As most of our tours are less than a week, and the majority of our guests choose to extend their time in Japan, airport transfers are not included. We will, however, always assist our guests with their onward journey by providing detailed directions or reserving seats where necessary.
Our hotel accommodation has been specially selected for both quality and location. With our preferred local accommodation rating of 3-4 stars, you can rest assured you’ll always be comfortable and well-looked after.
Some of our tours use Ryokan (Japanese style Inns) or Shukubo (temple lodging). Both are Japanese style accommodation with tatami flooring and futon bedding often with shared bathing facilities. While Ryokan may have private ensuite or public Onsen baths which can be booked prior for private use, Shukubo is run by monks, so services are basic, although this offers guests a unique experience including Buddhist vegetarian meals and morning service. As this style of accommodation often have no furniture (i.e., chairs or beds) , please consider choosing a different style of tour in Japan, especially if you have difficulty getting up from the floor or have existing knee, hip, or back issues.
Most accommodation is on a twin share basis. Although we ask for your preferred room type (i.e., twin or double) at the time of booking, it is always subject to availability. Special requests are always invited but cannot be guaranteed.
A single supplement is available for guests who prefer not to share a room. The single supplement applies to all nights of your tour, and is subject to availability.
You may also request hotel arrangements for the nights preceding or following your tour (not included in the tour price). We are happy to book your additional nights on a space-availability basis. Hotel room charges will be added to your final itinerary cost. Please feel free to contact us when making your tour booking.
Transport is an integral part of your experience, that’s why we use high quality, clean and efficient Japanese public transport wherever possible, thus giving you a feel of local life at each destination. If our activities are not conveniently serviced by public transport, for your comfort and time efficiency, taxis or minibuses may be utilized.
Our tours use public transport and are not door-to-door bus tours. Sometimes you may have to carry your own luggage. Train stations can be quite complex and usually require a lot of stair climbing, while elevators aren’t always conveniently located or cannot accommodate many people at a time. In addition, Japanese public transport is often quite small and cramped without large luggage racks or dedicated storage space, so it’s best to pack as light and small as possible so your tour will be more enjoyable, comfortable, and easier.
Some tours will include an overnight courier service forwarding one large suitcase per person, which will be collected by the courier in the morning and arrive at your destination the following day. This way, you can travel comfortably without having to handle luggage by yourself. All you need will be your personal items for the night and for the next day.
Food & Beverage
Special dietary needs:
The Japanese daily diet contains gluten (i.e. in flavourings such as soy sauce, and miso) and seafood (dashi, or fish stock, is the basis of most dishes, even vegetable ones), so we highly recommend that vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs do their own online research before travelling to secure options that may be available to them. While our Tour Managers will assist you whenever they can, there may be some included meals that are fixed in advance and not flexible. These include offerings at ryokans and specialty restaurants, and cannot be modified for different diets. For those suffering from particular food allergies, whilst dining with your Tour Manager they will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, still a personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic. Generally speaking, special diets such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free are not widely catered for in Japan, therefore, for people with strong food preferences or severe allergies, our pre-organized small group tours may not be suitable, and we cannot guarantee that all your dietary requirements will be catered to. Having said that, we will do our very best to organize an itinerary to meet your dietary requirements for any of our tailor-made private tours.
With the introduction of the non-smoking law in April 2020, increasing numbers of eateries are non-smoking or at least have separate smoking areas. Please note that most small businesses are still exempt from these legal requirements, and it is possible that you will see other patrons smoking in some local small restaurants, most of which actually offer the best local experiences.
All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on our small group tours. Please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Although our group tours are not designed as an adventure tour, a basic level of fitness is required to be able to be on your feet for 2-3 hours at a time, in addition to climbing up and down stairs at some sites and stations. Please note that if in the opinion of our tour manager or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of the trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling in Japan.
All of our small group tours are accompanied by one of our experienced Tour Managers who will be at your disposal except during free time and evenings after dinner unless otherwise arranged. The sole aim of the Tour Manager is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible.
Your Tour Manager will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects.
Travelling In A Group
As you travel on a group tour, you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a different range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience.
Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.