Awesome trip to Japan!! Hitotoki did a fantastic job planning our trip! I am generally a "do it yourself travel planner", however, in a country like Japan, Hitotoki really made all the difference in developing a well thought out plan. They maximized our time, and every detail was arranged for us with the best of drivers, tour guides, and hotels. I would certainly recommend Hititoki to anyone seeking to experience Japan the right way.
Review by Iasa5 months ago
Alex and Hitotoki arranged a two week trip for my family and I. We have 2 teenage kids, and he was able to structure an itinerary around key places we wanted to visit while suggesting other locations and experiences. The accommodations and the driver pickups/train reservations were all top notch and very comfortable and smooth. The tour guides in each city were all very pleasant and knowledgeable. I would absolutely use Hitotoki again for our next trip back in the future.
Alex also met us on our second day in Tokyo to hand deliver our tickets. Great service and he was able to also help me make some changes along the way when a short business trip I had got altered in between. He was always accessible during our trip.
The Japanese cooking class and tea ceremony were excellent. Very private and a great experience. We also found the accommodations in Kanazawa to be exceptional.
Review by Nedw5 months ago
My wife and I just returned from an incredible 2.5 week trip to Japan, where we had the opportunity to visit Tokyo with a day trip to Kamakura, Kyoto with day trips to Nara and Osaka, Hiroshima, Koyasan and Kanazawa. The trip was entirely organized by Alex and his company Hitotoki, located in Tokyo. Since Alex actually lives in Japan, this ended up being a major differentiator as our itinerary was personally tailored by Alex based on his 'first hand' experience living in Japan. This allows him to personally 'hand pick' all of his tour guides, which clearly made a difference. Our guides, Midori (in Kyoto) and Masako (Tokyo) were an absolute delight, making our trip that much more pleasurable.
Alex is extremely professional, was responsive to all of my emails while we were planning the trip, which was very important to me due to the timezone difference (I live in Toronto). Alex was always positive, very pleasant to work with, and as importantly, meticulous with the level of details with the itinerary, to the point where all we had to do while in Japan was to 'sit back, and enjoy the trip'!.
One of the highlights of our trip was visiting Koyasan. If you enjoy beautiful scenery of mountains with incredible trees/plants/vegetation, tranquility, and experiencing the life of Buddhism with real monks, I would definitely recommend spending a couple of nights in the mountains of Koyasan. This was a real treat for us, and a nice change after having visited the larger and busier cities of Tokyo and Kyoto... it almost felt like we were taking a 'vacation from our vacation'! It's only a couple of hours of driving from Osaka to make your way up the hill, and once there, it's definitely worth the experience!
I also had the pleasure to meet Alex on our first day in Tokyo, where he welcomed us and provided us with all of the details/train vouchers we needed for the trip, answered all of our questions, and made us feel very comfortable. To our surprise, he also gave us a beautiful bottle of plum wine - which we have brought back home and will be enjoying this weekend, as my wife and I reminisce on our unforgettable memories of Japan.
I would definitely, without hesitation, recommend Hitotoki/Alex as a travel agency to anyone visiting Japan.
FYI - Alex is also a 'foodie', so definitely take him up on his restaurant recommendations, you won't regret it!
Thank you Alex for making our trip to Japan so memorable, it was truly a pleasure working with you!
Review by Danellys Grassetti8 months ago
I cannot praise Hitotoki and Alex Debs enough. My wife and I had a very complicated trip, visiting 8 different cities and multiple connections and tours. Alex provided us with a meticulously detailed itinerary and connection schedule. All in all there were over 20 or so distinct transitions. We were escorted at every transit connection as promised exactly on time and location. I can't state enough how this reduced the stress of our 23 day trip.
The ryokans and hotels Hitotoki selected were ideal and exactly as we had requested. We wanted a feel for true high end Japanese hospitality and cuisine and we received that and much more - spectacular venues and even more spectacular food preparations.
Each of the guides Alex selected was knowledgeable and personal, making that tour fun and educational.
Overall, I just wish every travel company could reach the competence and quality of Hitotoki.
Specifically, we loved the Sumo tournament, the tea ceremony and the cooking class . The hotels were incomparable and the food superb.
We intend to return to Japan in 2020 and the only thing we'd do differently is stay longer at each beautiful place, extending our trip for a few weeks more.And without doubt or hesitation, we would trust Alex and Hitotoki to make all the arrangements.
Review by PLu1 year ago
We recently returned from an amazing two week journey through Japan! From our first communications with Hitotoki we knew that they would be a perfect fit for planning our time in Japan! We were very impressed with their response time and attention to detail while putting together our itinerary. Our trip was thoughtfully planned out and so well organized. Exceptional quality of service considering all the details from hotels, transportation, sightseeing and guides in different cities. The owner of the company Alex Debs met us personally at the beginning of our trip to welcome us to his country and provide us with information. Throughout our trip he regularly checked in with us to make sure everything was going as planned. They put together the perfect itinerary based on our expectations and our first visit to Japan. Without hesitation, I would highly recommend this travel company for anyone who wants to have a great experience as they explore Japan. The cultural exchange and generous, heartfelt hospitality of the Japanese people cannot be overstated. Everyones efforts made our trip stress free, fun and educational. We were very pleased with our accommodations throughout our stay.
Review by Paintmonkey1 year ago
We just came back from a 10 day holiday trip in Japan.
Alex Debs from Hitotoki took excellent care of my family, from the moment we arrived in Tokyo we felt very welcomed.
Everyone in my family from my parents to my teenage children where pleased with the itinerary that Alex selected for us.
We had the best guides for our trip but I can not say enough about Midori and Masako they where so kind to us and my children loved them so much.
Honestly one of the best experiences traveling the world with such attention from Alex.
Thanks again Alex !
Review by Chileya1 year ago
We just returned from a fabulous trip to Japan arranged by Hitotoki. This was a 9 day mother-daughter (age 11) trip - a first to Japan. Alex helped me build an journey through Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakine that was perfect for both of us. We enjoyed our guides immensely and were amazed at the personal service. During the day our guides bought us little presents and snacks along the way. Such a nice touch. The hotels were incredible - especially in Tokyo - Hoshinoya Tokyo. I have never seen culture at work in a hotel like this. Amazing. We especially enjoyed our private tea ceremony, sword fighting and calligraphy class. All in all, Alex planned the perfect trip and was there every step of the way when we had questions or concerns. I highly recommend Hitotoki!
Review by Rort1 year ago
From the moment that we landed in Japan until the moment we departed, our trip was impeccably planned by our agent, Alex Debs from Hitotoki Travel. Everything from our accommodations, the travel arrangements and the private guides were wonderful. Alex thought of every little detail (e.g. booking our seats on the right side of the train so we might get a glimpse of Mt. Fuji) that would make our travels stress-free and thoroughly enjoyable.
We have no hesitation recommending this travel company to any potential client. I know Alex would do an excellent job and make the trip as memorable for them as he did for us.
Review by Roghith Forknall1 year ago
My daughter and I have recently returned from an amazing trip to the beautiful country of Japan. Our journey was arranged with the assistance of Alex Debs at Hitotoki Travel whom I would recommend to anyone. We decided to travel here as we both have an interest in Japanese culture - my daughter wanting the experience of the famous pop culture scene and myself wanting more of a historical perspective - Alex was able to provide a very balanced experience that we were both able to appreciate. Four days in Tokyo, 4 days in Kyoto with trips to both Hiroshima as well as an experience in the Hot Springs region of Hakone - for a total of two exciting weeks. Neither my daughter nor I spoke any Japanese and we were both concerned with being able to maneuver the rail system as well as getting around the cities and learning all we could - Hitotoki took care of all our rail passes even securing reserved seats on several Shinkansen trips. We actually got on the wrong train at one point and within minutes was able to reach out to Alex for help who saved the day! Hitotoki provided an app that we were able to load on our phone and communication was never a problem (we rented a pocket MiFi via their recommendation - well worth every cent!) From communication prior to our booking the trip to providing a guide to help us with our transfer from a Shinkansen to the Narita Express, Hitotoki never missed a beat - always available for help and suggestions. We were provided first class luxury hotels and 5 star dining at local ryokan - they designed a trip catering to what our interests were- providing a private Manga drawing class with a published artist to scoring tickets to a sold out Kabuki show during the New Year performance - no request was too small or too obscure. Thank you, Alex, for your expertise, for your guidance and for the professional guides who were knowledgable and whose English speaking skills were excellent. You made our trip enjoyable and memorable!
Review by AngloDutch1 year ago
We had an excellent few days in Kyoto and were extremely happy with Midori san and Iwasa san. I attach a photo of them both with our eldest son. My brother and sister in law were particularly pleased with the ease with which we were guided around a city which was extremely busy. I know how carefully the route was planned by them both together, including an unexpected visit to the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
We all learnt a lot and I have huge admiration for Midori san and the way in which she managed all of the children and their antics. The children listened to everything she told them and some of my favourite moments were the times when one of the little ones was walking next to her talking to her about the sights.
My brother enjoyed going back to his university and finding his dormitory room and the university buildings etc. It was great.
The only feedback I would perhaps change was The Sodoh Higashiyama. It was lovely to be there and to see the area and the restaurant which was special. However, I thought the service was very disappointing. We waited half an hour for our table and then the service was very slow. We waited almost 45 minutes for our desserts after we had asked if we could have them. The children were really well behaved given how long we waited. Two and a bit hours for a meal was too long. I did let them know and I know we were the only foreigners there, but it felt like we were being treated like tourists which was disappointing.
Our meal on first day was excellent and wonderfully Japanese. The children all tried everything which was amazing!
Thank you again for an outstanding tour.
Review by Willey1 year ago
My husband and I just return from a wonderful two-week trip to Japan that was set up byHitotoki Travel. When we visit countries we haven’t seen before we generally work with a travel agent who will help us put together a tour suited to our interests. In the planning process, there was a lot of back and forth with Hiditoki until we had figured out exactly where we wanted to go and how to get there. Hitotoki booked excellent hotels, found knowledgeable guides in different cities and booked all the train travel, so that two people who had never been to Japan before were able to visit many cities without a hitch. Best of all, Hitotoki was extremely responsive to any questions or changes in plans. When you’re in a new country, it’s invaluable to have a local resource to call when any surprises turn up. I highly recommend Hitotoki.
Review by Ildi2 years ago
Last week we returned from a 17 day trip to Japan expertly planned by HiTOTOKI for whom I have only the highest praise. We were a group of 8 people (4 couples) who had never travelled together so that was a challenge plus the fact that it is not that easy to move as a group around in a country like Japan with a lot of trains. HITOTOKI made it all easy and simple. The trip exceeded our expectations and our standards are very high. The hotels selected were magnificent and HITOTOKI made sure we had the perfect rooms in each hotel. The itinerary worked beautifully - just enough time in each place although we would have loved to stay longer to extend our stay in Naoshima to 3 days or stay in Tokyo longer. HITOTOKI was available throughout the trip always checking in to see if we needed anything, I do not hesitate in recommending HITOTOKI - for any trip to Japan.
Review by Izni2 years ago
Alex at Hitotoki planned an 11-day trip, fully customized to our needs. He made our trip virtually stress-free. He was extremely responsive during the planning process, communicated and set expectations perfectly, and pivoted with ease when we wanted a change of plan. Everything he planned for us in Japan went very well. The only hitches were things that were absolutely NOT in his control
(we had a late train, which was probably the only late train in all of Japan!).
Alex could not have been more pleasant and kind. He met us at our hotel the first day and brought a gift in perfect Japanese tradition--he also brought a special gift for our daughter. He checked in with us throughout the trip and kindly called the last day to see if there was anything else he could do for us.
We are very fortunate to have worked with Hitotoki; we interviewed 3 agents and we are grateful that Alex was the one we chose. We have other friends who went to Japan who felt "lost" and confused at times. We rarely felt that way, and it was all due to Alex's fantastic planning, and his being available in-country when we had questions along the way.
We recommend him highly to anyone looking for a unique experience in Japan. Alex provided top notch service. He was also very transparent about his fees; he is extremely honest and operates with integrity. Can't say enough great things about him and his network of guides throughout Tokyo and Kyoto.
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