Cruising the Land of the Rising Sun - Feedback from Recent Travelers on Excursions etc.

My husband and I are scheduled for this tour in a couple months. I'm reviewing the excursions and am surprised by the number of options which require waivers, special footwear etc. Also, several of the excursions reference removing shoes, but then having to climb steep stairs with 2 handrails, which sounds very tough on your feet. All feedback is welcome. Thank you.


  • Options

    Many tours that Tauck conducts have waivers.
    Japanese people do not wear shoes indoors. So any temples and shrines you visit will follow those rules. It’s preferable not to have bare feet but wear socks. Some places provide slip on slippers but if there are tatami mats, it’s always just socks. When you stay in an Onsen, no shoes while inside the building. When you go to the bathroom, there are separate shoes left there that you put on The shoes/slip ons in these public places are there for all to use, hence one reason you want ot wear socks. I’ve no idea where you will visit with stairs. We were in Japan for the third time last September for three weeks, my third visit but not with Tauck. In MHO. I would actually recommend staying in Japanese accommodations over a ship based tour
    Japan is my favorites country, the most interesting safe place to be with very polite people. We immersed ourselves as much as we could, did things like the nude communal bathing in the Onsens, meditated with monks, used all types of Publix transport and ate nothing but Japanese food. My husband speaks Japanese, so that is a bonus.
    I encouraged you to read the recommended books.

  • Options

    Which ones?

    For most sites in Japan, shoes removal is standard. Make sure you wear comfortable socks.

    Tell me which excursions require waivers and special footwear?

    From my experience with Tauck's Essence ofJapan, Matsumoto Castle which requires shoes off and climbing on ropes and narrow steps has been removed from the itinerary due to concerns of safety for the average Tauck guests.

    Tauck will always offer another excursion at the same time for those more limited. Also, you can change your mind once you get on the Ponant ship and TD will tell you exactly what is expected of you in term of athletic ability once they get to know you.

    As usual Ponant hiking and sea kayaking excursions are mostly cancelled due to low participation. Don't bet on them happening. I think those are the ones requiring special equipments and waiver.

    This one was sold out when I tried to book it. Tauck said they are full. Luck you! I am such a procrastinator.

    You will definitely have fun with Ponant ships and they have so many excursions to choose from. You can even try out with an additional fees for those not offered by Tauck like the Beetle car ride and Blue Grotto Tour (Both requiring waivers. One requiring additional scuba equipment and certificate) on my last Tauck/Ponant Croatia cruise.

  • Options

    Japan was one of the best trips I experienced with Tauck and I have been on 14 with this company.

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