Japan 2019

Cousin Orville

Inventor of Air Cooling
Joined
Aug 27, 2000
Just finished our Japan ABD. I’m not planning on doing a full trip report. There’s already a couple of good ones going. However, I will echo what others have said. The Japan ABD is fantastic. For me it’s a near perfect ABD and ranks up there with South Africa (up until now my all time favorite by a safe margin). ABD really hit a home run with Japan. The itinerary is great Kyoto, Hiroshima, Takayama, Shirokawago, Nara, Kamakura, Tokyo and more. It’s a good balance of history and modern, city and countryside. All the hotels were great especially the Peninsula in Tokyo. The food was some of the best we’ve had on any ABD. Food on ABD’s is sometimes hit or miss. Really everything we had was great. Not sure if that’s a product of being in Japan or a concerted effort by ABD to find great, authentic restaurants over more generic options and buffets. Case in point, even the welcome dinner was in a great restaurant - much better than a nondescript hotel banquet room. So, great job ABD!

The Shinkansen was very cool. There’s such a small window to board (~ a minute and it’s exactly on time) I’m impressed ABD was brave enough to do it.

There were many sites and special activities that would be very difficult to do on your own. We just had a spectacular time.

James and Tomomi were our guides with Ken shadowing. They were all amazing.

Between Japan and now Egypt, I’m very excited about the direction ABD had been going. These are challenging trips to do on your own particularly with children. I hope ABD continues creating these more exotic and complex trips. If they do, we’ll continue booking them.

If you have any questions feel free to ask. We stayed 2 nights prior and 5 nights post at TDL (booked on our own). Our kids were 6,9 and 14. They all had a great time and are asking when the next ABD is. My wife and I did the onsen in Takayama twice. I know there’s been a number of questions and concerns about that. We both enjoyed it. Any questions at all let me know. You can also find some of my photos on my Instagram - same name, Cousin Orville.
 

sayhello

Have Camera, Will Travel
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
So glad you enjoyed your trip! I totally agree that this is a spectacular trip, and it has moved up to my favorite ABD! They've really knocked it out of the ballpark with this one.

Sayhello
 

OhanaCuz

I can finally say that I've been on an ABD.
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Now you're making me wish I had gotten a black and white photo like that when I was in Japan!
 
  • CaliKris

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2015
    So happy to hear that the Japan ABD is so well done! I am glad they took the time to put together such an amazing experience. I agree with you, Cousin O. If ABD continues to offer exotic/adventurous experiences, we are all in! Morocco, Bhutan, East Africa, Northern India...bring it on ABD!
     

    Cousin Orville

    Inventor of Air Cooling
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2000
    So glad you enjoyed your trip! I totally agree that this is a spectacular trip, and it has moved up to my favorite ABD! They've really knocked it out of the ballpark with this one.

    Sayhello
    Yep, the ABD flew by. Very well designed and executed!


    Now you're making me wish I had gotten a black and white photo like that when I was in Japan!
    Haha! They had a fun photo shoot at the welcome dinner. I just edited to B&W.

    So happy to hear that the Japan ABD is so well done! I am glad they took the time to put together such an amazing experience. I agree with you, Cousin O. If ABD continues to offer exotic/adventurous experiences, we are all in! Morocco, Bhutan, East Africa, Northern India...bring it on ABD!
    We’re doing Morocco this winter with private guides. But I’d book Bhutan (or Nepal), East Africa, or anywhere in India in a second. There’s definitely a market for it when Egypt and Japan sell out in a day!
     

    *WDW*Groupie*

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    I’ll echo what @Cousin Orville said about the Japan trip. Everything about it was amazing and it has moved up to my favorite trip!

    This trip has renewed my faith in ABD and I am looking forward to my Egypt trip next year.

    Guides were beyond amazing — probably my favorites to date by a wide margin.

    Our group was fantastic and made our journey that much more enjoyable.

    I can’t recommend this trip enough — if you’re thinking about it, go! I’d perhaps consider booking it again sometime in the future, which is something I’ve never said about an ABD previously.
     

    PrincessDisneyFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2014
    I'm so happy for everyone that has already been to Japan this year, happy for those about to go, and suuuuper excited about my ABD trip starting September 29th! I reached 100 days today. That is when we arrive in Narita. We are doing a pre-week of one day for Studio Ghibli/Pokémon Café/ and a baseball game, 4 days in Tokyo Disneyland and Sea (and as an added bonus most of a day in Kobe... to get that official A-5 Beef there) CAN NOT WAIT!!!!
     
  • Chirple

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2009
    Japan was not on my list of places I wanted to visit, but the description of the ABD and the raves about this trip have me re-thinking it. It's not one I would take before Egypt, but it might be down the road.
     

    CaliforniaGirl09

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2009
    Just finished our Japan ABD. I’m not planning on doing a full trip report. There’s already a couple of good ones going. However, I will echo what others have said. The Japan ABD is fantastic. For me it’s a near perfect ABD and ranks up there with South Africa (up until now my all time favorite by a safe margin). ABD really hit a home run with Japan. The itinerary is great Kyoto, Hiroshima, Takayama, Shirokawago, Nara, Kamakura, Tokyo and more. It’s a good balance of history and modern, city and countryside. All the hotels were great especially the Peninsula in Tokyo. The food was some of the best we’ve had on any ABD. Food on ABD’s is sometimes hit or miss. Really everything we had was great. Not sure if that’s a product of being in Japan or a concerted effort by ABD to find great, authentic restaurants over more generic options and buffets. Case in point, even the welcome dinner was in a great restaurant - much better than a nondescript hotel banquet room. So, great job ABD!

    The Shinkansen was very cool. There’s such a small window to board (~ a minute and it’s exactly on time) I’m impressed ABD was brave enough to do it.

    There were many sites and special activities that would be very difficult to do on your own. We just had a spectacular time.

    James and Tomomi were our guides with Ken shadowing. They were all amazing.

    Between Japan and now Egypt, I’m very excited about the direction ABD had been going. These are challenging trips to do on your own particularly with children. I hope ABD continues creating these more exotic and complex trips. If they do, we’ll continue booking them.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask. We stayed 2 nights prior and 5 nights post at TDL (booked on our own). Our kids were 6,9 and 14. They all had a great time and are asking when the next ABD is. My wife and I did the onsen in Takayama twice. I know there’s been a number of questions and concerns about that. We both enjoyed it. Any questions at all let me know. You can also find some of my photos on my Instagram - same name, Cousin Orville.
    You guys I am so excited to read all these fantastic reports. We leave in about a month, and I'm *so* excited. We have a trip to London and DL in between though so it's going to be a crazy month before we go. @Cousin Orville I really enjoyed the Instagram travelog, and I'm so excited to try the restaurant at the Peninsula.

    Anyone have any group size issues? I'm sure these are all leaving full and as that's been my biggest issue with ABD in past, I was wondering how the 40+ groups went. I haven't called to find out our guides yet, but planning to do that soon.

    Thanks for all the posts--so excited!!!
     

    WeLoveABD

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2008
    Agree with everything said-- China had always been our number one ABD, but Japan is right up there. My question: we were on the adult only in April--how did the kids enjoy this trip, such as the Open Air museum and Hiroshima museum?
     
  • Cousin Orville

    Inventor of Air Cooling
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2000
    Agree with everything said-- China had always been our number one ABD, but Japan is right up there. My question: we were on the adult only in April--how did the kids enjoy this trip, such as the Open Air museum and Hiroshima museum?
    In both the Open Air Museum and Hiroshima Museum, the guides took the junior adventures to do a separate activity. There was a giant play structure in the open air Musuem. And they did origami together in Hitoshima.

    My kids were on the younger side at 6 &9 but they enjoyed the trip and can’t wait to do another.

    I'm confused. Did you post a photo? I'm not seeing a photo... :(

    Sayhello
    Yes they’re on Instagram. I’ll see if I can add some here when I have some time. Still in the midst of our TDR post days.
     

    calypso726

    Escaping reality one Disney vacation at a time
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2006
    Just finished our Japan ABD. I’m not planning on doing a full trip report. There’s already a couple of good ones going. However, I will echo what others have said. The Japan ABD is fantastic. For me it’s a near perfect ABD and ranks up there with South Africa (up until now my all time favorite by a safe margin). ABD really hit a home run with Japan. The itinerary is great Kyoto, Hiroshima, Takayama, Shirokawago, Nara, Kamakura, Tokyo and more. It’s a good balance of history and modern, city and countryside. All the hotels were great especially the Peninsula in Tokyo. The food was some of the best we’ve had on any ABD. Food on ABD’s is sometimes hit or miss. Really everything we had was great. Not sure if that’s a product of being in Japan or a concerted effort by ABD to find great, authentic restaurants over more generic options and buffets. Case in point, even the welcome dinner was in a great restaurant - much better than a nondescript hotel banquet room. So, great job ABD!

    The Shinkansen was very cool. There’s such a small window to board (~ a minute and it’s exactly on time) I’m impressed ABD was brave enough to do it.

    There were many sites and special activities that would be very difficult to do on your own. We just had a spectacular time.

    James and Tomomi were our guides with Ken shadowing. They were all amazing.

    Between Japan and now Egypt, I’m very excited about the direction ABD had been going. These are challenging trips to do on your own particularly with children. I hope ABD continues creating these more exotic and complex trips. If they do, we’ll continue booking them.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask. We stayed 2 nights prior and 5 nights post at TDL (booked on our own). Our kids were 6,9 and 14. They all had a great time and are asking when the next ABD is. My wife and I did the onsen in Takayama twice. I know there’s been a number of questions and concerns about that. We both enjoyed it. Any questions at all let me know. You can also find some of my photos on my Instagram - same name, Cousin Orville.
    I am so glad to read this. We are so looking forward to this trip. I've been following you on other social media and the pics looks fantastic! I fear that this trip may surpass my beloved first ABD, Scotland. We've had James and Ken on previous ABD trips and both are amazing.

    I was planning to get a tattoo for my 50th this year but have decided to hold off in case I find myself brave enough to try the onsen. That also might be my newest excuse to put off getting a tattoo I thought I'd get when I turned 40 :laughing:

    I'm so happy for everyone that has already been to Japan this year, happy for those about to go, and suuuuper excited about my ABD trip starting September 29th! I reached 100 days today. That is when we arrive in Narita. We are doing a pre-week of one day for Studio Ghibli/Pokémon Café/ and a baseball game, 4 days in Tokyo Disneyland and Sea (and as an added bonus most of a day in Kobe... to get that official A-5 Beef there) CAN NOT WAIT!!!!
    We are looking forward to it too! See you on September 29th!!!
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    @calypso726 we enjoyed the onsen. We went late both nights of Takayama. The first night was nearly empty. The second night was busy, but we were more used to it by then.
    I pooped out both nights (we got to Takayama REALLY late our first night due to traffic) so kind of never had to make a decision about the onsen. I will always wonder. :)

    Sayhello
     

    Cousin Orville

    Inventor of Air Cooling
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2000
    You guys I am so excited to read all these fantastic reports. We leave in about a month, and I'm *so* excited. We have a trip to London and DL in between though so it's going to be a crazy month before we go. @Cousin Orville I really enjoyed the Instagram travelog, and I'm so excited to try the restaurant at the Peninsula.

    Anyone have any group size issues? I'm sure these are all leaving full and as that's been my biggest issue with ABD in past, I was wondering how the 40+ groups went. I haven't called to find out our guides yet, but planning to do that soon.

    Thanks for all the posts--so excited!!!
    I was ok with the numbers. Not as ideal as a group of 15-20, but it didn’t affect anything from what I can recall. Most of the bathroom stops and photo stops blended into other activities. My only complaint with numbers would be the back of the bus got crowded on the longer bus rides. I think people tended to spread out more for some reason going to Odawara. I recommend getting to the bus 10-15min early on the long bus rides.
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    You guys I am so excited to read all these fantastic reports. We leave in about a month, and I'm *so* excited. We have a trip to London and DL in between though so it's going to be a crazy month before we go. @Cousin Orville I really enjoyed the Instagram travelog, and I'm so excited to try the restaurant at the Peninsula.

    Anyone have any group size issues? I'm sure these are all leaving full and as that's been my biggest issue with ABD in past, I was wondering how the 40+ groups went. I haven't called to find out our guides yet, but planning to do that soon.

    Thanks for all the posts--so excited!!!
    We only had 31 on my departure, so there were no group size issues. The stops had adequate facilities, and that definitely helped. Everyone was also pretty much on time, also.

    Also, I've heard that ABD has just changed their policy, and will not be telling people who their Guides are anymore. I'm assuming someone was told, and the Guides got changed, and they complained. So we all get to pay for that. :(

    That said, you will either have James or Tomomi, as (at least as of my trip) they are going to be split up for everything but the last departure. I believe one of the other Guides shadowed on the first departure, and the other one shadowed on Cousin Orville's departure.

    Sayhello
     

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