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.
A trained botanist, aspiring potter and outdoors enthusiast, Van will introduce you to the nature, art and culture of Japan.
Van hails from Washington DC but has lived in Colorado since he was a teenager - which perhaps accounts for his passion for the great outdoors. Whether it's mountain biking, trail running, hiking or climbing, Van is your man for all things adventurous - so it's no surprise that his top tip for visitors to Japan is to get out of the big cities and explore the beautiful countryside.
Van spent five years living in Japan, teaching English on the JET programme. While there, he enjoyed observing the differences between architecture and aesthetics in his own country and Japan: the different textures of wood and tile, plants and concrete, and nature within the cities. As well as his interest in nature, Van describes himself as having a "mild obsession" with ceramics, and has a keen interest in photography and light painting.
Before joining us at Inside Japan Tours, Van worked at Denver Botanic Gardens and REI, an outdoor equipment store in the US. Like all of us he loves to travel, and spent six months exploring New Zealand with the WWOOF (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) programme. His favourite places in Japan are Yakushima, the island that inspired Miyazaki's masterpiece Princess Mononoke, and the town of Kumamoto for its incredible food, art and history.
What would you say to persuade someone to visit Japan?
Beautiful temples. Incredible countryside towns. Amazing food. Gorgeous nature. Fantastic people. What are you waiting for?