The JR Pass is a special pass available only to those entering Japan on a tourist visa. It allows for unlimited travel around Japan on JR lines usually at a price much less than purchasing individual tickets.
Japan Travel Centre offers a huge selection of cheap flights to Japan. We have direct contracts with many major airlines such as KLM Royal Dutch Airline, Air France, ANA, Japan Airlines, Alitalia, Emirates and many more. Compare and book your flight in order to get our best deal!
First of all, I wanted to thank you Wakako of the JTC in Fukuoka assisted us throughout the planning and booking of this trip. Wakako 'held' our hands and offered many invaluable advice. I communicated with Wakako through emails. She typically answered my questions (which were many) within 24 hours. Working with her made me feel welcome to Japan before I arrived to Japan!
This was a special vacation for 4 of us - 2 of us traveled from the US and 2 from the UK. Before we contacted JTC, we used its website to find the accommodations we were considering and then further evaluated them by using other resources such as TripAdvisor and tourist guide books. JTC website is definitely a very valuable resource in researching itinerary and accommodations. We booked the accommodations, bus pass and rail pass through JTC. Wakako figured out all of the transportation needs for us once we decided our itinerary. The accommodations we selected were mostly 4 stars with one or two were 3.5 stars. We generally like all of them; I have to specially mention Ryokan Sanga where we spent 3 nights to enjoy the onsen town. Not only Sanga offered very hospitable services and enjoyable onsen, their food (breakfast and dinner) were all delicious! I was sad to leave Sanga after our 3 days stay. Every staff we met from Sanga were very nice, truly made you feel home away from home. That could also say to many people we met during our vacation in Kyushu and some other smaller towns/villages. Wakako is a shining example - they go out of their way to help you when they can. When an moderately big earthquake occurred in the northern part of the Western Chugoku, Wakako called to let us know she already checked with Ryokan Kurashiki to make sure that the earthquake didn't cause damage to Kurashiki and we could proceed our journey as planned. She called us while she's off work in the weekend. This is truly a 'first class' customer service!
Another favorable experience is the Japanese food! I can't imagine the variety of Japanese food until I traveled there. As long as one keeps an open mind to try, one could find plenty of pleasant surprises with Japanese food. I never had a bad meal while I was in Japan. The only problem is that I now find many Japanese food where I live in the US are over-rated and overpriced.
During our vacation in Japan, we typically packed our day with activities being a tourist - shopping, food and museum in Fukuoka, Takachiho gorge, Kurokawa onsens, Hiroshima peace museum, Miyajima Torri gate & the Itsukushima Shine, the Korakuen Garden, Himeji Castle, Koya-san and the Okunoin cemetery, and finally more shopping and eating in Osaka to wrap up our journey in Japan. The cultural experience we had over these 17 days in Japan is almost overwhelmed - we all truly had a great time! And we all want to be back to Japan, hopefully soon.