Why travel with InsideJapan? 

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We know it’s not polite to boast, but before we go any further, it’s important that you understand just how good at this we are. Actually, we’re the best.  

It’s a big claim, and we wouldn’t make it if we couldn’t back it up. Of course, Japan makes our job easier by being so endlessly, faultlessly charming — but it can’t take all the credit. We’re pretty sure (in fact, we’re sure) that we can design you a better trip to Japan than anybody else. Why? Well, let’s see.  

Hand holding bright red fan with specs of gold

It’s fun from start to finish 

We don’t just mean the trip — we mean the whole process. Whether you’re after an tailor-made itinerary or you want to join one of our Small Group Tours, it’s all about getting to know you, discussing your ideas, and working together to make it the best trip possible. Dream as big as you like — it’s our job to take your ideas, throw in our own, and make it all a reality.  

Man holding a traditional purple Japanese umbrella

If you’re the kind of person who loves to be involved in the process, we’re here to chat, ruminate and collaborate until the cows come home. If you know what you want and you’d rather we just got on with it, that’s fine too! It’s totally personalised service, designed to suit you. 

We open doors / We have backstage passes 

After 20 years dedicated (some might say addicted) to one country, we know Japan inside out and outside in. Can Tripadvisor introduce you to the innkeeper we’ve known for decades, who makes the best baked oysters on the planet? No, but we can (her name is Shinko-san). Can the internet get you an appointment with an apprentice geisha? Maybe, but we can get you one with a cultural expert (and official World Guide Awards winner) on hand to translate.  

Two smiling travelers with an apprentice geisha

Our travel consultants who genuinely live, breathe and love Japan, and together we have decades of experiences, thousands of contacts, and millions of ideas. Most crucially of all, we know how to weave them together to create a trip that’ll run as smoothly as a bullet train. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at our Small Group Tours. Honed over 20 years and tested by thousands of travellers (not to mention our world-class guides and included experiences), they’re the ultimate showcase of what we can do when we put our heads together. 

 We’ve got your back, every step of the way 

When you hand over the reins to us, you can stop worrying. We take care of everything, from booking your train tickets to arranging cultural experiences, explaining the etiquette, making day trip suggestions, and pretty much anything else you’d like us to do. If you get lost, all you need to do is pick up the phone and our support team will be there to help, any hour of the day. Want a restaurant recommendation near your hotel? We’ll tell you our favourites and make a reservation for you. Not keen on one of your group tour excursions? We’ll find something that piques your interest and help you do that insteadOur service doesn’t stop until you’re home safe and sound. 

Tour leader talking to travelers in front of a temple

You can even stop worrying about coronavirus (well, to a certain extent). We’ve got our eye on the news at all times, and we’ll let you know as soon as anything changes. You’ve had a year full of worries, so let us take care of them for a while. 

 Your trip will be carbon neutral 

 The travel industry has to face up to its environmental impact, and we’re serious about being at the forefront of positive change. That’s why we measure the carbon produced by each of our trips, and offset it through the ClimateCare biogas project in Vietnam.  

ClimateCare provides clean and reliable energy to communities in rural parts of Vietnam by building biogas plants, which digest animal manure to create biogas. This not only removes the need to cut down forests for fuel (cutting CO2 emissions and saving people a lot of time in the process), but helps deal with the organic waste problem created by farm animals, too. 

ClimateCare is one of the largest Gold Standard carbon reduction projects in the world, which means that its environmental integrity is recognised by the WWF and other international NGOs. 

 We have the best tour leaders on the planet (and the awards to prove it) 

Yes, of course we’re biased — but we’re also right. Our tour leaders are energetic, charismatic, knowledgeable, and we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose a group tour, they’ll be a highlight of your trip. 

A crowd of InsideJapan Tours employees in front of a red Tengu statue

Every one of them lives in Japan, speaks the language fluently, and has made it their mission to share their love of their adopted country with as many people as possible. They’ll teach you things you’d never read on Wikipedia, help you chat to the locals, tell you stories you won’t hear anywhere else, and bring Japan to life in a way you just can’t experience on your own.  

If you need any more convincing, one of our tour leaders, Brett, was even voted best Tour Guide Leader in the Wanderlust World Guide Awards in 2019 — a fact that won’t surprise any of his former clients in the least. 

Tour leader Brett Plotz on stage receiving his award for world excellence

We have a Covid-19 booking guarantee 

 Right now, pinning your cash (and your hopes) on a holiday that might not even happen is a scary prospect. Nobody understands that better than we do. That’s why we’ve completely redesigned our booking policy to give you maximum flexibility and security, no matter what coronavirus decides to throw at us. It’s short, simple, and written in plain English — and if you’re not sure about something, we’re happy to chat to you about it. We’ve all had to get used to living with uncertainty, but that shouldn’t mean you can’t have something to look forward to.  

Snippet of InsideJapan Tour's website showing our Covid booking guarantee

We pride ourselves on customer service above all else 

Bringing your dreams and ideas to life is our team’s passion. Our travel consultants aren’t salespeople, they’re genuine enthusiasts and cultural experts who’ve spent years living in Japan, and every one of them came back determined to make Japan part of their future.  

From your first enquiry to your return home, our personalised, collaborative process means your travel consultant will get to know you well (so well, in fact, that some of our team members have compared that final phone call to a break-up). With 80% of our customers rating our service as excellent, we know this commitment makes a difference.  

 None of us can know what lies around the corner (if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s taught us that). But if you want to know what we think, the coming two years represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for travel to Japan.  

Smiling travelers jumping mid-air in celebration

 Japan has been our passion for two decades, and over the course of that time we’ve seen it grow from an offbeat choice to one of the world’s most popular destinations. There’s no denying that the visitor experience has changed as a result — and not always for the best. As tourism tentatively returns, however, 2021-2 offers a window on Japan as it was when we first discovered it, back in the year 2000. Calm, quiet, and almost devoid of Western tourists. In our book, that’s a chance worth taking.  

 If you’ve made it through this much of us tooting our own horn, you must really want a trip to Japan. We hope we’ve managed to convince you that we’re the ones to make it happen. Either way, consultations are absolutely free, so why not call us and put us to the test? 

 We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Staff at InsideJapan Tour's Bristol office smiling at the camera

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