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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed September 2018
    Philip Langley

    A great trip

    A really enjoyable first experience of Japan. Cities, mountains, transport, food & culture all there.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably reaching the summit of Fuji but the Mt Yari hike was more beautiful. Bit unlucky with the weather on Yari.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mayuko is an exceptional leader. She is all the things you would expect from an exodus tour leader; well organised, patient, knowledgeable and in charge of the group and the plan. Mayuko offers a lot more than that though. She developed a real rapport with everyone in the group, she is engaging, funny and opened a real window onto Japanese life. A gem.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Practice using chopsticks before you go! Luggage with wheels is very useful. Be prepared for rain. The Mount Fuji jut is overcrowded and smelly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Japan exceeded my expectations. Customer service is very good as is the food.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Joseff Rees

    What a trip!!!

    What a trip! This was my first Exodus holiday and it was brilliant from beginning to end! Meeting like-minded people in a group who had an excellent guide in Kenji I could not have asked for a better first time in Asia. The places, food, people and experiences were fantastic. Japan has literally something to offer everyone from futuristic city skyscrapers in Tokyo to the silent sacred temples and gardens of Kyoto to the peaks of Mount's Yari and Fuji. I cannot wait for my next Exodus holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Brilliant throughout - hard to pick a highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kenji was brilliant throughout and Tomo the mountain was great during the Alps section of the trip. Both went above and beyond to make the trip a memorable experience for all. Kenji arranged anything we asked for and gave suggestions throughout - both were clearly individuals who loved their jobs and country and wanted us to see the best Japan had to offer.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace every part of Japanese culture from the food to the Onsens!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip throughout.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Mark Billington

    My best adventure to date

    From start to finish this trip was fantastic, we packed so much into the time we had in Japan and our tour guide Mayuko had everything so well organised the holiday ran like a dream.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summiting Mt Fuji for sunrise without a doubt, although we didn't see a sunrise we did a 5k crater walk which gave stunning views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mayuko was an outstanding group leader, always helpful and attentive, she went above and beyond to ensure our climb up Mt Fuji went ahead after a typhoon curtailed our intended day of ascent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are plenty of opportunities to wash on the trip, so maybe an idea to pack a bit lighter. Despite contrasting advice with luggage I'd go with a case with wheels as there's lots of stations, and platforms to negotiate.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although the total cost of the trip is fairly expensive it's well worth it, and I'd certainly reccommend the trip.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Camille Hickey

    Mt Fujo and the Japanese Alps

    The trip title is misleading. There were 2 climbs made, Mt. Yaragatake and Mt. Fuji, both strenuous and spectacular but no hiking through the Alps as we had thought. There was a SIGNIFICANT amount of time spent in public transport, trains, buses, to get between the mountains. The time to take making these transfers was not mentioned in the trip notes. One day after 3 changes all carrying our cases, we arrived at 10.30pm to then get a taxi to our accommodation. In the trip, time spent hiking was only the 4 days (or in part) of the 2 climbs and one simple hike along the Edo walk which was not in the alps. The majority of time was spent in down time or in travel between accommodation. The overall cost of the trip was more than I have paid for hiking holidays with Exodus and I believe that was due to the significant cost in transport between sites.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The predawn climb to the summit of Mt.Fuji.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Inexperienced. He had never done this trip before and so there were points along the way he was totally unsure about. Did not give adequate information in advance of each day or night activity. Poor communication was his mantra. The (on site) guide who supervised the 2 mountain walks was the opposite, brilliant on every level.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is not for those wishing to see a wider perspective of the Japanese Alps. Too much public transport where you carry own luggage.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Group meals are variable in cost and content. Twice when told in advance of expected price pp the actual price was more.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    William Ferguson

    Quite a trip

    So many aspects of Japan : Mountains, climbed the Japanese way Interesting Food always available Unfailingly polite people A culture to immerse yourself in

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip was full of highlights, some large and some smaller scale, but all were full of pleasure. The sunrise from the lodge at Mount Yarigatake, Mt Fuji visible in the distance. Taking part in the annual climb Mt Fuji pilgrimage The way in which, no matter the circumstances, immaculately presented, ready cooked food was available. Having the chance to appreciate the depth and breadth of Japanese culture. We travelled out ahead of the group and stayed on afterwards. This gave us the chance, for example, to visit Hiroshima & Miyajima on a day trip and to take more time over Tokyo. We'd strongly recommend this to anyone doing this tour. It also allows more time to acclimatise.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Etchuri-san(aka Tats) grew into the role as the tour went on. We were really grateful for his suggestions related to things to see in Matsumoto and Tokyo. It would be wrong not to mention the Mountain Guide, Ishihara-san(aka Tomo) who was a mine of information and looked after the whole group impeccably.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We have never had a climbing experience like the lodge on Mt Fuji and the final ascent for sunrise at the top. Resting on shelves in a room with ~100 others was new to us. Similarly, climbing as part of a river of head torches, two people wide, policed by rangers was a novel experience. Then getting to the top to find hot soup, vending machines and temples. It's best to throw yourself into it, do as the Japanese do, smile, bow and say 'konichiwa'

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As above, this trip doesn't give enough time to really explore Tokyo or Kyoto and the opportunity to experience life in Japan. Travel out early, stay late. Enjoy it. A great trip
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Graham Aitchison

    Mt Fuji & the Japanese Alps

    Mt Fuji & the Japanese Alps, this trip starts in Kyoto with a day or two to see the historic former capital of Japan before taking the bullet train and walking a section of the Nakasendo way. From there the trip sets off to the national park of Kamikochi to ascend Mt Yarigatake (3180m). After this there are a few days to explore Matsumoto before catching the bus to Station Five to start the trek to the summit of Mt Fuji (3776m). The trip ends in Tokyo where there are free days to explore the mix of historic and modern Japan. The trip allows you to sample the various forms of Japanese cuisine that include noodle dishes, sushi and various other rice noodle or fish based dishes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many wonderful moments on this trip, from travelling on the bullet train (or Shinkansen) to visiting the golden temple, Crow castle and other temples and shrines along the way. However the most inspirational moment of the trip was reaching the summit of Mount Fuji and watching the sun rise, truly awesome and well worth the effort.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mayuko, the tour leader was fantastic and very organised. She looked after us all and ensured that the various train and bus journeys made on the trip all ran smoothly. Mayuko also packed a great number of experiences into the trip from seeing the historic castles, temples and shrines to the modern streets in Tokyo with their neon lights. Mayuko was a very attentive tour leader who made sure that we had lots of options to do on our free days and were able to find and see any attraction or holiday gift that we wanted. She was very friendly and approachable and fitted into the group well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip does involve using a lot of Japanese public transport, and as the trip notes state you are best taking luggage that you are able to get on and off trains with ease and stow into the luggage spaces, personally I found rucksacks the easiest. When climbing the two mountains that we trekked up (Mt Yarigatake and Mt Fuji) you really do not need to have a 40+ litre rucksack – you can get away with a smaller rucksack (around 25-30 litres) to fit the essentials for the hikes. For Mt Yarigatake we had rain all the way up so good waterproofs and a rucksack cover/dry bag was a necessity along with a set of dry clothes in a dry bag. There are really good drying rooms in the mountain huts on Mt Yarigatake and you will be able to hang and dry your kit. If you want to travel really light, on the group flights we took we got a travel toothbrush and toothpaste on each flight and most of the hotels we stayed in provided these and a razor, soap, shampoo and conditioner, so you can leave most of that behind if you are that way inclined.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We participated in the trip that was for the last two weeks of August, which coincided with a fire festival held just after we ascended Mt Fuji, though you may want to wear old clothes due to the embers in the air. This was a great opportunity to sample a wide variety of different street foods and witness Japanese drumming, which made our trip even more special.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Louise Clark

    A brilliant holiday, Hills, Shrines, Temples, Tokyo and more.

    A brilliant holiday showcasing the best of what Honshu has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loads...climbing the iconic Mount Fuji to see sunrise was an experience, but one of many - that included Temples, Shrines, Castles, the best that Tokyo has to offer and a fire festival!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely brilliant - wonderfully organised and really committed to giving everyone the best time that they could possibly have. She worked so hard on the " free" days to show us the best of Kyoto and Tokyo......... When met with challenges - a broken arm from one member of the group - she remained unflappable and sought to deal with everything as effectively as possible whilst not compromising our holiday at all. We were travelling firther after the Exodis trip and she sorted rail pass/shinkansen bookings gave us ideas for our destinations and was generally a star!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light! There is lots of public tranport use - this is highly efficient but you will be wheeling/carrying your bag lots. I had an expedition holdall...very practical generally but not ideal for carrying a long way - Japanese stations can be huge! A bag that fits on the overhead racks (that you can lift) makes it easier on the trains. Notably all the hotels have shower gel, shampoo etc so if you are not fussy about brand then you don`t need them! Do not take a 40 litre rucksac for the overnight mountain hut trips, this is way too big... you are only out for two nights and bedding etc is provided...those that had big rucksacs carried too much weight by far. Also use dry bags NOT a rucksac cover, the rain can be torrential and only those of us with dry bags had dry kit!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Eating out is not as expensive as I anticipated...we ate in loads of brilliant local places at a fraction of the expected cost. Fabulous holiday.....!!!!
  • Reviewed September 2015
    anonymous anonymous

    Japan Mount Fuji

    What a fantastic trip. A good mixture of cities and mountains. Everything was efficient there and the people were always so obliging to help with information or directions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Mount Fuji. We were lucky and had great views as was sunny. Seeing the sun rise on Mount Fuji. Talking to local people in the mountain huts. Good atmosphere.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Mayuko was brilliant, knowledgeable, professional, understanding, patient and gave us great insights into the Japanese culture and took us to some cool eating places which we'd not experienced before. Could not have asked for anyone better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would say you need a certain level of fitness for this trip. Mount Fuji is quite steep. Carry light on the mountain trips it really helps. Our mountain guide Tomo was brilliant as well. Really professional, knowledgeable and kind. We had rain on Mount Yari so make sure you bring good waterproofs that do the job.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Really great trip saw and did a lot in the two week trip. A good balance of activities and free time. Would now like to go back to see the rest of Japan!
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Carol Merritt

    Japanese Alps

    An amazing trip with an exciting and full on itinerary

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Mt. Yarigatake and Mt. Fuji.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely excellent in every way. My experience with previous Exodus trips is most guides are very good but on this trip Mayuko was exceptional. A truly first class guide who not only was extremely knowledgeable, but sacrificed any amount of personal free time to our group to share with us her personal favourite sights and experiences during unscheduled activities on our itinerary.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The optional summit of Mt. Yarigatke is approx. 200m almost vertical climb with ladders and chains so be aware you need a head for heights. Tomo, the mountain guide was absolutely fantastic and extremely professional and is very understated in his role as 'assistant guide' as mentioned in the trip notes. Only take minimum in day pack for Yarigatake and Fuji treks ie one set of spare clothes, not a huge 70L pack re trip notes.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Nour Maurice

    Wonderful trip!

    Great trip, you get to see many different aspects of Japan and get to do things which wouldn't be possible/wouldn't know about without a guide! It's a shame the stay in Kyoto and Tokyo is so short!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The culture there is very inspirational! People are really friendly, and polite, everything is super clean and the food is really good!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely fantastic! She gave us so much information for everything, and even took her time to show us things on the free days if we wanted to join her! Really great, and a lovely person, really easy to get on with!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take ear plugs and a eye mask for the Mount Fuji mountain hut! It's so difficult to sleep! And take plenty of snacks with you because the meals included are way to small to keep you going!
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