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What They Said

We are often asked what to expect on our tours. We found our clients had the best answers. Here are couple of recent excerpts from what they said about their experiences with Journey to the East tours…

"One of the best experiences of my life. I hope to do another JttE again"

Helen and Gary Driver - AUS (2017)

"Excellent value for money. We really couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you"

Denise and Scott McGregor - AUS (2017)

"Excellent quality tour. We couldn't have seen those art & gardens without JttE tour - Money well spent"

Anne & Terry Smith - AUS (2017)

"Have been to many tours and this tour is the best so far – this is the best way to see Japan. "

Christy & Fortunato Abello - USA (2017)

All reviews are extracts directly from Journey to the East’s feedback forms. No attempt to sanitize the information has been made it is as the clients wrote it.

P1711-06

Custom Built Tour of Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"We appreciated the expert advice provided by Journey to the East. We were kept busy but felt the pace was right for us "

Travel arrangements

"Absolutely perfect!

  1. Great advice when planning our itinerary.
  2. Very helpful with last minute change to the itinerary.
  3. Precise travel documents and instructions which enabled us to confidently enjoy our preferred style of travel - by ourselves not in a group."

What did you enjoy most?

"We do our research beforehand and Japan delivered on our expectations - and more.

We enjoyed the ability to enjoy Japan in our preferred manner - something we had serious concerns about prior to contacting JttE. "

Nov 2017

Peter Boylan and Paula Fogarty, NSW, Australia

Anne Cameron's Favorite picture
Anne Cameron's Favorite picture

GFA-17

Autumn Food Tour of Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Meals

"An excellent combination of high- end fine dining, local and ‘rustic’ experiences.  Highlights for me were the Welcome and Farewell dinners and the amazing Italian night. The Yatai dinner was so much fun! All Kaiseki meals were an experience with variety and presentation. Sumicafe and Sak-ura, wonderful and various noodle style meals excellent. "

Value for money?

"Given the high quality of experiences, value for money was exceptional."

What did you like best?

"Travelling in a part of the world, off the beaten tourist track. Mixing with local people going about their daily lives. Gaining a better understanding of such a rich culture, fascinating history and fine cuisine. Staying in beautiful ryokans."

Comment for others

"The Autumn/ Foody tour offered by ‘Journey to the East’ transports us to the little-visited island of Kyushu in Japan.  We experience the unspoilt beauty of the countryside and variety in superlative cuisine. Mixing with local people going about their daily lives immersed in traditions of a rich culture which has adapted to the contemporary world becomes an experience to treasure."

Nov 2017

Anne Cameron, Qld, Australia

GFA-17

Autumn Food Tour of Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Guides

"An absolute delight! Well informed, attentive, helpful and a pleasure to deal with. Excellent!! "

Would you recommend this tour?

"YES !!"

What did you like best?

"The small group and variety of experiences"

Comment for others

"This is a tour to be recommended. Comprehensive, comfortable, informative - Not to mention the food which was absolutely fantastic!!"

Nov 2017

Ruth Miller, Vic, Australia

GAN-17

Autumn Tour of Northern Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Guides

"The guides we all excellent English speakers, friendly and knowledgeable. Masako even adapted the itinerary when the weather was unsuitable"

Overall assessment of tour?

"One of the best experiences of my life. I hope to do another JttE again"

[JttE comment: Also travelled with JttE on 2015 Garden and Art tour of Japan]

What did you like best?

"The Autumn foliage, experienced through walks, boat trips & drives, were exquisite everywhere. The evening in Matsushima I was absolutely overwhelmed by the beautiful lighting in the Gardens of Entsuin Temple. The Violinist in the Garden came to our hotel and performed for us - Very special"

Comment for others

"Every Day of this tour reveals the natural beauty of Japan's Autumn. The colours of the maple forests are exquisite and cover the mountains and valleys like carpet. It is so good to be in country Japan exploring and enjoying the best accommodation, onsen hot spring baths, ryokans, delicious beautifully presented food and more, accompanied by an experienced guide."

Nov 2017

Gary and Helen Driver, Vic, Australia

GAN-17

Autumn Tour of Northern Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Excellent!  Good variety of locations. Nicely planned out."

Value for money?

"Suica card and JR passes were easy to use and made sense for this tour.

We paid a little more for the smaller group size [this time] but seem to get more from this size tour than larger groups. Also more intimate and flexible when weather is an issue or group prefers different activity options. "

Ease of dealing with JttE

"Excellent!  Very easy to work with JTTE especially since JTTE is responsive and thorough. "

What did you like best?

"The historical background about each of the locations.  Also the detailed transportation planning from town to town (e.g. trains, shuttles, etc.).  Certainly made travel enjoyable and allowed us to visit many cities in a short timeframe."

Comment for others

"Excellent tour!  This was our second JttE tour and both have been well planned. Would not hesitate to do another tour with JttE if it made sense for us. Enjoyed meeting Col and Yuki at the beginning of this tour, a plus!"

Nov 2017

Kyle and Charlene Hama, San Jose, California, USA

Oirase River Kel Stillman and Ann Pugh 200x244

GAN-17

Autumn Tour of Northern Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Very well planned and coordinated. All accommodation was excellent."

Value for money?

"The value for money is in the high standard of guides (5*++), accommodation, food and the attention to detail"

Overall

"An excellent tour to a part of Japan not frequented by masses of tourists"

What did you like best?

"The river walk at Oirase and the magical illuminations at Matsushima where the Autumn leaves were at their best - overall we liked being in the country & seeing the Autumn colours."

Comment for others

"JttE is a brilliant small company with interesting itineraries, impeccable organisation and the very best guides. From the moment we made contact we knew we were in good hands.

We unreservedly recommend JttE to anyone looking for a small group tour in Japan"

Nov 2017

Kel Stillman and Ann Pugh, NSW,Australia

GAW-17b

Autumn Tour of Japan - Wild West

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Excellent range of locations and activities which provided us with unique experiences and a diversity of scenery. With the assistance of our guides, we were able to immerse ourselves in the culture of this beautiful country and interact with its wonderful people"

Value for money?

"Excellent value for money. We really couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you "

Overall

"Excellent. You helped make our trip to Japan so very special. It will be very difficult to top this tour"

What did you like best?

"Loved the traditional inn and the opportunity to sit around the open fire and enjoy local cuisine and conversation. Food and quality/comfort of the amenities were much better than we expected.

We enjoyed the autumn colour and the snow (Karobe and Toyama). We also enjoyed the opportunity to experience local life in the more remote areas and the wonderful history and culture that surrounded us.

The fact the tour was limited to eight people (and they were all great) was very good. The wonderful guides also added to the experience."

Comment for others

"This was our first trip to Japan and what a incredible experience it was - stunning autumn colour, wonderful people and a rich and vibrant culture. JttE took care of every little detail and still gave us time to pursue our own interests. The guides were fantastic as was the accommodation and meals. We really couldn’t have asked for more. We would highly recommend a JttE tour to anyone considering a trip to Japan. "

Nov 2017

Denise and Scott Macgregor, Adelaide, Australia

GAN-17

Autumn Tour of Northern Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Generally very good.
I think the guides were challenged by the two very wet days we had due to the Typhoon especially in Tokyo where we had crowds as well as rain to deal with and some different techniques could have been used to keep us all together like nominating where we could meet up in 30 minutes or if we become separated."

Value for money?

"Not the cheapest tour but we liked the quality of the organisation, the places /hotels selected and the high quality of the guides and therefore concluded that it was good 'value for money' "

Travel arrangements

"Travel arrangements were excellent in every detail and we definitely appreciated the work that JTTE put into the organisation of its tours"

Would you recommend JttE?

"Yes - without hesitation! "

Comment for others

"What we liked most of our recent JttE tour to Japan was the feeling that we “got inside” Japan for a couple of weeks and came away with a far better understanding of its delightful people, its long history, its vibrant cities, its wonderful food, its remarkable public transport systems and its beautiful geography. Overall we had lots of laughs and a great time."

Nov 2017

Ray and Penny McCann, Victoria, Australia

GAW-17a

Autumn Tour of Japan - Wild West

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"5/5"

Travel arrangements?

"5/5 "

Comment for others

"We had a fabulous trip.  Everything went well and we enjoyed meeting our interesting and friendly guides, seeing lots of different aspects of the country and eating such a marvellous variety of meals.  We really felt that we had had special experiences."

Nov 2017

Angela & Jesse Loxton, Noosa Springs, Queensland, Australia

GAW-17a

Autumn Tour of Japan - Wild West

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Wonderful trip"

Travel arrangements?

"Could not be faulted. Worried about the [overnight] backpacks initially, but what a way to travel! Didn't miss the suitcases "

Value for money?

"Top accommodation, top meals, no time wasted. Looking forward to our next trip"

Overall

"Wonderful!"

Comment for others

"From the itinerary we thought the tour would be good. But, it was not just good, it was fabulous. The organisation and the tour guides were superb. Thanks Yuki"

Oct 2017

Denice & Terry Gee, Queensland Australia

Ian & Liz Kaye-Eddie 200x150

Private Tour

October 2017

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"The itinerary was well balanced. With limited time available you can only do so much"

What did you like best?

"The thoughtful planning and splendid guides."

Value for money?

"Worth every cent!"

Overall

"5 Star!"

Comment for others

"To discover new places, to meet the Japanese people, to immerse in new cultures, to share exotics foods and collect new treasures 'Journey to the East' provides it all."

Oct 2017

Ian & Liz Kaye-Eddie -  Perth, Western Australia

GGA-17a

2017 Gardens and Art Tour of Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Very well organized itinerary. The initial email with cultural notes was most appreciated. Slight hiccup on itinerary in Hakone - we didn't anticipate all those train connections to get to the Ryokan "

What did you like best?

"The highlights of our tour were visiting Korakuen Gardens, Adachi Museum of Art, Bizen pottery, the glorious Hakone Open Air Museum & of course the trip to see Mt Fuji"

Overall

"Excellent quality tour. We couldn't have seen those art & gardens without JttE tour - Money well spent"

Comment for others

"We thoroughly enjoyed our Garden & Art tour of Japan 2017. We explored the real Japan - its unique culture, food art & its magnificent gardens. This tour took us to amazing places eg Naoshima Island & Adachi Museum of Art - off the beaten track for many tourists.

It was well organised with superb guides. The hotels provided quality accommodation. I would highly recommend this tour company."

May 2017

Anne & Terry Smith -  Townsville,  Qld, Australia

GGA-17a

2017 Gardens and art tour of Japan

Guest rated their tour: 

Accommodation

We did not expect the high standard of accommodation at each stop, but we were very pleased when hotel after hotel was exceptional. Being tall, i was very pleasantly surprised at the length, width and high quality of all beds. Every night i had a great sleep.

What should we change?

"We honestly can’t think of anything.  Every expectation and more was met."

What did you like best?

"I really liked all the amazing artistic photo opportunities. Also interacting with locals at many venues. For me seeing Hamada and Bernard Leach pottery side by side was incredible and the Bizen pottery with the talk by the potter was fantastic. The tea ceremony was very special and Naoshima and Miho were truly memorable."

Overall

"We have travelled quite a bit, and this was our fourth small group tour(Turkey, Vietnam and Eastern Europe). Without doubt, this journey was the best, number 1.

In fact, i have just dusted off my old copy of The Journey to the East, by Hermann Hesse, to reread."

Journey to the East is an outstanding tour company for whom nothing is too much trouble. The organisation of the entire tour is faultless, and I feel that I have experienced the best of old and new Japan, it’s people and it’s culture.

Also, JAL premium economy is a very, very good way to start and end the tour.

May 2017

Anne & Peter Scrivener - St. Ives, NSW, Australia

GGA-17a

2017 Gardens and art tour of Japan

Guest rated their tour: 

Value for money

The tour ticked every box, could not have been happier. It was money well spent for us.

What should we change?

"We honestly can’t think of anything.  Every expectation and more was met."

What did you like best?

"Spectacular view of Mt Fuji from the lake on a beautiful sunny day.  The Tea Ceremony was very special. Bizen pottery with visit to the working kiln. Kurashiki village.

All the museums. "

Overall

"As a passionate gardener who loves art in the garden this tour was made for me and fortunately my husband also enjoys gardens and indulges me with my love of art.

The attention to detail, choice of hotels, transport arrangements, incredible museums, wonderful gardens, amazing variety of delicious meals, knowledgeable and friendly guides made this a truly special tour."

May 2017

Bronwyn and Ian Hay - NSW, Australia

P1703-02

Kareela Probus private group tour

Guest rated their tour: 

Itinerary

"The itinerary was of excellence, it was so clear and concise."

Overall

"Companionship; Extensive gardens such as Kanazawa's Kenrokuen; Magnificent cherry blossom and snow scenery in the farming village, "

Comment for others

"If you are wanting to join a tour which is a true experience of Japan, this is the company to go with.

Travelling on public transport weaving through the hussle and bussle of crowds, (the Japanese are so orderly and polite). The wonderful bullet train (amazing and so comfortable). Food, whereby you are introduced to the true Japanese cuisine, but still have a mixture of western food included.

Happy to accept that one cannot choose the weather wherever you go, but to experience the challenges and excitement in another country.  We were so lucky to have experienced snow as well as the beautiful cherry blossoms on our trip, what a bonus.

Experience their culture, try an “Onsen”, don’t be embarrassed to shed your gear (what a wonderful experience).

All we can say is “WOW”. We highly recommend www.journeytotheeast.com.au

April 2017

David and Barbara Yee - NSW, Australia

P1703-02

Kareela Probus private group tour

Guest rated their tour: 

Value for money

Good value

Itinerary

"Well prepared itinerary with illustrations, guide profiles shows much thought has gone into the preparation. I for one appreciate a well detailed documentation."

What did you like best?

"Just wonderful, one of the best Tours I have been on. Of course the people you travel with, if they are co-operative and considerate to one another, well, that makes for a wonderful trip. "

Overall

"WOW! Amazing, impressive spectacular tour"

April 2017

Ruth Shambler - NSW, Australia

P1703-02

Kareela Probus private group tour

Guest rated their tour: 

Value for money

Itinerary

"A really enjoyable and varied experience of Japanese culture, food and Scenery."

What did you like best?

"The variety of experiences"

Overall

"Our 19 day journey was full of culture, food & scenery experiences. Nothing was a trouble to our guides who were all very knowledgeable & helpful.

We would thoroughly recommend JttE."

April 2017

Marie & Keith Campbell - NSW, Australia

GSN-17

2017 Northern Japan – Cherry blossom tour

Guest rated their tour: 

Accommodation

"Generally the accommodation in Tokyo, Nikko, Kaunodate, Hirosaki, Hakodate and Sapporo were excellent – good food and the beds were very comfortable.  The beds in Matshushima were lumpy and too low to the ground – next night we decided to try 2 futons – much better. "

Itinerary

"Well documented and explanatory of what we were expected to see on the tour as well as our accommodation.  Pictures and more history in certain places could have assisted us to learn more about each venue.

Thanks for doing our extension tour itinerary we really appreciated that."

What did you like best?

"The 2 km walk along the blossom trees in Kakonodate and the walk we personally did on Fukuurajima Island at Matsushima and we saw some magnificent blossom.  Judith had 6 oysters which were monsters and they were terrific.  The castle at Hirosaki was just the highlight of the tour as it was in terrific blossom.  Travelling on the Bullet trains was a fantastic experience and the way to travel in Japan."

Overall

"Loved every minute of it – pity it had to end so early – should have been 2 days longer I think.  Pity all the blossom was not out but the castle Hirosaki was spectacular.!"

"Loved every minute of it – pity it had to end so early – should have been 2 days longer I think.  Pity all the blossom was not out but the castle Hirosaki was spectacular.!

Travelling on this tour to see the blossom in the north of Japan was an unforgettable experience for all the positives except that Mother nature in some places was a week later than was expected.  The tour guides were exceptional and full of expert knowledge and listened carefully to your questions.  The pace of the tour was excellent and included an adequate amount of free time so that you can relax or explore at your pace.  If one was to do this tour on your own you would need to have a good knowledge of Japanese history as well as know the best Japanese restaurants and hotels to go to learn how the real Japanese live.  The tour leader being born in Japan and speaking both languages was just an added bonus. "

April 2017

Trevor Wiseman OAM and Judith Wiseman - Park Vale,  SA, Australia

GSN-17

2017 Northern Japan – Cherry blossom tour

Guest rated their tour: 

Value for money

Fantastic value for money

Itinerary

"Terrific variety, obviously a lot of thought & research has gone into creating the itinerary"

What did you like best?

"The variety of sights and food. I loved Nikko the best (if I had to make a choice. the hotel, food  & area was pure indulgence"

Overall

"Superstars! - service, itinerary,value.  I'll be back!"

April 2017

Sheree White - Toowoomba,  Qld, Australia

GSN-17

2017 Northern Japan - Cherry blossom tour

Guest rated their tour: 

Value for money

"5/5"

What did you like best?

"The people who are so polite and respectful for everyone. The cleanliness of everywhere, of course the cherry blossom and how the locals celebrated. Wonderful scenery and food."

Overall

"Fantastic and wonderful trip to see Northern Japan and experience the cherry blossom in a lovely country.

Can you put us down for next year's Autumn colours tour of Japan"

April 2017

John & Lorraine Walsh - Ipswich,  Qld, Australia

GSL-17

2017 Classic Route – Cherry blossom tour

Guest rated their tour: 

Itinerary

"Being a small group with a guide was more efficient and informative than we could have done ourselves"

What did you like best?

"Learning about Japanese culture & way of life. Meeting friendly Japanese people. Seeing some amazing & beautiful places."

Overall

"This small sized group of a few couples permitted ease of transport under the guidance of excellent guides who were very competent in English.

The accommodation was first class especially the experiences of the roykans [Japanese Inn]. Food provided was excellent, plentiful and varied. Overall an excellent tour run by a very professional company."

March 2017

Peter & Olga Abrahams  – Vic, Australia

Christy-Fortunarto

GSE-17

2017 Early spring – Cherry blossom tour

Guest rated their tour:  

Value for money

"5/5"

What did you like best?

"Ha ha ha – Everything was lovely"

In summary

"Have been to many tours and this tour is the best so far. Worth the cost! Company was great, experience wonderful, have recommended it to friends and relatives – this is the best way to see Japan. Thank you Col and Yuki, you are great!"

Feb 2017

Christy & Fortunato Abello – San Antonio, Texas, USA