6 independent reviews for Japan small group vacation by bullet train

These full and frank independent reviews are from travelers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travelers below.


review 26 Nov 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Autumn colours were wonderful and the temples were most interesting.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Need to be reasonably fit for all the walking.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Money spent locally and entry fees to parks.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent, with attention to detail, which made the tour very easy for the group. Hotels very good.

review 14 Aug 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Reaching the summit of Mount Fuji Kamikochi National Park Hiroshima Peace Park Traveling on the Shinkansen and using the impressive Japanese railway system

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Pack as light as possible and keep an open mind with regard to local food and customs

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, definitely

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good itinerary that included cities and countryside and a variety of types of accommodation. There was plenty of optional free time to explore one your own if you wanted. Brian, the tour leader was conscientious and helpful, we were particularly impressed that he met us at our hotel on arrival in Japan in spite of the very late hour.

review 31 Oct 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We particularly liked Takayama. We had the experience of staying in Ryokan and were fully exposed to Japanese breakfasts (which we are not keen on but it is good to have the experience). We visited the local heritage folk centre where traditional houses and ways of life are collected together, and then had a ramble to the ruins of an old castle (about5 KM with longer options available). When we returned to the town we were able to follow some interesting town trails taking us away from the crowds to see Temples, Shrines and houses in daily use.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

With a good appreciation of the background to Japanese culture, Shinto, confusionism and Bhudism: traditional role of Samurai, Castles, Emperor. The politics of the Unification of Japan in the mid 17th century and the opening up of Japan from 1850's . This will help put all you see into context. Use the IC card not just for the metro in Tokyo but also for your purchases in the Family shops and 7/11 's to purchase drinks and snacks. Do try the Onsen particularly if you go to Hakone.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Probably benefited locals. Would have prefered our leader to be Japanese.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good itinary, Good logistics. Our tour leader was good company but may have been inexperienced. We were not left fans of Japanese food although we found the raw fish good, the rice , traditional soup, noodles and toffu inclined to be bland and monotonous.

review 27 Oct 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It's so difficult as there was something special about everywhere we went. The early morning in Nagano at the temple, and the first experience of an onsen - which was local, relaxing and well worth overcoming any physical shyness.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Bear in mind that Japan in October is still pretty warm, around UK summer temperatures, so light clothing is most useful. It's easier to find cash machines at 7-11, Citibank and post office outlets than I had thought from reading the literature. There seemed to be a 7-11 or more in almost every town.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The benefit to locals would be that we were purchasing food, gifts etc locally, and most hotels give you the option of not changing sheets and towels daily.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A ten plus. The whole trip was fantastic, from the neon lights of Tokyo to the countryside around Takayama. David, our tour leader was excellent, both organised and willing us to strike out on our own to experience and find what we each wanted to do and see. It's the first tour group I've have ever been on and I feel very fortunate to have landed with such an excellent group and guide.

Read the operator's response here:

Many thanks for your comments Catherine, and welcome home! Glad you had such a fantastic time on our Japan Unmasked group tour. We pride ourselves on the quality of our Tour Leaders, as we know they really make the trip. Well done David for looking after you so well. We would love to welcome you back to Japan one day to see more! Or perhaps one of the other Asian destinations we offer. Harry Sargant..

review 25 Jul 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The beauty of the countryside, the friendliness of the people. Exciting and different food experiences.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Travel lightly.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We visited craftsmen enabling them to showcase and sell their beautiful crafts which directly benefited the local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was fabulous and everything and more than we expected

review 21 Jul 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

the whole vacation was memorable as we went from the busy metropolis of Tokyo to the quiet of the Japanese Alps. The travel was easier than expected due to the Japanese efficiency and all accommodation was satisfactory.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Not as expensive as expected and Wi-Fi more available than anticipated.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local travel and local businesses were encouraged.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Amanda, Thank you for your comments and I am very glad you had such a great time! Thank you very much for traveling with us and we would be more than happy to welcome you back to Japan sometime in the future! All the best, Katharina

Vacation Reviews

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations. In addition, we don't run these vacations ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.

Read our review policy

Unedited reviews from other travelers

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Convert currencies