I had a fantastic trip leader (Marion) she did a great job with taking us from place to place on the trains. All our hotels were amazing and clean and in a good location.
Regarding where this tour takes you, it ticks all the boxes. While there could have been some rearranging with how long is spent in different places, I loved every city we travelled to. Like I said before, all of our inclusions were cancelled due to it being peak season (no excuse as I have been to many places with Topdeck during peak season and this was no issue) so we had to research and come up with our own ideas. While this worked well for me as I love a bit of freedom with travel and wasn't interested in some of the inclusions, I do feel as though the things we did in our free time could have been inclusions. There are so many opportunities for unique experiences in Japan, so making them inclusions would just be beneficial to everyone. While it was annoying we weren't informed that we would be without our suitcases for most of the trip (again, better forward planning from Topdeck is needed here - just put it in the Trip Notes!), the service of sending our luggage ahead make travel by train so much easier. Japan is a busy and crowded place, so I understand that having a typical tour experience where we get a lot of information about each city might be difficult to do, but I really missed that part of the tour because I like learning about each place I am going to. It's a great trip, but it is really up to you and your friends to make it great.
I didn't purchase anything from the tour [other than the tour itself] as the options were cancelled for us
The Japanese tour it was so much fun. It was a really good mix of culture, food and free time. I like how they gave you time to go off and do your own thing in the city for a few hours so that you could plan a trip more to your liking, and not just what their planned in the tour. Is what you were allowed to do. My tour guide Marion was funny and amazing. She really helped us with getting around, restaurant recommendations, things to do in the city if you weren’t unsure. Also a big help with us getting train tickets to get back to Tokyo after the tour, I would would have been totally lost. The one thing the was a minor problem is that Topdeck didn’t warn us before hand that our suitcases were being forwarded to other cities. As we were going by public transport, which was really fun doing all the bullet trains however, it was a little hard carrying a heavy duffel bag everywhere. I would recommend to bring a smaller rolling case like the one you can use on planes it will make such a difference not carrying that.
all good, just didn't know that all the optinal activities were canceled
I would definitely recommend this trip. Marion, our trip leader was great with giving us ideas on what to do on our free days and booking group dinners.
Topdeck’s communication can most definitely improve. It was disappointing to discover on the first day that all of the optional activities were fully booked and that really they should have been booked by traveler's in advance. TD should have communicated this in advance or in the trip notes to avoid disappointment. Additionally, there was no mention in the trip notes that we would not have access to our luggage for two lots of 3 consecutive nights meaning we needed a backpack or smaller bag for these nights. This is because, our suitcases were shipped to the different cities. Rather, the notes state you need to make sure your suitcase is less than 160cm to be able to take on the bullet trains, which we didn’t even do. Not everyone had a backpack which meant they had to go out and use their free time to find one. If TD updated the trip description and the trip notes with this information then it would have made the trip so much easier and less disappointing.
Firstly let me say that I love Topdeck and I absolutely recommend this trip. Katherine the trip leader was one of the best I’ve had - she went out of her way to make it an excellent trip for all of us.
There were some things that were pretty disappointing and some clear communication would have really helped. I was disappointed to discover on the first day (no heads up prior from TD) that most of the extra activities were cancelled or substituted out. I really wanted to do the sushi demo and the ramen making class and neither were available despite being on the itinerary. Same goes for the day trip to Mt Fuji. We also paid quite a lot of money for a “nightlife tour” in Osaka which didn’t go ahead and instead of getting refunded, we got taken out to a dinner with a budget for food/drinks that was CONSIDERABLY less than what we’d originally paid. We were all pretty bewildered at why we weren’t offered a refund. what was our money used for? Also, the trip details mentioned that to ride the bullet train we needed a suitcase within certain dimensions, which I arranged. Then whilst on the trip we were told twice that we had to go 2+ days without our suitcase and could only take a backpack/overnight bag. I had no idea this would happen (it was not in any of the pre-trip information) and only had a small backpack which couldn’t fit what I needed. Some clear communication up front would have made that so much easier for everyone.
It is extremely overpriced and badly planned. If it weren't for our guide adjusting the itinerary where possible, the tour would have been horrible. There was no warning before the trip started that there would be not just one overnight with a backpack, but the stay in Osaka would be two nights with only a backpack. We could have taken our suitcases but were advised not to. I would have prepared for this before leaving home if I'd known.
This trip will change your life for the best!
The Japan highlights tour was amazing we got to experience alot of what Japan had to offer with awesome company!
Japan was somewhere I had to visit but was unsure as to how much and what and where. Topdeck offered a taste through the highlights tour of the possibilities to see and do. The size of the group was good, 22 people meant safety in numbers in attending activities.overall I really enjoyed the trip.
Lots of great sights, and plenty of free time for seeing what appeals to you.
Great highlight of Japan. I enjoyed exploring parts of the country. Very lucky to have a great topdeck group
Made some lifelong friends!
i enjoyed everything we did, ticked off almost everything on my bucket list
Had the best time in Japan. Loved spending time in a completely different culture. Fantastic tour leader and group. Loved it!
It was everything I thought it was going to be and more. Such an amazing experience
Refer to my customer experience.
An amazing way to see Japan. Easy and informative. So much fun.
Same as top. Thought it was the same question.
good value for money for good itinerary
Japan was even more incredible than I imagined. The Japan Highlights tour allowed me to explore Japan's diversity - from the ultra-modern Tokyo, to a traditonal Ryokan in Takayama and the historical city of Kyoto.
The Japan highlights tour gave me a little bit from every part of Japan and definitely gave me the knowledge I needed to plan my next trip and figure out where my fav parts of Japan were. Can’t wait to go back to Akhibara!