Bhutan, Organised Private Travel

Fiona, Australia

Overall Tour Rating: 5 - Excellent

July/August 2018

Please answer 1-5 for each question below:

5 - Excellent 4 - Good 3 - Average 2 - Poor 1 - Unacceptable

How would you describe your overall level of satisfaction with Bushido as your tour operator?

5/5 - Bushido were professional, proactive and helpful throughout the entire process of our trip, from enquiry to booking, during and cessation. No question was too small to be asked and communication was excellent. Wouldn’t hesitate to us them again.

Tour Leader satisfaction rating (please answer with N/A for Organised Private Travel):


Local Guide satisfaction rating:

5/5 - Tshultrim our guide was so knowledgeable in all areas of Bhutanese culture we had a holiday and an educational experience. His experience was evident and we felt far surpassed other guides we sa and heard. He was always happy to answer the constant questions from our two daughters about plants, religion, dogs , cats, whatever they threw at him! As well as been a fantastic guide he was incredibly caring and helpful, always checking we were okay, helping to carry bags and letting us know what we needed for diffrnet hikes. We now consider him a friend.

How would you rate your package in terms of value for money?

5/5 - We had always wanted to go to Bhutan but thought it too expensive . Then when we did the sums because the rate is all food, accommodation, transport and entry fees it actually worked out similar to a week in a resort in Bali with the bonus of getting to see amazing sights and have incredible experiences. It is excellent value for money.

How would you rate the accommodation against your expectations?

5/5 - The hotels far surpassed our expectations. Clean, free wifi and incredibly spacious . So,e of them the size of expensive suites in luxury hotels. The staff at each place were so friendly and helpful.

Please give us your comments on the transport included in your package:

5/5 - We had a large sized mini van for the 4 of us so we were extremely comfortable throughout the trip. After a days walking we had space to spread out and sleep on the longer drives. Our driver Tshewang was fantastic. We drive a lot in Australia on long trips and in difficult terrain but we were impressed with his skill and care and consideration for safety and passenger comfort. A lovely guy and extremely helpful and friendly too.

Please tell us your thoughts on the meals included during your tour:

5/5 - After a long days hiking the food was always plentiful, varied and delicious . It was no problem for our two daughters to find several things they liked. Breakfast was always plentiful to start the day with several choices and options and lunch was always with many cooked dishes. We were never hungry!

David Hobday, Manchester, England: Cycle Rural Japan Oct/Nov 2016

"If you want to see the real Japan, this is the way to do it. Get on a bicycle and travel with Richard-san and Takashi-san on this wonderful coastal ride from Tottori to Izumo via the dramatic Oki Islands.

 On the trip we experienced ryokan, onsen, and, of course, traditional Japanese meals. The accommodation was comfortable and proprietors always gave us a very warm welcome. After a day cycling the onsen was a must. Most memorable was having a soak in a hot pool by the river in Misasa.

 The Oki Islands were magnificent. The cycling and weather were perfect, with stunning coastal views and quiet roads. A geologist’s paradise, the islands make up a massive caldera with coastal features such as arches and stacks making for some awe inspiring cycling. We were even lucky enough to seea local sumo wrestling contest in one of the island’s small villages.

 We continued our trip on the mainland with further coastal rides in the sunshine before heading for Matsue and an afternoon at the Adachi Museum of Art, a real gem containing one of Japan’s most impressive gardens. The cycling ended in Izumo at the Taisha Shinto shrine, a fantastic conclusion to a memorable cycle tour.

 Thank you Richard and Takashi. It was a fabulous tour and brilliantly organised. You were both great company, and Takashi’s help with the bikes along the way was impeccable. Until the next tour…..?"

Ben mcknight, london, England: cycle rural japan oct/nov 2016

"From the start of the tour in Tottori City, to the last day in Izumo, this was an unforgettable holiday. I have done a number of cycling tours in Europe and was definitely up for doing one in Japan. Our brilliant tour hosts Richard and Takashi (Niwa-san) put together a superb trip for us that took in a variety of landscapes and natural beauty, rural small-holdings, temples and other historic sites, places to stay and cities and towns to visit.

The cycling was great, with a range of gradients, which added to the experience. We cycled along the coast of western Honshu with the Sea of Japan and the beautiful, boundless horizon on one side. We explored the more rugged terrain on the two Oki islands that we visited – the awesome sight of the Kuniga coast is one I shall never forget. And to be honest, I was not previously even aware of the islands!

My cycling companions, from England, Wales and Sweden, were terrific fun, as were Richard and Niwa-san, who were a mine of useful, sometimes surprising information, as well as being practical, ensuring we got breaks, snacks and drinks throughout each day of cycling. They also ensured that we got to try out different types of food, from fish – raw and cooked - to very local ramen, to Japanese omelette (okonomiyaki), plus some amazing full-on feasts and delicious traditional breakfast spreads. And if we were interested (and I was), we got to visit a few properly local hostelries.

All in all, a great trip, highly recommended and I hope to be able to take another Bushido tour in the next year."

Helen Griffiths, Cardiif, Wales: cycle rural japan oct/nov 2016

A truly great holiday and one I would highly recommend to those wishing to experience the essence of Japan.

The itinerary was well thought out and covered many of the natural wonders and rich culture & history of the Tottori & Shimane prefectures; starting with the sand dunes in Tottori, along the beautiful coastline of the Sea of Japan and Oki Islands, ending in Matsue with its quintessential Japanese houses and castle. 

Each day was an adventure with its own highlights, such as hiking along the Kuniga coastline, visiting the temple complex at Mt Mitokusan, enjoying a veritable Japanese feast with a local family at their home in Matsue, and cycling over the ‘rollercoaster’ Eshima Ohashi Bridge, one of the steepest bridges in the world (google ‘crazy bridge’ and take a look!).

Richie, Niwa-san and my fellow cyclists were all great company and the group dynamic worked really well.  After a day of cycling we would have a long soak in the onsen and then get together for an evening meal; often sampling the variety of food that Japanese cuisine has to offer. Along with a few glasses of shochu and/or sake to ease the tired legs (well that’s my excuse anyway!).  

Both Richie and Niwa-san were the perfect hosts and ensured all aspects of the tour ran smoothly.  Thank you!

Really looking forward to the next tour.  Richie….. start planning!