I dont suppose small agencies are able to compete against the big names like ChanBrothers or SA Tours. They have different markets that they cater and specialise in. Some do only Asian tours; whereas the big leaders are interested in most part of the world. That's the difference i feel.
I am going in late May. Max group size is capped at 25. That's the reason why I chose ASA over the rest.
I have a 2 person Chan Brothers holiday package East Hokkiado Romance for 2008 6th Feb to 12th Feb travelling by ANA morning flight.
It has been paid with deposit of 1.6k Each pax is paying $2425, inclusive of airport taxes, package & flight. No other costs to be added. Anyone interested in this package, please do drop me a msg here and I will get bk to u on the details. As my bf & I had some communication breakdown, I cannot bear to see the deposit forfeited for nothing.
So, anyone considering your honey moon in Hokkaido 2008, it will be snowing. Pls do consider.
Hi, I just came back from Hokkaido. It was snowing so beautifully, very exciting! But it was damn cold, esp my hands and legs. Our tour guide recommend a lot of food and beauty pdts to buy, all very nice.
Btw, did anyone visit the shop selling many lavender pdts (eg. pillow, facial/body stuff etc.). My tour guide recommend us to buy this Lavender Skin Conditioner, we try the sample and can really see instant results. It's supposed to remove dead skin and has whitening effect. I bot 1 bottle only, nw regret liao, shuld hv bot more. Dun think can buy in Singapore hor?
i booked with CTC too! chose CTC cos of the ski resort and after comparing itineraries (Chan Brothers, ASA, ANA, SA) liked CTC best. hope it'll be good......
departing 20 Dec 08, SQ too. this is the itinerary:
CTC 7 Days Hokkaido Winter Special
(Lake Toya, Otaru, Rusutsu Ski Resort, Noberibetsu, Sapporo)
- 5 breakfast, 5 lunches & 5 dinners
- 3 nights in japanese traditional inn with onsen
- crab meat meal / sashimi / sushi
- lake toya: mount showa, bear ranch
- rusutsu: stay one night at ski resort, experience snow activities snow rafting, snow tubing, snow shoes (included in tour price)
- otaru: kitaichi glass, otaru orgel doh
- noboribetsu: hell valley, shiraoi ainu village, date jidai mura (edo wonderland)
- sapporo: odori park, tokeidai clock tower, sapporo tv tower, ishiya chocolate factory, sapporo station shopping arcade (include daimaru), sapporo's nijo fresh seafood market
- chitose: factory outlet mall rera
i almost forgot abt Rusutsu Ski Resort....really wonderful place...really worth the stay...we have also buffet dinner at the resort...the food spread was great...crabs, sushi, frsh juice, ice-cream...etc...when i went last dec...no agency have itineary stay at Rusutsu Ski Resort only CTC...i think the most is just a day trip to some of the ski resort...but if snowing and u dun get to stay in a ski resort...quite waste...
Hi gals, I am just back from a 7 days' wonderous hokkaido tour with CTC. Overall I would say Im quite disappointed, especially with the hotel arrangements. The hotels we stayed are not up to 4* as they claimed and in really ulu locations for some. Though we had 4 nights of onsen hotels. I had previously travelled to Central Japan with ANA Holidays and the hotels were much better.
On the last night in Narita Hotel, we arrived late at 10+pm, and most were hungry as we had early dinner at 4.30pm in Chitose. However, the hotel's eatery closed at 10.30pm and the pub only served drinks after 10.30pm. The only walking distance saviour was a convenience stall 5 min away, we ended up having cup noodles and microwave food. We thought of taking a cab to the restaurants located some roads away but cab was scare in that location. It was really a bad experience for some of us as it was our honeymoon trip.
i think there are pros and cons abt taking a flight back from Hokkaido transit in Tokyo (Haneda to Narita) or staying a nite in Narita area before the day flight back to Spore...if u take a flight back direct from hokkaido and transit in Narita..u got to transfer from Haneda to Narita unless u take ANA as some flights from Hokkaido goes to Narita...so its really up to individual...
when i went last dec...our guide told us that there wont be food in the hotel area...so we ate at the airport 1st before taking the coach back to hotel...even if u stay at Sapporo hotel...there are nothing to see ard the hotel area too if u stay at APA hotel in Sapporo...
As for Hokkaido hotels, i seen ASA and SA tours staying in almost the same hotels as we do..as for ulu locations, i think all the hotels for the 1st few days are ulu..as u dun stay in Sapporo area which is the city area..its at the mountainous area...tats the reason y
The point is the guide should have highlighted to us if there was no food available at the hotel we are going to be staying at. It's more of the quality of hotels. I understand for the hotels in the rural areas, but the city/town ?
It could also be due to the agency CTC engaged in Japan.
The same feelings were also felt by other tour mates in the group. Im just sharing my experience here.
oh..narita area actually quite ulu..u can see there are some hotels ard tat ard..i cant rem the name..but the nearest place that sells food i think is Narita Station area..
from wat i know most spore agencies like SA, Chan Bros, Hong Thai, CTC, ASA..etc engage JTB as their japan agency for all tours in Japan...so agencies is the same just that itineary is not well plan for CTC bah
ya tats the part tat the guide did not do a gd job...anyway i feel tour guide assign is purely base on luck..some guides are gd some are nt..doesnt mean u pay more u get better guides...mayb u can try other agencies next time...to compare
ok...i share ur sentiments too...but first have u check wat hotels other tour agencies provide for the same departure date and same itineary? and if they provided better hotels are they paying lesser or same or more then wat u pay for?
comments echo by ur grp becoz u guys travel by that particular grp, i think its nt fair to pour bad remarks on a particular agency just becoz wat u pay and not reflect wat u shld get...but i think one shld think wat they pay and wat they will get...
i believe travelling in a grp package tour will always have all these...mayb u can try Free & Easy next time so u can get to plan all the hotels, transportation, place of interests, duration of stay at each place, airline to take...etc....mayb u can get wat u wan this way out...
Dont think our package price is cheap. It's 2.9k include tax. I did check with my colleague and cousin who travelled to Hokkaido with other agencies about their trip. I was also looking at different packages before I booked. That's why I made this comment. Im not comparing apple with orange.
I have travelled with various agencies and to Japan with another agency before. At times, I also do free and easy trips.
We chose this package mostly due to the departure date as we had no other window period for travelling.
What I bring up may be an isolated incident but it did happen. How people wish to view the remarks is really up to individual. Im not pouring bad remarks but relating my experience.
Package tours have their pros and cons. Even Free and Easy may not be a bed of roses either.
I have changed my flight from 8th Dec to 23rd Dec.
Departing on the Christmas Eve.As Hubby wanna attend his cousin's wedding.
I am only available after 21st december, if not i could have joined you for the tour too.
i see...i must be back to work on 30th, hence can't push my travel dates back. may want to extend to tokyo too... will u be doing so? have emailed CTC for the extension rates... heard it may be around $500 more per person so still considering...
are u taking SQ flight too? so how much did u pay? seems like e other 'big' agencies all quote above 3k in total for 7D hokkaido...
anyway, gd lobang to share -- if u looking for winter boots, taka selling timberland boots (knee-high suede material waterproof). U.P. $299, now $99! great buy!
actually i feel winter boots not really a must...u can wear sport shoes and buy those anti slip thingy with stud in japan..anyway those timberland boots cant prevent u from slipping from those slippery ground which u might mistaken as pavement...
but if u wan to dress for the mood then no problem buying..haha...but dun forget u got to wear long john so ur boots cant be too tight as u might wear jeans and stuck ur jeans into the boots...but actual fact pple in Hokkaido dun wear boots..hehe
back from my honeymoon to hokkaido with CTC (dept'd 20 dec). must say very satisfied with the tour-- food, hotels, guide were fantastic! snowy weather was a big bonus! hokkaido snow is juz so lovely! i already miss the place...
hello, has anyone joined a JTB tour before?
i felt that the itinerary they planned was better than the chan brothers / sa tours' itineraries..
and they clearly state which hotels and what food we wld be eating...
am looking at the Central Japan Autumn Colours one..
but JTB seems a bit ex.
wondering if anyone has gone on a JTB tour and feels it is more quality..
Tanuki Koji - This is a must go for first time travelers. Its basically 7 big covered lanes of shopping. Selling all different kinds of Japanese produces and products. Imagine Bugis Village, bigger and more organized.
Shiroi Koibito Park in Otaru - This place is the factory of the famous confectionery "Shiroi Koibito" (Which is a slice of white chocolate in between 2 waffle biscuits). You can choose to DIY your own Shiroi Koibito.
Ramen Alley - There is this particular alley that sells ramen. If I'm not mistaken, its pretty near Tanuki Koji.
And since you are going during December, the MUST DO activity is HOT SPRING!!!
Sapporo can be very very cold and first snow fall is in November so pack your winter clothes. You can also check Sapporo's event calenders, there may be Matsuris happening around. There was a Kiku Matsuri when I was there during November.