Martin is an excellent teacher. Very patient, and with a wonderful sense of humour. He knows Japan, particularly Hokkaido, because he’s lived here for over 26 years, and has chosen excellent locations, none of which disappointed – no small feat considering how reliant on weather we were. He’s well-organized and if anything didn’t go according to plan I certainly didn’t notice a glitch in the matrix. But for a guy who’s so easy-going he can really march his troops, and we were up at some lunatic hours, one morning my alarm went as early as 4:00am. Thank God you can get coffee in the vending machines. If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday, this isn’t it, though the food, sake, and abundant hot springs took the sting out of the early mornings and long hours.