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Review: Flight Centre

Travel Service - Tour Operator/Travel Provider

United Kingdom

Do it yourself Japan

  • By SilverTraveller Guy1411

    1 review

  • March 2019

101 people found this review helpful

As the title suggests, my wife and i (both 61 at time of trip) decided to visit Japan last year.
I had worked in Japan over 30 years ago when everything was in Japanese only allowing no real accommodation to benefit tourists.

However things we had to decide on before going were 1. when to go, 2. where to go,
3. how where we going to get there. 4. a budget. 5. how where we going to get around when we were there.

Firstly we decided to go in spring as close to the Cherry Blossom season (end of March) as possible as at this time of year it is a wonderful sight (can be busy but overly so).

That decided, I choose to book a flight with Flight Centre as I have used them for flights on many occasions. The agent I contacted asked me when we were going and how many places we were going to visit. ie our itinerary . Mica ,(flight rep),sent me number of flight options with reasonable prices (economy) with the best from Glasgow was to travel via Amsterdam simple and straight forward both easy Airports to navigate. In addition its worth the extra money to book extra legroom on the longer flights there and back. we had decided to fly to Tokyo first and then travel to Hiroshima and finally Kyoto. Mica offered to send us a list of hotels in each city for the days we would stay there. We accepted this as a good idea and then reviewed the list and with the help of trip adviser and Mica settled on the best for what we wanted.Please bear in mind hotel rooms in Japan can be quite small so don’t be surprised if they seem dear for the size. However we found some fabulous rooms for our stay.

Mica then suggested that she organised out train travel passes (which in our case were from JR trains which included bullet train travel coverage).

Mica also suggested some trips she could arrange IE Nara and Mount Fuji.

The flight centre also puts you in touch with their concierge who will also help you from the start of your journey till the end if required which is quite handy.

All this sorted what happens next i decided the easiest way to use a mobile phone to help travel and for information was important but data can cost so here is a tip.

I hired a wifi egg from Ninja WiFi (there are other companies), Put simply you hire a mini wifi box which looks like a mobile phone and pair it to your own phones and tablets etc. This means that you use a secure wifi all the time and as long as you are relatively close to each other it will link to your other devices . This is a reasonably cost and much cheaper than buying data from your provider. This is a joy when trying to follow maps or looking for a train timetable ,restaurants etc ( a must as far as i’m concerned).

So now we arrive in Tokyo . Get your luggage and go to the JR office easy to find and all signs and directions are also in English (but there are people in the airport who will assist). The staff will then endorse your travel pass and book you a seat on the fast train to Tokyo with a specific time and directions to the trains. They will not book you trains for other travel dates as they are busy at the airport. (at a later time you can go into a JR office at a station and pre book bullet trains for future travel and the staff are very helpful) I ordered my wifi to be dropped off at the hotel. Our first hotel was very close to the Tokyo station we were getting off at which was handy and on arrival checked in picked up wifi made sure it was charged and set it up no issues.

After that the trip is yours . You use your JR pass at almost all the stations you need to use but not on undergrounds or buses. Its worth noting that there are fantastic food markets in the major stations which is ideal if you cant decide what to eat. They have everything. Its now up to you where you want to go in each city so plan it before you go. It would take me to long to suggest where to go as we travelled allover the place going to parks, markets , land marks and various interesting locations so make a list and see if you cant fit it all in. We had full days walked miles and saw so much but we would go back again and visit some other cities. We went Tokyo-Hiroshima-Kyoto-Tokyo as bases. We had everything booked that we needed to and still found loads to explore.

We had no getting around getting food , eating out and chatting with people evryone was so helpful. Fantastic trip. Weather was warm to hot with only one day of rain (and were wee inside at the time so it didnt detract from our trips. Incidentally on trains you wait at a marked sport and the doors open exactly there, and on the bullitt train the ticket tells you which platform to go to and where you have to stand where to get on and your seats are near that entrance. The Bullitt trains are comfortable and so fast. The local train keep you updated as to next station with both readouts and information broad cast in english, so its more exciting than daunting. Its a fabulous country to visit and really affordable. If you have other questions just post them and im sure i or someone else will help.

Ps. I took loads of Photographs so make sure you take a camera with a good memory card as well.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • Guy1411
    over 1 year ago
    My apologies re some of the wording.I did proof read the article but posted the original by mistake lol.
    However rest assured Japan is one of the easiest places to tour but there is so much to see so plan carefully and remember to treat yourself where you can. Your Hubby will love it.
  • vanessapearladams
    over 1 year ago
    I loved this. I think there is such alot to do in Japan and this says it all. Just need to convince my hubby!