Ten Tour Commitments

For more than nine years now, we’ve been organizing tours and taking many travelers to Japan’s premier destinations. This isn’t about those destinations – it’s about how our style of travel makes a Samurai Tours tour the best value and experience around. We are passionate about this, and we can sum it all up in our Ten Tour Commitments.

These are OUR tours.
We design these tours. Since the very beginning, our recipe for great tours has been simple and firm: great guides, small groups, public transportation, small, centrally-located family-run lodging and business ethics that give you real peace of mind.

We have organized hundreds of tours all over Japan. During that time, we have received a lot of feedback from customers on what to add to tours and, more importantly, what not to add. We have taken this feedback and updated each and every itinerary so it’s the best it can possibly be.

Many tour operators who do not have their own presence in Japan depend on a Japanese travel agency to design and operate their tours for them. Since these agencies are operated by Japanese, they will design their tours as Japanese people would prefer. This means a mind-numbing, whirlwind tour of temples and shrines. We work very hard at designing varied and meaningful itineraries, and always set a pace that will allow everyone to fully enjoy the sights they visit.

The best value in travel.
We define a successful tour as a finely-crafted, low-stress, maximum-experience trip for about the same price you’d pay to go on your own. We love tapping into the economy and efficiency that comes with a smartly designed tour.

It’s important to keep in mind that much of the money an independent traveler might appear to save can be quickly lost to time-consuming hotel and transportation hassles, and inevitable mistakes.

There is more to value than the price. We include everything in our itineraries we feel should be seen and/or experienced. Our goal is for you to end up more relaxed on a tour, and ahead in rewarding-experiences-per-day.

More sightseeing included.
Our prices include all group sightseeing. If there’s a great sight along your route, it’s included…and you’ll see it! At the same time, we design in free time and encourage you to make your own discoveries, with the help of your guide’s advice. However, during most free times on our tours, we also offer optional excursions if you would prefer joining the excursions.
More meals included.
On all of our tours, all of the breakfasts and about one-half of the lunches and dinners are always included. We also feel it is very important for you to venture out and do your own culinary exploration. It’s a sensible balance that protects your budget, and gives you the freedom to make discoveries on your own.

One comment we receive over and over from our customers at the end of our tours is their surprise at the quality and quantity of the food. I can’t tell you how many people have told us they thought they would lose weight on the tour, and then the exact opposite happened. We have opened many people’s eyes to the variety and high quality of the Japanese cuisine.

Great guides.
The quality of your tour guide can make – or break – your travel experience. We hire guides we know and trust, and who share our love for Japan and who are interested in sharing their knowledge of Japan with our customers. Many of our guides have been with us for a long time. (Some for as long as 9 years.) They are familiar with us, our tours and the type of experience we hope to provide, and they have a proven track record of providing that quality experience.
100% small groups.
Small groups are great. We limit our groups to just 16 travelers, sometimes fewer. This enables us to sightsee, stay and dine where mainstream groups can only dream. Small groups also give our tours a friendlier, more informal atmosphere. For us, it’s the only way to go.
Centrally-located, family-run lodging.
To help you feel settled for a good night’s sleep, most of our stops are for two nights in a row. On a city tour you’ll settle into your accommodations for an entire week.•Keeping our groups small gets us into quaint, centrally-located lodging in the historic heart of each city, within walking distance of the major sights. Full of personality, and often family-run, our lodging is a memorable part of your trip.
Public transportation.
We use the same trains, subways, buses, taxis and ferries that millions of Japanese use every day. By traveling this way, you will get much closer to the people and culture you traveled thousands of miles to discover. A ride on a crowded Tokyo subway during rush hour is a cultural experience you can’t get any other way. And no trip to Japan is complete without at least one ride on the Shinkansens (bullet trains).
Guaranteed prices and Peace of Mind.
In case the dollar weakens or the price of fuel goes up, most tour companies reserve the right to tack extra fees onto your final payment. We won’t do that. Once you book your tour, your price will not change. While our advertised prices may change during the year, the moment you make your deposit, your personal tour price is guaranteed.•Committing to a Japanese vacation should be a joy, not a gamble. That’s why we include travel insurance with all of our escorted tour packages.
We listen to you.
We always ask clients what they thought of one of our tours. To translate your thoughts into action, we huddle together every year to update each tour itinerary so it’s the best it can possibly be. While other tour companies resist change, we thrive on it!