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.
Originally from Manchester, Lucy spent two years in a small coastal town in South Tokushima, Shikoku – a big change from her home city, though there were still an alarming number of Manchester United fans! She spent most of her time hiking, surfing, and travelling around Japan.
Lucy has her history lecturer at Newcastle University to thank for getting her hooked on Japan. Fascinated by the huge transformations Japan was making in the 19th and 20th centuries, followed by its post-war metamorphosis, she went on to develop a love for the works of Oe Kenzaburo and Haruki Murakami.
While living in Japan, Lucy worked as an assistant language teacher at a local school, and spent her free time performing the traditional Tokushima dance, Awa Odori, with her local dance troupe, Sasayuri-ren. She is now pretty confident dancing for hours on end in the rather intimidating wooden sandals women's dance requires - though her feet are glad to see the back of that! When not dancing, Lucy found time to run two marathons while in Tokushima, being awarded the (self-proclaimed) title of "Fastest Mancunian".
Before moving to Japan, Lucy worked in a chocolate shop in Newcastle (where she got pretty nifty with an icing bag!) and as a lifeguard in Manchester (where her claim to fame is having her request for an autograph rejected by Michael Phelps). These days, she spends her spare time dancing ballet, playing netball, and going running; all of which go hand-in-hand with her other hobbies: drinking red wine, cooking, and discovering as many of Bristol's fabulous pubs as she can.
Lucy's top tip for first-time visitors to Japan is: don't be afraid to get lost. As nice as it is to get directions right first time, some of the best little districts, restaurants and markets are places you stumbled across whilst hopelessly lost.
Where is your favourite place in Japan, and why?
A tough question, but ultimately it would have to be Osaka. Crossing the bridge on a Friday night from rural Shikoku to Osaka was, and always will be, pure magic. The prospect of a weekend filled with Osaka's foodie delights is irresistible, and the leap of faith it took heading into unknown izakaya (Japanese pubs) and bars was always rewarded with an entertaining evening amongst Osaka's infamously colourful characters. I always enjoyed hunting for a bargain in downtown second-hand clothes shops, and exploring the labyrinth of markets in Tsuruhashi, the city's Korean quarter.