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.
As an Art History major, it was during an Arts of Asia module that Nicole became interested in Japan's unique culture and history. What art lover wouldn't be inspired by geisha, ukiyo-e woodblock prints and the Edo period ‘Floating World' era?
During the eight years this South Carolina native lived in Chicago, she became immersed in the local art scene, taking figure drawing classes, working in a gallery, covering exhibitions and events for online art publications, and painting monthly portraits for a column in The Chicago Tribune.
After a stint living in the UK after graduating, Nicole couldn't shake off her fascination with Japan, and moved to Nakatsu City in Oita prefecture. While she continued to learn about traditional culture, including taking ikebana (flower arranging) lessons, her interests shifted to contemporary art and the country's innovative exhibition spaces.
Unsurprisingly, Naoshima, an island on the Seto Inland Sea wholly dedicated to art, soon became Nicole's favourite place in Japan. She recommends renting a bike to see the best of this beautiful island and be sure not to miss Benesse House Museum, the Art House Project (abandoned houses with installations by contemporary artists) and the iconic Yayoi Kusama pumpkin sculpture on the beach.
When not touring galleries or dabbling in drawing, one of her favourite things to do was put away the camera and hit the road for long mountain drives to find hidden gems and secret cafés; always on the lookout for her favourite sansai soba (soba cooked with wild mountain vegetables).
Her time wasn't all art galleries and high culture though, Nicole also has a penchant for karaoke, canned chuhai (shochu fruity alchopops) and 90s teen dramas. Good to know it's not just us...