BOOKING TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Boutique Japan Travel Company, a Texas limited liability company, sells travel and tours to clients throughout the world. Boutique Japan Travel Company, including its dbas Black Trunk and Boutique Explorer, is referred to in this agreement as “Boutique Japan,” “we,” or “us.” The terms and conditions set forth below constitute the entire understanding and agreement between you the tour participant (“participant,” “you,” or “I”) and Boutique Japan, with respect to any and all bookings, tours, or transactions made with us and to any and all services and tours organized, arranged, or provided by us (collectively referred to as “tour” herein; “tour” may also be used to refer to the trip component of our services). By signing and submitting this Booking Terms and Conditions, you acknowledge that you agree and accept all terms and conditions in this agreement and direct us to perform services on your behalf. All persons included in your booking are bound by this agreement (“Agreement” or “agreement”).

Responsibility. Boutique Japan is acting at all times as an independent contractor for all suppliers who provide your transportation, accommodations, activities, and other services in connection with your tour. Boutique Japan does not own, operate, or control any of the suppliers of service that provide accommodations, meals, transportation, sightseeing activities, or other goods and services connected with your tour. These suppliers are responsible for their performance. Boutique Japan, its owners, employees, shareholders, officers, directors, representatives, volunteers, successors, agents and assignees are not liable for any negligence, willful act or default of any supplier or any third party. A supplier’s goods and services are subject to the supplier’s own terms and conditions and liability waivers, as well as local laws and regulations.

What is included in your tour planned by Boutique Japan? Boutique Japan tours generally include personalized trip planning; accommodations; specified meals; transfers and transport as indicated; private sightseeing services and other experiences as specified; admission fees if/as indicated; in-country support during your tour; and other services as specified. As each tour is unique, please refer to your itinerary to confirm the inclusions for your tour.

What is not included? Unless otherwise specified, the following are typically not included as part of a tour with Boutique Japan: international flights; travel insurance; costs associated with obtaining passports and/or visas; baggage fees and/or the cost of luggage forwarding; sightseeing admission fees; personal expenses including but not limited to telephone calls, mini-bar purchases, room service charges, snacks, laundry, souvenirs and any other incidental expenses; gratuities; and any other services not specified in your itinerary. Boutique Japan will not be responsible or liable for deposits, payments, policies or penalties for other services not included, such as airline tickets, separate hotel reservations, or other items handled by participants not through Boutique Japan.

Pricing. Unless otherwise stated, the tour price is the grand total for all participants, and is listed in US dollars. The price is based on a specified number of participants and specific dates, and should the number of participants or tour dates change, the price per person and total price are subject to change. For example, if a participant cancels who is sharing a double occupancy room, the remaining participant must pay the entire room rate (prices for transport, tours, and other services would also be subject to change). Prices are also based on tariffs, government fees, exchange rates, and supplier rates in effect at the time this agreement is signed by you.

On rare occasions it may be necessary for us to impose surcharges should prices increase significantly due to inflation, exchange rates, or other factors. Such surcharges may be applied at any time up to final payment. Should this occur, we may also present options or alternatives to mitigate price increases if available and possible.

Credit/Debit Card Chargeback Policy. We pride ourselves on providing excellent, thoughtful, and highly personalized customer service. If for any reason you are not happy with our services, you agree to promptly inform us and give us the opportunity to address it, rather than filing a chargeback with your credit or debit card company. The satisfaction of our travelers is of the utmost importance to us. By signing this agreement, you agree that chargebacks are not an appropriate way to avoid our cancellation and refund policies.

Deposits and Payment. Unless otherwise specified, a deposit of 30% of the price is required to proceed with reserving your tour. In certain cases, a smaller or larger deposit may be required and this shall be specified in your written quote. Acceptance of your booking must be confirmed in writing by us. There is no contract for us to provide a tour without such written confirmation. Final payment is due no later than 90 days prior to your tour start date. If your departure is within 90 days, full payment is required at the time of booking unless otherwise specified. Deposits and payments can be made by wire transfer or credit card. We reserve the right to treat any reservation that is not fully paid, according to the reservation and payment terms, as a cancellation and subject to the cancellation terms below.

The Following Fees Also Apply:

  • Final payments not received by the due date are subject to a $100 late payment fee.
  • A surcharge may be imposed by us for arrangements requested within 30 days of your tour start date due to the extra work required to make rush arrangements.
  • Changes to an itinerary may result in additional charges depending on the type and scope of the change.

Cancellation By You and Unused Services. If you cancel your tour, the following cancellation penalties (expressed as percentages of the total tour price) will apply, to compensate us for estimated losses and expenses. In great part for this reason, we strongly recommend you obtain travel insurance (see below section titled “Travel Insurance”). All cancellations must be sent to Boutique Japan in writing, and will be based on the date on which written notification is received by Boutique Japan.

  • 91 days or more prior to tour start date: 25% of the tour cost
  • 61-90 days prior to tour start date: 50% of the tour cost
  • 31-60 days prior to tour start date: 75% of the tour cost
  • 30 days or less prior to tour start date: 100% of the tour cost

There will be no refund for unused services, early departures, late arrivals, or missed days of your itinerary for any reason. There will be no refund once the tour has commenced. Your decision not to participate in the tour due to governmental warnings or advisories, fear of travel, or the like will be deemed a cancellation.

Note that if a disruption caused by Covid-19 prevents you from being able to take your trip, we will offer the maximum flexibility possible to enable you to reschedule your trip to a later date via a travel credit equal to the monies already paid to us, less any and all fees imposed by suppliers and other third parties providing components of your tour. If you cancel, as opposed to rescheduling, our cancellation policy will apply.

No refunds will be provided to you for any unused portion of your tour if you are quarantined or a supplier refuses services if you exhibit symptoms of or test positive for infectious disease. Moreover, we will not have any liability to you, owe you a refund, or owe you any compensation for loss, damage or injury or anything else if you are infected with an illness, disease or sickness during your tour, or if a third party refuses services (e.g., lodging or transport) if you show symptoms of or test positive for infectious disease or illness. For example, we will not be liable to you if are infected with a virus such as coronavirus at a hotel that we book for you, if you are refused service at a hotel if you show symptoms of a communicable illness such as a cough or fever, if you are unable to board a plane to your destination or return home from your destination because you show symptoms of an illness, you are required to self-quarantine, and so forth.

Change Requests and Fees. If you request changes to your itinerary after we confirm your booking, we will do our best (but cannot guarantee we will be able) to meet such requests. If we are able to make such changes, an administration fee of $100 per change may apply, and will be payable together with any costs incurred as a result of the requested changes. Substantial change requests by you, such as for example a change of tour dates, will result in recalculation of your original tour price. Change requests must be made in writing.

Cancellation and Changes by Boutique Japan. Boutique Japan reserves the right to cancel any tour at any time if the safety or quality of the tour is judged to be compromised. Boutique Japan will not be responsible or liable for deposits, payments, policies, or penalties for other services not included in the tour price, such as airline tickets, separate hotel reservations, or other items (such as other tours or cruises) handled by participants not through Boutique Japan. Boutique Japan shall not be deemed to be in breach of these terms and conditions or otherwise be liable to you, by reason of delay in performance, or by non-performance, of any of its obligations hereunder as a result of any actions that it takes or does not take under this section and under this Agreement.

You acknowledge that the accommodations, experiences, transportation, route, schedule, and itinerary may change without prior notice due to local circumstances or events, which may include mechanical breakdown, flight cancellations, illness, strikes, political disputes, weather, border crossing problems, and other unforeseeable factors. If, prior to your tour, we make a significant change, we will, as soon as reasonably possible, notify you of the best available alternatives. We will endeavor to avoid the need for additional charges, but changes that we make may require a supplemental payment from you. We will advise you in the event such a payment is required, and present more economical alternatives if available.

Refund policy if we cancel, alter, modify, postpone, or reschedule your tour for any reason, whether before or during the tour. If we alter, modify, postpone, or reschedule your tour (versus cancelling it) for any reason except for Force Majeure which is subject to the policy below, we may provide to you a future travel credit equal to the monies already paid to us, less any and all fees imposed by suppliers and other third parties providing components of your tour. If we expressly cancel your tour (versus altering, modifying, postponing, or rescheduling it), we may use reasonable endeavors to reimburse you for any payments that you have made reduced by 1) any and all non-refundable deposits and cancellation fees that we have paid to suppliers and other third parties to provide components of your tour (in many cases it is not possible to obtain refunds from suppliers once we have forwarded deposits for your tour to them), and 2) the itinerary design fee or itinerary planning fee you have paid. In great part for reasons of this nature, we strongly recommend you obtain travel insurance (see below section titled “Travel Insurance”). Note that if we alter, modify, postpone, or reschedule your tour or offer you a travel credit, such action does not constitute a “cancellation” of your tour by us.

Force Majeure. Boutique Japan will not be deemed in breach of this agreement or otherwise liable to you, by reason of delay in performance or non-performance of any of its obligations under this agreement to the extent that any such delay or non-performance is due to any Force Majeure. “Force Majeure” means any circumstances beyond our reasonable control, including without limitation acts of God, terrorist activities, insurrection, explosion, flood, tempest, forceful wind, typhoon, fire or accident, war or threat of war declared or undeclared, sabotage, civil disturbance, labor strikes, requisition, sickness, quarantine, pandemic, epidemic, diseases and viruses that are known, unknown or novel such as coronavirus/Covid-19 (including any spread thereof), foodborne, airborne, and communicable illnesses and disease, government intervention of any kind that affect domestic and/or international travel, government restrictions or warnings, diplomatic or health organization (e.g., World Health Organization) warnings, border closings, weather conditions, and unforeseen circumstances.

In the uncommon situation where Force Majeure prevents, significantly hinders, or makes it impossible for us or our suppliers to provide the services including but not limited to your tour, we and/or our suppliers shall be entitled to, in our sole and absolute discretion, take one or more of the following steps: cancel, alter, modify, postpone, or reschedule any tour itinerary or arrangement, including tour dates and the entire tour itself. You understand and agree that we will not be able to pay you any compensation, costs, or expenses you incur as a result of Force Majeure. We regret that no refunds will be provided if we take any of the preceding actions due to Force Majeure, unless and to the extent we are able to obtain any refunds from our suppliers. Please note that we are not obligated to seek refunds from suppliers, and in many cases it is not possible to obtain refunds from suppliers once we have forwarded deposits for your tour to them. Any refund under this section will be less the itinerary design fee or itinerary planning fee you have paid, and any and all non-refundable deposits and cancellation fees that we have paid to suppliers and other third parties to provide components of your tour. This policy is based on the fact that suppliers, who are typically located outside the United States, are not obligated to return non-refundable deposits or waive their cancellation fees in the case of Force Majeure. For reasons of this nature, we strongly recommend you obtain travel insurance (see below section titled “Travel Insurance”). If you choose to cancel your tour if we invoke Force Majeure, our standard cancellation penalties (see above section titled “Cancellation By You and Unused Services”) will apply unless we expressly state otherwise.

If Boutique Japan is affected by Force Majeure, Boutique Japan, if practicable, will notify you of the nature and extent thereof.

Passport, Visas and Travel Advisories. It is your responsibility to obtain valid and effective documentation, including passports, visas, permits, and vaccinations, where necessary. You also assume complete and full responsibility for checking and verifying any and all passport, visa, vaccination, or other entry requirements of each destination and all safety or security conditions at such destinations. You are solely responsible for any adverse consequences resulting from missing or defective documentation. All travelers, regardless of the holder’s passport, must check with the consulates of the countries being visited to determine if a visa is required for their nationality. Please check requirements carefully, as many countries require passports to have at least 6 months remaining validity from the date of return, and at least 2 blank pages. Boutique Japan may provide information or advice on visas, vaccinations, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment, etc. in good faith as a courtesy to you. We are not responsible for any errors or omissions as to the information provided.

For information concerning possible dangers at an international destination, contact the government office in your country that is responsible for issuing travel advisories. In the U.S., contact the Travel Advisory Section of the U.S. State Department, 1-888-407-4747, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html. For medical information, contact the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 800-232-4636, https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/, or the responsible government agency in your country. Boutique Japan recommends U.S. citizens register for the U.S. government’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service, at https://step.state.gov/step/.

Travel Insurance. The tour price does not include travel insurance. We strongly recommend that all participants purchase comprehensive travel insurance, as well as consider the purchase of “cancel for any reason” coverage. Included in the policy should be coverage for all air travel, trip cancellation/interruption, baggage, accident/life, medical expenses, air ambulance, loss of effects, and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay, or inconvenience occurring to you. You agree to assume all costs of medical care and transportation that is provided to you, and any minors traveling with you, during the tour. Please note that most companies offering travel insurance require the policy to be purchased within 14 days of the initial trip deposit or payment (whether handled through Boutique Japan or through another service provider such as an airline) in order to cover pre-existing conditions or to provide for “cancel for any reason” coverage. For further details, please contact companies such as https://www.travelexinsurance.com/, https://www.travelguard.com/, and https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/.

You understand and agree that should you choose not to purchase travel insurance, you will not be protecting your tour whatsoever through insurance and you will be fully responsible for any costs, losses, or damages incurred in connection with your tour, including those relating to tour cancellation or interruption, loss or theft of personal property, medical expenses, and more.

Health Requirements and Dietary Restrictions. Participants should check with consulates for the latest health requirements. Participants are required to advise Boutique Japan at the time of booking of any physical, medical, dietary restrictions and food allergies, or other special needs that are required during the participants’ travel. Boutique Japan may at its sole discretion decline booking of any participant or remove any participant who cannot meet minimum health requirements. Participants must bring their own medications or other recommended prescribed drugs, and check with consulates regarding restrictions on drugs or medications if applicable. We will make reasonable efforts to convey any dietary restrictions to your tour guides and certain service providers. However, given the nature of our tours and the fact that we do not operate or manage our suppliers, we cannot guarantee that any dietary needs or restrictions can be accommodated. As such, it is your sole responsibility to ask any necessary questions and to make informed decisions about your dietary needs and restrictions while traveling.

Our suppliers reserve the right to conduct health screenings (e.g., temperature checks, questionnaires, and checks for observable signs and symptoms) and refuse travel to participants deemed symptomatic or likely symptomatic. If necessary, suppliers and/or government or health authorities also reserve the right to quarantine travelers with symptoms of infectious diseases aboard confined modes of transport such as ships, trains, etc.

Baggage. Baggage and personal effects are at owner’s risk throughout the tour. All costs incurred for lost, damaged, or delayed baggage are at owner’s expense.

Photography. You agree that, unless you instruct us otherwise, Boutique Japan may copyright in its own name, use, re-use, and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promotion and publicity purposes worldwide related to our travel products and services.

Participant’s Responsibilities During Tour. It is your responsibility to be ready to leave the departure city at the specified day and time. We are not responsible for any losses due to cancelled or missed flights, changed flight itineraries, late arrivals, or early departures. Your additional responsibilities include, but are not limited to, strictly complying with all local laws, respecting customs and culture, adequately assessing your abilities, and if on a guided tour following the suggestions and advice of the guide.

Miscellaneous Matters. In addition, we shall not be liable for (a) expenses such as additional hotel nights and meals not specified in the itinerary, but which may be required to get to or from a tour start or end; (b) expenses due to the delay or interruptions of a tour for any reason (e.g., bad weather, local conditions, landslides, flooding, sickness, illness, virus, etc.); (c) expenses incurred in recovering luggage lost by airlines, belongings left behind on a tour, or in shipping purchases or other goods home from abroad; or (d) expenses and costs due to quarantine, refusal or interruption of service by third parties, or border closures/restrictions.

Claims and Complaints. If you find a problem or something that does not meet your expectation, you must promptly notify us or the local operator, guide or supplier so that the problem can be rectified, if possible. If you make any changes on your own without following the notice procedure described above, you assume responsibility for any added costs you may incur and forfeit any potential refunds. If satisfaction is not reached through this notice procedure during the tour, you must submit further complaint in writing to us within 14 days of the end of the tour. We will not accept any liability for claims received after this period.

Limitation of Remedies. You agree that to the extent consistent with applicable law, the maximum amount of recovery to which you may be permitted to recover from Boutique Japan shall not exceed the cost of the tour that you purchased from us. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, Boutique Japan shall not be liable for any special, consequential, indirect, incidental or other damages, including lost profits, whether such damages arise in contract, negligence, tort, under statute, in equity, at law, or otherwise, even if Boutique Japan has been advised of the possibility of such damages. You expressly waive any right you may have to recover such damages. If you, or any of your heirs, or anyone acting on your or their behalf, should bring such suit, you shall pay all attorney’s fees, related court fees and defense costs should you not prevail.

Venue, Choice of Law, and Other Provisions. This agreement will be interpreted according to the laws of the State of Texas. Jurisdiction over any dispute arising out, in connection with, or relating to this agreement and/or the transactions and relationships among the parties contemplated by this agreement shall be filed exclusively in the federal and state courts located in Austin, Texas. If any portion of this agreement is determined by a court to be null and void, the remaining portions of this agreement shall nevertheless remain valid and binding upon the parties. This agreement shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon Boutique Japan and you and your respective heirs, legal and personal representatives, successors and assigns. This agreement is the final, complete and exclusive statement of the parties’ agreement on the matters contained in this agreement. This agreement supersedes all prior negotiations and agreements.

Updating of these Terms. We may on occasion amend these Terms and reserve the right to update or alter these Terms at any time. You acknowledge and agree that any amendment will take effect and be considered accepted by you seven days after being posted to our website, immediately upon notice to you in writing by email or mail, or upon your continued use of our services or participation on one of our tours, whichever of these occurs first. An up-to-date hard copy of this agreement will be sent to you upon your written request. We recommend that you refer to this agreement prior to travel to familiarize yourself with the most up-to-date version available.

Validity of Electronic Signature: You understand that a paper version of this agreement is available but you have voluntarily chosen to sign this document electronically. You will receive a Portable Document Format (PDF) version of this agreement after it is electronically signed at the email address you have provided. You may also request a paper version of this signed agreement from Boutique Japan for $5.00 (mailed). You understand that you may withdraw your consent to receive communications in electronic form by contacting Boutique Japan by phone at 1-866-400-4262 or email at travel@boutiquejapan.com.

KNOWING AND VOLUNTARY EXECUTION: I have had sufficient time to read this entire agreement. I have carefully read and understand the provisions and legal consequences of this agreement, and I voluntarily agree to all of its terms and conditions. I understand that I am giving up substantial rights by signing this agreement.  I acknowledge that it has been recommended that I have my attorney review this agreement prior to signing it. I agree that this Booking Terms and Conditions is intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by the laws of the State of Texas and if any portion of this agreement is found to be void or unenforceable, the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect. My signature applies to each and every page of this agreement.

If Participant is a Minor under 18, a Parent or Guardian’s signature is required.