Booking With Us - Japanspecialist

Booking With Us

At Japanspecialist, we are committed to making the booking process as easy as possible and ensuring that our customers have all the information they need at every stage of the process. If the answer to your query isn't listed below, contact our team and they will be more than happy to provide the answers you need.

Booking and Documentation

Travelling in Japan is safe and reliable, but organizing the tour on your own can be very overwhelming with many different options, both when it comes to accommodation and transportation. Our expert travel consultants will make sure your holiday is well planned, so you don’t make common mistakes or end up paying for excessive services not needed. We know the unique side of Japan and can ensure that you will enjoy your holiday both during the planning and during travelling for your benefit.

Simply fill out the inquiry form with your details, the type of tour you are interested in (plus any adjustments) and a member of our team will be in touch to begin the process. The majority of our tours are tailor-made for each customer. You will have the opportunity to discuss your travel needs in much more detail so that a finalised proposal and quotation can be provided before you commit to the booking.

All our package and self-drive tours are tailor-made, you have the flexibility to adjust the program, and our expert travel consultants will advise the best options to meet your travel needs. We will contact you with some questions to better understand what is important to you and ensure your trip becomes your dream holiday.

As Japan is getting more and more popular, it is important to book well in advance (more than six months before departure). We will, of course, work on getting the best value for money using our expert knowledge about Japan, in combination with your expectations and flexibility (travel dates and budget).

Japanspecialist requires a deposit payment of 20% to secure the booking. A higher deposit might be required depending on the service confirmed.

Payment for your trip can be made by bank transfer or by credit/debit card. Your personal representative will be able to provide you with more details before booking.

Payment is always to be made in the local currency based on the department location from which the purchase is made.

Final payment is required six weeks (42 days) before departure.
If the departure is within six weeks, full payment is required.

If you'd like to buy optional extras, excursions or flight pre-seating, then it can be booked no later than two months before departure.

If you are disabled or travelling with medical equipment, wheelchairs, etc., the Japanspecialist must be made aware of this before booking the trip. 

In that case, it can be a great challenge to travel around Japan, and even though our hotels in Japan are approved according to local standards, they may deviate from your local requirements. 

Access to all hotel facilities can not be guaranteed. Remember to make us aware of your needs when you book the trip, so we can help you in the best possible way.

If you have allergies or need special meals, special meals can be pre-ordered from the airlines. While vegetarian, halal, gluten-free, and lactose-free food requests are becoming more common, there is no tradition of ordering specially adapted food in Japan.

Vegetarian food is available in some restaurants. But be aware that the staff may not do not always understand what type of vegetarian you are, and they will therefore provide their interpretation of vegetarian food. However, in the larger cities, it is possible to eat at specialty restaurants. 

Children aged 12 years old and above are considered adults and require an adult price. Children aged 6-11 years old get a discounted price.  For accommodation, own beds and child meals (smaller portions) are provided.

Children aged 2-05 years old have their own seat on flights but no seat on transportation (they're required to sit on their parent's lap). For accommodation, no bed nor meals are provided. Children under the age of 2 are entitled to an additional discount but will not get a seat on the flight.

The best seasons are during spring/summer (April – May, July) or autumn (October – November). The Winter months can get cold, especially during nights in the mountains. June and September tend to be rainy, while April, August and November can get very crowded.

High seasons: 10-25 April, 25 June – 31 July and 01 September – 15 November.
Super high seasons: 15 March – 10 April, 25 April – 10 May and 01 – 31 August.

Our advertised 'from' prices are based on regular seasons and with the best availability upon reservation.

This is possible, and we have a number of add-on packages available for you. Tailormade extension arrangements will also be possible.

Kindly send us a written notice of confirmation (preferably by email).

According to the Tour Package law, you will have the right to rebook your trip without a rebooking fee if there is still negative travel advice for Japan in your country and/or a travel ban for EU nationalities in Japan four weeks prior to departure.

Free cancellation with a full refund of the deposit amount paid will also be possible from that moment.

Japanspecialist might also decide earlier than four weeks prior to departure that your tour can not operate due to COVID19. In that case, free cancellation / free rebooking also becomes possible.

In case of rebooking, travel conditions and prices of the new travel period become applicable, so there might be a difference in price with the cancelled tour.

Once final- or full payment is settled, we will provide you with documents, vouchers and essential information on travelling around Japan. We will try to send the documents around four weeks, at the latest three weeks before departure.

As an official travel agency, you are covered by the law for tour packages. In the unlikely event of any involuntary changes before or during your travel, such as strike, cancellations due to weather, bankruptcies, or pandemic outbreaks, we will take care of you. 

In case the government does not allow non-essential travel to Japan, you are entitled to a full refund, so you do not need to worry about chasing airlines, hotels or service providers for refunds.

Flights and Luggage

We are very flexible when it comes to selecting airlines, and this generally depends on your choice of the departure airport. Flight tickets prices can fluctuate a lot, and flexibility on travel dates is beneficial. The majority of airlines used are European or Japanese airlines, but Middle Eastern or Asian airlines might also be available.

Flights offered are within reasonable travel time, either direct or with one (max two) short connections. Our expert consultants will make sure you reach your destination without spending all your budget or travel time on the flights using our beneficial agreements with the airlines.

If you have any preferences in regard to airlines, mileage alliance or cabin-class, please inform us of your requirements.

You are able to purchase the package without flights. We offer a discount of EUR 500 per adult and EUR 400 per child. Please arrange your flights and send us the details when you make your initial inquiry.

It is recommended that you start by contacting the staff on-site and ask if they can solve the problem immediately. 

It is your responsibility to keep yourself informed of any changed return times by contacting the airline no later than 72 hours before the return journey and to arrive in time at the places and times for the outbound and return journey stated in the itinerary. On the airline's website, you can log in with your reservation reference and last name to see details and updates and changes. This can also be done at www.checkmytrip.com but requires you to register first.

If you have bought all or parts of your flight ticket yourself, we recommend that you purchase insurance that covers delayed attendance if possible and covers if you are delayed with your one flight so that you do not reach this next flight. Also, make sure that you comply with the rules for transit time between your flights.

Please contact your Japanspecialist Consultant, who will be able to inform and guide you about the options available from your local airport.

Most airlines require payment to pre-book seats, and this can be done online on the airline's website after we receive the final payment and when the airline tickets are issued.

Many airlines are opening up for online check-in. The departure time varies from 22 to 48 hours before departure, depending on the airline. At online check-in, you can choose or change your seat yourself, provided that the desired seat is available.

The airlines strive to place people who are on the same travel document in places close to each other. However, this is not always possible, therefore recommend that you purchase specific seats on the airline's website. It will usually also be possible for you to request specific seating at check-in (including online check-in), free of charge. During certain periods when the planes are full, however, it is not always possible.

This can vary according to the airline; however, we would advise arriving at the airport between two and a half to three hours before your flight is due to depart.

Long-haul flights generally include one hot meal and one breakfast. Snacks / drinks will also be provided on the flights.

Generally, one piece of check-in baggage of a maximum 23 kilograms is included in the price of long-haul flight tickets, but conditions can vary, so this depends on the specific airline regulations, booking class and fare type.

We always strive to include airport transfers in Japan. However, there may be exceptions. All inclusive transports will appear on the invoice.

Accommodation

Western Style Hotels
The standard category is similar to tourist class hotels (3 stars), where we put the location as the highest priority, so you have the best options for sightseeing. Expect rooms to be small but clean and functional. All rooms have a private bathroom, WIFI, empty refrigerator, water boiler, hairdryer and air conditioner. Simple English is spoken at the reception. Facilities include a breakfast area but generally do not include any onsite shops, gyms, wellness, bars, or restaurants.

Japanese Ryokan
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn. Rooms are fitted with Japanese tatami mats, and you sleep on the floor on a futon mattress. Rooms are equipped with a toilet, while the bath is the facility's hot-spring baths (both indoor and outdoor). Dinner and breakfast are often included, where dinner is kaiseki, a traditional Japanese tasting menu with local ingredients and specialities.

Japanese Style Minshuku
A minshuku is an authentic experience and is a small family run bed and breakfast in Japan, often located in small villages in the countryside. Expect simple accommodation (2-star) with basic facilities. Rooms are fitted with traditional tatami mats, and you need to make your own bed.

Single, twin, double, triple, family or any other specific needs. We will do our utmost to deliver according to your needs.

It is possible to comply with specific hotel requests based on availability.

Western Style Hotels
The superior category is a more upgraded experience (4 star) with more centrally located hotels. Expect bigger rooms. These hotels generally offer more onsite facilities such as shops, restaurants and bars. Some also have a gym and pool facilities which usually incur an additional charge.

Japanese Ryokan
With a superior room, you get a more luxurious room, always with private bathrooms and some even equipped with private hot springs. In some Japanese style ryokans, you can rent your own hot-spring bath for private bathing too (chargeable).

It is not an option to share rooms with other participants not stated on the invoice before departure.

Check-in at accommodations in Japan is usually at 15:00 / 3:00 PM in the afternoon, and early check-in is often not possible. Local rejections may occur.

We always strive to offer the best possible locations. However, it will always vary based on several variables. The location of all products will be clarified before payment of the deposit.

Check-out time at accommodations in Japan is usually at 10:00 / 10:00 AM in the morning, and late check-out is often not possible. Local rejections may occur.

The vast majority of forms of accommodation in Japan have air conditioning or a temperate indoor climate. There may be specific exceptions.

Food and drink are generally not included in the trip's price unless otherwise stated in your travel documents, including confirmation and itinerary. 

At most city hotels, you have the option of purchasing catering for direct payment to the hotel. We do not automatically include this because there can be great variation in the selection of food depending on the place. 

Therefore, we recommend that you either only buy the food after you have seen what it looks like or, as we recommend in the larger cities, that you go for a walk in the local area to try some of the different cafes and restaurants. However, in smaller towns where there are not many dining options and at many temples, ryokans and minshukus, we have often booked the stay with either breakfast or half board (breakfast and dinner). This also applies to the places where we think the catering is in such a traditional form that it is something we want our guests to try. Be aware that these are fixed menus that often cannot be customized or changed.

Many hotels now have internet, and often there is free WIFI in the lobby. Most of the time, the internet is free, but some hotels charge for it. At the ryokan and minshuku (traditional hotels), there is usually no or limited internet. Kyoto city offers free internet at various tourist spots in the city, and more and more cafes throughout Japan provide free WIFI, like Starbucks.

Car rental

In Japan, each driver must bring a valid local driving license and an international driver's license. If this is not brought, the car cannot be rented, and paid rent is not refundable. In connection with ordering a car rental, please confirm that you have a minimum of one year of experience driving a car and informing Japanspecialist of your age. English GPS can be ordered in some cases but can not be guaranteed everywhere. 

Be aware that there may be road taxes in several places, and there may be parking fees in larger cities. Both parts are usually settled on the spot in cash.

In Japan, you drive on the left side of the road, and driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly forbidden and severely punished.

For more information visit our dedicated Driving in Japan FAQ page.

Safety

Japan has an incredibly low crime rate relative to its population. In Japan, the likelihood of being robbed or assaulted is minimal, and one can walk the streets peacefully without discomfort. 

There is also no culture of negotiating with the prices, and you will then be sure that you have paid the same price for the item that a local Japanese has paid.

If you forget your jacket, lose your mobile or lose your money there's a good chance you'll see it again. 

Leftover valuables are often picked up by local Japanese or cleaning staff. Clothes and umbrellas were most often lost, while purses came in third place. You can have your lost items returned upon presentation of ID.