How much advance notice do you need to plan my trip?

It depends on when you are going and how long you’ll be there. For trips in high season (spring, August or New Years), the more notice the better, I usually ask for 3-4 months in advance in that case. Hotels fill up quickly so we’ll want to have the bookings done soon to get the best options! Trips planned for 2021 are also considered high season because there will likely be many visitors for the Olympics.
Other times of the year are less urgent so at least two months before the date is fine.

What's the difference between a travel consultant and a travel agent?

Short answer: the business model. We offer similar services to a travel agent, but we don’t book flights and the hotel reservations are optional. Travel agencies receive commissions for booking hotels, cruises, flights or tours, choosing from the options they already have, and often won’t accept changes in itineraries because they are sold as a package. As a travel consultant, I charge for my time and expertise so I’m able to focus on aspects that wouldn’t give commissions but that make a trip absolutely amazing; how to get from A to B, restaurant recommendations, festivals, events or local markets… and always having in mind the personal tastes of each traveller.

Why should I choose you?

Ok, here’s where I am going to toot my own horn! I work hard, I pay attention to the details and I know Japan very well. But many people can say that. Here are some specific reasons that set me apart from other travel consultants:

– I have traveled extensively throughout Japan, I know the different regions well and, precisely because I have returned to the country so many times, I know what makes Japan so special as a destination and I can assure that you will also be captivated by it during your trip. Since I’ve also gone beyond the most famous destinations, I can recommend many places that don’t have other tourists or are simply more authentic.

– I do my research in Japanese, so I can access many more reviews and different perspectives, especially from locals of the country, and a lot of information that isn’t available in English. It also means that there is no miscommunication when I make reservations or bookings.

– I travelled to Japan for the first time when I was still a student, so I know how to plan trips for those who have a limited budget. I always try to find options that fit different budgets.

– I have travelled to many countries other than Japan. I know what it’s like to feel like a stranger in a foreign land, without speaking the language of the place. I have advice on luggage, language, food, plug adapters and other details that can facilitate the trip.

– I don’t sell packages at a fixed price so you’ll be able to know exactly where your money is going and how much everything costs. It is a totally transparent process. That’s why I choose to charge for my time and expertise instead of by commissions.

If I send you details of a tour I found online, will you create the private version for me?

Of course! And you should also ask me for the cost breakdown, because the vast majority of the time we can create the same trip for a lower cost. Online tours are often sold at a package price and when individual costs are broken down, the total cost of the trip almost always comes out lower.

Can you get me discounts?

Sometimes. But more importantly, you can be sure that all the recommendations are good value for money. I do not necessarily recommend the cheapest option in every situation because sometimes it’s worth paying more for an experience, seat or place. Of course, I am used to working within a budget.

How much does the consulting service cost?

Tailor-made trips, since it is a personal project and I work with each client personally over a long period of time, require dedication. Trips of up to 2-3 weeks usually cost between 180-350 USD, prices can vary according to duration, difficulty, number of people, etc. The price may be somewhat higher for trips longer than three weeks. Before we start, we will always discuss the budget with each person and their situation so that there are no surprises.

Have any further questions?