I first moved to Japan when my dad was transferred to Hiroshima, this experience changed my life. When I returned to the US I finished my degree and changed my major international business which included studying Japanese language, history, and culture. After graduation I moved back to Japan and lived in Osaka. I got married and founded a company in 2000 to help travelers experience Japan.
We started small with just a few custom tours and grew quickly. We currently have a full time team of 10 people who love Japan and love creating personal tours for our travelers. Our team works in both Japan and the US.
Our mission is to provide a culturally-enriching experience by meeting and getting to know the Japanese people and discovering Japan's rich cultural heritage.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"We build customized trips that personalized for each traveler. We listen to our travelers, make suggestions and present an itinerary that they will love. We then take care of all the details of their trip including accommodations, transportation, guides, activities and the like. Because we have an office in Japan we are also able to support our travelers during their trip. We take care of all the details so all our travelers have to do is enjoy Japan. "
How did you get involved in travel?
"I was in Kyoto, Japan and saw a bus full of tourists existing a large bus; they all looked tired and almost bored. I knew there was a better way to travel and a way to experience and engage with the Japanese culture. One way is to stay at a ryokan inn to have a wonderful meal, to sleep in a Japanese room and to take a Japanese hot spring bath. The other way is to have a mix of guided sightseeing and free time to explore on your own. I love just picking a street to wander down to see what I see. It is not just the must-see sights but also the small things that a large group tour will just pass over."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"I was in Kyoto near a street called Hanamikoji which is known for geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha). As is my habit I wandered away from the crowds and was looking down a very narrow street. To my surprise, a maiko appeared along with a young girl walking down this narrow traditional alleyway. I was able to take a number of photos of just the two of them before a swarm of travelers noticed. The background and scene were perfect. "
Featured trips & expertise
Slow down and savor the spiritual and traditional elements of Japan on this weeklong trip. You'll start by sampling regional street food in Osaka, nicknamed "the kitchen of Japan," followed by a day of sightseeing with a local guide. Then you'll move on to the holy temple complex of Koyasan, where you'll have the chance to observe monks during their early morning prayers. Continue to Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital of Japan, to learn about traditional fine arts, including tea ceremonies and flower arranging. Side-trip to the forest trails and UNESCO-honored temples of Nara before the trip comes to an end.
Equally known for its vibrant city life and mountainous beauty, Japan offers a well-rounded visit, filled with liveliness, adventure, and variety. On your 12-day journey, you will explore the high-energy tech and fashion trends of Tokyo, enjoy the breathtaking views and temples of Kyoto, and relax at a hot springs retreat in Hakone. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture, complete with the exceptional, authentic dining of Osaka.
The combination of historic and modern beauty makes Japan the ideal vacation destination. On this journey of old world-meets-new world, you will explore the progressive city of Tokyo, along with strolling through pockets of old Japan. Excursions into the hot springs of Gero Onsen and the gardens of Kanazawa will allow you to experience the preservation of nature. Even still, you can channel Japan’s past–in present-day–by taking up residency in a thatched-roof farmhouse in Shirakawa-go, connecting with long-time local artisans in Takayama, and exploring the ancient temples of Kyoto.
This weeklong adventure splits its time between two of Japan's most important cities with a mix of customizable tours and free time to explore on your own. Start off in Tokyo for a taste of modern Japan with top-notch architecture, animé, modern art, high fashion, and cuisine. Then head to traditional Kyoto for beautiful temples and shrines, ancient gardens, and cultural experiences like tea ceremonies and calligraphy.
Welcome to Japan! On this two-week journey around the main island, Honshu, you'll enjoy a mix of cultural sightseeing and active adventures. Visit sacred temples and shrines, cycle through the countryside, and wander around Tokyo's most fashionable neighborhoods. From the history of Hiroshima and the wonders of ancient Kyoto to the historic farmhouses of Shirakawa-go and the quiet island of Miyajima, there's so much to see and do.
This 10-day trip will take you to 2 of the biggest cities in Japan—Tokyo and Osaka—but will mostly focus on some of the lesser known islands surrounding the mainland. Hachijojima has some of the best star gazing in the country, Aogashima is literally a volcano in a volcano and absolutely beautiful, and the Goto islands have a fascinating history.
Recent trip reviews for Jeff
A very well thought out trip
Sep 26 - Oct 14, 2019
A very well thought out trip working around 2 Rugby world cup matches which inevitably constrained the itinerary to a degree. The information provided before and during the trip was excellent and where we had guides they were very good, it was nice to be met at the airport and talked through using the train system and to set up our japan rail pass. We became confident in using the transport systems much more quickly than we would have left to our own devices.
Hotel choices were well judged... read more
Trip to Japan
Mar 27 - Apr 6, 2019
Firstly we would like to thank Jeff for such wonderful communication throughout the planning, all the information we received before we began the trip and all the info in our packet on arrival. Everything worked like clockwork( except running for the wrong bullet train) because of the attention to fine details such as every ticket for transport, cards for each check-in and particularly the pocket wifi.
We had two guides, one in Tokyo and one in Kyoto . Ms Junko Dogauchi was helpful and we... read more