What are escorted custom tours?
We will plan an itinerary that includes the things you want to do and see while in Japan. We will organise all accommodation, rail passes and where practical, book ahead entry tickets that are necessary, within your budget and keeping you informed at every stage. We can design a tour package for your needs, and provide as much or as little assistance as you need on your trip to Japan.
In Japan we can help you avoid the difficulties that could prevent you from having a great time. Typical examples of what we do, we:
arrange accommodation according to your preferences.
arrange transport - usually via the excellent Japan Railways including the Shinkansen, the subway system and taxis.
standing in queues to purchase tickets during your down time.
meet you at the airport, and take you back again.
find meal options that suit your group, and that can include ordering or recommending different dishes.
save you valuable time by getting you to and from different sights efficiently.
provide information on different aspects of culture, history, and etiquette.
As your hosts we can provide as much or as little support as you need each day.
Benefits to you
Your accommodation is pre-booked and pre-paid - no worrying about exchange rates
Someone else is responsible for getting you from A to B (and back again)
You can relax while the challenging and tedious things are handled for you (standing in queues for tickets, ordering in restaurants, making tricky purchases etc)
You get more time to do what you want to do, enjoying Japan.
Our pricing is based on JPY295,000 per person per week. This includes the cost of travel around Japan, trains and accommodation (typically 4* and 5* hotels) and these make up the bulk of the costs we incur providing your tour. Where sensible we include breakfast with the hotels (and dinner at some ryokan). Entrance fees for castles/temples/shrines are also included, but special events like theme parks, sumo or kabuki are not.
Our aim is to provide value for money. We do charge a fee for our planning service and day-to-day role of hosting/guiding you and ensuring you have a great, hassle-free holiday. We do pass on discounts that we are able to obtain on accommodation and travel, meaning a customised and hosted tour can be significantly cheaper than comparable organised tours. Our tour prices are, however, not the lowest you can get for a holiday package, but then we do not stick 40 people on a bus and leave you on your own most of the day.
What expenses will I have while in Japan?
You will need to cover the costs of all food and drink, taxi fares, shopping and other incidentals. It is possible to spend a lot or a little on meals in Japan so there is flexibility within your budget. Buses and local trains/subways are inexpensive and are a way to save a substantial amount of money compared to taking taxis everywhere if you are budget-minded. An allowance of Y50,000 per week per person should allow you to eat and drink well with few constraints.
For many of these minor costs it is easier to pay for the group as a whole and keep tabs on spending for each guest (for things like entrance fees and subways). For group meals it can be more difficult running separate accounts so either do a simple split or a more detailed breakdown as suits the group, and then settle the balance each day or two.