Terms and Conditions

COVID-19 NOTICE

To help protect our travelers and the places we visit, all travelers must be fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 96 hours before the first day of the tour.

Deposits and Final Payment

We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover and American Express and Paypal. Your payment is not deemed made until it is received by The Japan Tour Company LLC.

Final payment is due 90 days prior to the start of the tour. If we do not receive final payment by this date, we reserve the right to charge a 10% late fee and/or cancel the reservation. In the case of billing errors, we reserve the right to re-invoice with correct pricing.

A non-refundable deposit of 25% the total price per tour is required for us to reserve space for you.

Included Airfare

If a tour is marked as “Airfare Included” that tour will include a round trip flight from an international airport at the lowest seat class (typically economy). If you do not live near an international airport, the cost of your flight to the international airport is not included. We can help you book any additional airfare as needed and a separate invoice will be sent for payment. Please contact us of you are not near an international airport or are unsure about service from the airport nearest you.

Cancellations and Refunds

If you purchase travel insurance, The Japan Tour Company LLC will not refund deposit payments or tour payments. Tour participants must contact the travel insurance provider directly for reimbursement of payments in the event of cancellations or changes.

In the event you are unable to participate in the tour and have not purchased travel insurance, the following cancellation fees will be applied:

  • After the 14 day grace period, deposit payments are non-refundable
  • 30 to 60 days prior to departure date: 25% Cancellation Fee of the final payment amount
  • 10 to 30 days days prior to departure date: 75% Cancellation Fee of the final payment amount
  • Less than 10 days days prior to departure date or no-show: 100% Cancellation Fee

Change Fees

A fee of $50.00 per person per change will be charged for any alteration or revision made to a tour date after your two week grace period. A change of tour date or itinerary made less than 60 days prior to the tour date will be treated as a cancellation, and the standard cancellation fees will be applied. (See the Cancellation Penalty schedule above). Switching to a different tour will only be allowed once prior to the 60-day mark before the deposit is lost. (Travel insurance cannot be used to cover the change fee, but you are able to file a claim for cancellation fees.) No additions, alterations, or substations will be available after 30 days prior to your trip.

Participation (Group Tours Only)

For the benefit of everyone on your vacation, The Japan Tour Company LLC reserves the right to accept or reject any person as a tour participant, and to remove from the tour any participant whose conduct is deemed incompatible with the interests of the other participants.

Medical Disclosure (Group Tours Only)

For your health and safety you must complete a medical disclosure form prior to the final payment date. If no such form as been submitted, The Japan Tour Company LLC reserves the right to consider your booking cancelled as of that day and applicable cancellation penalties will apply.

Last-Minute Reservations

Any tour registrations received less than 30 days prior to the start of the tour will be subject to a 10% surcharge.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this each tour listing has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. Any changes to a specifically scheduled tour may not be reflected on the website immediately. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travelers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Tour Details document to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

The itinerary for each tour is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Tour Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Sometimes due to weather, holidays, and unforeseen circumstances locations and attractions close with no advanced warning. Uncompleted portions of the tour itinerary are not cause for refund.

Group Tours

In these cases, The Japan Tour Company LLC will make its best effort to replace that attraction with another suitable and comparable replacement.

Individual Tours

Generally Individual Tour itineraries are more detailed as you will not have a guide with you. In the case of an interruption or closure, The Japan Tour Company LLC will make it’s best effort to provide alternatives available in your Tour Details document. You may also reach out to us on WhatsApp during our support hours.

Luggage Size Restrictions

It’s essential to pack as lightly as possible for rail travel in Japan. Most of The Japan Tour Company LLC tours use the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a restriction on maximum luggage size.

Any luggage brought on board must be less than 160cm in total (calculated as the sum of the height + width + depth of your luggage). This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as “carry-on baggage” and allow in overhead storage compartments. We strongly recommend bringing a day pack or backpack to use during the day (for daily essentials like water, cameras, passport, etc.).

Please note that travelers who bring luggage that exceeds this restriction will be directly penalized by the Central Japan Railway Company. Any luggage between 160–250cm will require a fee of 1,000 JPY per luggage, for each leg of your train journey, and is strictly subject to availability. Any luggage over 251cm in total is prohibited on the Shinkansen trains.

If you absolutely must bring more than what fits into a single carry-on bag plus day pack, you may bring a second carry-on bag which also must be less than 160cm in total. Please note, however, that as with all The Japan Tour Company LLC tours, you must be able to carry your luggage unassisted.

You will also be walking with your luggage in busy public train stations to catch connecting trains, so it is highly recommended that you travel light and have easy to handle luggage and capable of walking up and down the stairs with your luggage without any assistance. A large bag will be an inconvenience to you and will slow you down!

We recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for The Japan Tour Company LLC trips! Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. You will also need a day-pack/rucksack to carry daily essentials like water, cameras, passport, i-pods etc.

Takuhaibin – Japan’s takuhaibin service is a convenient and reliable way to transfer luggage from one location to another throughout the country. Pick-up/drop-off/delivery dates and times can be easily scheduled (usually overnight) and costs are moderate. Service can be arranged at most hotels and airports. Using Takuhaibin to send your luggage between hotels, or from hotel to airport, is a great way to travel light and avoid hauling large bags on crowded trains or up and down stairs – just be sure to pack an overnight bag with everything you’ll need until you’re reunited with your luggage the following day.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels but this is very expensive. Your leader can show you self service coin laundries in larger cities. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Japan Rail Pass

Please note that only foreigners traveling as a tourist are able to use a Japan Rail Pass. If you are a Japanese citizen/resident or traveling on a student/business/military/diplomatic visa, please advise us at time of booking as you will not be able to take advantage of the rail pass.

Tattoos

Tattoos are not common or widely accepted in Japan. There is no cause for concern, but do your best to cover your tattoos when possible and note that you may not be permitted to enter public spas or onsens (hot springs).

Transportation

On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan’s world famous transport system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto’s extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals.

Travelers Who Need Special Assistance

You must report any disability requiring special attention on your Medical Disclosure Form which you will receive in your confirmation packet. The Japan Tour Company LLC will make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of travelers, but it is not responsible in the event it is unable to do so, nor is it responsible for any denial of services by carriers, hotels, restaurants, or other independent suppliers. Be aware that outside the United States, facilities for disabled individuals are limited. We regret that we cannot provide individual physical assistance to a tour participant for walking, dining, getting on and off trains and other vehicles, or other personal needs. A qualified and physically able companion must accompany travelers who need such assistance.

Any pre-existing physical (including allergies), mental, or emotional disability that may require attention or treatment must be reported in writing prior to the beginning of a tour. Each tour participant must complete and return our Medical Disclosure Form which is included in your confirmation packet. Failure to return a complete and accurate Medical Disclosure  Form could result in expulsion and the standard cancellation fees will be applied.

Our tours use public transportation, walking to get around, and clients will be responsible for their own property, documents, and passes and tickets that we will provide. If you are not able to keep up or stay with the group for physical, mental, situational, or other reasons we will likely not be able to accommodate you.

If at any point you or the guides see that you are not going to be able to continue we can discuss any additional services we may be able to provide you with or the best way for you to return home at your own cost.

Young Travelers

Travelers who are less than 18 years old on the tour departure date must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Solo Travelers

If you are traveling alone there is a “Single Supplement Room Fee” as all prices assume double occupancy. However, at the time of checkout, you may indicate if you are willing to room with another solo traveler of your same gender (assuming one is available). If another solo traveler is available and willing to room together, the “Single Supplement Room Fee” can be credited back to you.

About Accommodation

Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world and space is at a premium. Therefore, hotels rooms are small! Additionally, most Japanese hotels do not have designated non-smoking rooms (this is slowly changing though!)

Ryokan are traditional inns found across Japan. Featuring tatami floors (soft mats of woven straw), futon beds, Japanese-style baths, cotton kimono (casual robe worn to lounge around or to head to the bath), and elaborate meals (often served in the comfort of your own room), a ryokan is the perfect place to experience traditional customs and hospitality. As ryokan are usually top tier accommodations, most guests stay only one night, often to celebrate a special occasion or holiday. Don’t be intimidated by the formalities inherent to a stay at a ryokan, your hosts will welcome you the same way they do all their guests. Have fun and enjoy this relaxing opportunity to learn more about Japan’s unique customs.

Minshuku are Japan’s answer to the Western bed and breakfast. Similar to ryokan, they have traditional features like tatami floors, futon beds, and Japanese-style baths. Minshuku are often family-run, and as such they offer a great opportunity to interact with local people and learn more about the nation’s customs. More affordable and simpler than ryokan, minshuku tend to have smaller guestrooms, shared bathroom facilities, and any included meals (traditional, local, and delicious) are served in a communal dining room.

Please note that some of the traditional Japanese inns used on this tour only offer shared bathing facilities. This means that individual shower stalls will not be available, instead several shower stations are available in an open, same-sex bathing area. Shared bathhouses and onsen (hot springs) are an essential part of Japan’s culture, traditionally serving as a place for men or women to gather, relax, and discuss the days happenings.

Shared Facilities

There are times during your journey through Japan where you may stay in a traditional Japanese inn. These inns generally have shared sleeping arrangements or bathrooms. If multiple groups are sleeping in the same room, the rooms will be separated by gender to ensure the safety of all of our guests.

Smoking

The Japan Tour Company LLC will make every effort to accommodate your request for a smoking or non-smoking room. However, we cannot guarantee we will be able to accommodate your request. Often the hotels in Japan do not separate smoking from non-smoking rooms, and in some locations, the non-smoking rooms are very limited.

Meals

Group Tours

Eating is a big part of traveling. The Japan Tour Company LLC knows that worldwide, local cuisines define the cultures. We think sampling regional delicacies are intrinsic to truly experiencing the country. We want you to be able to try foods according to your individual tastes, comforts, and budgets.

Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility. At times, meals will be taken together as a group. Other times, your guide will point you in the direction of several delicious options, and you will have free time to pick and choose at will. Often in Japan it is fun to get some snacks and beverages with the salarymen in the evenings at small restaurants, and other times it is fun to sit with a few friends at a sushi train.

Your guide will always strive to cater for all dietary requirements/preferences, but please keep in mind that Vegetarianism/Veganism is very uncommon in Japan so this may mean a more limited selection for you.

Please refer to the Meals Included section of each tour listing. Japan’s kitchen is at your fingertips!

Individual Tours

No meals are included in individual tours but recommendations can be found in your Tour Details document.

Price Guarantee

The price of your tour is guaranteed and will not increase. Prices do not include airfare unless otherwise specified.

Included in Tour Price

Group Tour

Included in the price of each tour: Accommodations for each night; all meals as listed under each tour; admission fees to destinations visited on the scheduled itinerary with the group, all transportation costs incurred during the scheduled itinerary with the group, transfers to and from the airport, Japan Rail rail passes appropriate to the tour itinerary as listed on this site and/or train tickets, and any fees for local guides.

Individual Tour

Included in the price of each tour: Accommodations for each night, transportation costs between cities, transfer costs to and from the airport, Japan Rail rail passes appropriate to the tour itinerary or pre-purchased tickets, and any fees for local guides appropriate to the tour itinerary.

Excluded in the price of each tour: admission fees, local transportation, drinks at included meals other than tea and water, desserts at included meals.

Visas and Entry Requirements

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler.

The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your governments foreign ministry website or with you travel agent as rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself.

You are responsible for obtaining your passport, and for meeting all health and other requirements required by Japanese laws, orders and/or requirements.

Not Included in the Tour Price

Federal Inspection Fees for the U.S. Customs and Immigration; International Air Transportation Tax; Agricultural tax; Value Added Taxes, any other taxes; security fee; airport taxes and fees; passports; visas and vaccinations; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcoholic beverages except at where specified on the tour itinerary, porterage at airports; and all other items of a personal nature.

Safety

Please be aware that during your participation in tours operated by The Japan Tour Company LLC, certain risks and dangers may arise beyond our control including, but not limited to, the hazards of traveling in undeveloped areas; travel by boat, train, automobile, aircraft, or other means of transportation; the forces of nature, political unrest, pandemics, and accident or illness in remote regions without means of rapid evacuation or medical facilities. The Japan Tour Company LLC will not have liability regarding provision of medical care or the adequacy of any care that may be rendered. It is understood that The Japan Tour Company LLC will use its best efforts to ensure that adequate measures are taken.

Health

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical information pertaining to the country you are travelling to well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as a full supply of any personal medical requirements. In Asia, you will not find the same drugs as you get at home. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. Also note that for legal reasons our guides are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. The Japan Tour Company LLC reserves the right to exclude any traveler from all or part of a trip without refund if, in the reasonable opinion of the guide, they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Trip Specific Safety

While Japan is regarded as one of the safest countries in the world, we strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers’ checks, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Illegal Drugs

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travelers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our guides have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Spending Money

Every traveler is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travelers may drink more than others while other travelers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. As of September 2021 the exchange rate for JAPAN was 1 USD = 110 (Japanese Yen).

Every Post Office and 7-11 Convenience store has an ATM machine that accepts Visa, Mastercard and Debit Cards. At times, Maestro/Master Card/Cirrus have been problematic at these machines, so please bring a back-up card.

Credit Cards should not be relied upon for purchases as they are not widely accepted, except in some restaurants and department stores. Money can be exchanged at Post Offices and some banks and hotels in major cities, however it can be a very slow process.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ’emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping

Tipping is not practiced in Japan. Leaving money at restaurants, in taxis etc will simply cause confusion!

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your guide did an outstanding job, tipping is highly appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $5 USD per person, per day can be used.

International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

How To Make A Reservation

To reserve a seat on a The Japan Tour Company LLC tour you must use our website or contact us directly. Please see the “Deposit and Final Payment” for specifics on pricing.

Once we’ve received your deposit, we will send you a confirmation packet. Your final payment is due 60 days before departure. Missing the final payment deadline may result in your being dropped from the tour. If you sign up less than 60 days before the tour starts, full payment will be due immediately.

All tour participants are required to complete, sign, and return to The Japan Tour Company LLC, a medical information form and a tour waiver/release form. These documents will be part of your confirmation packet.

Travel Insurance Coverage

A minimum of $200,000 Emergency Evacuation is highly recommended. The Japan Tour Company LLC can provide travel insurance if requested. Travel insurance should be purchased immediately after submitting your down payment. While the Japan Tour Company LLC will make it’s best effort to help in an emergency or other travel incident, we are not responsible for covering the costs associated. Without travel insurance you agree to assume the risk and the costs associated with international travel.

Tours Cancelled by The Japan Tour Company LLC

In the unlikely event your tour may be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, the entire amount you have paid to The Japan Tour Company LLC will be refunded. Once this occurs, The Japan Tour Company LLC and its representatives have no further obligations to its tour participants.

Group Tours

Group tours require a minimum of 10 participants, if we do not have 10 participants 30 days prior to the tour date, a full refund will be issued.

Responsibility

The carriers, accommodations, and other suppliers providing tour services are independent contractors and are not agents, employees, or servants of, or joint ventures with, The Japan Tour Company LLC or its affiliates. All travel documents for tour services issued by The Japan Tour Company LLC are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the supplier and to the laws of the countries in which the services are supplied.

If, after tour departure, the services included in the tour cannot be supplied, or there are changes in an itinerary for reasons beyond the control of The Japan Tour Company LLC Tours, The Japan Tour Company LLC will make its best efforts to arrange for the provision of comparable services. However, The Japan Tour Company LLC will not provide a refund if we are unable to provide a suitable replacement.

The Japan Tour Company LLC reserves the right to accept or reject any person as a tour participant, to expel any tour participant from the tour, or to make changes in the itinerary whenever The Japan Tour Company LLC deems it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of the tour participants.
The tour participant agrees that neither The Japan Tour Company LLC or its affiliates shall be liable for any damage, loss (including personal injury, death, and property loss) or expense occasioned by any act or omission of any supplier providing tour services.