Earlier this month two of our specialist cruise consultants set off for a once in a lifetime adventure. They’d booked themselves onto one of our incredible Bucket List Cruises going to Japan to see the snow monkeys!
It soon appeared that there were 3 different things that stood out for both of them on this trip; the amazing natural sites, the incredible sense of tradition & history and the mind boggling futuristic cities.
Read on to find out exactly what they thought and if this once in a lifetime trip could be for you…
The Natural Sights
When a lot of people think of Japan they imagine the pink cherry tree blossoms and impressive heights of mount Fuji, so what was it like to see these outstanding areas of beauty?
Mount Fuji was, according to Holly: “A sight for sore eyes, and we were so lucky to have a view with virtually clear skies!”
And what did they think of their trip on the replica pirate boat on Lake Ashi?
Holly said: “Calm and serene like, the scenery here is as stunning as the Norwegian Fjords or the Milford Sound In New Zealand. Totally Breath-taking.”
Charlie had to agree: “The trip on the boat was a refreshing change to the norm as I found a quiet area and just sat soaking up the local scenery. There was quite a strong breeze so Holly and I chose to enjoy a Jack & Rose moment at the front of the ship.”
The Snow Monkeys
The reason this Bucket List package was so popular was simple, the snow monkeys! So what did they think of meeting the cheeky, curious creatures?
Holly told us about her trip to see them: “The scenery on the trek is absolutely stunning and a really lovely walk.” She also videoed her experience meeting the critters in question which you can watch now!
The Traditions & History
The City Of Kyoto
Charlie told us what he thought about Kyoto: “Kyoto is described as a “Fascinating old city with modern day trimmings, Kyoto was the imperial capital for over a millennium and much celebrated for it.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. The city is home to several famous temples and shrines that are dedicated to ancient deities but cruise.co.uk have picked the crème de le crème.”
Holly thought it was an equally magical sight! “We were first taken to Nijo Castle then the Kyoto Imperial Palace and finally Kiyomizu Temple. Kyoto itself was the imperial capital for over a millennium and much celebrated for it. Thought of as Japan’s most beautiful city, with an elegant and unsurpassed dignity, Kyoto’s ultra-rich cultural heritage consists of an exquisite collection of majestic palaces and beautiful temples, and shrines dedicated to ancient deities all set in peaceful pockets of the city”
The Traditional Dinner
The tour also included a traditional Japanese dinner where guests dressed up in traditional clothing and ate a range of local cuisine. So what did our specialist cruise consultants think of it?
Charlie said: “A traditional Japanese banquet was served in the restaurant next door to the hotel. Upon arrival, everybody was requested to remove their shoes. This was a great experience and the food was divine.”
The Geisha District
An added extra was a quick visit to the Geisha district! Holly told us: “We also visited the Geisha district where you will find many Japanese girls dressed up, they hire the costumes for around £37 and you will see them walking around the city. It a great way to see how they lived little wooden houses in little narrow streets and to see how they dress.”
Moving on from the traditions and culture of Japan, the thing that struck our specialist cruise consultants was the awe inspiring technology and futurist features of Japan! So which highlights stood out for them?
The Bullet Train
For Charlie it was the bullet train: “The trip from Osaka to Lake Ashi on the bullet train was incredible. The speed is phenomenal and certainly puts our transport system to shame! I was in awe with the speed and size of these mega structures. They whizzed by every few minutes yet the locals took this swanky form of transport for granted. It truly puts our National Rail organization to shame….in comparison the Bullet Train looks like a prop from a Star Wars set!!
Holly had to agree: “I wasn’t expecting it to be so big. It was huge and airy inside with plenty of space to move around. It was much bigger than the trains in the UK! Even the station was spotless huge bright and airy too.”
A city known for its frenetic energy and fast paced living, what did Tokyo have to offer our wide eyed cruise consultants?
Holly said it blew her away: “It has the bright lights, sky scrapers and a train system only for the faint hearted. It reminded me a little of New York… But it’s so much more intense!”
And Charlie couldn’t get enough of it either! “Tokyo, a magical city that never sleeps. In the daytime there are an abundance of places to visit; Tokyo Tower, Meiji Jingu Shrine and Ueno Zoo where you’ll find the giant pandas being firm favourites. During the evening, the bright neon lights complete with street vendors galore and the continuous ringing of arcade machines make for an unforgettable experience. This is my fourth time in Tokyo and it certainly won’t be the last.”
Did you know? Even some of the buses have Wi-Fi in Japan! Holly told us that there was: “Wi-Fi on board the bus so we could let family and friends know we had landed safely.” Sounds handy to us!
Even the toilets were out of this world! Holly explained: “Now in Japan you will notice the toilets are an experience in themselves. They allow you to wash whilst seated all areas with little buttons to offer you the choice to wash front and back. I had to try it and although refreshing the water was a little too warm. You will find that this experience is offered in every bathroom in Japan, some toilets even allow you to choose music to listen too!”
Watch the whole adventure below!
So what do you think? Is this a trip you’d ever consider? Are you one of our lucky passengers who’s been already? Let us know in the comments below!