By Yarri, via, August 28, 2012

Thank you everyone who offered advice for our 17-day trip to Japan. The trip was a huge success. Our family of 5 adults had the vacation of a lifetime. On this forum some recommended Chris Rowthorn as a possible guide for our visits to Tokyo and Kyoto. Wow, what a winning suggestion. We used Chris and his team consulting services and tours. They helped us with everything from coordinating train times and tickets to getting us into venues we as Westerners or as tourists would never have been able to see. Special thanks to KOKO who is a super guide and works in Chris Rowthorn’s Kyoto office. Koko has those qualities of intelligence, understanding and passion for her work and Japanese culture which elevated our trip from something great to something exceptional. A few of the experiences she helped arrange for us were a private dinner cooked by the top tempura master chef in Japan and visits with leading companies in the kimono, lacquerware and ikat trade in Kyoto.

The Gion district in Kyoto came alive through Koko’s tours, which led to several revisits to incredible restaurants not in any guidebook, but of quality only found in Japan.

Our visit to Takayama was great and worthwhile. Eating at the Restaurant Kakusho which has been run by the same family for 13 generations was an experience one cannot find anywhere else in the world. Tokyo was fantastic and our 6 days there are just a beginning.

The fish market, adjoining vege and fruit market and then exploring all the stalls was so much fun. Ginza during the day, then the magical transformation at night was a highlight.

Going to Mitsokushi dept store for the opening was a wow experience. Riding in Dr. Shin’s boat out in Tokyo bay was a great way to see the scope of this huge city, where each section reveals more and more.

Koya-san was questionable. The train ride there is enjoyable, the temples impressive, but the quality of the temple lodgings we found, were not of the same feeling level as the ancients shrines.

Rentaphone in Tokyo provided us was very high quality cell phones and portable wifi connections of superior quality and so easy to use. They were quick to respond to our questions. I highly recommend them.

Japan is so friendly, organized, clean and welcoming, filled with delights, immersed in beauty, safe, with such a high standard of quality, we marveled at our good fortune for visiting there everyday of our trip.

Thank you again to all who offered suggestions. Your advice on this forum helped us create and enjoy a trip of a lifetime.

Many thanks.

See original post at Fodor’s Travel Intelligence