My name is Nicole, and I’ll be your dedicated InsideJapan ToursTravel Consultant! I'll be your point of contact throughout the planning process to help your trip go as smoothly as possible. In addition to my experience teaching in Japan, I also have a background in arts & culture journalism.
During my time in Japan, I was blown away by the beautiful natural landscape, the rich cultural heritage, and the kindness that I received from new friends and strangers alike. Japan has no shortage of hidden gems in both big cities and the countryside. Some of my favorite Japan memories were made in innovative art spaces, tiny family-owned pubs, and cozy mountainside cafés. I was also lucky enough to visit many of the areas that we offer on our tours. I look forward to brainstorming with you to create an itinerary that's perfectly tailored to your interests!
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"I'm partial to the quiet, mountainous countryside of Oita prefecture, having called it home for three years. I also love Kyoto's amazing combination of bustling city and historic treasures, and Osaka's neon, sensory-overload atmosphere! My favorite place in Japan may just be the art island of Naoshima, where contemporary art harmonizes with the stunning natural environment of the Seto Inland Sea."
How did you get involved in travel?
"Before working at InsideJapan Tours, I taught English for three years in Oita Prefecture, on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, famous for its natural hot springs and karaage (amazing fried chicken). After I returned to the U.S., I was thrilled to have to opportunity to share my love of Japan with others. "
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"I had a major surgery while living in Japan, and after weeks stuck in the house, I was finally feeling well enough for an outing. I took a day trip with my husband and a good friend to a small pottery village we'd heard about called Onta.
When we arrived, wisteria was blooming everywhere, and we were surrounded by the gentle sounds of wooden water-powered hammers pounding the clay. It was fascinating to see how residents had maintained these centuries-old techniques.
After lunch, a storm started. We stood on the restaurant porch and watched the rain pour over the trees and rooftops. The sounds and damp air were so revitalizing, I could have spent forever in that moment."
Recent trip reviews for Nicole
Sadie's Bat Mitzvah Trip · Japan - Apr 14 - Apr 24, 2019
My granddaughter became a Bat Mitzvah and my gift to her was a trip anywhere in the world. She picked Japan. Nicole Rhoden helped me plan the most spectacular adventure I could have imagined. My granddaughter loves anime and manga and we were able to include a visit to the Ghibli museum on our first day (tickets are hard to get, but Inside Japan Tours was able to secure them for just the right day and time) and an amazing full day tour in Tokyo with Chantel Furbert in Akihabara, Harajuki... read more