Japan Guided Tour, Eastern Hokkaido
Description of Japan Guided Tour, Eastern Hokkaido
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
Planet1. Protection of Local environment
All of our guided tours are small-group, both avoiding the need for large vehicles and hotels, and ensuring we donít overwhelm the places we visit.
Where our tours use mountain or countryside trails, we ensure that we donít damage vegetation by using only established trails. We leave what we find, so no taking of plants, rocks, archaeological artefacts, etc.
We respect wildlife by avoiding quick movements, loud noises, getting too close and feeding animals. We help with the preservation of local culture by educating visitors about local traditions and crafts, and making the history and culture a central theme of their visit.
We follow the principles of ĎLeave no Traceí on our walking tours. On our walking tours we dispose of all waste properly to avoid contamination of water sources. We avoid as much the use of paper, and do as much of our marketing as possible on-line, using internet fax and avoid printing out paper. When we do print we use double side as much as possible.
We use local public transport as much as possible where this is an option, lessening the environmental impact of extra vehicles on small country roads.
We encourage our employees to walk/bike to the office
PeopleTravelling with respect
The presence of a Japanese-speaking tour leader makes a big difference in cultural interaction, allowing for communication between the visitors and local people and lessening the possibility of minor cultural gaffes by foreigners that might otherwise create nervousness on the part of local people about hosting foreign guests. This helps to cultivate a positive experience not only for the travellers but the local community as well.
Our local guides spend a huge amount of time and effort explaining to our clients about local customs and etiquette, so that our clients can interact appropriately with the local community. Japanese culture can feel extremely unfamiliar and habits which we might be second-nature to us (such as blowing our nose) can seem rude to the Japanese. Our pre-departure literature alerts our clients to ways they can avoid giving unintended offence.
Local Crafts & Culture
The tour introduces clients to the cultural heritage of an area which has a history going back centuries, but has perhaps not been fully appreciated in recent decades. On this tour we also introduce our clients to indigenous Ainu culture, allowing for a natural way to learn about the history of the region.
Small group tourism encourages young people who would otherwise leave to find work in the cities to stay and start small-scale sustainable enterprises that cater to visitors. We try to avoid the destinations that cater to mass-market tourism, taking our guest to the lesser-known but more rewarding places that larger tour companies tend to avoid due to their unsuitability for large groups. This means our clients money will end up in small community that may have little in the way of work for its young people.