel for higher level ryokans in Japan and liked that each of the 3 ryokans were different in style and features,
each offering unique onsen or baths, room design and kaiseki meals - we felt like the royal family!
And at Myoken, they told us how difficult it is to book a room for New Years day and that it is especially rare for foreigners to get a booking. It was also a very sophisticated modern design that I am sure is popular with celebrities.

Each reserved restaurant was also excellent. Though our favorite was a local restaurant next to Ryokan Shinsen in the small shopping mall (http://takachiho.ja-miyazaki.jp/nagomi.php), specializing in Takachiho beef from local farms (see pics) and it was relatively inexpensive for the super quality. It had an almost web-like structure to the fat which we didn't see in other beef we ate. Our kids were fighting me for each piece!

One of our favorite stops was at the Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu shrine. It has a very long stairs climb but was well worth the unique rock hole on top. We also bought super fresh local oranges at the parking lot from an old lady with a local farm. So sweet and juicy!

The local guides were both very good, though Tomoko in Kagoshima stood out. She is a local expert and knows local history very well, She even sang a Saigo song for us. I hope she didn't mind my many questions about local facts!

Overall, the service from Wakako and the itinerary which she provided were excellent, including the private guides. The prices paid for the ryokan accommodations though were high, they were in-line with the level of value we received. The only hotel which we felt indifference was the Sheraton Grande in Miyazaki, which was a typical large conference center style facility with very high prices for all services and food, which were of only quality.

And additional note: the mountain roads which we drove on between Kurokawa Onsen and Kagoshima were scenic and extremely curvy and steep. Though we had snow chains ready for our tires, we felt fortunate that there was no snow on the ground since I am not sure that they would have been very useful if there was much snow on the steep, curvy road surfaces. So you should caution future customers who want to self-drive to those places during the snowy months of January-February.