Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most common questions we get, but if you don’t see the information you’re seeking please contact us here and we’ll be happy to help.
I’m worried about coronavirus (Covid-19).
We hear you.
For more on what to expect — and our flexibility guarantee — please see Planning a Trip to Japan in the Time of Covid.
There are so many companies. Why should I travel with Boutique Japan?
We believe in fewer clients and richer experiences, as described in more detail on our About page.
As Condé Nast Traveler puts it, “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.”
If our approach resonates with you, we’d be honored to help.
How does your service work?
It’s simple. 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. Finally, we design a completely customized Japan trip just for you, taking your feedback into account along the way.
Read more about our process.
I don’t often enjoy tours. 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.
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.
Who are your trips for?
Our travelers are based around the world, in the Americas, Australia, Europe, and beyond.
The majority of our clients are small groups of friends, couples (including honeymooners), and families.
When is the best time of year to visit Japan?
Japan is a year-round destination and we normally suggest taking advantage of any chance to visit. Each season is great in its own way.
If your dates are very flexible we recommend our in-depth article, When is the best time of year to visit Japan?
Please bear in mind that, especially for peak seasons, advance planning is essential.
What about places not mentioned in the sample trips?
Our sample trips above are simply meant to inspire you. There are many other places in Japan we absolutely love, and we’ll provide personalized suggestions in the course of planning your custom trip.
Who are you?
A small and passionate team of Japan travel experts. Please say hello here, or on Instagram or Facebook!