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Shogun Trail JS

Visiting: Japan
Trip Duration 13 Days

Reviews for Shogun Trail

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

Trip notes

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We have the following different versions of the Shogun Trail trip available at present.

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Shogun Trail reviews verified by reevooReevoo

44 reviews

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Shogun TrailScores 8.9 out of 10 based on 44 reviews
(10 out of 10)


A really interesting trip . The variety of transport, trains, trams, buses and on foot added to the adventure. It was busy but by staying for 3 nights on average you really got to know the areas before moving on
Confirmed traveller: 02 November 2016
Published on: 04 November 2016
(10 out of 10)


I'd thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in exploring Japan - it gave me an appreciation for the cultural richness and diversity of this beautiful country.

- Pop culture in Tokyo
- The history, culture and atmosphere of Kyoto and a thrilling audience with a Maiko
- Riding the bullet train and catching a rare glimpse of Fuji-san
- Paying our respects at the peace parks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- Exploring the settlements of Nagasaki and seeing the incredible night view of the city
- Our traditional Japanse ryokan experiences
- The incredible food!

- We forwarded our suitcases three times during the trip to save lugging them about on public transport. Take a rucksack / holdall which will hold enough for two days
- The ryokans provide a traditional Japanese experience, including a chance to try Japanese baths. They're naked and communal but gender segregated - give it a go!
- There are no single rooms at the ryokans (3 nights) but I wouldn't let this put you off the trip as it's all part of the experience
- You'll be taking your shoes off a lot. Pack ones which are easy to take on and off
Confirmed traveller: 29 October 2016
Published on: 31 October 2016
(9 out of 10)


A very enjoyable tour. Brett was a brilliant leader. He was organised, efficient & fun to be with. Nothing was too much trouble to him. We saw many different aspects of Japanese culture as well as some amazing scenery. A particular highlight was having the opportunity to visit a teahouse in Kyoto and meet with a maiko. It would have been nice to have had facilities to wash & change when we arrived in Tokyo after a long overnight flight. As it was, we arrived at the hotel at 9.00 a.m. and were unable to access our rooms until mid afternoon.
Confirmed traveller: 28 October 2016
Published on: 01 November 2016
(10 out of 10)


A great trip with many highlights - travelling on the bullet trains, having tea with a trainee geisha, seeing the modern cities and also some of the countryside. Also having the opportunity to visit the peace memorial parks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Confirmed traveller: 28 October 2016
Published on: 30 October 2016
(7 out of 10)


Nara was one of the highlights. Why isn't it in the main itinerary?
The first guesthouse was a disgrace - small cramped room, few facilities, inadequate breakfast facilties.
The leader was efficient as far as travel arrangements were concerned and took us to some very good restaurants but seemed to be arranging things to give herself free time (on the second morning she wanted to leave so early that we wouldn't have been able to have breakfast. In the end she gave us 10 minutes saying that we needed to catch a specific train - this turned out not to be the case.
Confirmed traveller: 22 October 2016
Published on: 01 November 2016
(9 out of 10)


Highlights-seeing lots of different areas/ aspects to Japan
I loved Nagasaki and Hirado
staying in the traditional guest houses and soaking up the onsens
Having tea and playing games with the Maiko
The toilets!
The bars and nightlife!
Karaoke with the group!
Overall so many highlights and happy memories
Improvements - bad weather so unable to view Mount Fuji and according to local opinion, it is rarely seen from the area we were in due to poor visibility.
Lots of free time at the beginning of the tour so took longer to gel with the group
Restaurants and eating with the group very fish heavy, even for someone who eats fish 3 times a week at home!
We arrived at our hotel in Fukuoka at 3pm and couldn't check in until 4pm unless we paid more money. The principle of this annoyed me and explore should ensure we can check into hotels when we are arriving at such a reasonable time and especially as it was the last day of the tour!
Overall - a very magical experience and highly recommended. we were lucky to share some of these experiences with a lovely group of people!
Confirmed traveller: 07 October 2016
Published on: 20 October 2016
(10 out of 10)


Melbourne Australia
A wonderful way to experience Japan. Our tour leader was friendly, enthusiastic, caring and knowledgable. We loved spending time with the geishas and sharing his favourite temples and restaurants. Nothing was too much trouble.
Confirmed traveller: 07 October 2016
Published on: 11 October 2016
(7 out of 10)


The visit to Tokyo and Kyoto is excellent however the trip is let down by the poor standard of hotels. It is not made clear by Explore that you will be staying in budget hotels. The local Japanese style hotels lack proper sanitation and you need to be prepared to shower in a building outside of the hotel. They had no en-suite facilities. Also avoid the group meals where ever possible as you will find better food on your own.
Japan is an excellent country to visit however other tour operators will offer a better standard of hotel.
Confirmed traveller: 21 August 2016
Published on: 06 October 2016

Traditional Ryokans are a comfortable but very simple style of accommodation; some of them have a communal bathing area across the central garden – these tend to be modern bathrooms clean and small, so I am sorry this didn’t meet expectations. We find this type of accommodation is normally well received as it gives a flavour of Japanese history and culture. We will discuss food establishments with the local guide as we want our customers to have a great culinary experience as the food in Japan is so wonderfully quirky and diverse!

(10 out of 10)


Abingdon on Thames
I loved the tour. My highlights were: Asakusa Temple in Tokyo; Kyoto Nijo Castle, and the tea house visit with a Maiko in the Gion District, The Golden Pavilion, Kiomizu Temple; travelling by public transport, especially the bullet trains, the Saito National Park. All meals arranged by Charlie were superb, not only a work of art but delicious as well. She taught us how to negotiate the intricacies of staying in ryokan gently and with humour.

Spending time with the Maiko, a living work of art, was an experience I shall never forget.

The tour was wonderful, one I shall not hesitate to recommend to family and friends.
Confirmed traveller: 05 August 2016
Published on: 17 October 2016
(10 out of 10)

David (aka Hugh)

Too many highlights to list. As usual, we needed more time at the main venues because Japan is such an interesting, safe, friendly country - and awesome in the cities while gentle in the country. I will go back again, probably to stay with a fine fellow I met at a Jazz Club soon after arriving who was so interesting and amusing. Our Tour Leader was exceptional. His love for Japan shines through. It is important for people to take the trouble learn some basic Japanese; even use the word for Yes that is delivered exhuberantly and sounds like Hi!
Confirmed traveller: 06 May 2016
Published on: 13 May 2016