Frequently Asked Questions
It is recommended to bring comfortable shoes and clothing for the tours. Our group tours do not require formal wear, it is generally acceptable if passengers wear casual clothing of their choice.
We will make every effort to accommodate special dietary requests. Please inform our office at least 60 days prior to departure of these requests.
The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts, A.C. There are two kinds of frequencies in use; 50 Hertz in eastern Japan and 60 Hertz in western Japan (including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka).
A 2-flat-pin plugs are used in Japan, the same as North America.
Gratuities are customary expressions of appreciation for a job well done. It is our goal to ensure that the service you receive is as wonderful as the sites you visit. While we have collected pre-paid gratuities with your reservation, at your own discretion you may choose to provide additional tips. Japan for the most part is a tip-free country. If you want to express your appreciation, a simple thank you is more than sufficient.
Passport and Visas Requirements
Whether or not you need a Visa will depend heavily on what country you’re coming from. Most western nations such as the United States or the UK have 90-day exemptions. Unless you’re from one the countries that don’t have Visa exemptions, all you’ll need to show the immigration officer is your passport. You’ll also have to comply with a scanning of your fingerprints and a photo. All foreign residents and tourists are REQUIRED to carry on their person either their resident card or their passport at all times.
You can get currency exchanged at ATM’s and at some hotels; however, we recommend that guests exchange their currency at the airport. If you plan on using your card for ATM’s, it is recommended that you use participating post offices and 7-Eleven ATM’s. Please check with your card companies for more information regarding service fees that may apply.
For current exchange rates: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/
While things are slowly changing, Japan is still very much a cash based society.
Tattoos. What do I need to know?
You should know that in the eyes of conservative Japanese, you have basically branded yourself as part of the Yakuza. Historically, Japan branded criminals with tattoos. Later, as the country entered a period of modernity, Japan’s organized crime syndicates took total ownership of the practice. Recently, Japanese youth are beginning to change the cultural and legal perceptions of tattoos however much red tape remains.
What this means in practice is that you will not be able to use most pools, public bathing facilities, or gyms. If you have a small tattoo you can simply cover it with flesh-colored tape and be fine but if have sleeves, you’re going to need to pass on some activities. Nevertheless, if you still want to experience a traditional hot spring, I suggest booking a ryokan with private onsen in the room as this will allow you to circumvent the need to share with people who aren’t comfortable with your tattoos.