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.
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We had a wonderful time! A slight issue was the weather. It rained throughout and we became expert umbrella carriers! but I think because of the cooler weather there was still blossom everywhere, and also fewer tourists, which were unexpected bonuses.
Other main feedback is that I was so impressed with the standard of food everywhere, had no idea it was going to be that good. And am finding I am really missing that quality now we are back in the UK. the exchange rate was very much in our favour so really nowhere near as expensive as I had expected.
The Ghibli museum was a major highlight of our trip - it's a beautiful building and the experience of being there is very rewarding. Again thank you so much for getting us tickets - how did you do it!!.
The Nara ryokan was lovely - the food was absolutely delicious thought the menu did not have any translation so I have no idea about some of what I ate! The service was also excellent. It was good being there on the weekend with the park full of Japanese people and not just tourists.
Temple lodging experience was interesting and rewarding though we unfortunately arrived a little late in the evening. I had underestimated how long to travel from Nara. It was great to be there at the 1200th anniversary - there are a lot of extra events happening and we witnessed a few ceremonies in the morning which were interesting.
I probably needed to do more research on the train connections before leaving. The advice we got on the ground was super helpful but sometimes inaccurate so we got a bit lost going to Koyasan.
Of general interest was the sense that manga and anime is more respected outside Japan than inside. The Anime centre in Tokyo was two small rooms and not really worth the visit to Electric City. On the other hand, The Manga Museum in Kyoto was a gem for my daughter. A gem for me was the Raku tea bowl Musuem.
We enjoyed ourselves so much we have decided to go back in three years time!
Thank you for everything you did to make our trip so special - you both spent a lot of time I feel and I do really appreciate your efforts.