Japan Custom Tours - Escorted, Personal, Customised

Emperor statue Origami crane sculpture, Hiroshima Kanazawa Sculptured tree at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo

What are JCT's escorted custom tours?

Our simple philosophy is to share with our guests the aspects, sights and experiences of Japan that we love.  To achieve that, we created Japan Custom Tours to help you experience the uniqueness of the country without many of the hurdles that separate the average tourist from the rich experiences that are available.   

The core functions that we do are:

While every group and guest is different there are some common themes that emerge that we help most people with.  Typical examples of what we do, we:

One way to illustrate our approach to Japan is to view a JCT tour through the eyes of our guests.  For one of our customised trips (in May 2017) we were fortunate to have a keen people that made a video diary of their journey across their three week trip.  They kindly provided a copy and you can view a copy by clicking on one of the two following icons.

Guest video JCT Guest video JCT

Benefits to you


Our pricing is based on JPY345,000 per person per week for groups of four or more.  For a two week trip, that is priced at JPY695,000 per person share twin/double.  For a two person tour the price is JPY795,000 per person.

That price includes good quality accommodation (averaging 4-5*) and we do not book the cheapest or lowest quality rooms), transfers, trains, taxis, most entrance fees and our tour fees.  These make up the bulk of the costs we incur providing your tour.

For ryokan (Japanese inn) accommodation that may include dinner as well as breakfast..  For our trips that include Nagano/Togura, we like to include geisha entertainment one night as part of the dinner experience (for groups of four or more).   

Generally we do not include lunch and dinner meals because Japan has a huge range of foods and our guests have widely different options from a simple $10 lunch to a $100+ wagyu steak dinner.  We prefer not to restrict options especially when food is a significant part of many people?s experiences in Japan.  

The other exclusions would be things like special events/performances (sports, theatre, theme parks - those kind of things).  . Where sensible we include breakfast with the hotels (and dinner at some ryokan). Entrance fees for castles/temples/shrines are also included, but special events like theme parks, sumo or kabuki are not.

Our aim is to provide value for money.  We do charge a fee for our planning service and day-to-day role of hosting/guiding you and ensuring you have a great, hassle-free holiday.  We do work hard to make our tour prices as low as practical, by seeing discounts on accommodation and travel, meaning a customised and hosted tour can be significantly cheaper than comparable organised tours.  Our tour prices are, however, not the lowest you can get for a holiday package, but are comparable to some of our larger competitors.  But, we do guarantee departures, do not stick you and 40 other people on a bus, or fill your trip with "free day at you leisure" that other companies charge for.

What expenses will I have while in Japan?

You will need to cover the costs of all food and drink, taxi fares, shopping and other incidentals. It is possible to spend a lot or a little on meals in Japan so there is flexibility within your budget. Buses and local trains/subways are inexpensive and are a way to save a substantial amount of money compared to taking taxis everywhere if you are budget-minded.   An allowance of Y50,000 per week per person should allow you to eat and drink well with few constraints. 

For many of these minor costs it is easier to pay for the group as a whole and keep tabs on spending for each guest (for things like entrance fees and subways).  For group meals it can be more difficult running separate accounts so either do a simple split or a more detailed breakdown as suits the group, and then settle the balance each day or two.