Frequently Asked Questions

Japan

Should I get Travel Insurance?

Yes! It is always wise to protect yourself! We can offer you travel insurance through our partner or you can obtain it from somewhere else. Please be aware of our terms relating to insurance. 

Travel Insurance

Cancellation Policy

Is there tipping in Japan?

No! Many restaurants and businesses may add a “service  charge”, but tipping itself is not accepted. Any tips left will likely be returned to you.

Are tattoos permissible in Japan?

Tattoos are considered taboo in Japan. While this won’t affect you for the most part, if you are heavily tattooed you may find that it draws a lot of stares and you may occasionally be refused service.

Onsen especially have strict rules. We try to select onsen that are tattoo friendly and can provide resources for tattoo friendly locations and activities around Japan.

How much money should I exchange before the trip?

While credit cards can be accepted in many places, cash is still king in Japan. We recommend exchanging your USD for Japanese Yen at the banks in Japan as you get the best rate there.

Prior to leaving we recommend changing at least $100 per person into Japanese Yen to ensure you have something just in case we land on a bank holiday or are unable to exchange upon arrival.

Is Japan safe?

Yes! Japan has some of the lowest crime in the world! It is a very safe and enjoyable country.

What is the drinking age in Japan?

20 years old

Japan takes it’s drinking laws seriously, if you do not want to end up at a police station dealing with authorities please respect their drinking restrictions.

Group Tours

What is included in the price of the tour?

Generally the following items are included in each tour:

  • Airfare! Yes! Roundtrip airfare from an international airport!
  • Hotel for each night
  • 1 night stay at a Ryokan with Kaiseki meal included
  • Our Founder as your guide!
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners
  • Japan Rail Pass (covers all JR trains including the bullet train)
  • $50 Pasmo Card
  • Fees for local guides / tours
  • Sim Card (for internet access from your phone)

Other items that may be included depending on the tour are:

  • Entrance fees for select venues / events
  • Hakone Free Pass

Please note that each tour is unique and subject to it’s own inclusions. The list above is subject to change at any time and is not a guarantee of service. 

AIRFARE IS NOT INCLUDED

How many people are there on each or your tours?

Our Group Tours are limited to a maximum of 16 people. Tours tend to average 12 – 14 people.

What is the difference between your Group Tours and the Independent Vacations?

Our Group Tours are considered “small group tours” that will consist of 10 -16 travelers. Our CEO will lead the group through the country for the entirety of the trip.

In contrast, an Independent Vacation is simply a vacation package purchased from us. You are responsible for navigating Japan yourself. No full-time guide is provided. We are however available via WhatsApp while you are on your vacation to aid you in anyway possible.

Do you have age requirements for your tours?

Any travelers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Since our tours are geared more towards an adult audience, we don’t recommend anyone under 15. Younger teens and children may find the history and culture uninteresting.

You must be 18 years of age by departure date to travel unaccompanied.

What type of accommodations do you use?

Accommodations range in type from Ryokan (guest houses) to western and Japanese hotels. While Japan doesn’t have an official star rating system, all accommodations would be considered at least 3-stars. We select hotels for their comfort and convenient location for travel and sightseeing.

Do accommodations include private bathrooms?

Most accommodations will have an “en-suite” facility. However, there are times (typically with Ryokan) where private facilities are not available. In this case, a shared bath or toilet will be available.

How do we meet our tour guide?

The tour guide (our CEO!) will accompany the tour group from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Most domestic flights will land in LAX early so that the entire tour group can meet the guide, and arrive in Japan together.

Is there a price difference if I am traveling solo?

Yes, all pricing assumes dual occupancy. If you do not wish to pay the supplement and there is another solo traveler of the same gender, you may opt to room together. Otherwise you will need to pay the supplement. Supplements will vary per tour.

How strenuous are the tours?

Our tours are physically active with a lot of walking, standing while sightseeing, and stair-climbing. Elevators and escalators can be hard to find in train stations, especially the smaller ones. Shrines and temples usually have quite a few stairs at their entrances. Age is not a concern as long as you are physically fit, and are able to carry your own luggage. It is not always convenient to take transportation everywhere, so be prepared to walk up to 10 minutes with your overnight bags. Rolling suitcases work fine in Japan, but keep in mind there may be times when you may need to carry them up or down stairs.

Does The Japan Tour Company handle our luggage?

You are solely responsible for your luggage. We do our best to stay in a central location that requires as few hotel swaps as possible. This cuts down the amount of baggage carrying travelers will have to do.

If you do not want to carry your luggage between hotels you can use a service called “Takkyubin” (baggage transfer). This “door-to-door” delivery service allows us to send our large suitcases ahead, traveling with overnight bags only from city-to-city, making train-travel much easier.

Independent Vacations

How will we navigate Japan without a tour guide?

We will provide a comprehensive guide that includes all of your destinations, transportation and accommodation details. We will include a google map with all locations pinned as well as recommendations for specific apps to help you on your journey.

We will also be available by WhatsApp during a good portion of the day.

Do not fear! With the updates for the 2020 Olympic games, Japan as become even more foreigner friendly than it already was!

Can I customize an Independent Vacation?

Yes! All pricing on Independent Vacations are for our pre-planned itineraries. If you want to customize a trip please contact us directly. There is a separate fee for planning custom trips.