We have recently returned from the Land of the Rising Sun tour, managed exceptionally well by tour manager Derek. We were somewhat surprised that the tour party was over 40 people, but with the help of brilliant local guides, he managed to keep us all together. No mean feat changing from the bullet train to a local train during Tokyo’s rush hour. The hotels were all of very high quality, though there was some grumbling about the New Miyako Hotel in Kyoto which had very small bathrooms compared to the other hotels on tour. All in all the hotel rooms were bigger than you would find in London or New York. Very spacious, spotlessly clean and with amenities ranging from tooth brushes to razors. Japan is an amazing country, the people must be the most courteous you will ever meet. Japan is a very populous country, so it should not have been a surprise that practically wherever we went there were large numbers of people. Sanctuary can be found in their beautiful highly manicured gardens. We were privileged to have a talk from a Hiroshima survivor and everyone was moved by her story. Our local guides were excellent and we will always remember Yuri for her warmth and Meg for her sense of humour and jokes about deer (yes,seriously!). Well done Riviera and thank you Derek.
Review by: Edward Clark on 11/04/2019
I would just like to thank Riviera for organising an excellent holiday.
I travelled with my husband and two friends. None of us had visited Japan before and we all enjoyed this introduction to the country, its people and its culture.
The tour manager, Suzanne was excellent and gave calm and steady guidance to the whole party and ensured everyone was in the right place at the right time. It was very reassuring to be in the hands of someone who was so reliable with a thorough knowledge of the country. She was always able to provide very helpful information about all of the locations we visited and answer any questions of a practical nature such as where to buy lunch or concerning local practice such as tipping and did so with quiet good humour.
Ted, the local guide for Tokyo and Hiroshima was terrific and full of information with the most fantastic sense of humour and the whole group was sad to leave him. Kyoko, our guide in Kyoto, was however equally delightful and again very informative.
The hotels and ryokan were very good; all clean, comfortable with helpful, friendly staff.
The tour was well planned and made the most of the time available. If I could change one thing, it would have been to have one additional day so that there was a free day in Tokyo.
Review by: Elizabeth Beddow on 23/03/2019
What a wonderful holiday. This was from the madness and excitement of Tokyo, to the beauty of Mount Fuji, from the emotion of a visit to the peace park in Hiroshima, to the 'bonkers' railway station and amazing temples of Kyoto - there was never a dull moment! All of this was overseen by our amazing tour manager Paul who kept us all in order with great good humour and whose words of wisdom and laugh we certainly won't forget!
Our local Japanese guides filled us in on the finer points of Japanese lives and etiquette. Special thanks to Eva for her knowledge and particularly the karaoke on the bus!
This is a country of very friendly and hospitable people, very safe and very clean with unexpected quirkiness. You'll never view toilets in the same way again!
Try and take part in everything on offer especially in your free time. I would recommend the ryokan option in Kyoto but don't expect 5 star luxury, that's not what it's about.
Be prepared for a non-stop assault on all your senses which is fascinating and exhausting at the same time. It has made me want to return to Japan, hopefully in the not too distant future.
Review by: Janet on 24/10/2018
Just arrived back from the tour of Japan, exhausted but happy. It was an action packed trip with so much to see.
Our tour manager, Paul, worked hard to ensure we were fully informed of arrangements, getting around and finding food and souvenirs. He ran the whole show with military precision - a quality needed in rule bound and time conscious Japan - HOWEVER, this was done with charm and humour. There was excellent support and information provided by the local guides, bringing to life the details which can be so flat in guide books. We were always in safe hands with our very competent and polite driver.
The hotels, all offering something different, were of a very good standard with our personal favourite being in Kyoto. Although it had the smallest rooms, everything was easy to use, designed with the traveller in mind as you might expect in a station hotel.
Thank you Riviera and fellow travellers for a memorable trip to Japan.
Review by: Kevin and Eileen Phillips on 24/10/2018
This was our First holiday with Riviera Travel which we travelled to JAPAN and was not disappointed from booking holiday with Riviera to getting home Our Tour Manager John actually met us in Heathrow airport and greeted us before we got on plane with ANA we were treated first class even though we economy class There staff couldn't do enough for us and we had plenty of leg room
Japan itself is out of this world beautiful clean country and the people are very polite and friendly
All the hotels we stayed in 4 in all were fantastic very clean and comfortable and the breakfasts there was something for everyone tastes My husband is a very fussy eater but he learnt to use chop sticks and enjoyed all of there food
When we started our holiday in Tokyo Jon our tour Manager was welcoming organised and made everyone feel special John was backed up by local tour guides Ted was very funny Meg spoke wonderful english Our Coach driver was very careful driver also
We visited mount Fuji The highlight of my holiday which was going on the famous Bullet Train twice (I have wanted to go on this for years and finally done it ) remember it forever
We went to Kyoto market and i brought my husband a real Japanese Knife I had his name engraved on it in Japanese It slices like a knife going through butter
If you like shopping Tokyo and Kyoto have some fantastic shops
If you ever get the chance to go on this tour you will not be disappointed You may think it expensive but for what you get out of it I assure you its not by any means in life you only get what you pay for
So start saving and book up this fantastic tour to Japan
Review by: Christine,Jon, James Ceney on 06/09/2018
This was our first experience not only of Riviera Travel, but also of travel in an organised tour. It was excellent on both counts. Our tour manager Frank was superb in his detailed knowledge of places, whether it involved negotiating a large city on our own on free days, or where to find the best choice of places to eat for specialities, shops to find particular objects and also with a calm approach to managing trouble free travel by bullet train. He managed a group of 42 always mindful of their safety with charm and a great sense of humour. The result - a happy group that bonded.
The local guides for the areas visited, Kyoko and Meg, gave us insight knowledge into Japanese life and customs.
All places visited were equally fascinating and the tour included a lot of variety - from robots to a rope gondola view of Mt Fuji, to religious shrines and royal palaces. Also, meeting and speaking to a survivor of Hiroshima.
The hotels were uniformly of a high standard, and we liked them all.
We thoroughly recommend this well planned and managed tour.
The hotels were
Review by: Michael, Trish and Martin Struthers on 23/05/2018
If you ever take a notion for a visit to Japan, I’d recommend you seek Michele and Ted, They’re with Riviera Travel and you will become a fan, For as tour guides both are really streets ahead.
They organise their parties with efficiency sublime, With knowledge and good humour by the ton,
And even when we’re naughty and we don’t turn up on time, Their patience just goes on and on and on. So thank you for your expertise, your energy and fun, You’ve really helped us all to understand
And appreciate the beauty of this Land of Rising Sun That’s the people and the culture of Japan.
Review by: Kate McIntosh on 30/05/2018
Best holiday / tour ever with Francis as guide..hotels were extremely comfortable and all ideally placed to access metro and eating places. The itinerary was perfect and gave a fascinating insight into Japanese culture..there were no hiccups, and full marks to Francis for managing such a large group of 43..
Francis had boundless energy and enthusiasm for a country she clearly loves, and I would recommend this tour to anybody. I particularly enjoyed the experience of the Ryokan..and visiting Hiroshima...and listening to a fascinating account from someone who had lived through the horror...an amazing holiday which exceeded my expectations. Thank you.
Review by: Anne Clark on 10/05/2018
Riviera comes up trumps again!
We have done several of the cruises and the Andalusia experience.
The reason we chose Riviera travel is because we have always been impressed by the service, the quality and in particular the tour managers who have always been very good. This time we travelled to Japan as we felt we could rely on Riviera to deliver and make this a wonderful lifetime experience.
Our tour manager, Frances, was excellent. She was always professional but at the same time demonstrated a sense of caring for each person in the group. This is a rare quality especially as some in the group can be very trying to say the least! She had a wicked but charming sense of humour and often had us in stitches! She was attentive to detail and ensured that we got the most from each of the places we visited. She guided us through each place ensuring that no one got lost which is something I still marvel at as we were 43 in the group with some people who loved going on walk-about. She kept us to our schedule and went out of her way to check that we were enjoying our tour.
Our local guides were so informative also with great humour and sense of caring - thank you Mika, Mikko, and Kyoko in particular. Thank you too to the excellent coach driver Ariai.
For me Hiroshima was the highlight of the trip. Despite the horrific history this city has indeed risen from the ashes and reminded us that no matter how dreadful the present there is always hope. The people of Hiroshima have rebuilt their city and have moved on but remind us that war is a terrible thing. Thank you Riviera for arranging for us to meet and hear the personal account of Keiko Ogura a survivor of Hiroshima. We were very priviledged to hear this amazing lady tell her story. I highly recommend this trip. The success of this trip was in large part due to our tour manager Frances and her team of local guides. Thank you Frances most sincerely. Zeena and David Wilson
Review by: Zeena and David Wilson on 10/05/2018
We have just been on this tour and it was excellent. A big thanks goes to Paul our Tour Manager and his local guides who made it all happen keeping us on track, informed, amused and not losing anybody. A difficult task when there were 44 people to look after. I would recommend staying at the Ryokan in Kyoto where we had one of the best Japanese meals and got to dress up as well.
Review by: Roger Jubb on 19/04/2018
We had waited for over a year to visit Japan with Riviera and we can honestly say that we were not disappointed. Japan is a beautiful, clean country and the people are so friendly, gracious and welcoming. We were amazed at the patience of the Japanese people and their orderly way of life. Our flights with ANA were lovely, all of our hotels comfortable and well located and our tour manager, Paul, an absolute star! Paul, typical of Riviera tour managers, was welcoming, organised and made everyone feel special and he has a wicked sense of humour! Paul was backed up by local guides, all of whom were knowledgeable, approachable and more than happy to assist the clients.
We missed the cherry blossom, it being extremely early this year. This was made up for by the most glorious weather on nearly every day and when we visited Mount Fuji, we had the most beautiful and clear views anyone could have asked for! Needless to say, the cameras were working overtime!
We had a fantastic time eating the local food and learning to use chopsticks properly! Our guide had us eating M&Ms with chopsticks on the coach, as practice! We tried various restaurants, some local and quick, some formal. All of them served beautiful food and most had English menus.
We decided to include the night in the typical Ryokan Inn, along with 12 others from the tour. We had an external room, separated from the main inn by a lovely Japanese garden. We were dressed for dinner in typical attire by one of the staff and served a beautiful Japanese banquet in a private dining room. Although this costs extra, we would recommend this to anyone thinking of this tour.
Pam and I have travelled with Riviera Travel a lot and we can honestly say that this is the most wonderful holiday. Whether you are out to see Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples or just relax and watch the world go by, you will not be disappointed with this tour. Oh, by the way, should you like shopping, Tokyo and Kyoto have the shops for you!
Review by: John & Pam Moorfield on 19/04/2018
This was our first holiday with Riviera and we were impressed. All the arrangements went very smoothly ably overseen with good humour by our excellent tour manager, Paul, whose enthusiasm for and knowledge of Japan was a great asset. Rotating coach seats daily is an excellent idea. Our local Japanese guides were also full of insight and very engaging. Our highlights were: the cherry blossom (we thought we would miss it), a cloudless Mt Fuji (especially at sunset and sunrise from our room in Hakone), the tea ceremony in a private home (wouldn't have missed it), the testimony from an A-bomb survivor in Hiroshima, staying in the ryokan , the Philosphers Walk in Kyoto and having our faces copied onto cappuccinos at the Nissan Showroom in Tokyo . The gardens were invariably stunning. Our favourites were Hama-rikyu in Tokyo, Shukkei-en in Hiroshima (an easy walk from the Peace Park and the hotel) and Shosei-en in Kyoto (a delightful, peaceful oasis 5-10 minutes walk from the hotel and station). We would encourage anyone to pluck up their courage and embrace Japanese food. It's well worth it. Try Kushima, 5-7-10 Ginza, Chuo Ku, Tokyo. We also enjoyed Myabi-Tei in the Hiroshima Sheraton very much. It's expensive but ideal for a special meal - we celebrated our wedding anniversary there. The Japanese are a delight, invariably courteous and helpful. One small gripe - if you wear hearing aids you may find the earpieces for the radio guide difficult to use, earphones would have been better. Altogether though a holiday to remember for the best reasons, so a big thank you to Paul and all our local guides.
Review by: Michael and Chris Willis on 05/04/2018
Land of the rising sun -Came back two days ago from this tour. And it was amazing and everything I expected and more! Francis the tour guide was so organized, helpful and funny. Was very knowledgeable and helpful for the days free and just general information! Tokyo was my personal favourite and wish there was more free time to explore it. You don't really get a chance to explore Hakone as it's more of a pit stop. Hiroshima and Kyoto were both beautiful and interesting cities, more considered 'real Japan' over Tokyo but still all amazing places. Stress free holiday, just lots of walking and early mornings. Food and hotels are all Stella! The Japanese are just amazing people which you need to experience.
Review by: Joshua Hassett on 12/04/2018
We have just experienced a fantastic tour of Japan. The tour sites and the hotels were very, very good. We particularly liked the Tokyo hotel which overlooked its own Japanese garden and from which you could see Mount Fuji from the top floor restaurant. The tour guide Paul, made everything run smoothly, entertained us all and was a fount of knowledge. He is an amazing asset for Riviera And we cannot praise him enough. Thank you Paul.
Review by: Jennifer Reynolds on 14/11/2017
We two Guernsey girls have been to Japan recently.We had an amazing holiday. Our guide Bernie was excellent,ably assisted by Ted and two ladies from Japan. Tokyo was lively and organised,nothing was late, all on time and so clean.Our hotels throughout were great and all restaurants aided by pictures and humour were good.Mount Fugi was special for me to see, all in good weather we were so lucky.Hakone next stop was lovely, our hotel was alongside the lake with Fugi in the distance,Hiroshima was a quiet and reflective place, the museum and childrens park were very moving. Kyoto was real Japan, we took Tea in proper kimonos, and later that day we stayed in a Ryokan, a Japanese house. We were served Tea then had an eight course meal, (not sure what we ate) in our kimono of the house, another highlight. All too soon our wonderful holiday had to come to an end.Whoosh, in the bullet train and we were back in Tokyo ready for our flight home, the airline ANA was the best airline I had ever flown with,Japanese of course.Thanks to a great crowd on our bus we did enjoy our holiday.
Review by: Karolyn Giles on 27/08/2017
It was a modern, poetic, sacred, wacky, quirky Japan! A mesmerising, mind boogling experience facilitated by Frances, our upbeat tour manager who paid meticulous attention to all including those with some mobility problems, and our three local guides. Our group thoroughly soaked in our fortnight's tour. Highlights for me were Asimo, Honda's robot, and a free afternoon in Tokyo where I drank Macchi coffee with my face on the cream and where I drove Nissan's virtual cars. Very worthwhile and thoroughly recommended.
Review by: Zielfa B. Malin on 25/09/2017
It is with a protruding bottom lip and a very heavy heart that I return to Blighty from the magical land that is Japan.
For most Japan is a once in a life time destination, I am not a once in a life time kinda gal as this is my second time doing this tour just over a year apart and so this time experiencing the Japanese celebrating the beginning of Autumn and witnessing the gradual changing of colours.
The reason for returning to doing the exact same tour is simple, it’s Japan! It’s a beautiful country peppered with contradictions of exquisite gardens, majestic imposing intricate architecture, tranquil Temples and serene Shrines. Being in and amongst the famous Shibuya crossing with hundreds of people who carefully choreograph their way across multiple roads simultaneously without incident. The abundance of respect, kindness and mindfulness to banks of vending machines peddling a vast variety of instant sustenance and the wide range wizardry of the toilets...enjoy!
Paul was our Tour Manager and what a fantastic Tour Manager he was. Very kind, courteous and professional, constantly going out of his was to help every person on the tour, making each and every one of us feel special. Nothing was too much trouble; he led the group masterfully and with grace. His knowledge was extensive, delivering morsels of information from history, to suggested places to eat, areas to visit, the language, etiquette, to what the plan for the day was - to name but a few. He is the font of all knowledge.
Timing is imperative on a tour and Paul kept his flock together with precision which is essential at times like boarding the Shinkansen (Bullet Train). Most days were moist to say the least for our time in Japan, but Paul was a ray of sunshine each and every day with his humour and light hearted manner. It was an absolute pleasure to have Paul as our Tour Manager and he was a major element in making the holiday absolutely amazing, so much so I need to go back and do it all again.
There is no question that this tour is a busy one, there is a jam packed itinerary, a lot to see and experience and appropriate comfortable footwear is essential due to the amount of walking involved, in addition to clean intact socks as removal of footwear and revealing foot attire is a part of entering some buildings. Not all surfaces are the best and handrails in places to assist you up steps are absent, however saying that I have seen many improvements at the Shrines and Temples in this second visit and things are greatly improving day by day. There is a vast amount of progress under way with the 2020 Olympics looming.
If you get all Shrined out and wish to sit, drink coffee, eat exquisite patisserie creations and watch the world glide by, you can do that too or even venture into a KFC or McMc (McDonalds) if you wish. And as for shopping...now then, there’s a pastime of pure pleasure to be had! You can gracefully stroll down the swanky high end streets in Tokyo taking in the likes of Chanel, Armani, Luis Vuitton and Dior. Additionally, immerse yourself in the underground Mall and undercover labyrinth shopping arcade in Kyoto where you will discover a visual assault of clothes, bags to vintage Kimonos and for a plethora of notions that you never realised you needed and wonder how on earth you have lived without...I give you the 100Yen shops, you can thank me later. You can find these marvellous establishments in Tokyo and Kyoto under the guise of Daiso (in Tokyo), Seria and Can Do in Kyoto.
I strongly recommend going to Japan having ample baggage weight in hand and space in your case. If there is a basement in a Supermarket or Department Store then venture down there, good things happen in lower levels.
7-Eleven, Family Mart and Lawsons are frequently placed and a well-used convenience store for snacks, hot food offerings and little cartons of milk for those who cannot leave the Mother Land without a stock of teabags. Liptons tea is available in larger supermarkets but expect to pay more for less. NB: If requesting a cuppa whilst out then remember to ask for black tea, with cold milk otherwise you will get hot milk and therefore frothy tea, the choice is yours if you wish to go off piste. Green tea is the norm, it is in far more products than you can imagine and a whole different taste for the buds than the noir variety.
Be mindful of the extensive arsenal of beautifully handcrafted chopping apparatus available for garden to culinary options. In the main street approaching the biggest fish market in the world in Tokyo you will come across a few narrow shops packed to the gills with freshly sharpened tools. A kindly fella or two will be wielding said chopping apparatus in a highly skilled fashion against a wet stone to hone your chosen knife to perfection. If you happen to miss this opportunity then worry not, you will find an equally fantastic shop in Kyoto that carries an extensive range and a visual guide in English to help you navigate your way through and choose the right knife for you.
It is said that Mount Fuji only appears to those of a pure heart; the shy lady revealed herself to us in little helpings, keeping us wondering will we see her, will we not? Without wishing to sound all boasty, we saw her in all her glory a number of times and we were all delighted and proudly have photographic evidence to boot. She was even kind enough to show herself on our final night during a clear stunning sunset as we each entered our bedrooms on checking-in at the Tokyo hotel within the airport complex; it was the most incredible vista and perfect crescendo to an amazing holiday.
I have been on many escorted tours with a number of companies and I can say without any question or hesitation that Riviera Travel are the masters of building a comprehensive tour package that enables you to experience an incredible amount within the time, giving extraordinary value for money. I would like to thank Riviera for exceeding holiday expectations, where new memories were made to savour and treasure forever, with the aid of our Tour Manager to which I cannot close without saying a final ‘Arigatou Gozaimasu Paul san’ *45-degree bow*
Review by: Ivanna on 12/10/2017
Although the schedule was pretty intense (for example, I would have liked to have spent more time at Korakuen Garden at Oakayama, and at Nijo Castle), I had an absolutely wonderful time in Japan! What an incredible country! The trip packs in so much, so efficiently, and there was a great variety of experiences, along with a decent amount of free time, especially in the evenings. In addition, all three of the local guides that we had (Ted, Miki and Meg) were super - really knowledgeable, sweet and entertaining - and as for Frances, our Riviera Travel tour guide, what a complete superstar! She was not only organised, but entertaining, caring, warm, kind... Just fab!
Review by: Pippa Maslin on 25/09/2017
We will remember this tour for many years to come, as it gave us a wonderful insight into many aspects of Japanese life and culture in a variety of cities and locations, both city and country- quite simply breathtaking- with so much variety packed in to this very full trip.
Full marks to Riviera for organising the very best that Japan has to offer in a seamless way with no hitches whatsoever, at a very reasonable cost- I researched travel companies extensively before choosing Riviera for our trip and reckoned that they provided the best quality and variety available for the price, and our expectations have been exceeded in this regard.
Our tour manager , Frances, was superb, very professional, and such a friendly person, as were our 3 other local guides during the tour - the entertaining Ted (who had us all in hoots of laughter much of the time!),Meg and Miki.The hotels were all of a very high standard and so well located (absolutely superb in Tokyo and Hiroshima, and very good in Hakone and Kyoto), and the Ryokan experience in Kyoto is a must do- so much fun, and so authentic- the futon was extremely comfortable.We took the optional flower arranging option (ikebana) in a private home- an exceptional experience and a lot of fun!
Our other touring companions were lovely people and the group dynamic enhanced the trip further.Thank you Riviera!
Review by: Nigel & Maretti D'Arcy on 25/09/2017
We have recently returned from the Japan tour: wow, what an experience! 42 people in the party and I believe a first time experience for everyone. Inevitably in a country so culturally different from our own even a two week trip can only give the briefest of insights into its way of life but I imagine 4 nights in Tokyo, 4 nights in Kyoto plus a visit to Hiroshima and a night in Hakone close to Mount Fuji were not a bad starting point for this discovery. Guides were on hand for our time in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto. All were very informative and in the case of ‘Ted’, our Tokyo guide extremely amusing! Michele, our tour manager, was very professional in managing the group and was always available to help and advise as necessary.
With the emphasis of the tour very much on the cultural aspects of Japan there were lots of visits to Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples and Shogun palaces with their superbly crafted gardens. Two journeys were taken on the legendary Shinkansen train: average time delay over a 12 month period 36 seconds – need one say more! As is normal with Riviera we had some free time to ourselves: an afternoon and evening in Tokyo and a full day in Kyoto where there were a variety of Japanese cultural/social activities that could be sampled. A group of us (14 in total) took the opportunity to spend the last night in Kyoto at an authentic Ryokan, Japanese inn. I think all 14 of us agreed it had been the highlight of the trip. A beautiful 8 – course Japanese meal served in our own dining area and with all dressed in traditional Japanese yukata outfits. A comfortable sleep on the floor of your own en-suite room: actually sleeping on a 75mm mattress! A western breakfast was an option for any that might have been flagging on the Japanese food!
With so much more to see in this world maybe a return visit is not that likely but a big thank you to Riviera for such a fascinating introduction.
Review by: Basil Ramsay on 04/09/2017
We would like to comment on our recent trip i.e. land of the rising sun departed 11th April 2017 The whole trip was extremely well organised and excellent value for money. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Maybe a few too many temples and shrines for our taste but appreciate this may have suited others. The hotels were of high quality as were the drivers and guides.
A special mention must be made about Paul our tour guide. He was professional and friendly a real asset to riviera many tour guides could learn a lesson from Paul's easy and unobtrusive manner he is great.
We shall certainly not hesitate in booking with riviera again.
Review by: Dave Beer and Pam Mallabourn on 11/04/2017
...We both thought that the tour was very well organised in often trying circumstances (the crowds of Japanese school children who seemed to follow our group around!). Your guide, Paul, is a wonderful advertisement for Riviera – knowledgeable, resourceful and good company. Nothing fazed him. The local guides – Mika, Mitsue and Junko – are another great asset. And overall the tour itself gave us a fine introduction to Japan.
We had some variable weather and some long days and there were some grumbles among our large group of 45 mostly elderly travellers. If the grumbles reach you, don’t take them too seriously. Certain aspects of the itinerary could be improved, and most of us wished that we had been able to spend longer in Hiroshima and also not to have had to go by coach to Kyoto from Hiroshima (but instead have taken the bullet train again).
But these are quibbles. It is not easy to get a flavour of any country in ten days, but this tour managed to deliver.
Review by: Robin Knight on 10/05/2017
Excellent trip from beginning to end. Our tour guide Paul was outstanding because of his efficient organisation, his relationship with all members of the tour not to mention his detailed knowledge of the cities visited. We have done many tours before but this was the first with Riviera and Paul is the best guide we have ever had. The trip was excellent value for money. Our driver was so helpful and pleasant and his driving was of a very high standard. The local guides were superb
Review by: Pat and David Johnson on 10/05/2017
We have just returned from the japan guided tour. It was FANTASTIC. The sites we saw in many locations were amazing. We were in a group of just over 40 people and our tour manager was Frances. She was always call and helpful. Our guides Ted and Meg were outstanding, and talked with fact and humour. Thoroughly recommended
Review by: Peter and Lynn Shepherd on 04/05/2017
Just got back last night from an absolutely amazing tour of Japan. We need another holiday. Totally action packed encompassing much of what Japan's diversity has to offer. The meticulous planning from Riviera complimented the Japan way of life. The three local guides were all excellent. Mitsue and Jonko overall humorous, informative and gave a great insight into Japanese home life and culture. Our favourite was Mika who smiled and laughed her way through relentless knowledge sharing. Paul the Riviera representative was a credit to the company again ensuring everything ran like clockwork. One last thank you to the rest of the group who through punctuality, humour and willingness to partake ensured a great time for all. This was our 6th Riviera tour, it was amazing and we will be returning, definitely to Riviera and hopefully one day to Japan.
Review by: Martin and Penny Jones on 10/05/2017
My wife and I with our friends had a fantastic holiday in Japan .The memory of this tour will be with us for ever.We were looked after so well and according to all of us the credit must go to Frances our tour guide.She was the best we have ever seen.She was pleasant efficient and went out of her way to make our holiday a pleasure.
Review by: Dr.N.Subash on 04/05/2017
We had a great tour in Japan, thanks to our wonderful tour manager Frances and the team of local guides, especially Ted and our driver Suzuki who were all always smiling. The tour group were pretty tired by the end of the tour but it was worth the trip to experience such a different culture and see so many sights. I think we have a lot to learn from the Japanese, they are SO courteous and helpful. Do go to Japan if you can!
Review by: Rose Windler & Graham Walker on 04/05/2017
We just came back from this tour to Japan. Our leader was Frances who was brilliant, organised and with a great sense of humour. We had local guides who were very good especially Fumiko and Meg. The tour worked like clockwork with really good, well-situated hotels and a wide range of places visited. We will have done seven tours with Riviera by the end of the year and, so far, this has been the best.
Review by: John & Patricia O'Brien on 04/05/2017
We returned two weeks ago from a fabulous tour of Japan. We were impressed from the start at how well organised it all was from start to finish. In particular our tour manager Paul was excellent in the way he was always so efficient in every way - not easy with a large group- gave good advice and encouragement to people to try new things. He also had a great sense of humour. We have been on several tours with Riviera, including Europe, India and a River Cruise and will be booking with Riviera again soon. Thanks again.
Review by: Margaret and Frank Stoner on 11/04/2017
We have just returned from the Land of the Rising Sun Tour. It was stunning. We were lucky enough to see Mt Fuji in brilliant sunshine surrounded by snow and the Cherry Blossom festival began just a few days after we arrived. Your tour manager, Michelle was amazing and went the extra mile to make sure we knew where we could find restaurants, explaining the metro system (which is really easy) and ensuring that we had no problems. Thanks you Michelle. A truly joyful experience. Sue & Chris
Review by: Susan Wilson on 30/03/2017
What a superb trip to Japan I have just experienced. Paul, our tour manager, was amazing, making sure that all 44 of his "brood" were happy and also that he imparted so much information to us all. The first three hotels were excellent, but the following two went slightly down market, but were still very nice. Paul advised us on restaurants, on how to negotiate the train after we were left in Giza to explore the area. I , a single lady, was fortunate to be able to go places with three other single ladies and we had a marvellous time. Thank you, Riviera Travel.
Review by: Margaret Burns on 11/04/2017
A truly fabulous holiday! Every moment filled. I doubt any trip of this length could have shown us more. We were fortunate in having Paul as our tour manager. His knowledge was encyclopaedic , and he gave his free time to show additional sights. (one of the most practical being to take us to the metro station we would be using on our own and showing us which exit to look for) All the local guides were excellent, and waiting for us when we arrived in a new destination, ensuring that our rather large group of 44 were always safe, and in the right place at the right time.
It was quite tiring, but I had expected it to be.
Review by: Caroline Lyons on 20/03/2017
We have just returned from our holiday in Japan, and what a wonderful time we had. Michelle met us at Heathrow and looked after us all splendidly, she kept us all well informed, ready on time and happy, with a great sense of humour which with a group of our size must have taken some doing. The local guides were all excellent, but we were fortunate to have Tedsan as our guide in Tokyo right through until he saw us off on the Shinkansen, such a lovely funny man, his videos, info sheets and other visual aids were all really helpful.
We were lucky that the Sakura (cherry blossoms) came into their best to coincide with our trip and the sunshine on the trips to the Nikko National Park (with snow) and on the day we went to see Fujisan, really made those days sparkle.
I can recommend the Ryokan stay in Kyoto, a unique and lovely experience. All in all a jolly good vacation. Thanks to all at Rivera who made it so.
Review by: Lyn Barrow on 30/03/2017
Thank you very much for a well organised holiday of a lifetime. Carol and I are not seasoned travellers but have always had an interest in visiting Japan. Our visit exceeded our expectations. Paul the tour manager was extremely helpful, amusing and was at all times conscious of the needs and safety of the group. Our three couriers, all Japanese ladies, Mika, Miki and Junko were a dream all of them had differing personalities but extensive knowledge of their country and its history. A special treat was when Junko presented each of us with our name in Kangi Script on Japanese paper, totally unexpected and unsolicited. Our visit to Mount Fuji was amazing and the atmosphere at Hiroshima moving. The honesty and helpfulness of the Japanese people in spite of the language barrier was very humbling as was the cleanliness of their entire country. Thank you!
Review by: Keith & Carol Little on 11/06/2016
This was a very organised and enjoyable tour, which exceeded all expectations! Every detail was taken care of by our excellent Tour Guide, Michele, who was very informative and helpful. The holiday was a fantastic experience, incorporating all the important sights in Tokyo, Hakone, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Nara, each accompanied by a local Japanese guide. We also had the chance to dine out independently, giving us first-hand experience of Japanese cuisine and etiquette. A special thanks to Michele for a memorable holiday.
Review by: Helen Graham on 11/06/2016
Just back from Japan where we had an incredible, if tiring, holiday, seeing this amazing country in the space of a very short time thanks to the indefatigable Michele whose attention to detail and quiet efficiency made all the difference. This is our third trip with Riviera and it won’t be our last.
Review by: John and Loretta de Lange on 13/06/2016
Our first time on a tour and were not disappointed, very well organised with an extensive and interesting programme. Our tour manager Paul O`Connor was excellent, both amusing and informative, with loads of help and advice for us if we needed it, we were a small group and Paul catered for our needs accordingly, which was brilliant. All in all a great holiday experience.
Review by: Mary & Graham Jones on 09/07/2016
Fabulous tour. Really gives you a good look at Japan, both modern and traditional. Highlights for me were the bullet train trips ( trains CAN run on time !) and feeding the deer at Nara. Derek the Riviera guide and all the local guides were excellent and the Japanese are extremely polite and willing to help with directions etc.
Review by: Paul Bosomworth on 19/09/2016
Excellent organisation. Brilliant Tour Manager - thank you, Paul. Good hotels. Local guides all excellent and informative.
Gained a very interesting introduction to this fascinating country, to its people and its culture.
Review by: Susan Squire on 08/10/2016
Excellent insight to Japan. Paul, our tour manager, was great fun and organised everything in a professional and timely manner in keeping with Japan. Local guides were helpful, friendly and informative. 10/10
Review by: Nigel and Sandra on 08/10/2016
We recently returned from the Riviera’s Land of the rising sun tour and it was a wonderful experience. The tour was very well planned and made the best and most efficient use of our time taking us to the key sights and places of interests. We were accompanied by local guides who were warm and friendly. Their narrative was very informative and included elements of history, culture, language and humour which served to enhance our visits. Our tour manager was the inimitable Paul who made everything run smoothly, adding to the narrative with even more humour! He ensured we were fully prepared for our free time indicating options for dining out and places to visit in the evenings. He was a real star. The night spent in the Ryokan, the traditional Japanese inn, in the historical Ginza district of Kyoto, was unmissable, as was our opportunity visit to a private home for a tea ceremony.
We had travelled with Riviera before and had been satisfied with their holidays. Naturally, when choosing a holiday in Japan, we considered a number of options. Rivera appeared to offer excellent value for money. Our experience told us that we had had a perfect introduction to Japan at a very competitive price. We would wholeheartedly recommend this tour.
Review by: Nicki and Simon Jefferis on 19/10/2016
We have had a truly wonderful experience in Japan! The people are friendly and welcoming, the locations spectacular and the food delicious.
The Riviera experience packed a lot into a relatively short space of time but whetted our appetite for more. The holiday was enhanced by our tour guide, Francis, who ensured we were organised and had a lot of fun. Also have to mention our local guides Ted, Miki and Meg who were very knowledgeable and great comedians! Would love to return one day.
Review by: Robert Taylor on 21/10/2016
We have just come back from a most enjoyable trip to Japan. Our tour manager, Paul, was so helpful, calm, courteous and humourous. Local guides, Ted, Remy and Meg were so informative. A great time and thank you to everyone on the coach too, lovely people, and hope you all had safe journeys home and recovering from jet lag!
Review by: Gillard T and H on 01/11/2016