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active 5 days ago

John McMillen

I am the Agent Business Coordinator in the US Branch of InsideJapan Tours. I run our business development and manage our relationships with all of our travel agent and agency partners across North and South America. I approach trips to Japan as an exciting adventure, with endless possibilities to delight no matter what you are into. Having a trust in serendipitous discovery is essential, and I encourage having space in your itinerary to let Japan surprise you with the unexpected!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I am an expert in all destinations across Japan, and have specialties in deluxe accommodations, experiences, guides, and transportation. I also personally am an avid hiker and highly recommend active and adventure itineraries in Japan as it has something to offer everyone!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I first arrived in Japan at the age of 10, and was blown away by how exotic everything was. Since everywhere was safe to explore, I had plenty of chances to develop my sense of adventure - a quality that I have continued to develop as an adult. From my initial interest in Japanese culture through Nintendo games and Dragon Ball Z, I learned the Japanese language and took up kendo and aikido - two Japanese martial arts focused on swordplay. With this early introduction to such a fascinating culture, I had firmly caught the travel bug. And now I find myself spreading the joy of travel to Japan on a daily basis."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"My favorite memory from Japan is the night that my school principal performed an impromptu wedding ceremony for my wife and me at his home after a night of food and drink. He had invited us over for dinner with a few other teachers, and put on an amazing spread.

Throughout the dinner, the teachers kept commenting on how 'Japanese' my wife Kim is (though she was born and raised in Colorado). Toward the end of the night, my principal's wife commented (very forwardly) that she would like to see Kim in a kimono. So, she whisked her away and put one on her. Then, before I knew it, they had me in one too - one of my principal's formal kimono, with a live-bladed sword at my side (he was also a high-ranking practitioner of iaido).

Then, since we were already dressed for the occasion, they broke out their wedding sake set and staged the impromptu ceremony right then and there. My principal did the Shinto chant and the whole nine yards - and we were married! What a great night! Part of me thinks they planned this from the get-go, but it's more fun to think that it was spontaneous."

Recent trip reviews for John

First time japan trip, Japan - Jul 2 - Jul 17, 2018

Traveler: Jessica C. - Local specialist: John McMillen

Our experience with kimkim was smooth and easy right from the start. We filled out some simple questions with regards to what we were looking for in our trip, our travel dates, budget, etc. and they hooked us up with a local specialist that worked with us to plan our trip down to the minute! All the accommodations were beautiful, convenient and exactly what we had asked for, and we were even able to stay in some traditional lodgings including a Buddhist temple which was super cool! The whole... read more

Our experience with kimkim was smooth and easy right from the start. We filled out some simple questions with regards to what we were looking for in our trip, our travel dates, budget, etc. and they hooked us up with a local specialist that worked with us to plan our trip down to the minute! All the accommodations were beautiful, convenient and exactly what we had asked for, and we were even able to stay in some traditional lodgings including a Buddhist temple which was super cool! The whole time, we felt like we were getting to see places and experience aspects of the culture we might not have if we were planning the trip ourselves. The most amazing part though was their crisis management- while we were there, Japan had a catastrophic amount of rain, with landslides and flooding of rivers and even loss of life, it was a real tragedy. We couldn't take some of the transportation that had been planned because of the flooding, so we called Inside Japan, our kimkim specialist, and they handled EVERYTHING- they switched all our accommodations, rerouting us to different places, telling us exactly how to get there and what to do so that we could bypass any areas that were inaccessible and still have a great trip! We didn't end up feeling like we missed out on anything, which was amazing. We can't wait to take our next trip! Thanks kimkim!

John McMillen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you so much for your feedback! It certainly can be tough when the unexpected happens, and I'm so glad that you had a great time despite nature not cooperating. We look forward to the next go 'round and we'll keep our fingers crossed for clear skies!