Hiroyuki is an amicable, pleasant guide whose English is good but not fluent. We had some questions that he clearly did not understand. Our trip to Nikko was not a success because Hiro was not prepared with a “Plan B’” in mind for the difficulties that we experienced. The difficulties were not his fault: a national holiday that created horrific problems and delays on public transportation and fog that prevented us from seeing 2 out of 3 sites in Nikko. We are 4 very active senior citizens but standing on trains and especially crammed busses for hours was not pleasurable. We could not even see the landscape. Adding the fact that it was foggy was a recipe for disaster. We finally made it to the ropeway and Hiro seemed surprised that we didn’t want to go up. There would be nothing to see in total fog! The situation was similar with the waterfall area. We did have a nice lunch but by the time we waited yet again for a packed bus, we decided to skip the shrine as it was already 3:30pm. Basically we traveled to Nikko and saw nothing but the train and bus stations! Much of this was not Hiro’s fault BUT much could have been mitigated by him doing the following: 1. Offer an option for private transportation in Nikko via taxi or van for a fee. 2. Check the weather conditions and have a plan for alternative activities. In our case he should have reversed his schedule so that we could have at least seen the shrine in town! He didn’t know about the fog…we don’t know the area but knew there were foggy conditions because we checked the weather prior to departure! We are experienced travelers and don’t stop because of weather! However, fog that obliterated 2 out of 3 sites plus transportation chaos meant an unfavorable experience.
Dear Debra Thank you very much for joining the tour to Nikko. I am very sorry that your precious day was spoiled by bad weather, traffic jams and my bad conduct. Hiroyuki