What They Said; Guest's Reviews

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…

Review Summary

Over the years we have had literally 100's of feedback messages and forms. Clearly they can't all be presented here, however here is a broad summary.

Out of 
Overall rating 4.9
Accommodation selection 4.8
Our guides 5  (Many guests gave more than 5 out of 5)
Itinerary, locations and timing 4.8 +
Support, care, attention to detail 4.9
Value for money 4.9+
Stress Free holiday 4.9+

"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.

Covid-19 Handling Feedback

Unfortunately, we were forced to cancel our March-June 2020 Tours. We would like to thank all of our clients who had bookings with us for their understanding and kind words during this ever-changing situation. We are pleased that a majority of our clients elected to re-book with us on 2021 Tours tours and we look forward to the privilege of showing you Japan in the future. For those clients who accepted the refund amounts, we processed all refunds (in cash) within a short period of time and thank you for your understanding during these uncertain times.

We have included below some of the kind words from our clients:-

"We are grateful to you for the rebooking and the consideration given to us, as we are sure all of the clients will be - you have been very generous and very thoughtful and kind under the circumstances. We certainly know we made the best decision to travel with you and are supportive of you all under the current circumstances. Many many thanks, we will look forward very much to travelling next year when the current global situation has hopefully settled, though it will forever be a very different world we live in. Thinking of you all, sending our support and our thanks again." - Michael and Laurie, Australia

"Thank you for your note and understanding. I'm very disappointed, too. It will be a remarkable Hokkaido trip, I realize. I regret missing this adventure and shall hope for a journey with you at a different time. I appreciate that the deposit can be applied to a future trip, if booked in the time indicated. Wishing all health and safety" - Nancy, USA

"I want to thank you and all of the team at Journey to the East for your fantastic communication during this uncertain, ever changing and evolving situation. While we are disappointed not to be travelling to Japan during April we agree that it is the best decision under the circumstances. There is no doubt that seeing the Japanese cherry blossoms is something we still would like to do and our goal at this point in time would be to rebook with you again." - Christine and Bruce, Australia

Past Traveller Feedback and Comments

Ross and Rosalind Hayward - GAC-19a at Miyajima

GAC-19

2019 Autumn Colours Spectacular Tour

Guest rated their tour:  

Accommodation

"The standard of accommodation was above expectation throughout the tour. An overall score of 5 because most were 5++"

Guide Overall

"All guides had delightful personalities, were super organised, and knowledgeable. Guides very attentive to the dietary needs of some members in group which was not always easy. Impressed that they used their local knowledge and common sense to adjusting timing to avoid crowds eg. leaving early for Matsumoto Castle on Culture Day."

Meals

"Enjoyed all the different meals and wonderful experiences. Quality and presentation beyond expectation.
The French/Japanese meal was an interesting blend of cultures and thoroughly enjoyed."

In summary

"A top quality, well planned & organised small group tour giving many varied experiences and opportunities to experience the beauty of Japan, its history and culture and enjoy sensational cuisine."

November 2019

Ross and Rosalind Hayward, Australia

GAC-19

2019 Autumn Colours Spectacular Tour

Guest rated their tour:  

Meals

"Great variety provided to experience the various Japanese cuisines"

Overall assessment of tour

"The tour works really well with the small group of 8"

Guides

"Hiroko was an exceptional guide who went above and beyond her normal duties including helping my wife obtain medication at a drug store "

In summary?

"We are experienced travellers who normally tour on our own. However having decided to visit Japan we thought a small group tour would be our best option. We found JttE on the internet and are so glad we did. Our Autumn Colours tour was a great experience. Everything was so well organised and with the small group of 8 we were able to navigate our way around with little difficulty. We thoroughly recommend JttE to anyone interested in touring Japan. "

November 2019

Keith and Pam Mackinder, Australia

GAL-19

2019 Autumn Leaves Tour of Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Exactly what I wanted to see"

Travel arrangements

"First class! I was suffering from a damaged foot and coped well. No glitches at all!"

What did you enjoy best?

"Superb Organisation. Fantastic guides. A wonderful small group to tour with!"

Value for money

"I was a little concerned about the cost but having experienced the superb arrangements and organisation I would say that this trip was very good value for the money.".

In summary?

"In a lifetime of travelling this would be by far the best organised experience overall."

November 2019

Brian and Cheryl Palliser, New Zealand

GAL-19

2019 Autumn Leaves Tour of Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"We enjoyed the flexibility that allowed us to make small changes to suit the group"

What did you like best?

"Everything was very well organised and nothing was left to chance"

Value for money

"Yes, it was worth every dollar".

In summary?

"An excellent tour for the first-time traveller to Japan that want a guided experience, this is a must.
Everything worked out wonderfully and we saw the essence of Japan in Autumn."

November 2019

Ingrid and Chris Krueger, Australia

GAL-19

2019 Autumn Leaves Tour (Comfort)

Guest rated their tour:  

Accommodation

"All exceptional"

Value for money

"Not a cheap tour but given that everything was of very high quality we can see why."

Why did you choose this tour?

"Friends recommendation"

What did you enjoy best?

"High standard of service, accommodation, food, experiences and the fact that everything ran like clockwork."

In summary?

"This company was a pleasure to deal with. The tour was very well organised from start to finish. The guides were exceptionally knowledgeable and very friendly and accommodating. Accommodation and meals were of a very high standard and we came home feeling that we had experienced a broad sample of Japanese culture"

November 2019

Ray and Sue Williams, Australia

GAL-19

2019 Autumn Leaves Tour

Guest rated their tour:  

Travel arrangements

"Everything went smoothly + our guides made all our train trips enjoyable. Our minivan driver in Tokyo was exceptional!"

What did you like best?

"A great group of fellow travellers – lots of fun. Wonderful guides + superb autumn colours"

In summary?

"As a single traveller this tour was superb in every way – a wonderful group of fellow travellers, fantastic guides + unforgettable autumn colours! Thank you Journey to the East"

November 2019

Kay McNamee, Australia

GAL-19

2019 Autumn Leaves Tour (Comfort)

Guest rated their tour:  

Value for money

"Very good. There are less expensive trips but the attention to detail, quality of the hotels and food, choice of itinerary and excellence of the guides meant we definitely got value for money."

Tour information?

"Excellent. The tour went exactly as described. The Handbook was very useful, especially regarding money, likely expenditure, use of an onsen and how to wear a yukata."

Ease of dealing with JttE

"Excellent. Rutsiko and Misa were extremely helpful, very prompt at answering enquiries and met all our requirements. They also made some good suggestions for our trip. The extensions we requested before and after the tour were very well organised and we had no problems at all."

What did you like best?

"The autumn colours and gardens and the many different aspects of Japanese culture we were exposed to."

In summary?

"A very well-organised tour of some of the major cities, with emphasis on autumn colour in gardens, temples, and shrines, led by extremely good local guides. We were lucky to be there at the peak of autumn colour. The tour gave a good introduction to Japanese culture, including religion, food, and history. The hotels were excellent and we ate at top restaurants which highlighted different aspects of Japanese food. The tour organisers were extremely helpful and met every request, especially for our tour extensions. Individual, detailed itineraries were a bonus."

November 2019

Mary Campbell, Australia

GAL-19

2019 Autumn Leaves Tour (Comfort)

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"The personalised itinerary we received [private tour extension] was excellent and the itinerary overall of the whole trip was also excellent."

Ryokan Manatei (Japanese Inn)

"The Ryokan was lovely. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of staying in a Ryokan particularly with western style bed and having a Japanese style breakfast was also a great experience, particularly with Sumiko explaining what each dish was."

Guide

"Sumiko was a very special guide and the ideal person as our first guide in helping us to enjoy Tokyo and Japan in general. She had a softly spoken elegance that we really admired. We felt that she did far more than was required of her, for instance on our last evening she organised and took those who wished to, to see one act of Kabuki Theatre. We will never forget Sumiko’s kindness and generosity. "

Meals

"ALL the meals were terrific. We enjoyed experiencing wonderful new tastes and flavours. Some standouts would include the Japanese French Dinner at the Park Hotel Tokyo, the cooking school in Kyoto and the best meal of all was the Teppanyaki Farewell Dinner in Osaka. It was lovely to eat with the guides who were able to explain all the dishes and to have more casual conversations with them."

Travel arrangements.

"Could not fault the travel arrangements. The minivans worked well especially in Kyoto where there was a microphone for Miho to use. All the train travel, especially the Shinkansen was fantastic and the ticketing was brilliant. Receiving the Suica Card on our arrival was invaluable."

What did you like best?

"Getting to know all the guides and hearing their stories. Loved all of Tokyo. Seeing the amazing colours of the autumn leaves. We really enjoyed Kanazawa and Shirakawago. The rickshaw ride in Kyoto was fantastic and the Cooking School in Kyoto was delightful and a great experience."

Overall assessment?

"We loved every minute of the tour. It was very well put together and well balanced."

In summary?

"Our 2019 Autumn Leaves Comfort Tour of Japan was fantastic. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the tour. All the guides were fantastic and the attention to detail by Journey to the East was exemplary. The food, the stories, the autumn colours, the transport and the hotels were all wonderful. The planning and execution were first class and nothing was left to chance. We could not recommend this tour more highly"

November 2019

Stuart and Elaine Sime, Australia

GAN-19

2019 Autumn Tour of Northern Japan

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"The tour took us to places we needed to go to. It was demanding and fulfilling."

Accommodation

"Generally of a high standard and suited our needs. Better than having 5 star with no character. Matsushima a standout."

Guides

"All outstanding. Nothing was too much trouble. Hard working and responsive to group dynamics."

Value for money

"On booking I thought it was expensive but in our experience it was value for the cost."

Overall assessment?

"Hard to fault. This trip delivered on all our hopes and expectations."

In summary?

"This was a superbly organized trip which delivered all its promises. The guides were excellent and diligent. The colours we will remember forever."

November 2019

Michael and Roslyn Betts, Australia

GFA-19

2019 Food Tour of Japan in Autumn

Guest rated their tour:  

Guide

"Everything was excellent, her English, knowledge, helpfulness, sense of humour"

Why did you choose this tour?

"Wanted to see a different part of Japan"

What did you like best?

"The meals, itinerary, onsens."

In summary?

"This Food Tour was the second one we have taken with Journey to the East and have enjoyed each one. The guides, itineraries, food, and accommodation were all excellent. Have booked another tour for 2020."

November 2019

Bill and Anna Mackay, Australia

Tony Wallace GFA-19

GFA-19

2019 Food Tour of Japan in Autumn

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Very good – not too much time on bus, not too much walking around etc. A good balance throughout."

Accommodation

"Excellent. Ryokan was especially interesting and no problem with sleeping on the futons."

Guide

"Mio is a tireless worker who stopped at nothing to make this tour enjoyable for everyone. She responded to no end of personal requests for information, shopping tips, Japanese tuition etc. She couldn’t have possibly done more for any of us."

Overall assessment?

"We loved the tour and we were glad we added Hiroshima and Miyajima [extension]".

In summary?

"We found this a great tour for foodies, as well as a great all round introduction to southern Japan for anyone. While the meals were excellent, we were pleased to find that the tour wasn’t just about food, but also about Japan’s history, landscape, language and artisan tradition."

November 2019

Maureen and Tony Wallace, Australia

GHC-19

2019 Walking Central Japan in Autumn

Guest rated their tour:  

Why did you choose this tour

"Wanted a tour that visited the smaller towns of Japan and wanted to walk the Nakasendo way. Also wanted a small group using public transport rather than a tour on a bus with large amount of people. Also wanted a guide."

What did you like best

"We enjoyed the pace of the tour. Our favourite was away from the big cities the stops along the Nakasendo and Takayama was fabulous. Enjoyed the amount of free time to allow us to visit placed of interest."

In summary?

"Our first visit to Japan was way beyond what we expected thanks to the fabulous organisation and information supplied by JttE. We especially enjoyed walking and using public transport. The itinerary was great with a few 3 day stops and can’t speak highly enough about the guides they were wonderful. The autumn colours were fabulous. Would recommend JttE to anyone contemplating a trip to Japan. "

November 2019

Gary and Isabella Tynan, Australia

GHC-19

2019 Walking Central Japan in Autumn

Guest rated their tour:  

Why did you choose this tour?

"Small group of 6 or 8 guests, Japanese guide for the tour components and various guides who know each area intimately. Active tour with lots of walking. I wanted to see autumn tree colours which surpassed my expectations (hence I have 800 photos of red, orange and yellow tree foliage!)"

Travel arrangements.

"Everything ran like clockwork and your planning was meticulous and excellent"

In summary?

"Our first trip to Japan was an amazing experience. It was the perfect mix of autumn foliage viewing, active walking, trying Japanese food and accommodation styles and learning about Japanese history, culture and environment from Journey to the East fantastic guides. We will definitely book another active tour with them in the future."

November 2019

Neil and Sue Collins, Australia

P1909-31

Liz and Terry King Private Tour

Guest rated their tour:  

Places visited

Tokyo, Hakone, and Kyoto in 8 days

What did you like best

"It was very streamlined. It was lovely to be met and taken to the hotel in a country we weren’t familiar with. It was nice to be able to speak English with guides talking about Japan."

In summary?

"Our tour was well organised and Journey to the East were very easy to deal with and tailored our trip to suit our interests and needs. Everything went smoothly according to plan. I’m sure we enjoyed our trip to Japan a lot more because of Journey to the East."

September 2019

Liz and Terry King, Australia

Judy Noble
Judy Noble

P1909-23

Nat White Private Tour

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Varied and exciting. I appreciated not going to crowded places."

Guide

"Kumiko was a very knowledgeable and competent guide who was able to keep our group together and meet all the travel deadlines. Kumiko gave our group amazing insights of the beauty and culture of Japan. We really enjoyed her company and guidance. She went the extra mile to make sure our tour went very smoothly."

Travel arrangements

"Went like clockwork – but I know that takes a lot of organisation and then guidance by Kumiko so that we move on time – train system is wonderful."

Meals

"Loved the interesting food and each night we had another wonderful banquet – I learnt a lot and tried everything"

What did you like best?

"Loved floating in the early mornings in the outside onsen baths – and the beautiful wild countryside and golden ricefields."

In summary?

"Congratulations to Journey to the East for tailoring our small group walking tour to Japan to cater for the interests and age constraints of our group – we learnt so much about Japanese culture and loved the experience."

September 2019

Judy Noble, Australia

P1909-23

Nat White Private Tour

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Great – it gave the opportunity for extra walking at times and options for those who felt a bit tired. I did some extra walking at Ginzan Onsen. It gave a great insight into a small section of Japanese history and culture."

Guide

"What a gem you have in Kumiko. Knowledgeable and gave us wonderful insights into the history of the areas we visited. Very thorough and often checked out things in her “time off”. She goes way beyond the call of duty. She gave clear instructions on what was happening and when so we always had ourselves organised. A big thankyou."

Travel arrangements

"Went like clockwork – but I know that takes a lot of organisation and then guidance by Kumiko so that we move on time – train system is wonderful."

Meals

"As a person who likes food, I cannot fault what we were offered. A lovely variety for breakfast. Our special meals enabled us to try all of sorts of different types of food – staff attention was brilliant."

Will you recommend JttE

"Yes, Well organised and perceptive to what client wants."

In summary?

"Journey to the East assembled a two week tour for our group of senior people. It incorporated walking, history, culture and food. We received excellent detailed notes for our itinerary and a detailed handbook which covered cultural behaviours as well as the usual information on shopping, money, etc. The guide and escorts were well educated, organised, and informative on history, culture and food. Any queries were promptly answered by email. I would recommend JttE to anyone who wants to travel to Japan."

September 2019

Wendy Bosse, Australia

Lucy and Russell Maughan in Shirakawago
Lucy and Russell Maughan

P1905-02

2019 Lucy and Russell Maughan Private Tour

Guest rated their tour:  

Itinerary

"Itinerary was just perfect. Mix between the bigger cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka then to Okayama, Kanazawa and Takayama was just great. A really good insight for our first trip"

Accommodation

"All hotels were fantastic. There were a couple that were exceptional though. All very centrally based to transport and the best spots."

Guides

"All worked like clockwork. Instructions etc. were perfect and as we travelled we became much more comfortable."

Meals

"We wanted to eat at local restaurants so all guides took us to great places to eat. Some recommended evening restaurants too. Kaiseki at Fuji Ginkei out of this world!".

Travel arrangements

"Really can’t fault anything. Everything was so well planned and made it easy for our first time visit."

Overall assessment

"Just a great introduction to a fantastic and complex and amazing country."

Meals

"We wanted to eat at local restaurants so all guides took us to great places to eat. Some recommended evening restaurants too. Kaiseki at Fuji Ginkei out of this world!".

In summary?

"We approached Journey to the East to assist with our first trip to Japan. We had particular interests of places and activities that we wanted to pursue. JttE responded so quickly and guided us to have the most amazing trip to Japan. Everything from the itinerary, guides, support, and the accommodation were all outstanding. Thank you JttE and especially Ritsuko for our wonderful memories of Japan"

May 2019

Lucy and Russell Maughan, Australia