Japan and South Korea tour

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Date
Price
Basis
05 Nov 2017
4559
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Nov 2017 departure
04 Nov 2018
4699
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 Nov 2018 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Japan and South Korea tour

Environment

Our guides will brief travellers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental, and when visiting areas of natural beauty such as Miyajima Island and Seorak National Park in South Korea, we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent traces of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us to protect these valuable tourist destinations.

This tour includes visits to various shrines, temples and monuments which are of significant cultural importance to the local people, as well as visiting UNESCO listed areas of Gyeongju, Bulguska Temple and Hwaseong Fortress. Our visits to these sites help to support local projects to conserve the area's cultural and geographical heritage.

On this trip we take advantage of the good public transport system and high-speed train network within Japan and South Korea, and instead of using private transport where possible we make use of trains, thus reducing the carbon footprint of our travellers.

Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas or visiting sacred temples and sites, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to responsible tourism, all clients will receive a copy of our travellers code of conduct with their travel documents.

Community

On this tour we visit Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome), which has remained in the condition it was right after the explosion. Similarly, we visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone, marking the cease-fire line that existed at the end of the Korean War. Both these sites are significant in the history of their country; Hiroshima is a stark reminder of the most destructive force of mankind, and DMZ was the site of peace discussions during the war, and now is the location of conferences about issues about North and South Korea. Visiting these sites allows travellers to understand and learn about these country's turbulent past.

This trip spends a night staying as guests of a local Japanese family in Asuka, and in a traditional Korean house in Seoul. We believe that staying in small village guesthouses and family homes not only gives travellers an authentic and very special insight into the lives of the Japanese and Korean people, but brings tangible benefits to small communities that may otherwise be overlooked by the tourism industry. Spending time with local hosts enables far more cultural interaction than travellers would experience when staying in large hotels. For example, by staying with a local Japanese family, travellers have the opportunity to learn how to cook like a local.

We believe tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures - usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.

We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.

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