These are some of the most common questions we get from travelers. If you have any other questions, we’ll be happy to help so please contact us.
Who are your trips for?
Our travelers are based around the world, in the Americas, Australia, and beyond. The majority of our travelers are couples, families, small groups of friends, and solo travelers.
Are these group tours?
No, these are completely private itineraries.
Where in Japan do you go?
We offer private itineraries throughout all of Japan. Our sample trips above are here to provide inspiration, and there are also many other places in Japan we absolutely love.
When it comes to your itinerary, we’ll provide personalized suggestions in the course of planning your trip.
How does your service work?
We begin by listening and learning about your interests, priorities, and travel style. Then we provide expert input to make sure you’re aware of special places and experiences you may not have considered.
Next, we design a completely customized Japan trip just for you, taking your feedback into account along the way. Throughout the process, we make things as easy and enjoyable as possible for you. Additionally, with 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, you can simply relax and enjoy your adventure.
See more details in Planning Your Trip with Boutique Japan.
How do you select your guides?
We hear a lot from travelers who have had lackluster, unsatisfying tours in the past.
While some of our clients enjoy having a guide from start to finish, most commonly our travelers enjoy a mix of guided time along with free time for independent exploration and relaxation (in our experience, the optimal balance is quite different for everyone).
When it comes to private guides and local experts, we have unusually high standards (few things in travel are more disappointing than a mediocre guide), and through constant travel and exploration we’ve personally developed a network of wonderful guides and insightful experts throughout Japan. In Japan, even more so than most elsewhere, trust is established only over long periods of time. Our tours are based on valuable relationships carefully cultivated over many years, and we’re extremely fortunate to work with remarkable people around the country.
For us, it’s about far more than just having knowledge: we seek out the truly engaging individuals who are not only bright and knowledgeable, but also flexible and quick-thinking. Perhaps above all, they must be fun, interesting people you’ll actually want to spend your valuable time with.
Can we use points to book our hotels?
As points lovers ourselves, we completely understand wanting to use them. However, because accommodations form such an integral part of each trip we design, we arrange all accommodations as part of our service. This helps us ensure a truly seamless experience for all our clients, from start to finish.
What about food?
For nearly all of our travelers, Japanese food is a high priority!
As part of your trip, we can include special culinary experiences such as private market tours with local experts, as well as intimate guided dining experiences at unique and wonderful restaurants throughout the country. It’s important to note that we don’t make additional restaurant reservations as part of our service. However, like virtually all of our travelers we are very passionate about Japanese cuisine, and will go out of our way to ensure you have the information you need to make any reservations of interest as easily as possible.
To start, well before your trip we’ll provide you with a short list of remarkable restaurants to consider. These days, most high-end restaurants in Japan prefer to take reservations directly from hotel concierges (for a variety of cultural reasons, it’s less of a headache for the restaurants), and for convenience we can connect you directly with the concierge at your hotels. In some cases, we also recommend using a reputable reservation service such as TableAll. As part of the booking process, we’ll also provide insight on when you should be starting to think about reservations and other essential details.
Will booking through you save me money?
Some travel companies tout their access to discounts, but the main reason travelers book through us is to gain access to our profound Japan expertise and extensive network throughout the country.
Not only will we help you dream up a completely unique itinerary through our in-depth knowledge of Japan and extraordinarily personalized trip-planning process, we’ll also save you countless hours expertly coordinating the nitty-gritty logistics of your trip.
Our service is ideal for travelers who appreciate expert assistance and meaningful, personalized experiences.
Why should I travel with Boutique Japan?
We are accredited Japan Travel Specialists, and maintain active memberships with respected organizations including IATAN and ATTA.
Perhaps more interestingly, unlike most travel companies we intentionally work with fewer travelers. This lets us take an extraordinarily personalized approach when it comes to your trip. Along with our expertise and creativity, our low-volume approach is one reason Condé Nast Traveler magazine considers Boutique Japan founder Andres Zuleta a Top Travel Specialist for Japan:
“Zuleta’s Boutique Japan is a small company that eschews volume and spends more time customizing each trip to offer travelers a fresh, creative approach to Japan – something that discerning travelers seek out after learning of Zuleta’s deep immersion into the Japanese language and culture from years of living in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.”
If you’re as obsessed with the details as we are, chances are we’ll be a good fit — see what our travelers say here and on Google Reviews.