As a global operator, we take our role in the tourism industry very seriously. We recognise the impact that tourism has on local communities and the environment, and we plan and operate all our tours with this at the front of our minds. We believe that every tour operator must be responsible in the way they conduct their business, to ensure the welfare of all people and the conservation of the environment.
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. You will see this in action during your exploration of Japan. Your group will support local industry and initiative staying in a family run ryokan, shopping in Kyoto’s handicraft centre and in the merchant district of Nakamachi in Matsumoto.
You will further encourage the continuation of traditional skills should you choose to see a presentation of Miyako Odori (the Cherry Blossom Dance), performed in spring by maiko (apprentice geisha), and your trip will provide many employment opportunities in the regions we visit, from the local restaurants we dine in to (in no small measure) the local guide who will lead your trip. Through our policy on employing professional, local leaders to guide our groups, you will gain a greater personal understanding of the history, culture and traditions of this fascinating region.
Much of the travelling on this trip is done on the famous Bullet train. Journeying by rail produces significantly less carbon emissions per passenger than travel by either air or car, making this one of the most environmentally responsible methods to explore this magnificent country. In fact, when it comes to carbon emissions, as a company we operate a carbon neutral policy, offsetting all passenger travel ‘on the ground’ while on tour. On this trip, that equates to 700kgs of carbon offset per person, per departure. Should you wish to speak to us about offsetting the cost of your international travel to Japan yourself our travel consultants will be delighted to help.
In addition to offsetting our carbon footprint, steps will be taken throughout your trip to further reduce our environmental impact while in country. Small measures can make a big difference to the overall picture and you will notice hopefully little actions as we go. For example, all travellers in the group will be encouraged to travel with refillable water bottles and purification tablets rather than purchasing water in plastic bottles to minimise waste and your group leader will also be on hand to advise on the responsible discarding of rubbish throughout the trip, recycling wherever possible.
As well as economic and environmental responsibility we encourage our travellers to be aware of their social responsibilities while visiting other countries. While Japan is known for its 'out there' fashions overall it is quite a conservative country. Please remember that we spend time at temples, working monasteries, holy shrines, recreated villages and castles, and ancient gardens. At these places it is important to be respectful to the staff and other visitors by wearing clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.