Winter Wonders Tour 2020
I wish to thank Craig for his Winter Wonders Tour 2020. Visiting the Ice and Snow Festival in Sapporo has long been on my bucket list and doing this tour had the added attraction of visiting many 'off the beaten tourist track' towns and villages along the way. Some of the many highlights included the Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen Gardens, the less visited Unesco Heritage listed villages Ainokura and Suganuma, snow monkeys (although there was no snow), an overnight stay in a ryokan complimented by wearing a yukata and enjoying a traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast before going north to experience Hakodate and eating the wonderful seafood and then onto Sapporo for the festival. The itinerary included all the 'must see and must do' experiences and there was spare time to pursue your own interests. As Craig lived in Japan and speaks the language fluently, I was immersed in the Japanese life, both past and present. I am a tour guide and am well aware of the challenges that can occur and I found Craig to be easy going, patient and well organised. His knowledge of Japan is extensive and his personal humorous stories add to the experience. I would have no hesitation in recommending A&C Tours when visiting Japan.
Cathryn Gasparini (Coober Pedy, Australia)
Private Autumn Tour 2019 (November)
We wanted to thank you again Craig for such a wonderful trip and experience. You showed us the beautiful, the fun and the tasty! We are truly looking forward to another trip to see even more of Japan.
We received a nice card from Diana and Pat and I wanted to pass along some of their kind words.
“What a wonderful trip we had! We did a lot but it was just right. The choice of Craig for our tour guide was genius, he was fantastic for us – kind, patient, and with a great sense of humor too!"
Gretchen Cilley (USA)
Classic Japan Tour 2019 (September)
I’ve recently returned from my holiday to Japan with Craig of A&C Tours Japan. It was an incredible trip that encompassed all aspects of the country. I had so many wonderful experiences, saw countless amazing places, learnt a lot about Japan’s fascinating history and culture, and laughed endlessly! Japan is like nowhere else I’ve ever been, and thank goodness I had Craig to guide me through its unique and intriguing way of life, not to mention the complexity of the trains! Craig made it all seem easy with his effortless ability to navigate anywhere, his depth of understanding of Japan’s culture, and his native-like fluency in the Japanese language. He even deciphered a washing machine so I could use it! Craig was generous with his knowledge and flexible in adapting the itinerary when it became necessary. I went on the September Classic Tour combined with a short private tour, and I enjoyed a diverse range of fantastic experiences, the highlight of which was a day trip to Mt Fuji with a traditional lunch at the magnificent restaurant, Sanrokuen. There were many other memorable places, including Hokkaido, Matsushima, and Hiroshima. My amazing trip to Japan will stay in my memory forever!
Toni Tanner (Australia)
Private Summer Tour 2019 (August)
My husband and I have travelled to Japan to ski but wanted to get off the tourist trail and up to Hokkaido. Right from our initial contact with Craig from A&C Tours Japan we were impressed with his prompt responses to our enquires. He thoroughly researched the areas we wanted to visit and tailored an itinerary covering more than we had envisaged. Hotels were great, we saw historic sites that weren’t overcrowded, we trekked to a volcano, we experienced local festivals, and with Craig’s knowledge he explained the cultural significance. Of festivals the Nebuta Festival in Aomori with the incredible floats, the drumming, the flutes was amazing and a real highlight of our tour. Craig being fluent in speaking and reading Japanese not only made things easier for us but often a smile to see the reaction when this tall Australian communicated so fluently. Thanks Craig and A&C Tours Japan for making our trip so memorable!
Julie Keen (Australia)
Classic Japan Tour 2019 (May/June)
We recently returned from the May/June Classic Japan Tour. We had never done the guided tour option before but wanted the opportunity of enjoying Japan without stressing over the intricacies of rail travel, language barriers, choosing accommodation close to train stations etc. (Thank you Craig for providing us with exactly that! ) Craig was always on time for pick up times, had all our necessary train passes and reserved seats organized, shared info on all sites we visited as well as sharing all his extra personal experiences. Craig even advised us on which side of all modes of transport to sit on to gain the best views. Added value is that Craig speaks fluent Japanese and is 6ft 4 in tall! Never underestimate his height value in crowded Tokyo subways! No coloured flags or umbrellas needed for our tour! In summary, with only one other couple on our tour, it was a highly personalized, insightful, informative, comprehensive, fun, and full of good humour tour and we would not hesitate to recommend!
Leanne Foale (Australia)
I had no expectations heading into this tour but all I can say is thanks Craig... you made our experience personalized and fun. Your professionalism and personality plus your wealth of knowledge of the Japanese culture and language made our trip most memorable. Definitely could not nor would we have wanted to do our trip of Japan any other way!
Lisa Schaefer (Australia)
Spring Sakura Tour 2019
The Spring Sakura Tour in April was spectacular. I could not have asked for a more perfect vacation. The beautiful cherry blossoms, the temples and shrines and the incredible scenery as we traveled North through Japan was unsurpassed by anything I have ever seen. The trains and cleanliness and sensitivity to all people is so impressive. Craig was a fantastic tour guide! His planning and preparation was impeccable! He is very knowledgeable, speaks fluent Japanese and makes the trip interesting, stress free, and lots of fun! As we toured each city we learned so much about the history, the food, the culture and the customs of Japan. I highly recommend A&C Tours Japan!
Lisa Edelblute (USA)
The two week spring Sakura tour was all that was advertised and much much more. Craig’s planning and Japanese expertise - both language and culture - insured a most memorable trip. Traveling by train was a great experience. Each day had highlights - cherry tree blossoms, festivals, temples, shrines, and natural beauty of the mountains. I enjoyed the balance of large cities (Tokyo and Kyoto) and smaller towns. I highly recommend A&C Tours Japan.
Jann Slayton (USA)
Private Autumn Tour 2018 (November)
My wife and I together with another couple of friends traveled with Craig for the first time to Japan, early November 2018 for a 14-day trip. We chose Craig after extensive research of tour operators and guides in light of our good impression of the good cooperation and the quick responses to our questions. Craig helped us a lot in planning the trip about 4 months in advance, choosing sites and recommendations on how to get to and from place to place. Craig chose and booked the hotels according to our requirements and according to the criteria we defined. Our trip was complex and included: Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, Himeji Castle, Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa, Gokayama, Shirakawago, Takayama, Mt. Fuji, Hakone (ryokan stay), Tokyo, Nikko, and Mt. Takao. At the beginning of the trip, Craig met us at the Osaka airport and from that moment on he was with us all the time until we reached the Tokyo airport on our way home. Craig came to the hotel every day five minutes before the scheduled time and stayed with us until the end of the day of the trip when we arrived at our hotel.
Craig organized and booked the trips efficiently and optimally from city to city by train, and took us by car in places where it was difficult to get to by train (mountain areas and Mount Fuji). In the cities, Craig organized trips from site to site by public transport and entrance tickets in an efficient and effective way that enabled us to visit many sites and make optimal use of time. From the train stations to the hotels, we took taxis so that we did not have to carry suitcases on public transport.
During the entire trip Craig was very courteous and pleasant, responding to our requests with a smile and joy, he explained, guided, and turned the complex trip into a very enjoyable experience. Throughout the trip we had no mishaps or wasted time due to poor planning or lack of planning. Craig's help and assistance was essential to carrying out the whole complex and fascinating program we did. I would like to thank Craig on behalf of all of us for the successful and enjoyable trip. We will be happy to answer any questions and give a personal recommendation if necessary.
Lior Barkan (Israel)
Island Hopper Tour 2018
Thanks for everything Craig! We really enjoyed our Island Hopper tour. Great intro to Japan and you made it so easy!
Vicki and Bill Prince (Australia)
Classic Japan Tour 2018 (May/June)
Thanks for a fantastic tour of classic Japan Craig! I don't think we could have made it around Japan without your guidance and knowledge of the train system. Your recommendations for restaurants and eateries were spot on, and your uncanny ability to arrive in a new city just in time for a festival or for the clouds to lift and reveal Mt. Fuji was amazing. Without your knowledge we would have been sitting on the wrong side of the train or boat to get the best view.
Craig was excellent to deal with prior to our departure and was very responsive to any questions we had. On our arrival in Sapporo Craig was waiting to greet us and take us to our hotel even though he had to return to the airport to greet another tour member. We would thoroughly recommend A&C Tours Japan!
Robert & Irene Mansell (Australia)
Thank you so much for a fantastic tour Craig! Your good humour, patience, and knowledge made travelling around Japan fun and stress free. Your inside knowledge of the best way to view many places of interest gave us a huge advantage over all the other tourists. I had so much fun and laughter on this trip and couldn't have had a better time! You rock Craig! Five Stars!
Ann McGarvie (Australia)
Private Spring Tour 2018 (April)
Thanks Craig for a wonderful and incredible round trip in Japan!
Our private tour was fantastic and really well organized from the early stages. We were unsure about what areas to visit, the best way to travel, where to stay, and what to do in the short time we had to explore Japan. Craig recommended an itinerary tailored to our needs and created the best trip for us in the time we had. We saw must-see tourist spots as well as delightful little out of the way places that we would never have found on our own. We enjoyed all the delicious Japanese dishes thanks to him and his knowledge of tasty restaurants. Our highlight was definitely Mt Fuji and the surrounding area. We were so lucky to see the cherry blossoms even though we didn’t expect to see any as the cherry blossom season was almost over. Thanks again Craig for a wonderful and unforgettable trip!
Julia Hensler (Germany)
Winter Wonders Tour 2018
It was a wonderful experience travelling to the northern island of Hokkaido to visit the Sapporo Snow Festival and Ice Sculptures. The ice sculptures were amazing, as was seeing snow right to the edge of the ocean as we travelled by Shinkansen (bullet train). The whole trip was an amazing look at modern and traditional Japan. There were many highlights of the tour for me. I loved the ice sculptures at Sapporo, the historic star shaped fort at Hakodate and night views from Mount Hakodate, visiting the snow monkeys in Nagano Prefecture where we stayed at a traditional hot spring inn, and enjoying traditional Japanese food. The highlight from Tokyo was visiting the grounds of the Imperial Palace, the Ueno Zoo, and overlooking the city of Tokyo from the Tokyo Skytree. What an enormous city. Craig was an excellent guide who speaks fluent Japanese and has a great knowledge of Japan and their customs. He made it so easy and a very pleasant and enjoyable holiday. I highly recommend him.
Gail Hovell (Australia)
Shades of Autumn Tour 2017
The Shades of Autumn Tour 2017 was the best group tour I have ever been on. We saw beautiful autumn leaves in some amazing places. We also were able to eat everything on our list. Craig even took us out at night to make sure we found the exact restaurant we were looking for. He was very helpful and nothing was ever a problem for him. I was 100% satisfied with everything on the tour and would highly recommend it.
Julian Tobin (Australia)
I went on the Shades of Autumn Tour 2017, and had an absolutely wonderful time! The timing of this tour was perfect. The temperature was comfortable, and wherever we went the autumn leaves were in full colour. Craig was very friendly and took great care of us. He was very easy to get along with and went out of his way to make sure we were always happy. Unlike other group tours I have been on, this tour was very personal and friendly. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to enjoy beautiful autumn foliage in Japan on a friendly small group tour.
Dorothy Chapman (Australia)
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