Ito Eiichi runs a company we use to co-ordinate English speaking day guides across Japan. He works directly with all of our travel consultants to make sure we always have a great guide in the right place at the right time.
"I really enjoy working with Inside Japan as they are extremely flexible and easy to work with. In the five years that we've been working together they have helped us to expand the scope of our business as we are arranging ever more guides for English speaking tourists.
I think the day I am most proud of over the last five years was arranging guiding for a 90-year-old war veteran. He was extremely sprightly and very keen to meet other war veterans who were living in Onagawa Bay in Sendai. He also wanted to visit the war memorial in Yokohama. It was a real pleasure to help him find closure after so many years.
We do our best to reduce our environmental impact by using public transport wherever possible. However I think the greatest impact we have is working together with Inside Japan to act as a bridge between English speaking visitors and the local Japanese communities. I love helping people to share their stories, thoughts and cultures."
The rural cycling experience in the Hida farmlands around Takayama is a real favourite with our customers. It gives people the chance to go beyond the towns and cities and get a feel for rural life in Japan. The people at Satoyama Cycling are great to work with and always go the extra mile to ensure our customers have a memorable day on two wheels.
"We've really enjoyed working with the polite and positive people at Inside Japan over the last four years. The volume of information they give us about visitors is brilliant and means we can really tailor the experience to make sure guests have a great day.
Since we have been working with you we have had many more overseas tourists coming cycling with us. This is great for us, but also for the local communities in and around Takayama as it means more people are coming through, learning about their way of life, and promoting our local culture when they go back home!
We've been lucky enough to have many honeymoon couples come to visit us which is always a joy, but our favourite memory of an Inside Japan Tours customer was when we had someone cycle with us on their birthday. We all put our heads together and came up with a day for them which they really enjoyed and was hopefully a memorable highlight of Japan.
As well as supporting the local communities we like to keep our environmental impact as small as possible. For us this is pretty easy as we get around on bikes! We hope that when people get home they will continue to use their bikes and keep their impact on the environment as small as possible.
We're excited to meet and spend time cycling with more people from Inside Japan Tours."
Jiji no Ie
Tucked away near the town of Chojamachi on the Boso Peninsula, Jiji no Ie is a ryokan-style accommodation that offers guests the opportunity to unplug and reconnect with the rural way of life. It is run by photographer Everett Kennedy Brown, and essayist and macro-biotic cooking teacher Deco Nakajima. The name literally translates as "Grandfather's house", and the inn's ethos is one of the connection between man and nature.
"We've really enjoyed the two years we've been receiving guests from Inside Japan Tours. Their customers always have a good idea of what to expect before they arrive and appreciate the chance to unwind. Since starting to work with them we have noticed an increase in customers coming from abroad. It's been really enjoyable to share a sense of the Japanese rural way of life with people coming from so far away.
We're always working to reduce the impact we and our guests have on our local environment. Recently we've started to collect and use rain water in our buildings. It's great to accommodate Inside Japan's customers who fully embrace our ethos of living a minimal life in harmony with the environment.
Our favourite memory of an Inside Japan customer was when a solo traveller we had visiting went out to explore the local area on a cycle trip. Halfway through she got caught in a heavy rain shower, but carried on with her exploration regardless and got completely soaked. However she loved her day on the bike and said that whizzing through the small villages in the pouring rain was a great release and a wonderful experience."
We hope to keep working with Inside Japan and accommodating their lovely guests into the future.