WHY VISIT JAPAN?
If you’re reading this, then chances are that you are intrigued by the idea of a country and culture which really is unique, and perhaps the most foreign in the world. In Japan’s case, this is no cliché; the country has fascinated westerners for centuries due to its social and cultural, as much as geographical inaccessibility. Japan is a place where ancient traditions stand shoulder to shoulder with the latest in cutting-edge technology, where glittering skyscrapers are blessed by Shinto priests, and where speeding bullet trains cut through rice paddies which are still tended by hand. From the pulsating neon streets of Tokyo to a serene Kyoto temple, from the world-class ski resorts of Hokkaido to the turquoise waters of Okinawa, from a refined kaiseki (haute cuisine) dinner to a steaming bowl of noodles, Japan has everything to give you the holiday of a lifetime.
WHY BOOK WITH JAPAN JOURNEYS?
Here are 20 reasons to book with us!
1. We have all lived in Japan and speak Japanese/or are Japanese!
2. We know Japan well as we have all travelled extensively.
3. We are fully bonded with the Travel Trust Association (TTA) which gives you 100% financial protection in the event of our insolvency. All client monies are held in a Trust Account which we are not allowed to touch until your holiday is over.
4. We have been in business since 2004, for more than 17 years.
5. We are the most innovative of all the Japan Tour Operators as we were the first to offer manga/anime tours and gourmet tours to Japan.
6. We are accredited by the Japan National Tourist Office (JNTO) in London.
7. All of Japan Journeys staff have been trained extensively and are continuously updated on new products and services.
8. Japan Journeys has a dedicated Customer Care team so that if you do experience any difficulty you are assured of a prompt and understanding reaction on our part.
9. Japan Journeys offers our loyal customers a repeat booking discount.
10. We offer our Single travellers the opportunity to be paired up with other single travellers to avoid having to pay for any single room supplement.
11. Whether you want a 7-night beach retreat, a family holiday, or a fortnight’s island hopping in Japan, Japan Journeys can help as we offer a tailor-made service.
12. Japan Journeys use standard telephone numbers, which means you do not pay the higher call costs that premium numbers attract.
13. For our escorted tours, we offer lots of added value to our tours which don’t appear on the itineraries such as evening activities.
14. We offer lots of add-ons to your trip such as optional tours and Japan Rail Passes.
15. For independent travellers, our detailed itineraries incorporate written Japanese translations for names of hotels etc. to ensure your trip runs smoothly.
16. We can obtain upgrades at many hotels/ryokan in Japan for free.
17. Japan Journeys can organise a wide range of different group and incentive travel.
18. Our reputation for friendly, accurate service and efficiency is second to none.
19. We offer a personal service dedicated to your needs.
20. Unlike online travel companies, we are very happy for you to come and meet us face to face at our central London office to discuss your plans.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT JAPAN?
Spring (March-early May) and autumn (mid-September-November) are generally considered the best times to visit Japan, owing to the mild climate. Late March sees the whole country turn pink as this is the time for cherry blossoms, whilst late October heralds the beginning of Japan’s stunning autumn colours. Winter (December-February) attracts skiers and snowboarders to the north of Japan for some of the world’s best powder, and this can be a pleasantly quieter if colder time to visit. Summer (June-August) gets fiercely hot and humid, although it’s the best time to experience the magic of a Japanese festival.
WHAT’S THE AVERAGE AGE OF PEOPLE ON THE MANGA TOUR? MY DAUGHTER IS ONLY 14 BUT SHE REALLY WANTS TO GO.
Most people on the Manga Tour are between 18 and 30. We often have younger customers who come with their parents, and parents enjoy the experience just as much as their children! Whilst manga and anime might not be every parent’s cup of tea, there’s plenty of other things on the tour to enjoy, such as temple visits, shopping, great food and learning more about Japan.
I WANT TO STAY IN JAPAN FOR LONGER THAN YOUR ITINERARY. IS IT POSSIBLE?
Yes, this is what many of our customers do. We can arrange for additional nights in a hotel, Japan Rail Passes, excursions, escort services and any guiding you might require. If there is a special event or you have a particular interest in any aspect of Japan, we can arrange this on top of any of our standard packages.
WHAT’S THE SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT? AND IF I’M TRAVELLING ALONE DO I HAVE TO PAY IT?
The price per person for all our tours is based on two people sharing a twin or double room. The single supplement is the additional cost for staying in a single room. On our Group Tours, we will do our best to pair up single travellers who want to share so that you can avoid paying the single room supplement. We only pair up members of the same sex.
I’M WORRIED ABOUT TRAVELLING AROUND JAPAN ALONE.
Don’t worry! All our packages for Independent Travellers provide you with a comprehensive Information Pack containing everything you need to know about getting around Japan. All train stations have English as well as Japanese signs and Japan is probably the safest developed country in the world!
I’M WORRIED ABOUT THE FOOD. CAN I GET WESTERN FOOD IN JAPAN?
While sushi grabs the headlines, Japanese food is much, much more than just raw fish! There is an endless variety of rice, noodle, vegetable, meat and cooked fish dishes in Japan, and unlike some other Asian countries you can be sure that the food hygiene standards are extremely high. Whilst we really recommend you try some of the delicious local cuisine, there is plenty of familiar food on offer in small towns and major cities alike, such as pasta, pizza, Indian, Chinese, fast food chains and bakeries.
WHAT GRADE OF HOTELS DO YOU USE?
The minimum grade of hotels we use is 3* business hotels. These are compact, simple hotels, but spotlessly clean, with ensuite bathrooms, breakfast included and internet in the lobby. Rooms are cleaned every day. We would not put you in any hotel which we wouldn’t be satisfied with staying in ourselves.
Some of our group tours offer a superior grade of accommodation (see tour pages for details). For independent travellers and Tailor Made packages, we can arrange 3*, 4* or 5* accommodation.
WHAT IS A RYOKAN?
Ryokan refers to a traditional Japanese inn and will be a highlight of your trip. You will be greeted upon arrival by staff in kimono, who will provide you with slippers for walking around the accommodation. Traditional Japanese rooms have floors made from tatami, a smooth, luxurious reed mat. Dinner is almost always included in the ryokan, which makes them slightly more expensive than staying in a hotel, but the experience is priceless as dinner will be a delicious, elaborate affair, served in your room. Onsen (see the question below) are usually a feature of this type of accommodation, and you will be provided with a futon in which to sleep. A stay in a ryokan is something you will never forget!
I’VE HEARD JAPANESE BATHS ARE DIFFERENT TO OURS. HOW DO YOU WASH IN A JAPANESE BATH?
Onsen, or hot spring baths, are one of the highlights of Japan. They can be anything from a simple shower room and large tub to a steaming, natural hot spring set in beautiful natural scenery. Despite what you might have heard, they are really simple to use as follows:
1. Whilst bathing is communal, men and women are separated. This is indicated by the curtain at the entrance to the bathroom, blue for guys, red or pink for girls. This is a great rule of thumb if you don’t read Japanese!
2. There will be a locker for you to leave your clothes and bags while you are bathing.
3. First, wash your body in the shower area. Washing is never done in the bath, so make sure you rinse off all the soap! Shampoo, conditioner and body soap are always provided.
4. Next, head for the bath! There are often several baths of different temperatures and different mineral content. For maximum health benefits, it is recommended that you spend 8-10 minutes in each different bath, cooling off in between.
5. Wash your body again, or just rinse with water, and head back to the locker room. Simple!
6. Remember to drink lots of water as it’s easy to get dehydrated.
WHAT ARE YOUR BOOKING TERMS?
To make a booking, a deposit of 10% per person is required.
The balance of the price of the trip must be made 12 weeks prior to departure.
Full terms and Conditions
Insurance. Travel can be a great experience, but it can also be fraught with problems, so when going anywhere it is essential you are properly covered with good travel insurance. You should be protected against cancellation, curtailment and loss or damage to your belongings as well as medical emergencies and have peace of mind if the unexpected happens. Japan Journeys in association with Holiday Extras, is now able to offer excellent low-cost cover to their customers.
All passengers should click here to obtain a quote.
It is a condition of booking that you must have insurance cover at least equivalent to that described above.
For insurance's details click here for a full Summary of Cover offered by our Platinum level protection.
JAPAN RAIL PASS TERMS & CONDITIONS
We are currently offering Japan Rail Pass only as a part of a package.