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Soleil Ponce

Born and raised in the Pearl of the Orient Seas, the Philippines - ranked 3rd happiest country in the world according to Gallup survey (2017 report https://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/01/02/18/ph-third-happiest-country-in-the-world-gallup-survey) - I'm bound to commit everyday happiness and a positive outlook on life. Soleil - Sun in French - provides ideas that are unique and bright, always take everything seriously but light, although I have an inadequate height, I promise to deliver consistency and efficiency and do whatever is right.

My love for trees and peaks brought me to travel for nature and culture. I've been traveling since 2009 locally (Philippines) and internationally and summitted countless peaks in Asia. Initially, I thought traveling is a luxury but now I discovered world's summary. It opened my eyes to various dimensions of life and contentment. The way I see life prior to traveling is completely different from today. I cherish every moment as same time is never repeatable. It's once in a lifetime.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Hiking! Going around Mt. Fuji area, Japanese Tea Ceremony, Off-the-beaten destinations in Japan, Cultural tour, food tour."

How did you get involved in travel?

"In 2009, I started hiking mountains. I travel to hike. And in my home country, the only way to reach indigenous people who needs basic life necessities such as food, shelter and education is to hike mountains. I get addicted to it and travel twice a month or sometimes, weekly. Brought things to the mountains, share what we have and just enjoy the time being with indigenous people.

Fast forward, I just started traveling internationally last 2015 and my first out-of-the-country was Japan. The sole reason of going to the land of the rising sun is just to hike Mt. Fuji, but it gave me a totally different and unexpected experience. When I was a kid, I had a dream walking in a beautiful crater but didn't know where it was. I keep on dreaming on that place as I grow older and I found that place in my dream : the crater of Mt. Fuji. Speechless, teary-eyed, left in awe. No words can explain how flabbergasted I am on that very moment. And from then on, I keep on coming back to Japan .. not once, not twice, not thrice. But decided to officially moved in. Not to live (yet), not to work, but to study. Study the culture, study everything about Japan. And now I'm living my dream!"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I can't say that this is a unique one but I can consider a dreamy one. Watching sunrise in the Buledi Pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar with my bestfriends with hot-air balloon in the background. Or maybe travel in a UNESCO heritage sites as it brings me to the past."

Soleil is part of the following groups: Japan Travel Agents
Colorful Japanese Lanterns
Family Adventure in Japan: Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Kyoto - 10 Days

Traveling together as a family is such a special experience, and this 10-day action-packed adventure is specifically designed with families in mind. From Kanto to Kansai, this trip takes you from Tokyo and its modern, bustling streets to Kyoto with its tight hold on tradition. It's the perfect way to take in all that Japan has to offer while having plenty of family fun.

Hokkaido's iconic red-crowned cranes.
Hokkaido in Winter: Lake Akan to Shiretoko - 7 Days

Discover the pristine natural landscape of Hokkaido on this 7-day winter itinerary. Japan’s second-largest main island is a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers, with snow-capped mountain ranges, serene forests, and deep crater lakes. Starting in Kushiro on the east coast, you’ll travel north, heading into the winter wilderness of Akan-Mashu National Park. Visit UNESCO World Heritage nature reserves, experience spectacular snow-covered landscapes, and spot rare wildlife unique to Hokkaido before ending your adventure on the magnificent Shiretoko Peninsula.

The Arashiyama bamboo grove
Explore Japan: Tokyo, Nikko, Hakone, & Kyoto - 10 Days

Along with two major cities–modern Tokyo and traditional Kyoto–this itinerary also takes you to the beautiful mountainside areas of Nikko and Hakone. The former is a place of much spiritual significance, and the latter is one of the best areas in the country to experience the Japanese hot springs. A mixture of old-meets-new Japan, this trip has all you need to experience multiple sides of the country.

The 10 000 red torii of Fushimi Inari
Explore Japan: Tokyo & Kyoto - 5 Days

This short-yet-sweet five-day trip to Japan is packed with experiences to make the most out of your time. Covering two of the major cities–Tokyo and Kyoto–this trip has all you need to experience two completely different, yet equally beautiful, sides of Japan. In Tokyo, you’ll experience progressive technology in Odaiba and dine at a Robot Restaurant. In Kyoto, you’ll learn about Japanese traditions, including geisha culture and the arts. Enjoy sushi making, and tour the most famous shrines and temples along the way.

Explore Japan's Islands
Explore Japan's Islands - 10 Days

On this scenic trip, you'll visit two of the largest cities in Japan: Tokyo and Osaka. However, your itinerary will mostly focus on some of the lesser-known islands surrounding the mainland. Hachijojima has some of the best stargazing in the country, Aogashima is a tiny, beautiful volcanic island, and the Goto islands have an impressive history with stunning beaches. Discover a side of Japan most visitors never get to see!

Magic of Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima - 12 days
Magic of Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima - 12 days

Discover both the traditional and modern sides of Japan as you visit various shrines and temples, witness technological innovation at an amazing digital art exhibition and crazy (in a very good way) robot show, and get involved in a few hands-on cooking and craft classes. For a trip which aims to give you the best overview of Japan as possible, you can't do any better.

Recent trip reviews for Soleil

Spectacular, Once in a Lifetime Vacation! · Japan - Mar 1 - Mar 9, 2020

Traveler: Robin L. - Local specialist: Soleil Ponce

If you seek a spectacular once in a lifetime adventure in the Heart and Soul of Japan, KimKim will create a unique trip experience, specifically built around your individual interests and passions! 
Soleil was the creator of our unique Japan adventure, and she did a highly commendable job.  She gave generously of herself during the extensive planning phase, and throughout our entire 9 day Japan adventure to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka!   
Gibwa, from our Japan support team, greeted us at the... read more

If you seek a spectacular once in a lifetime adventure in the Heart and Soul of Japan, KimKim will create a unique trip experience, specifically built around your individual interests and passions! 
Soleil was the creator of our unique Japan adventure, and she did a highly commendable job.  She gave generously of herself during the extensive planning phase, and throughout our entire 9 day Japan adventure to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka!   
Gibwa, from our Japan support team, greeted us at the airport and we traveled together by train to our hotel where we checked in and went over our trip package, containing various train cards, show and tour vouchers.  Soleil had left several very thoughtful gifts in our room for my daughter, based upon her interests in a particular Japanese culture.  What a very  thoughtful surprise this was! 
Our Japan support team checked in with us daily to ensure we felt supported if we had any questions or concerns.  Our trip was so well detailed, but also gave us huge flexibility to change up along the way if we wanted, which we loved!  
The cooking classes, food tours and other very unique tours and adventures which Soleil planned for us were highly enjoyable!  Some of our favorites were the Ramen and Gyozo cooking class by Chef Yumi, (who was incredible) the absolutely fabulous food tours by Arigato Japan, and the beautiful Hozugawa River Cruise!!!  
Soleil additionally ensured that everyone along the way celebrated my daughter's college graduation while we were with them! Thank you so much Soleil!  
I am extremely happy we chose KimKim to help us create and execute our highly unique and fabulous trip to Japan!  It was truly AMAZING!  A very heartfelt thank you to Soleil and the entire Japan support team, who spoke perfect English, by the way!  
*Also, a very special thank you to Anne Kyle, CEO of Arigato Food Tours, Japan,  for her very generous heart and truly awesome food tours!  Her tour guides Haruka and Anna were fabulous!!!

Soleil Ponce profile photo
Soleil Ponce, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Robin,

First of all, thank you so much for radiating positivity during the entire Japan trip despite of COVID-19 issues. We sincerely appreciate that and we're glad that you like our preparation for your Japan trip. Best wishes and congratulations again to Kat for her graduation. We hope to see you again here soon ^_^

Best Regards,

Soleil