Quick-fire answers to our most frequently asked questions
In this section we've put together some of the questions we frequently get asked about our tours and about travel in Japan. We have divided this section into three areas according to the different kinds of holiday we offer: General FAQs, Small Group Tour FAQs, and Self-Guided Adventures FAQs.
If your question is not answered below or if you have any questions about our brand new Exclusive Private Journey concept, please don't hesitate to contact us directly.
Self-Guided Adventure FAQs
What is a Self-Guided package and how is it put together?
Our Self-Guided packages are based on an itinerary covering your accommodation and transport in Japan. We have links with hundreds of hotels and traditional Japanese inns across Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa, so whichever destinations you have in mind we can make it possible.
You can choose one of our Self-Guided itineraries to start you off, or you can suggest a list of destinations yourself. To this basic itinerary we can add a range of extra elements, such as occasional private guiding, tickets to sporting events such as baseball and sumo and a range of cultural experiences, such as tea ceremony, flower arranging and a selection of very special geisha experiences in Kyoto.
There is no end to the possibilities that can be included in your trip, from bear watching in the mountains to dressing up as a samurai/geisha couple in the heart of Kyoto for that perfect honeymoon snapshot!
Each Self-Guided itinerary is different, as we work closely with the customer to make sure the plan is exactly right for them. All of our UK office staff have lived and worked in Japan and have travelled the country extensively, so you will have your trip designed by those with a wealth of knowledge on the variety of destinations Japan has to offer.
After your initial email to us, you will be sent an initial itinerary proposal for your trip based on the information you have provided us with. This will usually include suggestions for accommodation, transport and any special activities that may be of interest.
We encourage our customers to read through the proposal carefully and then let us know their comments. We then begin to alter and adapt the plan, fine-tuning it (with your approval) until it matches your requirements exactly. No payment is required until you are completely happy with your itinerary and we have confirmed your accommodation.
How will we get around Japan without a tour leader?
We will provide you with a comprehensive Info-Pack for your trip. This will contain all of the vital information for your trip, including comprehensive transport instructions with bi-lingual timetables, addresses and maps for all of you accommodation, a destination guide to each place you will visit and a huge General Information section covering a wide range of topics from eating out to enjoying a hot-spring bath!
All of our Self-Guided itineraries include a meet-and-greet service on arrival at the airport and most include a day's private guiding in Tokyo at the start of the trip. These reassuring services will help introduce you to Japan, and will give you extra confidence for traveling the country independently.
Our customers like the flexibility of our Self-Guided trips, allowing you to travel independently, but with the safety net of knowing that your hotel arrangements are taken care of, and knowing when and where you will be getting on your next train!
We would like to add some extras to our trip. What can we add?
We have a set of standard extra elements that can be added to your trip. This includes private guiding services, tickets to sumo wrestling tournaments (depending on tournament schedule) and a range of fascinating geisha experiences in Kyoto. If you have a particular interest of activity in mind that you would like to experience in Japan, just let us know.
What if something goes wrong? Who can we contact?
Throughout your trip you will have the support of English-speaking staff at our Japan office in Nagoya. Our Japan office will have full details of your trip itinerary and are only a phone call away in the unlikely event that you should have any problems while you are in Japan.
I like the look of some destinations from one of your Self-Guided itineraries, but also some of those from another itinerary! Can I do both?
Yes! Our Self-Guided Adventures are fully tailorable to suit your preferences, so as long as what you want to do is humanly possible - we can make it happen.
We don't like the idea of shared bathroom facilities. Can we have all our accommodation with en suite facilities?
Certainly. We can select accommodation for you that has full en suite bathrooms, whether in western-style hotels or traditional Japanese inns - just let us know.
The Japanese love keeping clean. Traditionally, Japanese inns did not have private bathrooms in each guestroom. Instead the inn provided large communal bathing areas (separate area for men and women) and guests would use the facilities at their leisure. These bathing areas usually consist of a row of half a dozen spotlessly-clean shower "stations" with low stools and soap, and a large shallow bath for enjoying a relaxing soak once clean.
These days most Japanese-style inns also provide en suite facilities, but the large communal bathing areas remain, many of them with luxurious extras such as outdoor baths, Jacuzzi-style baths and saunas. In the mountains these baths take advantage of the local natural hot-spring water and the myriad of health benefits the local waters offer! The large communal baths are very much a part of Japanese culture and tradition, and to miss out altogether would be a shame.