We are a tour operator, not a travel agency. We create tour itineraries and facilitate them, but we do not handle hotel and airline bookings, nor do we handle visa applications.
We offer private, small-group tours to selected destinations in Japan, at set times of the year. We personally create and facilitate all our tours, that is we plan and organize them and at least one of us will accompany you on the tour.
We complement the services of travel agencies, and they complement us. We specialize in local knowledge of the tour area, which lets us tailor your itinerary and activities to your preferences, and show you around personally. Travel agents specialize in giving you a range of airline and accommodation options and assisting you get your visas, but their tour offerings are usually limited to the generic canned big-bus tours. So please let us handle your tours, and use a travel agent if you need to for your other requirements.
Tip: Please talk to us first. We’ll help you choose a flight schedule, and identify hotels or other accommodations that are well-located for your desired activities, are within your budget range, and have positive reviews. If your travel agent recommends a different hotel, you can call us to check its location and reviews.
There’s another good reason to get us: we’re photographers. You can opt to have your tour converted into a Pictorial Tour, which means we’ll be taking photos of you and your group. You can download the photos from a private, password-protected gallery on our photography site (dcqphotography.com), or order a photobook.
You can even book us for a private Photo Session at any of several lovely and romantic locations in our tour area (usually Kyoto).
For now, yes, and only to Kyoto and the surrounding areas of Kansai (Nara, Osaka, Himeji, and Shiga Prefecture). There’s so much to see and do in this, the heart of the heart of Japan — culturally, historically, and even food-wise, so we are specializing in the Kansai region.
Please check the dropdown menus under Destinations to find tours by location, or Find a Tour to find a tour by interest. When you find a tour you like just hit <Book this tour> at the bottom of the page to get to our contact/booking form.
At the bottom of every tour page is a booking form. Just fill this out and hit Submit to send us a message. We’ll confirm and give you payment instructions via email. Your tour dates are reserved upon confirmation of payment.
You may use the booking form to reserve or inquire about multiple tours, but feel free to make multiple inquiries if you keep discovering more tours you like!
You may pay us via PayPal, bank deposit, or if you’re reserving a tour on short notice, by cash in Japanese Yen at the start of the tour. We will send you payment instructions when you contact us. And yes, we give official receipts. Philippine residents may pay in advance in Philippine Pesos, at the current exchange rates.
As early as possible, please. Our tours are timed for seasonal occurrences and events that are usually in high demand, and our tours are available on limited dates only. Booking early guarantees your tour dates and lets you avail of hotel and flight discounts for early bookings. We ourselves book our Japan trips six months to a year in advance.
Yes, all departures are guaranteed. We can do this because we’re set up to run tours even for just one person, and because we’ll personally be in Japan to take care of you there during the tour period.
We charge a reservation fee equal to 50% of your total tour fees or USD 200.00 (per person), whichever is lesser, on booking to secure your desired tour dates. The balance is payable 30 days before the start of the tour period.
If you’re booking on short notice however, we can collect full payment at the start of the tour.
Our tours use walking and Japan’s excellent and super-efficient train, subway and bus network to get around, for economy and for you to experience Japan like a local. Our tour package fees include your transportation.
Most of our tours include lunch at selected restaurants along the way. We will mostly be eating Japanese food for the local experience, but we can change the dining arrangements on request.
We can do so on request. Your tour fees will be adjusted accordingly.
Many of our tour destinations have stairs, slopes, or rock/gravel paths, but we can give you a tour that features only wheelchair-friendly destinations and use private transport. Please contact us for your requirements and rates.
Please contact us if you would like to exchange one or more of your chosen tours for others. If your previously chosen tour required reservation fees, or if we have already bought your train/bus tickets or passes, you may forfeit those that we can’t use.
Please contact us if you wish to change tour dates. We cannot guarantee that we can fulfill these requests, as your desired tour dates may already be booked.
We require a reservation fee equal to 50% of your total tour fees or USD 200.00 per person, whichever is lesser, upon receipt of which we close off that date for you.
We offer discounted rates for more people. The base price on our tours is for 1-2 persons. We give increasing discounts on most tours for larger groups. You can find the full price list under each tour.
We will rebate any senior citizen discounts we can avail of to you (in Yen). Please bring your passport with you on the tours as proof of senior status. Senior citizen privileges vary from place to place in Japan, so we can’t give you an exact senior citizen rate. By the way, senior discount in Japanese is “Koureisha waribiki.” When dining by yourselves you can ask that and show your passport to see if you can get any concessions.
For some tours, yes. If your group is more than 15 persons you may want to have us arrange for private transportation, for your convenience. Some of the activity providers we use have limited capacity, though, so we may have to make alternative arrangements which can vary in price from our usual offer.
We can refund you the cost of the following services not availed of: meals, admission and special transport tickets bought on-site, and activity fees less any reservation fees.
Start and end times are variable depending on the tour and your preferences; whole-day tours are usually from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. Photography tours usually start earlier and end later to catch the best light or specific photographic opportunities. Please let us know if you’d like to start a tour earlier or later than usual.
We usually begin our tours from a convenient meeting point where we can easily get transportation to our destination, and end in the same place. In Kyoto, this is usually Kyoto Station. Please consult with us on booking so we can help you find a hotel near our designated tour start area. We can also arrange for different start and end points on request.
We’ll send you a PDF tour briefing file once you’re fully paid, listing our destinations along with tips on what to pack and what to prepare for. We keep some destinations unlisted because we may go to any of several in the same area depending on which is best at the time.
Yes, we speak and can read/write basic Japanese.