Our team at Inside Japan Tours

The sun never sets on the InsideJapan Tours team (well, maybe on Sundays) as we have offices in Bristol (UK), Boulder, (USA), Brisbane (Australia) and Nagoya (Japan). On this page you can meet the people behind our Japan tours and holidays.

We have a wide range of backgrounds and interests, but you can be sure that the one thing that ties us all together is a love of Japan, Japanese culture and a passionate desire to share that with other people.

From the accounts department, through the travel consultant teams to the tour leaders and guides on the ground, you can rest assured that everything we do is to make sure you have the best possible experience of Japan.

Ben Walker

Originally from Cootamundra in New South Wales, Australia, Ben is now based in Fukuoka in southwestern Japan, from where he leads some of our Small Group Tours.

Like a lot of eighties children, Ben originally became interested in Japan through the movie Karate Kid. His fascination moved on via ninja to samurai, and eventually led to him making his permanent home in Japan.

Like so many members of our team, Ben has plenty of miles behind him. He left Australia at the age of 21 to spend a couple of years working in the Lake District in the UK, where he fell in love with the picture-book beauty of the place. He then moved on to live in Ireland, where his English-Irish ancestry meant he felt right at home.

On coming to Japan, Ben lived in rural Yamaguchi Prefecture for ten years before settling in the city of Fukuoka five years ago. He brings a vast depth of knowledge of Japanese language and culture to every tour he leads - although it's taken him a while to shake the "gangster" Japanese he learnt in his first job at a demolition company!

Ben is a self-described "rugby tragic", who enjoyed playing the sport at university but now lives his rugby dreams vicariously through his (more talented) son. He is also the doting father of a true Hakata Bijin (Hakata, where Ben lives, is famous for its beautiful women - known as Hakata Bijin in the local lingo). In his spare time, he is an avid book collector, tea ceremony enthusiast, and chronic karaoke microphone hog - not to mention member of the only The Smiths cover band (that we know of) in Japan. Is there anything this man can't do?

Where is your favourite place in Japan, and why?

Having lived in Fukuoka for the last five years, I have to insist on a visit to my hometown. Fukuoka is, I believe, the best city in Japan. It has absolutely everything you need - mountains, beaches, shopping and a great nightlife. It also has arguably (and Japanese will argue about this for hours) the best food to be had in Japan.

In Fukuoka it's possible to go hiking in the morning, to the beach in the afternoon, eat world class food, and party until the wee hours - all in one day. I'm not being paid by the City of Fukuoka to say all this either! Anyone who has visited Fukuoka falls in love with it instantly. Oh, yeah. Last selling point: Fukuoka airport is five minutes by subway from the centre of the city!

Steve Parker
Richard Farmer
Mark Rawlins
David Lovejoy
Mark Fujishige
Brett Plotz
Ben Walker
Brian Beatty
Mike Reddy
Charlea Jefts
Van Milton
Robert Kodama
Mark Hobold
Yuri Awanohara
  • Yuri Awanohara
  • Tour Leader
  • Location (Japan)
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Thomas Siebert
Mandy Wong
Christian Closs
  • Christian Closs
  • Tour Leader
  • Location (Japan)
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Jack Sowerbutts
  • Jack Sowerbutts
  • Tour Leader
  • Location (Japan)
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Matthew Ackerman
  • Matthew Ackerman
  • Tour Leader
  • Location (Japan)
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Chantel Furbert
  • Chantel Furbert
  • Tour Leader
  • Location (Japan)
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