Archive for October, 2011

Thank you for all that you did.

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
Dear Toshiya san

I would like to thank you for all that you did to make this
trip the success it was!  : -)

It all went very well and as far as I could tell – everything was there at the right time
and we managed to get around Japan in comfort to all the planned places at the right

Our tour guide Ms. Haromi Yasuda was just the right person and I think she enjoyed
our company too.  She helped me a few times when I had some difficulties with
long slippery noodles! And organised vegetarian food when she could.
I have emailed her to thank her for her great contribution and she has replied.

The flight back [upgraded to premium care of rev George’s generous offer] was
definitely the way to go! We had no problems at Narita doing that. They were
impressively efficient as was cutoms etc when we arrived.  It was a very easy and pleasant
beginning to our stay in Japan and also departure!

I would definitely premium economy it for ‘long legged’ westernersI It was very much worth it.

If I go to Japan again I would go either business or premium economy!

Many thanks for you attention/emails etc   to my getting to Sydney when qantas was
in the middle of strikes. In the end it worked out ok! PHEW!!

Finally it was good to meet you, if only briefly at Sydney Airport and to ‘put a face to the name’.

Hontouni kandoushita!

Be happy and well always!


It was all stress free

Thursday, October 20th, 2011
Hello Olivia,
Just wanted to say thank you for organising the tickets. They were there ready at the hotel.
(The hotel staff were very efficient in all respects too).
The concert (Loud Park 2011, Saitama Super Arena) was fantastic, so I’ll most likely be calling on your services next year (and the years after that).
And maybe if any other concerts pop up in the meantime (holidays permitting!).
So a big thanks to you, and the staff at JTB.
It was all stress free, so for that I am very grateful.

Thank you so much for your work

Monday, October 17th, 2011
On behalf of myself, our Chief Executive & the entire company, thank you so much for your work on our  2011 event & overseas program.  Your patience, effort, ideas, attention to detail & overall manner exceeded my expectations in your understanding the high level of program I wanted to put together for this group. 
After arranging many company overseas trips, I can comfortably say that I think you & I put on the best one yet to Cambodia.  I am extremely comfortable to invite JTB back to pitch for next year’s trip (whether it is organised by Veronica or myself) & am excited by some of your suggestions already.


Amazing, as simple as that .. "perfect

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Firstly let me say that the trip to Japan was completely amazing, as simple as that .. “perfect”. I will break down my feedback into sub headings to ensure that I cover all points.

Flights and organization at airport.

Fortunately we were not affected by the customs strike and had not problems at all. On arrival at Tokyo airport all went very smoothly with the funniest thing being that we were met by our Japanese guide as “Stefan XXXX and Party” (He is the 20 year old). this “giggle” continued as everywhere we were booked in and met with “Stefan XXXX and party”.. he was most impressed. This did not cause any problems at all for us, so please do not worry.

Hotels- satisfactory

Keio plaza- lovely thank you. would stay there again. excellent location, staff very helpful etc. Non smoking room was a true non smoking room. Graham found bed far to hard.

New Miyako- sorry never again. The location was excellent but the entire place wrecks of cigarette smoke and made us all feel really unwell. We are avid non smokers and there is no way it was a non smoking room, really horrible. Coughed all night.

Hiroshima-Granvia, no problem would stay again. (small thing is that restaurants and food areas closed a lot earlier in Hiroshima than anywhere else e.g. 8pm so can be tricky to find somewhere to eat after that..which lead to an hilarious evening of drinking sake and eating Hiroshima oysters with a charming (albeit very drunk) Japanese Doctor who loved “Australia”.

Osaka- Granvia only place with comfortable beds during the whole trip. This did not worry me at all but Graham has a bad back and all the rest of the hotels have rock hard beds. Had to laugh bed was great but they put the boys in a room miles from ours! Best of all the hotels though.

Travelling within Japan

very comfortable vans

excellent drivers

trains all worked like clockwork only got mildly lost once

really no problems

train from Osaka to Kansai airport perhaps you should recommend not travelling with luggage in peak hour but .. it all adds to the atmosphere

Tour guides

our guides

Noriko – Tokyo

Yumi- Kyoto and Osaka

Akiko- Hiroshima

were in one word – exemplary. It was a delight to meet such wonderful people, their knowledge, friendliness, professionalism was faultless. I’d like to highlight two charming instances .. one was Noriko making us sing Japanese folk songs to take my mind of my major fear of heights on the cable car.. the second was Yumi travelling back to see us on our last day at Osaka because she wanted to bring gifts to us and to make sure we got the right train!

I cannot sing their praises enough. Having the guides enhanced our experience of Japan enormously. I intend to write thank you letters to their companies as well.

in terms of the tour guides and drivers I had wished in retrospect that I had brought more thoughtful gifts rather than the mundane soap and books we gave them so perhaps this is a good hint to others as their service was wonderful. In general too I had only very small things for the drivers and would have loved to have given them something better too.

Weather and food

perfect weather only one wet day in Hiroshima which added to the ambience

food – fabulous as we love Japanese food, we would have been happy not to have bothered with the western meal at Miaggio and to have had a Japanese meal but not a problem and the buffet was very good. we did pay for one meal that we thought was included but this wasn’t a bother either. the highlight in terms of arranged dinning was the meal in Osaka with Yumi so much fun!

Timing of trip

originally I was disappointed to miss the Sakura when the first trip had to be canceled but the timing was perfect as it was between seasons so to speak (after the Cherry Blossoms but before the Autumn leaves) which meant very few crowds. all tour guides remarked that we had been extraordinarily lucky with how easily we got around the often crowded areas e.g. Golden Pavilion.

Other highlights apart from the planned itinerary

we were invited to join a wedding party in Kyoto- seriously

we saw a traditional Shinto wedding

we were 2 metres from the Crown Prince who we saw twice in an excited throng at Kyoto station

we met and talked with two (young) sumo wrestlers

we saw many many many ladies in Kimonos

..where do I stop!

Overall, a wonderful holiday that exceeded our expectations and Graham and I will book another trip soon…

we also plan to go with “empty bags” next time as the clothing and shoes etc were wonderful as was the art work. (we purchased some incredible original contemporary wood block prints and three fabulous antiques)

I will be in touch!

thank you again


thanks again for your exceptional service

Monday, October 17th, 2011
Hi Olivia,
We had a great trip and as this was our first to Japan really appreciated the work you did to set it up for us.
The Airport Limousine was easy to find, clean, friendly and efficient, dropping us off right at our Hotel door. very much appreciated after the long haul from OZ!
The flexibility of the package was great and being able to change the Tokyo half day tour meant we could spend a day with a long time Japanese friend.
The JR pass was just brilliant. As well as the usual Shinkansen between cities we also used it to get around Tokyo. We did a day trip to Nikko  from Shinagawa. While in Hiroshima we used it to get to Miyajima including the ferry! And in Kyoto we did a trip to Saga-Arashiyama to the Sagano bamboo forest, all this at no extra cost!
We found booking seats very easy and loved the huge space and comfortable seats on Shinkansen. Everything was spotless, efficient, friendly and well run.
After the structured part of the trip we used JR pass to get from Kyoto to Hachinohe to visit our son.
Finally we travelled from Aomori to Narita before overnighting and flying back to OZ.
We were overwhelmed by the Japanese people who were always friendly and generous and never gave up trying to understand our lack of Japanese.
Our Hotel in Tokyo (Takanawa Prince) was fabulous, with views of Tokyo tower and we loved the huge garden area. We also liked the Granvia in Hiroshima, very convenient location and great views. Our Kyoto Hotel was a good location but not as clean or modern and no views. It was below the standard of the other 2 hotels we stayed at and a pity the JR station was quite far away from the city centre but otherwise acceptable.
We had to check out early to catch our train to Hachinohe (seven and a half hour trip)so the hotel made us up a breakfast box to take with us.
The Shiatsu you recommended was excellent. It was only 5 mins walk away from our hotel and it was clean, friendly and my Therapist spoke some English. I can thoroughly recommend this for anyone who wants to experience a genuine Shiatsu. The therapist had great touch knowing exactly when to use deep pressure and when to ease off. She found all of my aches and injuries without any help from me. She even found some I was not aware of. I had the 90 minute session costing 9000 yen …
money well spent. A 60 minute session costing 6000 yen is also available. They are open until 11pm and you can pay by credit card. I will definitely go back on my next trip.
We had a range of weather from hot and humid in Hiroshima (30+) to cold and snowing at Lake Towada in Aomori Prefecture.
It would be fair to say that we were generally disappointed by the food (there were some exceptions) although it was always fresh and well prepared, we just found it rather boring.
We also found the hotel rooms to be very hot and had some trouble sleeping.No amount of tweaking seemed to cool it.
Overall it was a great holiday and thanks again for your exceptional service.

Tony and Barbara 

This was a great tour

Monday, October 17th, 2011
This was a great tour, with a good group and an excellent tour escort – Riki was always patient, helpful and enthusiastic.
Please continue to do the great work you do and thanks for a terrific experience.

A great representative for your company.

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
My wife and I recently purchased JR passes from your Sydney office. The lady who helped us with our purchase was Emerald Thomas, she was very helpful and professional, and a great representative for your company.


The service you provided to us was of the highest standard.

Monday, October 10th, 2011
Hello Yoshie

I would like to thank you very much for organising our trip to Japan. We arrived home safely yesterday.

The trip was an absolutely wonderful experience. Everything went according to the advice and schedule you provided to us. The service  you provided to us was of the highest standard.

The work done by our Tour Guide, Riki Inamura, was absolutely outstanding and he engendered our confidence in him from our very first meeting with him in Tokyo.  I would appreciate it if you would pass my appreciation of Riki’s work on to the the Manager of JTB Australia.

The additional Tourist Guide work by Sumiyo Terada in Tokyo and Yasuko Noguchi in Kyoto was also of outstanding value to us. Would you also please pass on my sincere thanks to JTB Japan for the work done by Sumiyo and Yasuko.

Thank you again.

Yours in appreciation,


Thank you for the wonderful assistance.

Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Hello Yoko:
Thank you for the wonderful assistance provided for my recent trip.
I will send to you a copy of my email to the Park Hotel in Tokyo – truly, the best hotel staff I’ve met. an ideal location – close to the Ginza, Shimbashi JR station, Shimbashi and Shiodome subway stations,  Shimbashi monorail (to the Big Sight) and access to Shinkansen lines.  All staff were extremely kind and helpful – it is very pleasing that from the front desk through to the house staff, everyone was cheerful and bright – and quirky in a contented way.
The ryokan at Kyoto (RYOKAN AZUMAYA KYOTO)  was marvelous experience – if at all possible, could you please thank them again for the three night stay?  I did very well sleeping on a futon!
The JR Pass was very advantageous.
I was bowled over by the fullness of spirit and decency of Japanese people everywhere – many very happy memories – highlights include a performance of Wagner’s Lohengrin by the Bavarian State Opera, with Kent Nagano conducting, at the NHK Hall; horse races at Keiba and Nakayama (the international race meeting last Sunday was spectacular); ramen cooks smiling graciously at my left handed misuse of chopsticks; the culture of Kyoto, buzz of Tokyo and sereneness of Nara; smiling policemen and policewomen; the Prada exhibition at the Museum of Western Art and ukiyo-e and the overall reverence of the aesthetic in everyday life; the amazing food (I love gyozo!); the respect at the core of the Japanese life; wonderful late summer weather; the sheer joy of Japanese individuals; and being chided by a monk for smoking in the grounds of a Shrine at Nikko.
There is some hope of possible business with an Osaka based company, Kalita, which manufactures coffee making equipment, and if further progress is made, I would like to contact you regarding future travel to Japan.
Like a good restaurant, I have had a most pleasing small taste of a sample, and there remain many further items on the menu.
Once again, arigato gozaimasu,