Most Inspirational Moment
Too many to choose - seeing Mt Fuji floating on a bed of cloud, Matsumoto Castle floodlit, a Kabuki performance, exquisitely presented and tasty food in the ryokans, onsen, standing on a station as a shinkansen raced through at 160+mph, the tragedy of Hiroshima, the architecture of the Shinto shrines, temples and gardens, and more. Phew!
Thoughts on Group Leader
Mayuko Terao was superb, and couldn't do enough for us. Her ability to keep 17 disparate adults in order while negotiating the often crowded and complex transport system was remarkable. Her knowledge, communication skills and sense of fun were second to none. She gave up much of her own free time to ensure that we got the most out of our visit.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Be prepared for a lot of walking, often in crowded tourist sites and on the transport system. There are many convenience stores near the hotels to buy food if you don't want to pay for the expensive hotel buffet breakfasts (ryokans excluded).
Our camera broke down towards the end of the trip, and it was SO liberating! So, don't view everything you see through a camera lens all the time. Japan is so visually engaging.
Thanks to everyone who made it such a memorable experience.