TravelerReviews

Essence of Japan

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Greenbaum

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: September 2018

This was a wonderful trip. Our guide was fantastic. The sights were so interesting and different. All of the hotels were beautiful and so were most of the meals. We had a wonderful and friendly group of people, only 19. We were kept very busy and saw many different and exciting things.

Most Memorable Moment:

I think the most memorable was Japan itself. It was so clean and the people were so friendly. The cities were so modern and everything seemed to work smoothly. We loved the bullet train.

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COExplorers

Outstanding!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

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Travel Date: June 2018

We enjoyed everything we did on this trip. Our guide was knowledgeable, fun, and made a personal connection with everyone on the tour. He helped my son find a great vintage Japanese clothing store and made sure my husband didn’t have too much fish! The experiences were authentic and fun.

Most Memorable Moment:

The Taiko drumming was fun!

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Jean-PierreThilges

ESSENCE OF JAPAN is...essential!

 

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

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Travel Date: May 2018

I hesitated for a long time before booking Tauck's Japan Tour, as I suffer from a fish and seafood allergy which - frankly - is not very helpful when visiting Japan. Yet, our amazing Tauck guide and the local guides went out of their way to assure that I wouldn't be confronted with fish of any kind, so I'm glad to report that,YES, I did survive !

Most Memorable Moment:

Way too many to single one out, but watching the efficiency of the Japanese Shinkansen train system (only matched by the efficiency of the Tauck Tour Guide) and being confronted on a daily basis with the kindness of the Japanese people (despite the obvious language barrier)left me and my better half flabbergasted.Domo arrigato, most definitely!

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Debbie Stern

Fantastic trip to Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

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Travel Date: May 2018

We had a great time in Japan. The trip was packed full of information and touring. We learned a lot about the Japanese culture and had many interesting experiences. The hotels were incredible and each one offered something different. The mix of people on the tour made it fun and our tour director was extremely informative.

Most Memorable Moment:

I enjoyed the drive through the Alps and the ferry ride. I loved the Japanese drumming and flower arranging. Kyoto was my favorite city because it was so beautiful and relatively easy to get around. The Geiko and Maiko program was very interesting and fun.

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oldexplorer

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2018

I couldn't get over how polite and courteous the people were. I was shocked that there is NO tipping!!! It is almost an insult if you try. Imagine a person doing their job because it is the right thing to do and not stand there with their hand out. Also, it is the cleanest country I have ever been to. The US is a pit compared to Japan.

Most Memorable Moment:

Seeing Mt. Fuji, the Kimono museum, the open air museum, and the fish market. By day 12, I thought that I had had enough Japanese food. But I was wrong! We went to Nobu restaurant for lunch. We have had some amazing meals on this tour, but this was THE best meal of the whole trip!!! What an experience! Space does not allow for the others.

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Sy Hepner

Loved Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2018

Our trip was wonderful. The itinerary was fast paced but certainly manageable. Our guide was excellent with a good sense of humor and a broad knowledge base. We met delightful, interesting people. At each stop we felt the personal touch in that our Tauck Director assisted us in communicating with restaurant personnel concerning special dietary needs.

Most Memorable Moment:

The Hakone Open Air Museum

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willwells

Not Lost in Translation

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2018

From practicing the art of origami or trying you hand at ikebana, to being taught how to make your own sushi,this is truly a trip filled with experiences and sites of a lifetime. The Essence of Japan gives the adventurer an insight into the beautiful country of Japan and it's polite and thoughtful citizens.

Most Memorable Moment:

With due respect to all of the spectacular gardens and ancient castles we visited, the oragami lesson was definitely a hit for all of the guests, The presenter was funny, patient and incredibly talented. The kimono museum of Kubota was wonderful and all of the special lunches were excellent.

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Lesley Gasperow

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2018

Great overview of the culture, religion, food, and major sights, of a most polite and friendly people. Tour director was outstanding as well as the local guides who truly expressed life style and deepened our knowledge of Japan.

Most Memorable Moment:

Seeing snow capped Mount Fuji on a perfectly clear day. Also the bullet train rides were unique.

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Mary Frey

Unparalled

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2018

There is no other country in Asia that is like the experience of Japan. The only one that would come close would be Singapore. The entire culture operates on discipline, respect and courtesy. The art and architecture are amazing. We would love to return some day.

Most Memorable Moment:

Seeing the Shinto Shrine of the 1001 Buddha statues.

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little rascals

First Tour Trifecta!!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2018

This was our Trip Of A Lifetime. A luxurious, delightful, beautiful experience. From start to finish, our experienced, dedicated and low-key tour director deftly managed all details of the tour with enthusiasm and wit. Our first tour, now the benchmark against which all other tours will be judged. Weather, camaraderie- wonderful!!

Most Memorable Moment:

The explosion of cherry blossoms at Kanazawa ties with the Tea Ceremony and the surprise sightings of Fuji-san--all incredibly moving. Recommend the Maiko/Geisha Dance and Games be included at the Farewell Dinner--would leave a refined, intimate look at the Japanese culture instead of a distorted and sad quasi-Sumo demonstration. Nix Nikko Hotel.

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Lewis Gravely

Fabulous trip - almost

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

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Travel Date: March 2018

Wonderful comprehensive trip through Japan. Cherry blossoms were beautiful, hotels great, food interesting and an enthusiastic and engaging tour director. We loved the beauty of the gardens, the distinctive architecture of Japan, the great hotels and the gracious hospitality of the Japanese people. Only negative was Kyoto - format here needs work.

Most Memorable Moment:

Finding ourselves in downtown Kyoto in a cold rain and being expected to find a taxi on our own to return to the hotel - NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE! Very unlike Tauck and not acceptable! Also, on the free day we would have liked the option of an add-on extra cost tour (i.e. Hiroshima) rather than having to fill the day alone exploring the city or shopping.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you for taking the time to write a Trip Review. I have passed along your comments regarding Kyoto to our Operations Team who is always looking to enhance our journeys based on feedback from our guests.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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John Mitchell

Interesting, fun tour.

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

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Travel Date: March 2018

We joined this tour straight after enjoying our tour of Indochina which was great. The contrast on arriving in Japan was fascinating with everything and everyone so ordered and everywhere so clean. We were lucky to hit the best week for the Sakura blossom and also to have good weather with many views of Mount Fuji. Our TD Bill made it great fun!

Most Memorable Moment:

All of it! The whole experience in the Hakone hotel and museums, the Onsens, especially in the mountain Ryokan; All of the gardens were spectacular, especially in Kanazawa; Kyoto was special and everywhere the blossoms! The variety and exquisite presentation of the food we were given was memorable and our introduction toJapanese food was fabulous

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kooand41

Another great Tauck adventure

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2018

Our tour in Japan happened during the peak cherry blossom, and we were treated with the most amazing display of color and floral grandeur. The places in the itinerary were planned with insightful forethought, great hotel selections, interesting restaurant selections and right amount of free time to explore on our own, for shopping or just relax.

Most Memorable Moment:

The samurai demonstration with the swordsman, the shamisen player and the taiko drummer all performing in perfect synchrony. Wonder if the shogun 600 years ago had such accompaniment?

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LaurenSaltman

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2018

I thought the cities and locations and activities were comprehensive. The expert guides, however, were not very informative.

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SDianneB

Japan dressed in fall colors

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: November 2017

Expertly organized with a witty, informative tour director and warm and intelligent local guide. With one exception (Nikko) the hotels were of exceptional quality and service. Meals included ranged from okay to quite good. (except at Hotel Nikko which was unacceptable) Tour offered art and local culture. Free time to pursue own interests.

Most Memorable Moment:

Positive: Viewing fall foliage in Japanese gardens. Mt. Fuji from every angle. Negative experiences: brief glimpse of Kabuki theatre was not worth the trouble; Wagyu beef at Le Midi was inedible. Trip to sumo wrestling was too long and it was too cold to have cocktails outside with no heater.

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Everett

What a Country

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: November 2017

We have traveled to five Asian countries prior to this trip and this time we hit the jack pot. The opportunity to visit and see the culture, customs, museums, cuisine was an experience. Our Tour Director and tour guide were both outstanding. Liked the idea of having a free day to explore on our own.

Most Memorable Moment:

There are several memorable moments such as having the Geisha experience and the Suma wrestlers visit us. The museum of Kimono's displayed.

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Judith Punshon

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2017

Great trip with beautiful hotels and delicious food. Lots of beautifully done cultural activities. Our American guide, Bill, was excellent at having everything run smoothly. Our Japanese guide, Mickey, was extremely intelligent, very enthusiastic, and just a delight. Too many people on this trip! Numbers took away from full pleasure of trip.

Most Memorable Moment:

Many, many memorable experiences. Cannot mention just one or two. Loved the Geisha, drumming, Shinto ceremonies, culture garden, Kimono Museum. I liked everything that we did. I didn't like having 36 people on the tour. Took too long to get on and off the bus. People got in the way of taking photos and viewing temples, gardens, etc.

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gpb

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2017

"Essence of Japan" was far inferior to the other three Tauck tours we have taken. The accommodations, food and transportation were up to Tauck standards. However,the itinerary, tour direction and local guides were not.

Most Memorable Moment:

Sadly, my most memorable moment was the most shocking - hearing our tour director uttering obscenities.

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bschachter42114

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2017

The trip was mostly a huge success. The Tour Director was knowledgeable, friendly and very helpful. Tokyo was done well from the greeting at the airport to the various excursions. Bus movement and train logistics were precise and coordinated. The City guides were very helpful. The only really negative was the ride to Tobira Onsen.

Most Memorable Moment:

Evening with the Sammurai, Geisha, and gardens and tea and origami art forms with the Japanese experts. Bullet trains and major hotels were super but do not return to Hotel Tokyu. Tokyo and Kyoto were exciting and offered many options as did Kanazawa.

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Dogger

Way beyond our expectations!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2017

My wife and I experienced the trip of a lifetime! The T.D.(Bill)was outstanding - caring, funny, organized and provided great insight into Japanese customs, history and way of life. The local guide, (Tomo) was also excellent. Outstanding accommodations, meals and itinerary. Very well organized. Took care of everything. Won't be our last Tauck Tour

Most Memorable Moment:

So many memorable moments: Japanese people, Shinto ceremony at Meiji Shine, seeing Mt. Fugi! Itchiku Kimono Museum, Open-air sculpture park, Geisha, Tea ceremony, Samurai, Onsens, Japanese room at Tobira Onsen and Kaiseki dinner and entertainment, Shrines and Temples, gardens, bullet trains etc. All of it fantastic and memorable!

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renee zuritsky

essence of japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

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Travel Date: May 2017

It was a wonderful trip, truly full of wonder. The country is beautiful, the culture is most admirable. Our guides where excellent. Our American guide was informative, helpful, and extremely entertaining. All in all, we loved the trip.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were hundreds of memorable moments

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JBEsau

Essence of Japan 2017

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2017

From outstanding hotels to professionalism & lighthearted care of Tour Director & tour guide, this trip was phenomenal. Numerous sites & events, but also free time to explore on our own! We were blessed with a dissimilar but very congenial group of 28 other travelers. Great food, a wealth of knowledge. Fantastic journey!

Most Memorable Moment:

While it's impossible to pick one favorite I must say the Japanese people - all the people we met - are to me, most memorable. One Site? Was it Mt. Fuji? Ginza in Tokyo? Numerous Gardens? The experience of Tobira Onsen in Nagano? Temples & Shrines (like Sanjūsangen-dō in Kyoto)? ALL MAGICAL!

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brianmcgsmith15

Essence of Japan - Wonderful trip satisfied my wife's most important bucket list item

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

A well balanced/diverse program that gave great insight into Japanese culture, traditions, religion and history - from onsen(thermal baths), tea ceremony, gardens, Geisha, Sumo, Samurai, Buddhism and Shinto. Well organized program with an experienced/ knowledgeable Tour Director & local guide. Excellent hotels and food. Climate was ideal(mid 60s).

Most Memorable Moment:

Many memorable moments, including spectacular views of Mt. Fuji and visits to a number of beautiful Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. The unplanned visit to the Okada Museum of Art in Hakone was a wonderful surprise with many exquisite items on display - just took one's breath away. Kyoto was the highlight of the 2 week excursion.

TAUCK RESPONSE

We are so glad you enjoyed your visit to this lovely exotic destination! Thank you for travelling with Tauck.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Roy Nedrow

Essense of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

Best trip ever. The quality of the tour director and guide are unsurpassed.

Most Memorable Moment:

Too many to site just one moment. Enjoyed the entire Kyoto experience and the Four Season Hotel.

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Expatntor

Esesence of Japan is essentially fabulous!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

Our trip to Japan was the best trip we've ever taken. We arrived at the height of cherry blossoms and they underscored the beauty of the whole county. Our tour director was knowledgeable, friendly, funny, and extremely helpful - he made an emergency trip to the doctor in Hakone a mere blip rather than a disaster. All the arrangements were superb.

Most Memorable Moment:

See Mt. Fuji clearly from many angles and staying in a traditional ryokan with onsen

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Sue Manning

Essence of Japan April, 2017

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

This was the first Tauck tour we had undertaken. We travelled with friends who had used Tauck before and our tour certainly lived up to all expectations. We can not fault the organisation and effort put in by everyone at Tauck from the initial planning and booking stages right through to our journey home. We had some amazing experiences. Thank you.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were so many memorable moments and amazing sights it is hard to choose any particular one. We loved it all. The tour was extremely well-planned to give us maximum opportunity to experience many different aspects of Japanese history and culture.

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Chipburt

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

Can't tell you how much we loved the trip. Saw so much. Learned so much. Accommodations were superb. Experiences were better. You exposed us to so much of the culture. That's why we went. Tour guide and local guides were absolutely wonderful. Our Tauck Director had an incredible ability to communicate the essence and the fun.

Most Memorable Moment:

So many. Can't pick one. Don't change anything, but put Hiroshima in the schedule. We went on our own. Shouldn't be missed.

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Sam Mazen

Essence of Japan (April 7-April 19, 2017)

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2017

As a frequent Taucktourian this experience ranks high. A fascinating country and culture to experience, with each of Tauck's excellently planned days adding to anticipation and excitement, the journey swept us along smoothly and richly. Exceptional hotels, magnificent eating experiences, a compatible group of travelers, Japan at it best...

Most Memorable Moment:

On going enrichment provided by our tour director and local guides.

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Bosco

Great Trip

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2017

Probably our best trip ever! The experiences and immersion into Japanese culture and life were priceless! The only negative was the hotel substitution in Kanazawa! Ugh! On the plus side, the ramen restaurant down the street was great! best soba we ever had!

Most Memorable Moment:

Seeing Mount Fuji reveal herself after 3 days of being obscured by clouds was phenomenal! The onsen experience was outstanding! You must try the onsens again and again, every chance you get.

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Santry7

Loved Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2017

Totally enjoyed our tour. Had an amazing guide and co-guide which makes all the difference in a good experience. Definitely will be back.

Most Memorable Moment:

The Tauck Director's suggestion of the "sushi" conveyor belt restaurant in Kyoto... and of course the cherry blossoms.

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Annie Flatley

Magical

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2017

Well let's start off with the fact that we got married on this trip in Kyoto, April 5th!! My husband, Matthew Sheppard and my two daughters and sister were with on on this journey. Everything was beyond expectation. The hotels and the activities all outstanding. Our guide was a wonderful man. Kind and helpful with everyone.

Most Memorable Moment:

Kyoto was the most wonderful I guess. The Ritz Carlton was absolutely gorgeous. The bullet train, the Shinto Temple in the beginning, the taiko drumming, the ikebana lesson, all so wonderful. We loved the geisha evening and the sumo wrestlers. All magic. The only thing I would suggest is taking a free day earlier than the 11th day. Thank you!

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Barbara Gehring

Japan the wonderful

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2017

We had a terrific time with Tauck via our Tauck Director on our tour of Japan. A very easy country to navigate. The subway's are easy, safe and clean. The people are very nice and polite. Love the fact that you don't have to use a converter for your electrical items.

Most Memorable Moment:

We got lucky, seeing the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom in Tokyo!!

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jonjoseph

Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2016

We had a great variety of experiences and saw a number of historical and significant sites. The hotels were top notch. There was an appropriate amount of free time. The guides and tour directors were helpful and entertaining. The food included a good cross section of Japanese cuisine.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were so many great moments it is hard to pick one.The most memorable for me was not a Tauck organized event. In Kyoto we took a cab to two different areas of the city for shopping and then to the Bamboo Forest. Our cab driver waited for us at each stop without the meter running. When we returned to the hotel he refused a tip.

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cedarheaven

Unexpected delight

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2016

We are repeat Tauck travelers, Japan was my husband's choice. I knew I would enjoy the experience but was hesitant, I had little interest or knowledge of Japanese culture To my absolute delight I absorbed so much of the history, cultural sights, beauty of the country, the customs, foods and most of the people. People of all ages smiled, greeted us

Most Memorable Moment:

The village of Shirakawa, being in and learning of life in the mountains.

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Jim Hebert

Beautiful Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2016

Tauck did a good job of immersing us in the Japanese culture; be it riding the bullet train to Hiroshima, experiencing the calming waters of the onsen, learning to make sushi, taking a drumming lesson or enjoying Tokyo and its 36 million people who share space and keep it clean. Japanese people are outstanding at customer service and we loved it.

Most Memorable Moment:

The Japanese people we met were very kind.

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blg409

Disappointing Essence of Japan/not as advertised

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2016

This was a very disappointing trip. I found your advertising to be misleading and deceptive. The traditional ryokan was anything but. It was a tacky, Vegas type hotel with terrible food and Mexican entertainers--not quite steeped in Japanese tradition. You get away with calling it traditional because the room had a futon and you get a yukata. N

Most Memorable Moment:

My free time. I got to explore the art museums of Tokyo and Kyoto, none of which was offered other than Tokyo Edo museum. No visit to the Tokyo National Museum. Like coming to New York and not going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Really lowbrow tour and very disappointing. The Kubata kimono museum in countryside was great but we only had 45 min

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Charlette Seidel

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: August 2016

Excellent experience all around from the sights to the guides to the creativity of events and sights. Lots of history and culture in this country beautifully presented.

Most Memorable Moment:

Dinner with the Maiko and learning about their traditions and schooling in the old world arts.

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Lamb Girl

The Beauty of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: June 2016

We took our grandson on this trip. He speaks Japanese and loved this trip. It was our second time and we enjoyed once again drumming, sushi making, origami, and our private geisha party. We saw temples, museums, and gardens. My favorite garden is in Hakone. It is the outdoor sculpture gardens. There, if it's not raining, you can see Mt Fuji.

Most Memorable Moment:

I really enjoyed meeting the school age children of Japan. If you go up and talk to them both you and they will be thrilled. Meeting people is part of what travel is all about. I was also charmed by the service I received in a department store. Before they went to find my size they first seated me for tea and cookies. How polite is that?

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Pattiwegis

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: June 2016

We couldn't have asked for a more complete experience of the beautiful country-Japan. From the tea ceramony,to the Geisha performance, the oragami demonstration, the drumming lesson and exhibition, the wonderful hotels,delicious food to the most knowledgable director and guides, it couldn't have been more perfect.

Most Memorable Moment:

Staying in the Japanese hotel, wearing the kimono, and sleeping on the floor and seeing Hiroshima.

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Leighton

Every detail covered

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2016

We had a fantastic trip to Japan. All the details were taken care of so we could fully enjoy the trip. We visited the major attractions and were able to maneuver through the crowds with the assistance of great guides and our director. The guides and director were very informative and the director provided a twist of humor to make it entertaining.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were two and I cannot leave one of them off. One was the dinner with a maiko in Kyoto in a beautiful setting. We had a chance to talk to her and found her training fascinating. Second was a young lady playing a goto in a Japanese Garden in Tokyo. I was able to talk to her about her instrument and training...another fascinating experience.

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peteratkins

Outstanding

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2016

This was our first Tauck tour and our first time in Japan except for the occasional transit through Narita. Both experiences were great. We had been told that Tauck was like "babysitting for seniors" and that was a pretty good description from the time we arrived at the airport in Osaka till the time we checked in at Narita for our journey home

Most Memorable Moment:

Visiting Hiroshima.

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Leane and Jerry

Wonderful trip

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2016

Our 25th Tauck trip was all we had hoped. Excellent itinerary with lots of cultural experiences. Our tour director was articulate, helpful and fun (one of our favorites). Expert guides were excellent. Hotels were first rate. The St. Regis Osaka cannot be beat.

Most Memorable Moment:

We enjoyed all the hands on activities most of all: drum lesson, tea ceremony, origami, and the yukatas at the Ryokan. All were done with Tauck's traditional light and knowledgeable ( of its travelers) touch.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Congratulations on your 25th Tauck tour! Thank you for taking the time to write a Trip Review and share your wonderful memories of this beautiful country. We look forward to having you travel on your 26th journey with us!

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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PhilandSally

Spectacular Beauty & Insight!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2016

If you want to know Japan, get inland! See the natural and human-created beauty, learn the customs, revel in the food, and enjoy your fellow participants on the journey. Everything was exceptional! This was my eleventh trip to Japan and my wife's first, and we both thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

Most Memorable Moment:

Most moving: Hiroshima. Most beautiful: The gardens. Most educational: Our activities in Kyoto. Most impressive: The impeccable logistics. Most exceptional: Our Tour Director and our guides.

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Richard and Alfreda

Essence of Japan

 

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2016

We had a fantastic trip! We loved Japan and learning about the history and culture. We had a fantastic tour director who was very informative, helpful, courteous, and consistently conducted himself in a highly professional manner. He was very attentive to my husband's needs knowing he was having hip surgery after the tour.

Most Memorable Moment:

The entire trip! We are sorry to learn that Hiroshima is not included in future Tauck trips. It was definitely a highlight and should be included in any trip to Japan. It is part of our history as well as Japan's. We traveled with a wonderful group of people and in addition to our Tauck Director, we had two fantastic local guides.

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Emanuela

Tauck did not disappoint

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2016

I have traveled with Tauck several times before, so deciding who will be my guide for Japan was a nobrainer. You book your trip, sit back and let the events unfold. The guides are knowledgeable, very caring and generally go the extra mile to make any trip special. Hotels used rank among the best in any town. Tauck attracts erudite clientele.

Most Memorable Moment:

The cherry blossoms everywhere and the sight of Mt. Fuji.

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Patty19court

Essense of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2016

Itinerary was excellent as were most hotels. Enjoyed the unique venues such as Geisha and Sumo performances. Seeing cherry blossoms in full bloom. Also 10 for the Kubota Kimono exhibit. Loved the gardens, the Ryokan in Kanazawa. We had an excellent local guide. The Tour Director very personable and helpful. Le Midi dinner of Waygu steak: excellent!

Most Memorable Moment:

There were many as stated above. My one negative which sticks is the farewell dinner at the Mandarin Oriental: Fish was old and smelly and portions were very small. It was unfortunate to end a wonderful tour that way .

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Suzy800

Japan Oct/Nov 2015

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2015

5 stars, an excellent vacation. SCOPE: covered a lot of ground, learned a great deal, and had many new experiences. ORGANIZATION: Our TD did an excellent job of keeping things organized. Faced with a weather challenge, he pulled a rabbit out of his hat with the best museum on the trip. The local guides were great.

Most Memorable Moment:

Has to be Kyoto: Golden Pavilion. Closely followed by Okada Museum near Hakone (see above), and Itchiku Kubota Museum (kimonos) en route. Overall, many interesting places to explore, and breathtaking Japanese gardens. We saw Mount Fuji from the coach driving from Hakone to Tokyo, and from our hotel. Very congenial group, which was a bonus.

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DHD

Positively a truly fantastic Essence of Japan in 14 days

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2015

We were first timers with Tauck, but our friends joined us and it was their 30th! Whilst we'd been on holidays together, we'd never done a Tauck tour with them. With Tauck from Airport arrival to departure we were looked after and experienced Japan to the best possibility with our small group. An amazing experience and one to thoroughly recommend.

Most Memorable Moment:

We had many moments of participation opportunities, which was fantastic, from the Geisha night to cooking to Taiko drumming and the possibility to experience at an acceptable distance, part of the culture by visiting temples and other places and given opportunities to interact with the Japanese people in a very acceptable way.

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Frank Hamilton

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2015

This was our 10th Tauck tour and it was one of our top 3 favorites. The tour title is spot-on, as we were immersed in Japan's history, culture, society, art, religions, and geography. As usual with Tauck, much of the experience was hands-on, including an Origami lesson, a traditional tea ceremony, a drum lesson, and Onsen mineral bath. Great fun!

Most Memorable Moment:

Watching a young Maiko (a Geisha in training) perform a traditional dance and then getting to speak with her about her life.

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OCTAVIO CHOY

The Essence of Japan Oct14-29,2015

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2015

This was perhaps the best organized trip we have ever taken. Reason: Japan, Tauck, and a great tour director, pleasant, efficient and knowledgeable, who went out of his way to please us, without "pushing" Loved the variety. Only complaint is we had a couple of days, where I think we could have done more (in Kyoto & Nara). Also too much free time

Most Memorable Moment:

Many, but the Japanese Alps & Mt Fuji were more than expected,

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pmhh15

Japan 2015

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2015

We covered A LOT of Japan in 14 days, but because of the way the program was laid out it was pretty painless! Using the train, having strategic stops along the way on the one long bus day, and having a tour director and local guide who were eager to answer questions were definite pluses.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were two memorable moments equally special: the Open Air Museum in Hakone and the Ichiku museum were amazing.

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Leslie Schoen

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2015

What a fabulous trip. We had so many experiences, saw such wonderful and beautiful sites, had wonderful food and stayed in beautiful hotels. But, what made the trip so fantastic was our guide. He is so knowledgeable, kind and funny. Everyday on the bus was like an adventure . Our first local guide was wonderful. Extremely knowledge,

Most Memorable Moment:

Everything. Cannot just name one. I took 857 pictures. What a beautiful country as well as people.

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susanmell

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2015

Full trip of Temples, museums, towns, and surprises. The hotels are fabulous and the service excellent. The guide was entertaining and knowledgeable.

Most Memorable Moment:

Sleeping in a traditional Japanese hotel was lots of fun.

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Garth

The title, Essence of Japan, describes the tour quite well.

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: July 2015

Five stars for Kit Loose, the tips in his booklet, his back-stories, and his music. The local guides, Mickey and Co Co were added much. The St. Regis, Osaka, Hyatt Regency Hakone, and the Mandarin were exceptional. We'll remember the Japanese cuisine, their art, and the cleanliness of their cities and courtesy of the people.

Most Memorable Moment:

Hiroshima

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HWorthington

My thoughts on Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: July 2015

Learning about the fabulously polite Japanese culture from our Tauck tour director was fascinating. We saw the back roads of Japan not just the tourist spots you would expect. The Alps are spectacular and the Geisha performance was unforgettable. Holly Worthington

Most Memorable Moment:

We had a hoot in the group drumming session!

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cbakken

A wonderful trip to Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: June 2015

Our two weeks in Japan featured being taken care of in the inimitable Tauck way: great hotels, good food, comfortable travel, superb guides. The tour included several amazing surprises like the Itchiku Kubota Museum that left us speechless. We even got to try out a couple of new things, and who doesn't love A5 Waigu beef! Highly recommended!

Most Memorable Moment:

The Itchiku Kubota Museum where we saw the results of his exquisite craftsmanship and artistic eye. Everyone in the group left in an elevated state.

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hoover

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2015

It was wonderful. We had the best guide. Very thorough and kind. Helpful and funny. Saw a lot of Japan. Not too much English spoken there. However people are very kind and considerate. Beautiful Japanese Alps and Gardens.

Most Memorable Moment:

Loved doing the hands on things. Like drum lessons, tea ceremony, sushi making and origami.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you for sharing your comments regarding your experience in Japan. We look forward to having you on another tour with us in the future!

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Norma B

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2015

Great trip to Japan.Got to experience new culture and traditions.The Japanese people are the nicest we've met on any of our trips. A trip of a lifetime!

Most Memorable Moment:

Riding the bullet train and a visit to Hiroshima.

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StanMerrill

Essance of Japan was outstanding!!!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2015

It was full of meaningful experiences: Shinto ceremony, tea ceremony, origami lessons, cooking lessons, Sumo wrestling exhibition, Geisha, a drumming class. Our tour guide gave us many insights into the culture and history that helped us understand the Japanese perspectives and sensitivities. Educational,Enjoyable and inspiring

Most Memorable Moment:

We visited a rice farm and were able to actually plant some rice. We heard from the farmer about the challenges of rice farming in modern times and to witness his enthusiasm for keeping the ancient agricultural traditions alive.

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Emerson

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2015

Japan with Tauck was a bit different than our first trip 45 years ago, on our own, while my ship was in Yokouska Naval shipyard for repairs. This time our every need was anticipated, prepared for and addressed. Our guide was constantly evaluating our upcoming plans to assure our time spent was most enjoyable, regardless of earthquakes or weather.

Most Memorable Moment:

The outdoor museum at Hakone was one of the best tour visits, but the most memorable moment was experiencing an earthquake on the 38th floor of our hotel.

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Piggy

Fascinating Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2015

My two week tour of Japan was wonderful. This was my tenth Tauck tour and one of the best. Memorable, informative, scenic and surprising! We had an excellent guide. The Japanese people are friendly and helpful.

Most Memorable Moment:

I loved the sumo wrestler demonstration!

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zorpep

japan is wonderful

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2015

amazingly beautiful great tour guides very informative loved hotels sights cleanliness politeness fabulous trip

Most Memorable Moment:

ryokan on the japan sea magnificent view of ocean wonderful food felt like a princess cleanliness everywhere politeness everywhere

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slojohn

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2015

This was a great tour. There were many wonderful sights and experiences. The tour director was excellent. My wife and I especially enjoyed the open air museum, kimono museum, geisha evening, sumo exhibition and the scenery in the countryside. Experiences such as the drum lessons and sushi making certainly added to the trip.

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Margo Lyn

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2015

The trip was particularly interesting because Japan is a very different culture than the West. I appreciate the attention to detail that the people at Tauck put into planning the details. I particularly appreciated the guide in Osaka, he was very well informed, enjoyed his job and imparted his enthusiasm.

Most Memorable Moment:

Loved the Outdoor Sculpture museum, the Kimono museum, I need to mention that we had a problem when with our ticket when we arrived at the Narita airport. The person who helped us was unbelievable, so helpful and patient. He couldn't have been any better than he was and with his help things were cleared up. It is great to have a person of his quality.

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Bariloche

Excellence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2015

Our trip was really entitled "Essence of Japan" - - but it was characterized by excellence. From our Tauck Tour Director to our local Japan guides, to our accommodations and dining, to the "Extras" that characterize Tauck Tours - - this was a truly excellent introduction to Japan.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were more than one - - but all involved our active participation. These included an origami class, a sumo wrestling demonstration, a sushi class, a Geisha performance, a trip to a rice farm, and a taiko drumming class and demonstration! Lots of interesting shrines and temples, but these "active" activities for us were the best!

TAUCK RESPONSE

We are so glad you enjoyed the variety of activities on this amazing journey! Thank you for choosing Tauck.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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JIM ACH

A true "essence of Japan" in two weeks.

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2015

Trying to get a true flavor of a really foreign country -- different alphabet, manners, history -- is tough in 6 months, let alone two weeks. But Tauck did an amazingly good job. We were presented with a wide variety of experiences, well explained and well planned, while traveling in comfort and security. A winner.

Most Memorable Moment:

Hard to beat a clear view of Mt. Fuji, but the Hiroshima experience will stay etched in my mind.

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scottiemills

Not up to Tauck standards - Extremely Disappointed

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2015

My wife and I went on the Tauck "Essence of Japan " in April 2015. We have travelled on 3 previous Tauck tours to India, Russia and China so we felt we knew what to expect from a Tauck trip. What we experienced was very different from those prior trips. Tauck does not provide enough space to say all that was wrong such as poor hotel selection....

Most Memorable Moment:

The group we traveled with was a very well educated and friendly group that in most cases had done many trips with Tauck. I liked walking though Takayama but wished the group was smaller. 35 people was too many. I liked the drum lessons we did. The train to Hiroshima was memorable. Very much liked walking the streets of Kyoto with my wife.

TAUCK RESPONSE

I am sorry you were disappointed with the hotels on this journey. I have passed along your comments to our Operations' team for review.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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CarolmO

Not as Promised

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2015

The St. Regis in Osaka was marvelous and (except for the Hyatt) it was all down hill from there. The room at the Okura Hotel in Kyoto smelled of cigarette smoke and was shabby; the Associa in Takayama was far out of town, had no bar and the staff was not friendly; Four Seasons in Tokyo was the worst with a king bed and a cot. It was unacceptable!

Most Memorable Moment:

Seeing Mt. Fuji

TAUCK RESPONSE

We are sorry you were disappointed with some of the hotels. I have passed along your comments to our Operations Manager for further review. Thank you for taking the time to write this review.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Boucaut

Health Issues

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2015

Knowledge from local tour guides was great. Learnt about the Japanese way of life,enjoyed the food and culture. I would suggest Tauck looked into hygiene on the buses.That is passing on flu's etc to other passengers maybe make everyone were masks if they come on board with flu symptoms, THIS WAS NOT DONE OF OUR TRIP BY YOUR TOUR DIRECTOR

Most Memorable Moment:

The hotel in the community of Wakura Onsen.

TAUCK RESPONSE

We are glad you enjoyed the food and culture in Japan. We spoke to our Operations' team and they said that the motor coaches in Japan meet our strict standards for cleanliness. However, we will look into having more hand sanitizers available to prevent the spreading of germs. thank you for travelling with Tauck!

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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KathrynH

The Unexpected Details Stand Out Most

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2015

Japan is filled with surprises. The tour takes an unusual route through the Japanese Alps to provide the hot springs onsen experiences as well as the typical big cities and traditional sights that must be seen, e.g., the golden pagoda and many Shinto shrines. We found that our free time sorties provided biggest insights into this charming country.

Most Memorable Moment:

Many "most memorable" moments including Kagaya ryokan, eating where the sumo wrestlers bulk up, shopping for kimono, geisha entertainers, and the silly contests devised to keep us occupied as the coach kept rolling along.

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ENg

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2014

This was a trip of a life time! I learned and experience the culture, history, food, and the arts. Japan is a clean and beautiful country. And the people are so kind and helpful. Our tour director Bill, was organized and made sure everything ran smoothly. He has a wonderful sense of humor, told funny stories & made our long bus rides tolerable.

Most Memorable Moment:

Many memorable moments: Hiroshima-UNESCO site, onsen bath with a view of the city of Takayama, Kagaya Hotel-a Japanese ryokan-style hotel where we experienced wearing a yukata & sleeping on the floor, Shirakawa-go-UNESCO site of a village with the traditional thatched-roof houses, colorful fall foliage in the Japan Alps & Taiko drum lesson.

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polini

The real Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2014

Pros : The trip is an excellent balance of sightseeing , cultural immersion and art. The itinerary is well chosen , and even if for some guest the Ryokan was "too authentic " ,I believe it is an interesting experience. Two excellent Japanese local tour guides. Cons: Unusualy poor Tauck TD , unlike any other tour taken.

Most Memorable Moment:

The experience overall ,combined with the good choice of hotels and sites.

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Sallyaye

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2014

Tour hit all the significant highlights of Japan. Even Japanese people with whom we discussed our trip, were impressed by the breadth of sites we visited. Tour Director and local guides were a wealth of information and went out of their way to satisfy everyone's wishes and requirements. Would like to return when the cherry blossoms are in bloom!

Most Memorable Moment:

Visiting Kyoto, because it is more of the traditional (old) Japan that we were looking for. We experienced the remnants of a typhoon the day we visited the Gion district, but we loved it anyway and plan to return to spend more time in Kyoto. We also spent an extra week in Tokyo and, much to our surprise, we spent two of those days in Ueno Park!!

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Eileen1227

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: September 2014

It was the essence -- and it was wonderful. Japan is a country that I feel everyone needs to visit and experience. It is unique in every way. The guide is very knowledgeable, transportation from one place to the other is easy with Tauck. There needs to be more time in Tokyo -- Fish Market, Shibyu Crossing, etc.

Most Memorable Moment:

Hiroshima

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redtag

Essence of Japan September 2014

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: September 2014

The sights visited and guides on the tour are for the most part very interesting. The Associa hotel in Takayama is not a top class hotel and the hotel in Kyoto is well located but needs refurbishing. Far too many Japanese only meals. Except for breakfast food was poor and very disappointing. Food on Tauck China tour was much better.

Most Memorable Moment:

Overall a good opportunity to see highlights of Japan.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We are pleased that you enjoyed your over trip but most apologetic that some aspects of this tour fell below your expecations. Your comments will be shared with our management and addressed appropriately. We thank you for your patronage and do hope you will travel with us again.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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bergjm

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: September 2014

Ranks among the favorites of our Tauck tours. The country is beautiful, safe and clean. In addition to temples, shrines and museums, we had a tea ceremony; had origami, Taiko drum & sushi making lessons, rode the bullet train and more. We enjoyed the onsen baths and witnessed an ancient Shinto blessing ceremony. Our Guide Kit Loose was excellent.

Most Memorable Moment:

Too many wonderful moments from which to choose. We loved Kyoto and the beautiful Kagaya resort on the west coast and the Hakone Hyatt in the east. Hiroshima was an emotional experience that we won't forget.

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KBarber

Fantastic tour!!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2014

This trip was amazing. We saw so much, experienced the culture, ate the food and saw a lot of Japan in a brief time. The hotels were all unique and wonderful and our guides were knowledgeable and made sure everyone felt valued.

Most Memorable Moment:

Every moment was memorable....Hiroshima, MiyaJima island where we saw a wedding, the golden Pavilion, the children asking us questions to use their English, Kyoto offered so much and was easy to explore,The Great Buddha, all the wonderful temples, the Kimono museum but most of all the wonderful people of Japan who were gracious, helpful & friendly.

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Patrice

Essence of Japan= Japanese Immersion= Lovely Experience!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: March 2014

St. Regis, Hyatt & Mandarin Oriental are outstanding: a perfect balance of Japanese & western influences as related to atmosphere, food & gracious service. Kagaya offers a unique cultural experience with traditional Japanese service/ambiance. Rooms at Okura & Associa lack ventilation/need refurbishing. Meals range from very good to disappointing.

Most Memorable Moment:

Cherry blossoms, geisha evening, Hiroshima, Mt. Fuji, Festival Float Museum, Kubota Museum, Hakone Open Air Museum, natural beauty of Japan. Insight/information provided by both local Japanese guides. Enthusiasm of Tauck program director. Mandarin Oriental Tokyo! People watching!!! Suggestion: Extend your time in Tokyo & visit Tokyo DisneySea!

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We are pleased you enjoyed your over journey and but disappointed that some aspects fell below your expectations. Rest assured, we will immediately look into your comments and will take any and all corrective actions. Thank you for your patronage and we do hope that you'll travel with us again.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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DTennyson

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2013

Every Day was a perfect day with a variety of experiences. The tour is so well thought out and perfectly paced. The accommodations were varied and wonderful from top hotels to those with with hot springs baths. I loved the variety of lessons from oragami folding to cooking class to drumming. I liked menus from traditional Japanese fare to western.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were many. I loved Kyoto as more of old Japan is visible. Found Kagaya with hot mineral bath surprisingly wonderful.At home thought I wouldn't partake;tour director's and daughter's enthusiasm changed my mind - went twice! The Kanazawa Kenrokuen (gardens) were magical would have liked more time there; gardens are a strong interest of mine.

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ELichtman

Alone and Ignored

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: September 2013

Tauck had booked my air travel for me, but nobody met me at the airport. I did not have enough Japanese yen for a taxi. I can not speak or read Japanese. I was a woman traveling alone in a strange country. Nobody answered the emergency after hours contact phone number. To date I have not received as much as an apology from Tauck!

Most Memorable Moment:

My arrival-alone and unmet.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback. We are most apolegetic that you were not met at the airport upon arrival. One of our Guest Relations Specialists will contact you to discuss this matter.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Ya'el

Essence of Japan Rushed

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: June 2013

Though everything on the tour was interesting and/or wonderful with great guides and a great group, we felt rushed through most of the best places without enough time to fully "take it all in", like having an extra half hour after the tours to experience the beautiful Japanese gardens, temples, Mt. Fuji. We spent more time over mediocre lunches.

Most Memorable Moment:

Toss up: Mt. Fuji and gardens, conveyor belt sushi diner, Mitsukoshi food court, Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, onsens (spas).

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JJaramillo

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: June 2013

The trip provided us with a very thorough description of Japan, it's people, it's traditions, it's food, it's history. We discovered a country of very proud and ceremonial people. Our guide, Kit Loose was very passionate and shared with us his love for Japan, as well as the Osaka/Kyoto local guide Mickey, always with a big smile.

Most Memorable Moment:

It is difficult to identify one only moment: may be the dinner in Kyoto with the Myko and the Geiko where a world of images that we have seen in movies and read in novels became real and we were part of it.

TAUCK RESPONSE

We are thrille dyou enjoyed your journey to this wonderful part of the world!

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Myron Nadel

Perfection, especially if you are traveling alone

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: June 2013

My third Tauck tour was perfect as were the others. Tour Director, Kit Loose, was knowledgeable, fun, and attentive keeping a special eye out for those traveling alone. He (like the other directors before) made sure that vegetarian food was always available and even assisted my meeting professional acquaintances during off hours.

Most Memorable Moment:

All moments were enjoyable and educational, but the wow factor when seeing each hotel may have been the most striking.

TAUCK RESPONSE

We are delighted you enjoyed your over journey to this facinating area and we thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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VPicarelli

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2013

Simply magnificent! The history, the culture, the values ​​of these fabulous people were captured vividly by Tauck, its director and the two guides. The atmosphere of the places, temples and shrines filled our expectations with great positivity. The grace of the tea party, experience with geishas and also work with origami brought us much joy.

Most Memorable Moment:

Let say some most memorable moments: Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, Kyoto and its Kinkakuji Temple, Nara and its Sanjusangendo Temple and its collection of 1.001 statues of Kannon, Itchiku Kubota Museum in Takayama, Mt. Fuji and Tokyo.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you so much for your feedback and we are delighted you enjoyed your overall journey!

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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MMandel

New Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2013

We should have travelled to Japan 20 years ago when it was not so commercial & westernized! That being said, the country, especially the alps & the local people are simply beautiful! Kit is extremely knowledgeable & professional as were the local guides. Too many 'dinners on your own' & contirved places to visit. Too many people on the trip!!!!!

Most Memorable Moment:

Seeing Mt Fuji, seeing a Geiko in Hakone and staying in the Japanese ryokan-style hotel all gave us a flavor of Japan. The St. Regis, Mandarin and Hyatt were excellent!

TAUCK RESPONSE

We are most apologetic that some aspects of this journey fell below your expectations. One of our Guest Relations will contact you shortly to discuss this matter in more detail.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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dudley11

Essence Of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2013

This has to be one of Tauck's best trips. The title of this trip says it all. The variety and the events captured the true essence of Japan. The lodging accommodations, food, and the Tauck Director were over the top/excellent. The trip had great pace and flow. We are definitely planning another Tauck trip soon.

Most Memorable Moment:

Seeing, hearing, and experiencing the local and cultural life of Japanese people. We saw temples, shrines, kimonos, & museums. We had onsen bath experiences, drumming demonstrations and participation, saw a maiko (Geisha in training) performance, origami, tea ceremonies, and rode the "bullet train".

TAUCK RESPONSE

We are so very pleased you enjoyed this journey!

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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medforms

Contrasts and Surprises

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: May 2013

In our 2nd tour to Japan (2005 & non-Tauck), we found that we had an opportunity to experience a wide variety of what makes Japan unique. The itinerary provided an easy entry into a different culture (Osaka), then to countryside/mountains, ancient and finally, insane Tokyo + incredible experiences. Tour Director (Kit Loose) made it perfect!

Most Memorable Moment:

The Shinto blessing ceremony at the shrine in Tokyo.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Dear Mr. Kaplan, We are very happy to learn that you enjoyed your journey and we thank you for your feedback. Edel K.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Meg Morrison

Experiencing the essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: April 2013

This was a wonderful trip. We had so many opportunities to experience the culture and history of Japan. Our leader prepared us each day for what we would be doing and informed us of appropriate etiquette for visiting the shrines, temples, and onsens. The pacing of the trip allowed us to have some afternoons on our own to explore or rest up.

Most Memorable Moment:

The ryokan experience was really special. I loved dressing up in yukata and eating with chop sticks. Soaking in the hot tubs were an opportunity to mingle with Japanese visitors. I also thought the day we went to the cooking school and made our own sushi was one of those especially unique Tauck experiences.

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Stuart and Jan

A Cultural Immersion to Remember

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2012

The Tauck "Essence of Japan" Tour provided us with an immersion into the culture, beauty and deeper understanding of the lovely people of this fascinating country. Although we had visited Japan before, the unique experiences provided by Tauck, with the consummate guidance and co-ordination by the Tour Director were beyond our expectations.

Most Memorable Moment:

The following three moments were equally memorable: 1. The drive through the "Japanese Alps" from Takayama to Hakone. 2. The live performance of Shinto music and ancient Kagura dance at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. 3. Early morning tranquility of the Sea of Japan.

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DomenicMaggio

Unbelievable Cultural Experience

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: September 2012

Fantastic in depth itinerary. We couldn't have asked for a more. Everything from the first day to last was well planned so that we experienced the Japanese culture and it's rich history. Fast paced days with lots of walking and some long bus rides. Our tour director was amazing as were our two local guides.

Most Memorable Moment:

Hard press to pick a most memorable moment. I would have to say my interaction with the Japanese people but the visit to the Ryokan Spa was a real treat.

TAUCK RESPONSE

So glad you loved your trip! It is truly an amazing part of the world that shouldn't be missed. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience and we hope you'll travel with us again.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Jillheif

Wow! What a trip!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: June 2012

this was the trip of a lifetime. Tauck took us on so many different activities that tourists would not normally see. It was more than the "essence" of Japan.

Most Memorable Moment:

the taiko drumming class and the sushi making at the cooking school

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JudithFudge

Even after all this time Japan sticks in my mind

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2011

From Tokyo to a Ryokan and especially Hiroshima, the Essence of Japan still sticks in my mind and I can't forget our Tour Director!

Most Memorable Moment:

A night at the Ryokan and Hiroshima

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C Mary

Great forever-memories

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2011

Due to the quake in March you were forced to postpone my trip, but is was more than well worth the wait. The most amazing, knowledgeable and entertaining director ever (Kit Loose), and great local guides (Chiya-san and Machiko-san) who knew the 'little' details of things that make it so much more interesting. Anyone who stayed away because of fear after the quake, etc, really missed out, it was all safe and clear. Special thanks to Kit for handling the yukata problem I had.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were so many moments. How to chose one? The tangerine given to me by the grandmother sitting across from me on the train; making it to the top of Matsumoto Castle; azuka bean and black sesame ice cream. But the most memorable was helping elementary students on a field trip with their English conversation assignment. They had to ask if they could speak with you and then ask the questions in their workbook and write my answers. They were so fun and we all laughed together.

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The "Wow Factor" is in Kyoto

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2011

Our tour director, Kit Loose, was outstanding, witty, and helpful throughout the tour. It really helped that he understood the Japanese culture and spoke Japanese. There was a balance of touring and free time. Our visits to the museums, shrines, temples, and drives through the Japanese Alps, and introduction to the various styles of Japanese cuisine made for a memorable trip. With the "Wow factor" in Kyoto, I really can't fathom why the 2012 tour is starting in Osaka.

Most Memorable Moment:

Learning origami and calligraphy. Visiting the Hiroshima Museum. Visiting the Itchiku Kubota (Kimono)Art Museum and the outdoor sculpture museum! Meeting a Maiko.

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Berlinerin

Essence of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2011

Exquisitely organized incorporating the best tourist sites, the arts, and the economical/political arena of the Japanese people. Kit, our guide, was knowledgeable, personable, and super organized besides just being fun and down to earth. The two, local guides were seasoned and at the top of their careers. Well done, Tauck!

Most Memorable Moment:

Hiroshima was the most memorable site we visited. An historical and significant page in US's history, it is a moving war memorial captured by the people who "woke the sleeping dragon."

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Bill Dix

Essence Of Japan

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: October 2011

Tauck did a wonderful job in making the trip perfect. The guide, Kit, was great as were the hotels where we stayed. Our highlight were meeting and seeing the Japanese along with their traditions. Loved the children.

Most Memorable Moment:

One of the most memorable experiences was the farewell dinner with the invited Geisha.

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