Thanks Rene for a fantastic Japan experience. Having flown solo in Japan last year, after about three days with you, we felt we had experienced more of the true Japan than we did in our two weeks alone.Wonderful hotels, hidden ski fields and total immersion into the Japanese way of life. Thanks and we will be back for more! - Fizz
Hello Rene, Thank you and congratulations for treating us all to an unforgettable holiday of a lifetime. The programme that you put together was fantastic and there wasn't a dull moment through out the whole trip - Tony
Hi Rene, we are enjoying home and the warmth but most of all we are reveling in the memories of our 3 weeks in Japan . The holiday far exceeded our expectation with culture ,cuisine and of course the skiing.
Your in-depth knowledge on all fronts made all the difference for a seamless experience and has left us with a love for Japan and its people. We enjoyed traveling with you and appreciate your tolerance of our families ways. Many many thanks for an awesome time. - Lyn
I am finding it hard trying to convey the wow factor of the snow and trip. Most have been quite gobsmacked when they see the photos/movies ... and, just quietly, am concerned that TC and MtO might feel quite average this season, but I’m already looking forward to winter already. I haven’t looked forward to winter in a long time. - Ronda
After a number of trips to Japan I thought I had the country pretty dialled. A guided tour with Rene in February 2010 totally changed my appreciation of the country.
Rene's fluency and knowledge enabled us to go 'deep undercover' on an authentic Japanese experience enjoyed by few westerners. Rene's skill goes far beyond reading signs and preventing you trying to order lunch at a gelatine wholesaler. He knows the regional cuisines, the best local restaurants and Ryokan - places often hidden from the hapless tourist by the language barrier.
Even in those areas that have excellent tourist facilities (and lots of Westerners) Rene can identify the quintessential travel experience missed by the package tours; whether a peaceful onsen or raucous local Izakaya.
Thanks Rene for being such an affable and knowledgeable guide! - Sam
If there is a relation between the level of depression when one starts work after a holiday and the enjoyment of the holiday, it must have been awesome cause im fucken depressed - Ian
Had another great trip thanks - John
It was an amazing experience of Japanese culture and skiing which I am forever grateful to you Rene. You gave us a great mix of both, keeping away from the more commercial tourist parts of Japan. I just wish I could have nailed that powder snow with more boldness but I loved skiing on such a variety of fields. Thank you for taking me on different trails through the trees which was so beautiful, even to seeing a white hare!!!
The Onsens were a lasting experience and such a great way to wind down after a days skiing. Those Japanese women were very tough on the correct protocol, we became so professional at by the end of our stay. You found some extremely beautiful places to stay with wonderful Japanese hosts. All such happy and memorable experiences.
We were so well looked after by everyone and we had such heaps of fun with the whole group. A time to remember.
Thank you Rene, for going that extra step to give us all such a great holiday. You are a very good guide and host and I wish you well in the future - Jackie
I would just like to say a special thank you for getting me up and going on the skis.With your help I lost my fear and am ready to keep skiing!! So a big thank you.
The whole trip was amazing and we have lots of great memories. Our children can not believe we slept on the futons and had such an amazing cultural experience.We have lots of wonderful stories to tell and I would love another trip to the wonderful snow.
Look forward to the catch up.We both loved our trip, thank you again - Elizabeth
Thanks again for hosting us, Rene, it was an incredible trip! - John
Hi Rene. A quick note to thank you for giving us such a wonderful insight into Japan and some of their culture. It wasn't until we arrived home and had time to draw breath that I realised just how much we had seen done and experienced in such a short time.
From our day in Tokyo, the fish market , the wonderful skiing, the bath houses,the food, the list just goes on and on. The whole trip was just such a wonderful experience and the memories will last indefinatly. Of course your knowledge of Japan and interaction with the Japanese was certainly impressive and you definatly made our trip the wonderful experience that it was.
The trip home was pretty long and we all arrived back in NZ exhausted, but buzzing from our time away.We all had the most fantastic time with you, and the time we saved and the experiences we had were amazing so thank you so much, you definitly made our trip.
Thank you so much for sharing some of your Japanese knowledge with us, we all had a wonderful holiday. Hope we can catch up after you get home. - Chris & Jill
Thanks again Rene - the experience was faultless - it takes special skill to make it that way. - Chris
Thank you very much for showing us around Japan,we all had a fantastic time. - Matthew
For me it was surprising how you were able to lead our large group of mixed ages and high expectations. You kept us fully engaged both individually and as a group. Your excellent local knowledge and organization skills meant that we could relax and enjoy the ride. There are many examples of how you went the extra mile for us e.g. making sure we were safely checked in at the airport when you could have farewelled us at Tokyo station.
I like that we were welcomed like old friends into Ryokan and were able to quickly embrace Japanese traditions like tottering through the snow in yukata to the local onsen and eating fish cooked on skewers over embers. Karaoke was so much better when shared with your friends who love to dance. Some of the more memorable moments were observing the high school Sumo team training and the local festival where men were hoisted into the air. Without you we would not have been able to link so seamlessly with warm, hardworking local people and quintessential Japanese community life.
Why have I not yet mentioned the skiing? Well as you know I was not very confident about my knee so was going at a much reduced pace. I did like it a lot that you provided some ski lessons and tips to try out at low speed. It has whetted my appetite for more skiing. Beforehand I thought that my skiing days may have almost been over.
I thought that your choice of stop overs during our tour of Southern Honshu were excellent in their variety, interest and exceptional quality. From small neigbourhood streets to magnificent gardens, temples and a castle, we could not have fitted more into our 20,000 steps. In two short weeks, I touched and was touched by the ambience of Japan and it leaves me with many warm memories and thankfulness for your part in unleashing it's mysteries.
A big thank you from me and on behalf of the the wider group. - Jan