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Shogun Trail JS

Visiting: Japan
Trip Duration 13 Days

Reviews for Shogun Trail

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

Trip notes

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We have the following different versions of the Shogun Trail trip available at present.

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Shogun Trail reviews verified by Reevoo

34 reviews

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Shogun TrailScores 8.8 out of 10 based on 34 reviews
(10 out of 10)

David (aka Hugh)

Too many highlights to list. As usual, we needed more time at the main venues because Japan is such an interesting, safe, friendly country - and awesome in the cities while gentle in the country. I will go back again, probably to stay with a fine fellow I met at a Jazz Club soon after arriving who was so interesting and amusing. Our Tour Leader was exceptional. His love for Japan shines through. It is important for people to take the trouble learn some basic Japanese; even use the word for Yes that is delivered exhuberantly and sounds like Hi!
Confirmed traveller: 06 May 2016
Published on: 13 May 2016
(9 out of 10)


This was a busy, well paced trip. Our excellent tour leader, Mark, ensured that we got the most out of our time in Japan, including an understanding of the local etiquette. His restaurant recommendations allowed us to experience a great range of different Japanese food. Apart from using bullet trains it was a good to sample public transport in cities. Visiting Kyoto was one of the highlights of the trip, even though some of the better known temples were busy. Staying at a royokan, particularly on Hirado, was also an experience not to be missed.
Confirmed traveller: 29 April 2016
Published on: 09 May 2016
(9 out of 10)


Great variety-both natural beauty and historical aspects together with a whole new cultural experience-would have liked more time to explore the islands but hard to see how we could fit in anymore
Confirmed traveller: 22 April 2016
Published on: 11 May 2016
(9 out of 10)


The tour leader was excellent - knowledgeable, flexible and and kept us on track.

Both the local guides in Kyoto and Hirado were poor however. It would be better to brief the tour leader so he can deliver these sections.

Highlights were the Maiko tea ceremony and dance, temples in Kyoto and ryokan on Hirado.
Confirmed traveller: 15 April 2016
Published on: 17 April 2016
(10 out of 10)


This is a fantastic tour with a wide variety of experiences. Japan is a beautiful country and cherry blossom season a great time to visit. Accommodation was great and food superb. We saw and experienced so much, it was wonderful. So much better than I had imagined and as antacids Explorer I expected a lot. It surpassed my imaginings. Mark Rawlins is the very best of guides, always prepared to go the extra mile with a truly emphatic personality. He speaks fluent Japanese and gave us so much additional information, humour and respect. I would definitely recommend this tour.
Confirmed traveller: 09 April 2016
Published on: 21 April 2016
(10 out of 10)


The trip was fantastic, I wouldn't change a thing. I particularly enjoyed:
Kamakura with the walk and visit to the seaside.
Hakone National Park with a view of Mt Fuji.
Riding on the bullet train.
The visit to the okiya and meeting the maiko. Fabulous!
Walking through the towering bamboo forest.
Staying at the ryokans and having the hot spring baths. Soothing.
Winding down the pace and staying in Hirado island.
Going to my first baseball game - in Japan!
Eating in such well chosen places that offered something extra. Delicious!
The variety of transport, bullet trains, trams, subway, buses, boats and taxis.
The opportunities to walk the Shogun trail.

I must give our tour leader a special mention. His love for Japan, its language and its culture was clear, his fluent Japanese is an obvious benefit for this type of tour and it benefitted the group too. This was highlighted when most of the group wanted to buy a Yukata and he endevoured to find a shop that sold them, and yes we were successful in finding them. When I blew my adapter socket the tour leader found me one. When wake up calls were needed they were arranged. When out with the group the tour leader gave clear instructions on where we were going and how we were getting there. Also our tour leader was knowledgeable not only about the temples, shrines and sights but also informative about the Japanese culture.
He was always polite, kind, helpful, friendly and professional.

Thank you Explore, you should be proud.
Confirmed traveller: 08 April 2016
Published on: 27 April 2016
(10 out of 10)


West Wickham
A fantastic experience. The trip gives you a chance to see different aspects of the country -from the incredible bustle of the big cities to the tranquility of the rural setting. The Japanese people are very polite and considerate. I loved how the all came out and waved you goodbye until you couldn't see them any more wherever this was possible. The food is amazing with a variety and range which I did not realise existed. Our great tour leader made sure we experienced this. He was superb in every way; always cheerful and professional, always making sure we know exactly what we were doing, where we were were and how to get to and from places on our own. He went way above his expected time and duties and his knowledge was exceptional. Easter is a great time to go because of the cherry blossom, but it means that there are more Japanese visitors travelling and the weather can be cooler in places. There are also more steps than I have ever experienced in any other country so be prepared!
Do go, you'll love it.
Confirmed traveller: 08 April 2016
Published on: 22 April 2016
(10 out of 10)


Excellent. Loved everything. Mark was great. Kind, organised, flexible. Choice of restaurants great. Couldn't do enough for us. Japan was a revelation. Perhaps extend by a day and have more free time in Tokyo.
Confirmed traveller: 08 April 2016
Published on: 12 April 2016
(8 out of 10)


A hectic schedule, ably facilitated by excellent Leader, fluent in Japanese. 16 people on trip, which is the maximum for comfort/logistics. Highlights - seeing Mount Fuji in crisp sunshine in all her snow-capped glory, ryokan in Hirado with stunning sea-view over the 99 islands area, the onsen (thermal bathing) experience, visiting a tea plantation, and lunch with a local family. Lots more - the strangeness of Tokyo (barely 48 hours here only allows a tiny insight into a huge city), the temples and gardens of Kyoto, reflecting in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and noting the different "feel" of Nagasaki; the Shinkansen (bullet train) and many other modes of transport, including cable cars, subway, local trains, taxis, trams, minbus, lake and river trips, sea ferry. Wonderful to experience the language, the food (very varied, great if you like fish/seafood and noodles). Good organisation and flexibility allowed the group to see and experience an incredible amount in just 12 nights. Travel light, and take a decent rucksack for the "light luggage only" stays in ryokans. Comfortable walking shoes a must, useful if they're slip-on, as you'll be taking shoes off frequently, to enter temples/ryokan. Decent wifi available in most city hotels, but not in ryokan, although Leader has a mobile link for emergencies.
Confirmed traveller: 25 March 2016
Published on: 16 April 2016
(8 out of 10)


We would have paid extra for an "extra star" hotel particularly in Nagasaki. Highlights- different food experiences, varied itinerary and Hirado.
Confirmed traveller: 25 March 2016
Published on: 28 March 2016