The local company did a fantastic job of organising our holiday exactly as we wanted it - a mix of city sightseeing and self-guided hiking. We were a little sceptical about hiking without a guide but their detailed guides and maps were very easy to follow plus Japanese hiking trails - especially the Kumano Kodo - are very clearly signposted in English as well as Japanese. The choice of city hotels and ryokans were was spot on.
Communication was very quick clear and helpful and,as I said, all the hiking instructions were excellent as was most of the accommodation on the trail. The city hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto were well located and comfortable. So were most of the country inns or ryokans.
A couple of things. It would have been good to have been offered a choice, albeit at higher cost, in one of the Kumano accommodations which was not up to the standard of the others. I was also not aware that we could have done the Kumano in five rather than four days - again it would have been good to have been offered a choice although it would have meant adding a day to our time in Japan. But these are relatively minor points. We were pretty happy with the holiday and it’s meticulous organisation. Thank you!
Guides in Kyoto and Japan both very well-informed, helpful and energetic. No drivers.
Take as much time as you possibly can and get out into the country making sure you stay in some ryokans to get a real Japanese experience. Keep an open mind about food - you don’t need to know exactly what you’re eating to enjoy it
Too many things. The food, The autumn colours, the ryokan in Nara and the Kumano Kodo trail.