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Customer reviews

The most important thing we can do to improve our service is listen to what our customers have to say and now you can read their comments unedited on our web-site.

Upon returning from Japan all our clients are sent a review form and this is where you can see what they are saying about the InsideJapan Tours' service.

Search the reviews, check the image gallery and see for yourself how our clients rate the InsideJapan experience.

How are we doing?
12 month average rating
Overall Satisfaction
4.85/5
calculated from 550 reviews submitted in the last 12 months
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Latest Reviews - Read what our travellers say
Showing reviews 1-10 of 2634
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Robyn Walker - Japan Unmasked, Sep 2014  
Overall Satisfaction
Star Rating
Excellent
1. 
How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?
Excellent Customer Rating
We were delighted at the service and enjoyed Japan enormously.
2. 
Tour Leader name and satisfaction rating:
Steve Parker - Very Satisfied Customer Rating
He went out of his way to make sure that everything was going well for everyone.
3. 
Consultant name and satisfaction rating:
Nathaniel Saito - Very Satisfied Customer Rating
Nathaniel was extremely helpful
4. 
How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?
Good
5. 
How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?
Exceeded my expectations
6. 
Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package.
Very good. Enjoyed the experience.
7. 
Please tell us your thoughts on the meals included during your tour.
Excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
8. 
How do you rate the usefulness and standard of information in the Info-Pack?
Good
General Comments
9. 
Would you consider travelling to Japan again?
Yes
10. 
Would you travel again with InsideJapan Tours?
Yes
It was a great experience. Steve was always helpful
Review submitted: 24th Oct 2014 at 17:38
InsideJapan Tours says:
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Nathan Smith - Independent Travel, Sep 2014  
Overall Satisfaction
Star Rating
Excellent
1. 
How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?
Excellent Customer Rating
Halley was so helpful in helping us arrange our travel logistics. She was always extremely friendly, willing to help no matter what the request, and timely in her responses. We knew we could always count on her!
2. 
Consultant name and satisfaction rating:
Halley Trujillo - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
3. 
How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?
Excellent
4. 
How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?
Exceeded my expectations
While the hotel in Shinjuku was fabulous, the neighborhood was so confusing. We preferred quiet Asakusa.
5. 
Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package.
We ended up not using the train tickets to Ise, or the tickets to Osaka. I was sad we couldnt get refunds easily, either. I guess in the future, Ill want to buy my own tickets for the shorter train rides.
6. 
Please comment on any professional guiding included in your package?
Mrs. Muranaka in Tokyo was OK, but we heard other guides giving more detailed explanations. The best thing she did was help us feel comfortable navigating the city by subway and train. The driver guide in Kyoto was very helpful, and so was the walking guide. We had an enjoyable tie with both of them, but I wish I had had a clearer plan for destinations in Kyoto, as I didnt see the kinds of gardens I was looking for, other than the Katsura Villa.
7. 
How do you rate the usefulness and standard of information in the Info-Pack?
Good
General Comments
We loved the food, but we did pick and choose.
8. 
Would you consider travelling to Japan again?
Yes
9. 
Would you travel again with InsideJapan Tours?
Yes
It was much easier to have you figure out my logistics than to spend the time researching everything myself. I do know Japan a little, having lived there for two years, but my current job and family responsibilities dont leave me much time to plan a two-week trip. Your staff was so helpful, chose great accommodations, and came through on our special requests, including tea ceremony, a visit to a friendly town off the beaten path, and even sailing!
Review submitted: 24th Oct 2014 at 17:38
InsideJapan Tours says:
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Rosalind Hoyle - Independent Travel, Sep 2014  
Overall Satisfaction
Star Rating
Excellent
1. 
How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?
Excellent Customer Rating
Vivienne was a star when Vongfong endangered our journey to Ishigaki from Osaka. Really reassuring to have that backup on a bank holiday!
2. 
Consultant name and satisfaction rating:
Vivienne Boyack - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
From start Vivienne listened to our wishes for our trip and got it absolutely spot on bar one hotel.
3. 
How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?
Excellent
4. 
How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?
Met my expectations
Had doubts whether wed enjoy Nikko,Kanazawa but Vivienne pointed out it was different from our other stays. In spite of our upgrade we had smallest room on corridor and no sea view. Hated being on 26th floor and found the place soulless.
5. 
Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package.
Perfect
6. 
Please comment on any professional guiding included in your package?
Particularly liked our guide in Nara. The Kanazawa guide was also excellent.
7. 
How do you rate the usefulness and standard of information in the Info-Pack?
Excellent
General Comments
Never expected to be fed baby bees steeped in Sake but this local speciality is one of the courses that we were presented with at Tsumago! They were actually rather tasty. At the opposite extreme we had a delicious taster menu dinner on my birthday at Nara Hotel which was haute cuisine of the highest order.
8. 
Would you consider travelling to Japan again?
Yes
9. 
Would you travel again with InsideJapan Tours?
Yes
I asked to stay at Nara Hotel which was fabulous but we also loved our stays at Tsumago and Takayama. You should stress the brilliant combination of Tanabe and The Autumn/Spring Festival. The floats were stunning.
Review submitted: 23rd Oct 2014 at 17:38
InsideJapan Tours says:
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Claire Rosser - Japan Unmasked, Sep 2014  
Overall Satisfaction
Star Rating
Excellent
1. 
How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?
Excellent Customer Rating
Excellent in all regards from making the booking, receiving confirmation, info packs and all arrangements in Japan worked well with a great tour leader.
2. 
Tour Leader name and satisfaction rating:
William Mukai - Very Satisfied Customer Rating
William was great. Very helpful and all arrangements went according to plan even with the threat of being hit by a typhoon. He was very patient with some members of the group who were not always concentrating on what was happening and what arrangments had been made.
3. 
Consultant name and satisfaction rating:
Ruth Hubbard - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
Ruth and all other staff at the office in Bristol have been helpful and knowledgable
4. 
How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?
Excellent
5. 
How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?
Exceeded my expectations
6. 
Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package.
Train travel was efficient and much easier than I thought. the luggage forwarding service was used and what a help that was.
7. 
Please tell us your thoughts on the meals included during your tour.
Generally good. Japanese breakfast is an acquired taste but I did get used to it. Dinners included were excellent.
8. 
How do you rate the usefulness and standard of information in the Info-Pack?
Excellent
General Comments
9. 
Would you consider travelling to Japan again?
Yes
10. 
Would you travel again with InsideJapan Tours?
Yes
Review submitted: 23rd Oct 2014 at 17:38
InsideJapan Tours says:
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Susan Ritz - Best of Japan, Sep 2014  
Overall Satisfaction
Star Rating
Excellent
1. 
How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?
Excellent Customer Rating
Great support from Mat in Boulder, wonderful info packet, and the trip went off without a hitch due to great advance planning.
2. 
Consultant name and satisfaction rating:
Mathew Eccles - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
Was friendly, fun to talk with and very helpful, calling before the trip to make sure all my questions were answered, helping my travel companion deal with her food issues!
3. 
How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?
Excellent
4. 
How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?
Exceeded my expectations
One of the hotels, Dotunburi in Osaka was a bit cramped and we had problems with the plumbing, but the staff was great.
5. 
Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package.
Great to have the manaca pass and the JR Rail Pass all set up for us.Made it all very easy. Directions to specific trains in the info packet were very helpful
6. 
Please comment on any professional guiding included in your package?
Both spoke excellent English and were fun to spend the day with. Very knowledgeable and flexible.
7. 
How do you rate the usefulness and standard of information in the Info-Pack?
Excellent
General Comments
I was sorry to leave the wonderful food. I felt so healthy in Japan. The Ryokans offers some amazing fare, way better than I had expected.
8. 
Would you consider travelling to Japan again?
Yes
9. 
Would you travel again with InsideJapan Tours?
Yes
Because you made the whole trip easy, like having a guide without having to be a in a large group.
Review submitted: 22nd Oct 2014 at 17:38
InsideJapan Tours says:
Hi Susan, thank you for filling in your feedback. It's always fulfilling to hear when everything ran like clockwork and the trip was neigh on perfect! The food at the ryokans is indeed spectacular, if sometimes a little unusual to us westerners! I hope Johanna also thought the same.

Do get in touch if you'd like to see more of Japan (and more of that healthy fare!). (Mat)
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Pamela Tiller - Independent Travel, Sep 2014  
Overall Satisfaction
Star Rating
Excellent
1. 
How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?
Excellent Customer Rating
Excellent help and advice and service, which led to a wonderful holiday in Japan.
2. 
Consultant name and satisfaction rating:
Katharina Held - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
Really happy with all the help from Katharina who answered all my questions and sorted out some late changes for us .
3. 
How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?
Excellent
4. 
How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?
Met my expectations
The accommodation was good, and so well thought out as to locations in Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanazawa.
5. 
Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package.
The trains and advice about times was brilliant, and the various passes for transport including in Tokyo, Hakone, and of course the Japan Rail Pass were excellent.
6. 
Please comment on any professional guiding included in your package?
We had a day of guiding in Tokyo and a day in Kyoto. Both guides (Chieko and Tada) were friendly and helpful and informative. They got us orientated and gave us ideas for the following days.
7. 
How do you rate the usefulness and standard of information in the Info-Pack?
Excellent
General Comments
I would recommend the included meals at Auberge Mizuhaso on Miyajima. Beautifully presented and varied, each breakfast and dinner was different over our 3 nights. I am now addicted to sashimi!
8. 
Would you consider travelling to Japan again?
Yes
9. 
Would you travel again with InsideJapan Tours?
Yes
Having had such a good experience with you, I would value your ideas and advice should we go to another part of Japan.
Review submitted: 22nd Oct 2014 at 17:38
InsideJapan Tours says:
Hello Pamela,

Thank you so much for your feedback, I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your trip with us and everything ran smoothly. Having a guide with you can really help to make the most of your time and it seems you were really inspired for the rest of your trip.
Hopefully you've been able to find a good sashimi restaurant in the UK to tide you over until your next trip!
Take care

Claire


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Winfred So - Classic Japan, Sep 2014  
Overall Satisfaction
Star Rating
Excellent
1. 
How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?
Excellent Customer Rating
Everything was simply great. The tour went without a hitch.
2. 
Tour Leader name and satisfaction rating:
Mark Rawlins - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
Mark was a really great tour leader. He really went out of his way to make sure everybody was having a good time. He was very good at making sure no one was left behind in the busy train stations and when walking long distances. If people wanted to wander on their own, he had great knowledge in optional sites/activities for them. Mark had known before hand (from the travel consultant) that I was shopping for a katana. So when we got to Kyoto, we had a free day in the afternoon. Now, he could have just pointed me to the shop and left me to shop on my own so he can have his free day, but he stayed and help me translate and negotiate the sale of my purchase. There was absolutely no way I could have purchased my item without Mark to help translate and ask all the detailed question in purchasing such an item. He really went out of his way to make sure I had all the information I needed before making a purchase. I absolutely appreciate him losing his free day just to help me shop for my souvenir.
3. 
Consultant name and satisfaction rating:
Mathew Eccles - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
Matt got back to my emails very quickly. This IS the main reason I decided on Inside Japan. He was very responsive and answered all my questions (and I had a lot) without making me ever feel like I was asking stupid questions. Also, one of the souvenirs I really wanted to acquire was an authentic katana. Matt was able to inform the tour guide ahead of time so that they would have a reputable shop to visit when I arrived. I really appreciated this and got to feel the company cares about its customers.
4. 
How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?
Good
5. 
How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?
Met my expectations
I had done research on the accommodations before heading out, so it was as expected. I do have to note that the ryokan in Takayama was wonderful. Maybe because I really wanted to try a ryokan, but that hotel exceeded my expectations.
6. 
Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package.
The included train rides were great. I travel light, so the included transportation was good for me.
7. 
Please tell us your thoughts on the meals included during your tour.
I loved them! Im the type that will try anything, so it was a wonderful experience trying out different types of dishes.
8. 
How do you rate the usefulness and standard of information in the Info-Pack?
Excellent
General Comments
The included meals were wonderful. I like the bite sized portions but with more variety. It give me more to try. Every time, I left the dinners quite full.
9. 
Would you consider travelling to Japan again?
Yes
10. 
Would you travel again with InsideJapan Tours?
Yes
Customer Service. I know there are other tour companies out there that are less expensive, but I will pay more for an excellent customer service, and you guys delivered.
Review submitted: 22nd Oct 2014 at 17:38
InsideJapan Tours says:
Hello there, thanks so much for your kind words! I am thrilled to read you had such a good time and took so much away from your time on our Small Group Tour. I was also very happy to hear that you got your sword! I know this was really important for you so it feels good to know that the efforts of our Japan Office and Mark were not in vain. (Mat).
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Clare Hart - Japan Unmasked, Aug 2014  
Overall Satisfaction
Star Rating
Excellent
1. 
How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?
Excellent Customer Rating
First class guidance from start to end with good insight given prior to trip.
2. 
Tour Leader name and satisfaction rating:
Mark Rawlins - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
A great character who pitched the balance between guidance,advice and independence just right. He dealt with all events with a calm professionalism and kept all the members of the group informed and engaged.
3. 
Consultant name and satisfaction rating:
Vivienne Boyack - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
First contact was fantastic and this cemented the confidence in booking with then great subsequent support along the way
4. 
How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?
Good
5. 
How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?
Exceeded my expectations
The variety was good
6. 
Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package.
All efficient and added to seeing the country
7. 
Please tell us your thoughts on the meals included during your tour.
Great experience. Mark helped us all see a wide variety of restaurants and food he really put the effort in showing us all a great variety. The food was an unexpected delight due in part to the guides inside recommendation
8. 
How do you rate the usefulness and standard of information in the Info-Pack?
Excellent
General Comments
Mark created a good atmosphere and ran a group which had a variety of interests to cater for but he always managed to accommodate all requests.
9. 
Would you consider travelling to Japan again?
Yes
10. 
Would you travel again with InsideJapan Tours?
Yes
Perfect balance of independence and expert guidance which results in seeing the best in the shortest time
Review submitted: 21st Oct 2014 at 17:38
InsideJapan Tours says:
Thank you for your feedback, Clare! I'm delighted you had a great time on our Japan Unmasked small group tour back in August with Mark Rawlins. Our tours are designed to give you lots of flexibility and variety so I'm glad you enjoyed this. Vivienne
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Gary Wood - Independent Travel, Sep 2014  
Overall Satisfaction
Star Rating
Excellent
1. 
How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?
Excellent Customer Rating
Great choice and variety, being specialists rather than general operators is a key selling point for me. I also recommended you to my Chiropractor who I know booked a holiday through you.
2. 
Consultant name and satisfaction rating:
Alison Muskett - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
Extremely helpful and responsive, friendly and proactive with ideas, nice touches with phone calls before and during holiday, holiday ran like clockwork from start to finish, personalised service (e.g. suggesting the tea trip to Uji based upon our interest)
3. 
How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?
Excellent
4. 
How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?
Met my expectations
Generally very good, accommodation at Nikko, Kyoto and Naruko Onsen excellent in different ways, Hiraizumi a little tired though choice was limited
5. 
Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package.
N/A
6. 
Please comment on any professional guiding included in your package?
All very good , extremely friendly, knowledgeable and happy to help wherever they could. The market/sake brewery part of the Kyoto cooking activity could have been a little more engaging, the cooking part itself was great mainly due to the wonderful lady who we cooked with. The cooking class in Tokyo was very enjoyable and the area was worth visiting, its not so much a cooking class as a demonstration and lunch (with copious amounts of excellent food) so it may not meet everyones needs (i.e. if they really wanted to spend a lot of time cooking) and its best going on an empty stomach. Really enjoyed it ourselves though.
7. 
How do you rate the usefulness and standard of information in the Info-Pack?
Excellent
General Comments
The food was excellent and one of the reasons we love visiting Japan as there is so much variety. The meals in the Ryokans were great however they dont always provide an English list of dishes - this can actually lead to some wonderful lost in translation moments with the hotel staff when trying to establish what was in front of us however it would have been good at some point to learn exactly what was what. The main challenge was in Naruko Onsen though as I say we both loved that hotel and the staff who were extremely helpful (including getting a laptop from their office to search for a dish so we could see the English translation). At the same hotel I asked if there was a security box in the room more out of interest whereupon the two staff wandered off and a couple of minutes later lugged a rather heavy looking safe into our tatami matted living quarters.
8. 
Would you consider travelling to Japan again?
Yes
9. 
Would you travel again with InsideJapan Tours?
Yes
Track record - we have now experienced Japan in a group and self guided through Inside Japan and thoroughly enjoyed both. Takes a lot of the stress away from the holiday itself (discounting the pre holiday planning of where to go of course) using the expert and firs-hand knowledge on hand to create our ideal holiday. It also feels like good value given what is included.
Review submitted: 21st Oct 2014 at 17:38
InsideJapan Tours says:

Hi Gary,

Thank you so much for your detailed feedback - I really appreciate it. I'm so pleased we were able to put together this trip for you, and that you were able to return to Japan and see more of the beautiful country.

Taking cooking classes is a great way to experience different types of Japanese food, and also to meet the locals. I'm glad you found these different experiences in Tokyo and Kyoto interesting and enjoyed the food you tried.

Thank you for recommending us, and I hope I can help you with another return to Japan in the future.

All the very best,

Ali

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Amanda Ward - Japan Unmasked, Sep 2014  
Overall Satisfaction
Star Rating
Excellent
1. 
How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?
Excellent Customer Rating
Any questions I had were quickly answered, even as soon as I got off the plane and tried to find my own way to the Studio Ghibli museum! Vivienne was very helpful and always ensured that any questions I had were answered and if I needed anything.
2. 
Tour Leader name and satisfaction rating:
Mark Fujishige - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
Mark is a fantastic tour leader who was enthusiastic and full of ideas. He helped us out individually with our own plans for days we could do our own thing and if we needed anything reserving he would try and do it for us as soon as he could. His choices for restaurants were always spot on and his knowledge of the local areas was very good.
3. 
Consultant name and satisfaction rating:
Vivienne Boyack - Superb Service, Extremely Satisfied Customer Rating
4. 
How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?
Good
5. 
How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?
Met my expectations
6. 
Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package.
Transport was good, I enjoyed travelling on the shinkansen and the train stations were easy to navigate.
7. 
Please tell us your thoughts on the meals included during your tour.
I found that even with requesting no dairy and no fish it was quite easy to find something to eat on any menu.
8. 
How do you rate the usefulness and standard of information in the Info-Pack?
Excellent
General Comments
The food was great, and I would recommend the conveyor belt sushi even if you dont eat fish. My favourite meal was at the inn in Takayama, it was beautifully prepared and tasted amazing! I loved going around the many temples and shrines we visited, and you can always find a unique experience like the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo or the Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama. Our tour leader, Mark, always helped us with good recommendations and our needs were definitely catered for. I would happily recommend Inside Japan to anyone.
9. 
Would you consider travelling to Japan again?
Yes
10. 
Would you travel again with InsideJapan Tours?
Yes
Everything was arranged and I didnt really have to worry at all. I would perhaps do a self guided adventure as my knowledge of Japanese is good and I would like to try going on my own.
Review submitted: 21st Oct 2014 at 17:38
InsideJapan Tours says:
Thank you for your feedback Amanda! Really pleased to hear you enjoyed our recent Japan Unmasked as well as your pre-tour nights getting settled and exploring Tokyo before the tour started. We try to include a big variety of food options on the tour so you can try lots of Japan's diverse cuisine. Nothing beats enjoying a traditional dinner in your Japanese inn wearing yukata though! Vivienne
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These reviews are the subjective opinion of InsideJapan Tours' customers and not of the Company. Reviews are not pre-moderated by InsideJapan Tours prior to publication but any reviews that are found to contain any offensive language, any potentially libellous content or any abusive comments with be removed. All reviews are published in an unedited form which means there may be spelling mistakes and other inaccuracies. If you have any questions regarding the content of any review please contact us.
Inside Japan Tours - Independent British Travel Awards 2011 - Best Tour Operator To East and Central Asia
The Guardian, The Observer - Travel Awards 2010 Winner - Best tour operator (small)
Inside Japan Tours - Silver at the British Travel Awards 2009