Our beliefs and passions
For international travellers without Japanese language skills, many ‘off the beaten track’ destinations in regional Japan remain difficult to access. Foreign-language speakers and signage are often rare, and many attractions and accommodation options are not visible on the web or social media. Finding your own way in regional Japan can be very time consuming, and ‘wrong turns’ such as missing a train connection can lead to considerable wastage of time. There may be cultural barriers that cause uncertainties or misunderstanding. Such inconveniences may be considered by some travellers as part of the ‘adventure’, but they may also lead to stress.
We believe that language and cultural barriers should not stop international travellers from enjoying regional Japan. We understand that your time is precious and that unnecessary stress should not be part of your travel experience. We aim to provide a gateway to the many wonders of regional Japan, and a unique, stress-free travel experience.
We are passionate about providing you with ‘real’ experiences in their authentic, everyday and natural context and believe that regional Japan away from the main tourist trail offers the best opportunity for this. The slower regional lifestyle provides more opportunities for genuine interactions with the locals. Through responsible tourism we can all contribute to the survival of regional Japan’s living traditions and culture into the future, while reducing the risk of overdependence on mass tourism affecting regional areas that are now on the tourist trail.
We believe in meaningful travel experiences that foster a deeper understanding of the Japanese culture, history and environment. All too often, tour itineraries present mixture of unrelated sights and experiences, focus on the ‘shiny’ and ‘obvious’, and fail to explain the ‘how’ and ‘why’. All our tours are individually and personally guided by our tour leader, with a Japanese–Australian–European cultural background and university-level experience in earth and environmental sciences, archaeology and Japanese culture. Your tour leader can provide in-depth commentary in plain English, based on personally and carefully researched information. Our tour itineraries are carefully constructed so that you can gain an appreciation of how the destinations, attractions and experiences relate to the wider Japanese culture, history and the natural environment. Our wide-ranging tour themes include food, crafts, history, gardens and wild Japan. We are committed in ensuring that your journey of discovery in Japan is unique, personalised and meaningful.
We believe in responsible tourism. In particular, we support low-footprint tourism that will not negatively impact on the culture, livelihoods, environment and character of regional Japan. We firmly believe that individually guided small tour groups, direct sourcing of goods and services from regional providers (without the involvement of commercial ‘middlemen’), and the use of public transport wherever practicable all contribute to minimising negative consequences of tourism in these areas. Our tours prioritise regions of Japan that are most socio-economically vulnerable, i.e. where the most serious population aging and decline are occurring, where life is difficult due to a harsh natural environment, or areas recovering from natural disasters. We are also committed to supporting organisations and businesses that are working to preserve traditions and conserve the natural environment in regional Japan and Australia.