Walk Japan is an independent organisation offering a different vision of how to create and manage tours in Japan; how to provide service to customers; and how to carry out business as a whole.
- To provide the best tours, ones that set the benchmark for quality, available in Japan.
- To maintain and improve the three fundamental qualities of Walk Japan's tours; namely, interest (education), entertainment (attractiveness) and efficiency (best use of customers’ time and money).
- To clearly recognise and act accordingly that their product is not just tours but the complete service from first enquiry through the tour itself to post-tour follow up.
- To operate the company on a sustainable financial basis of profitable growth consistent with long-term development and success. Walk Japan does not seek short-term gain.
- To expand the opportunities for development and career growth for all the employees.
- To thoroughly imbue everything that Walk Japan does in the work with their values of respect, integrity and quality.
PIONEERS AND SPECIALISTS
Walk Japan is the pioneering operator of walking tours of Japan. It specialises in only one country and, since 1992, has been providing the best planned, the best led and most fulfilling and enjoyable tours available in Japan. Currently, Walk Japan has an unrivalled range of regular, scheduled tours and is researching more for the future. They also create and run private custom tours tailored to their customers’ particular interests and requirements. The latter include educational tours for schools and other academic institutions around the world.
DEEP-BASED KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS
Walk Japan is skilled at unveiling many aspects of Japan during the course of their tours. This expertise is rooted in study trips run by two Hong Kong University academics, Tom Stanley and Richard Irving, for their students of Japanese history and Japanese social geography. These study trips developed into Walk Japan’s tours over 20 years ago, since when Walk Japan has taken many thousands of people from North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia to beautiful and interesting areas of Japan, many little known, that are otherwise difficult to access and fully appreciate.
Walk Japan's tours are created for people who not only like to walk but also like to learn, understand and appreciate. Walk Japan introduces Japan in contexts that are informative and make sense of sights and customs that otherwise too often remain elusive to many visitors. Their tours bring this fascinating country up close by mixing in with its people and their way of life. Walk Japan uses public transport with its many varied, very pleasant and efficient guises; and also use delightful, local inns, the occasional temple and family-run restaurants.
All Walk Japan's tours are thoroughly researched and planned for experiences of Japan without peer. They are original, well-paced and carefully balanced for activity, interest and pleasure. Their extensive planning and attention to detail ensures that all tours provide a rich experience that runs exceptionally well. Walk Japan sets standards far above the norm in Japan with their western approach to tour research and creation combined with their high Japanese standards of service.
TRAVELLING IN COMFORT AND WITH INTEREST
All tours are physically active to varying degrees – from light walking through trail walking to mountain climbing. Tours to match almost everyone’s abilities.
All tour accommodation has previously been vetted by a member of the staff – not just to approve the quality but also to build a personal relationship with the owners. Wherever possible Walk Japan uses local Japanese-style accommodation but also makes the selection on the basis of interest, comfort and practical considerations, such as, ‘Are laundry facilities available?’ When we use a hotel, which is usually in major cities, these are generally 3/4 star equivalent but regardless of level they are convenient for the tour and spotlessly clean.
FIRST-RATE TOUR LEADERS
Tour leaders in Walk Japan are rated highly by the customers and travel writers for their enthusiasm, friendliness, knowledge of Japan, ability to communicate and professionalism. Their task is not just to provide a great experience but also to engender a desire for all the customers to return to Japan – and so far many have, some many times over. All of them are at a minimum very proficient in the Japanese and English languages and have an intimate knowledge of Japan and its people – so much so this often belies their nationalities, which include Australians, Americans and British as well as Japanese. The ranks of the tour leaders include one of the company’s founding academics – the other is still fully employed in academia – as well as many other individuals who have long experience across a broad range of businesses in Japan including the media, agriculture, commerce, arts, finance, academia and tourism.
Most of the scheduled tours run at a maximum of 12 people plus the tour leader. Walk Japan has found this size not only conducive to the good melding of participants it is also the optimum number for a tour leader to cope with comfortably – not only to make sure no-one is overlooked but also for logistical reasons. An extra plus is that Walk Japan has access to many wonderful inns, restaurants, sites and experiences that are just not available to bigger groups.
CARE FOR CUSTOMERS AND THEIR SATISFACTION
Walk Japan aims to provide all customers with top-class service from initial contact through time in Japan with them to post-tour follow up. The first premise is that they want you to join them again on tour. When you travel with them on tour a Walk Japan tour leader will be accompanying you throughout and their staff based in Japan are on standby to provide additional support in case of emergency.
Walk Japan is a recognised provider of acclaimed walking tours in Japan because of the customers. With their help over the years they have perfected tours and, in return, they have been able to provide consistently tours of high calibre and pleasure. Almost everyone who travels with Walk Japan rates their overall enjoyment as very good or excellent. ‘It was more than I thought it would be’ is not an uncommon comment from the customers. Walk Japan customers have told their families, friends and acquaintances about Walk Japan and a significant proportion of the new customers come by word-of-mouth. Many of their customers return to them on other tours; so far some have come on as many as four separate occasions – they think this is not bad considering they specialise in only one country.
GUARANTEED BOOKING, VALUE FOR MONEY AND NO SURCHARGES
If they accept a booking they guarantee that they will run the tour. They do not provide flights with the tours and so feel obliged always to honour any booking made with them. They will never leave any of their customers with flights to Japan but without a tour to join.
Walk Japan includes as much as possible in the tour price. Although each tour varies to some extent, in general, everything for the tour from the start point to the end point is included except some lunches, drinks and spending money. (Please refer to the tour details for specific information).
Walk Japan never levy surcharges. They guarantee that the price at the time you book is the only price you will pay to join the tour.