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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.

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Shogun Trail reviews verified by reevooReevoo

60 reviews

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Shogun TrailScores 8.8 out of 10 based on 60 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Janet

Nottingham
Unfortunately we arrived 24 hours late due to over-booking by BA so I would have liked to see more of Tokyo and there was so much to see in Kyoto that another day there would have been good . Otherwise I thought the itinerary was very well planned with a good mixture of city and countryside.
Having lunch with the tea farmer was a highlight for me as was the stay in the ryokan on Hirado . The local guide on Hirado was excellent , giving so much information in perfect English.
Explore guide, Richard was also very helpful, especially when it came to finding cheap places to eat and organising our train tickets and entertainment.
Confirmed traveller: 14 April 2017
Published on: 19 April 2017
(8 out of 10)

Jacqueline

Chelmsford
Varied accommodation and itinerary

The tour would not have been so good without the support of Richard, the tour leader. He never failed to ensure that the whole group was provided with information and equal attention given to everyone's needs. He really looked after the whole group even when he could have had time off e.g. inviting others to join him on trips, meals etc. Ensuring that everyone's dietary needs were catered for. He was always cheerful and informative.
Confirmed traveller: 14 April 2017
Published on: 18 April 2017
(6 out of 10)

Jane

Portishead
My travelling companion, I plus one other Explore traveller were bumped off our British Airways flight.We had booked the holiday months before including flights with Explore. Therefore we lost 1 day of our stay in Japan as we were unable to travel until the same flight the next day. Your travel department did not get us an allocated seat and despite my friend checking in around midday for a 3 45 pm departure, we were denied a boarding pass.Not a good start to our holiday. Infact we were upset, angry and puzzled as to why the 3 Explore passengers ( plus 12 Japanese) were chosen out of the hundreds on the flight.
As it was my first booking with Explore and infact my first guided tour with any company I had nothing to compare the holiday with. Japan is an alien country to travel around independently and Explore organised a varied and well planned holiday. Highlights were the nights spent in a the Japanese guest houses plus baths; visits to a tea house and a look around the factory; the varied means of transport including the bullet train,ferries, 2 cable cars and our own small coach. Infact every day was varied,interesting and enjoyable with some free time.
Confirmed traveller: 14 April 2017
Published on: 19 April 2017
(7 out of 10)

Dalleen

Swansea
A highlight tour of Japan...starting in Tokyo and ending in Fukuoka. Accomodation was for my part below standard. The best hotel was in Kyoto, but hotel breakfasts were below par. The best one was Asakusa Via Inn Tokyo. The worst were the Toyoko Inns in Nagasaki and Fukuoka. I think one night in a ryokan is enough, especially with lack of showers and bathrooms. The ryokan on Hirado only had outside showers and these were communal...not to everyone's taste. Standard of lunches and evening meals were good.There was also more walking than I anticipated, especially when we had to carry overnight bags on 3 occasions. Our tour leader Mark Rawlins actually made the holiday.If it wasn't for him I don't know what we'd have done. ps...Japan is very expensive!
Confirmed traveller: 08 April 2017
Published on: 10 April 2017
(8 out of 10)

Malcolm

Cape Town
A quick exposure to Japan, covering the places that I was interested in. Wonderful accommodation and food in the ryokans. Excellent tour leader, very helpful. Highlights: Fuji, Kyoto, Nagasaki. Could have had more free time on the island, the tour went on for too long. I would have liked to have walked for a few hours on the walking trail.
Confirmed traveller: 07 April 2017
Published on: 21 April 2017
(9 out of 10)

Lyn

Macclesfield
Great insight into the culture and country of Japan. Well planned trip and good variety of travelling methods proved to be very satisfactory.

Accommodation on the whole was good, but didn't rate the Tokoykan chain hotels. Having breakfast in the foyer/lobby and limited choice of breakfast options was poor accommodation.
Confirmed traveller: 07 April 2017
Published on: 11 April 2017
(8 out of 10)

Rachel

Caterham, Surrey
This was overall a good tour; in particular, the tour leader, Mark, was excellent. My main objective was to have as comprehensive an introduction to Japan as possible in the short time I had there, and it succeeded very well in this. Highlights for me were: the time spent with the Geisha girl in Kyoto, the delightful visit to the tea farm, and taking journeys on bullet trains.

The main drawback with the tour was the itinerary. Although this was pleasingly varied, there were 2 main problems with it: firstly, not enough time in Tokyo at the start - we dealt with this by booking extra nights there before the start of the tour. The second problem was not enough time in Kyoto, where I hadn't realised the main tourist attractions were out of the centre - I believe an extra day is needed there. However I also felt we spent too much time on Hirado island which has limited attractions, and is not very enjoyable if the weather is miserable and raining, which happened to us. Also, the ryokan accommodation there is not optimal - there's no private shower or bath for ladies to use, only communal showers in the same area as the hot pool, and there's nothing to do in the evening except a kari-oke machine (not my personal idea of fun) and nowhere else to go near there. I felt one night there is sufficient, and the tour of the island could have been condensed. Continuing with accommodation issues, I also wasn't very keen on the ryokan accommodation at Hakone - shared toilets, only one private shower not in the communal hot pool areas, and nowhere except the kitchen sink to clean your teeth. Plus, the breakfast at the Toyoko Inn in Nagasaki, where we spent 2 nights, was very poor.

Nevertheless, I would recommend the tour to others, as it is a very good introduction to Japan, it was well organised, and the calibre of the tour leader compensated in part for its drawbacks. One of the best things Mark did on our tour was to alter our itinerary on more than one occasion to take bad weather (rain) into account. For instance,on the last day he changed the original plan to take us to a place where we finally got to see several cherry trees with the blossom fully out - we'd not seen much before then as the weather had been unusually cold.

My top tip for this tour is: don't forget a waterproof coat or jacket! It doesn't rain all the time, but when it does, you can often borrow an umbrella, but not a waterproof!
Confirmed traveller: 07 April 2017
Published on: 10 April 2017
(8 out of 10)

Margaret

Brookwood
In my opinion the length of the trip is too short for the vast amount of interesting things to do and see and the distance travelled to just get to Japan. I enjoy the use of public transport as a means of a deeper understanding of the country, but there were occasions in both Tokyo and Kyoto when a small coach would have much improved the experience.
I really enjoyed the huge variations in city and country, hotels and ryokans. However without a first class tour leader, such as Mark the whole trip could have been a disaster. Mark deserves a medal for his ability to guide 14 diverse holiday makers through rush hour commuting, pouring rain and countless means of transport. He went out of his way to make sure everyone achieved their ambitions.
The accomodation at the Toyoka inns is convenient but with no bar or seating area for a group makes it difficult to meet other members of the group after a day's sight seeing.
A fascinating trip which would have been just that a bit more enjoyable if it had been a couple of days longer.
Confirmed traveller: 07 April 2017
Published on: 09 April 2017
(9 out of 10)

Una

Guildford
Excellent tour, great combination of city and countryside, first class tour leader. It was nice to stay a few nights in most places rather than rushing off every morning to a different town.
Our tour guide Richard Farmer made the trip exciting, fascinating, informative and thoroughly enjoyable. The food was excellent and we had ample opportunity to taste a variety of local dishes and specialities of different regions.
Accommodation was comfortable and ranged from well positioned city hotels to rustic, friendly ryokans with hot spring baths, futon mattresses and tatami mat floors.
Lovely people, friendly and welcoming.
Confirmed traveller: 31 March 2017
Published on: 10 April 2017