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.
Born and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Sally took the road less travelled to Japanese culture, having learnt the language to communicate with a slime mold laboratory whilst studying microbiology…
Mold aside, she was also excited to read poets Kobayashi Issa and Kenji Miyazawa in their native tongue alongside her favourite author Haruki Murakami.
After teaching English on the island of Awaji-shima, Hyogo and attending a language school in Yokohama, she misses her enthusiastic high school students, Japanese konbini (supermarkets), inarizushi (sushi in fried tofu) and yaki-imo (roasted sweet potatoes - "the perfect hand-warmers").
If you have a sweet tooth, she's the one to make friends with, having worked as a sous and pastry chef she has a penchant for making croissants and cream puffs from scratch. Not just a foodie, she's also a crafty one who enjoys pottery in her spare time and once made her own lute whilst attending a workshop in the UK.
Full of hints and tips for first-time visitors to Japan, her main ones are to expect kindness and embrace unexpected encounters; strangers stopped to take her to the station when she was backpacking, old yakuza ladies leant her fancy shampoo in an Osaka onsen and farmers on Awaji Island left bags of onions or loquats by her door.
Describe a favourite memory from your travels in Japan
"The first time I went to Japan was on a short study-abroad. I knew just about enough Japanese at that time to buy a soda at the convenience store and ask where the post office was, but everyone was so kind that I never had any worries.
One evening some students at Shimane University took us out to a little urban park. Lake Shinji stretched out beyond the horizon as we shared a can of beer between a dozen people in little paper cups and lit tiny, sparkler-type fireworks. These fireworks are more a test of patience than anything else; they go out instantly if you make the slightest movement. The image of a college girl wearing a yukata (kimono) squatting silently in the dusk, her whole body focused on the tiny pinprick light in her hand is unforgettable."