Eighty Days

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Eighty Days is an accredited Yunus Social Business Company and Tokyo-based DMC specializing in off-the-beaten-path FIT tours across Japan. Our aim is to bolster the local economies of rural areas, protect and rejuvenate traditional cultures that are in danger of being lost, and bring visitors to parts of Japan that we believe deserve more attention and appreciation than they’re currently receiving.
Member since: 13 Mar 2020

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

Whenever possible, we employ local freelance guides who are passionate about their area. When our tours go off the
beaten path, part of what makes those experiences special for visitors is the people they meet. The guide they have
with them is crucial to their understanding and appreciation of the areas they visit, which in turn has a ripple effect on
whether or not visitors recommend these wonderful places to others after they leave.
In this vein, we’re in the process of creating a training program for local guides to better understand the expectations
and potential obstacles they may face on tours with overseas customers, with the goal of enabling smoother
interactions between both parties.
We also operate a separate business called Tabimart, which invites residents of Japan on tours of the country.
Residents of Japan, especially immigrants who came to Japan out of love for the country, are often keen to explore
and discover new and lesser-known parts of the country. We believe in the benefits of bringing locals together in the
hope that these connections will foster new communities that might not normally have formed otherwise.

We employ local guides whenever possible, search for and patronize local restaurants using local foods (often through recommendations from the people of the area and local governments), and include a wide variety of small local businesses in our itineraries to encourage various financial benefits in the areas we visit.

We are an official travel agency of the Fukushima revitalization project operated by the Tokyo government. We send customers to affected areas by creating unique tours and work closely with other local governments and grass roots organizations to create unique experiences for our customers (participation in local festivals, supporting local artisans in their own ateliers, etc.). Our CEO Nanami Granger also gives lectures held by local governmental associations about social business which demonstrate how we can contribute to local areas through tourism.

Environmental responsibility

We believe strongly in protecting both wildlife and the places they live. For the "swimming with dolphins" portion of our
Tokyo Island Hopping tour, for example, we work closely with a local ecotourism company called Dive Station Base.
Customers understand before embarking on the tour that they may not see the dolphins, and the goal of the tour is
only to appreciate dolphins in their natural environment. The founder of DSB, Yuki Kusachi, actively works toward
educating the public in wildlife preservation and eco-conservation through visits to schools and hospitals. Our
companies have a strong interest in facilitating the appreciation of wildlife in a way that respects them and the home
they live in.
Especially as climate change becomes a more and more serious issue, we plan to use environmentally conscious
practices to lighten the weight of our footprints moving forward. All of our staff currently forego using cars to commute
to work and instead use either public transit or bicycles. We recently moved offices and are focused on equipping our
new space with as many biodegradable and recyclable materials as possible.
We’ve also applied for Travelife in the hope that we can receive advice and suggestions that will guide us in greener
choices going forward.

We aim to eliminate single use plastics from the office entirely, and are discussing locally-sourced materials to use in our daily office work. On tours, we're aiming to provide our customers with their itineraries through PDF or similar rather than in printed documents. We are always looking for ways to improve our office-based initiatives and welcome any suggestions in this aim.

Japan has many built-in systems to reduce water use, including toilets that are equipped with "small flush"/"eco flush" options that use less water. Many also have a small sink attached to the tank (with clean water) for people to wash their hands.

We currently recommend that customers bring reusable bottles for their water consumption. Our Samurai Craft Tour in particular includes a stop at a little-known local water shrine (we've met people who drive for hours to fill gallon-sized containers from the shrine's water source), so we tell customers to bring reusable bottles to fill up with fresh spring water at the shrine.

We actively look for opportunities to promote local projects and organizations with environmental protection as their goal. For our Tokyo Island Hopping tour, for example, we work closely with a local eco tourism company in the area called Dive Station Base. Its founder Yuki Kusachi actively works toward educating the public in wildlife preservation and eco-conservation through visits to schools and hospitals. Our companies have a strong interest in facilitating the appreciation of wildlife in a way that respects them and the home they live in.

At the moment, we're outfitting our new office with various furniture aimed toward reducing waste including single-use plastics. One of our purchases will be a water dispenser, which will eliminate single use plastic bottles from the office.

In recent years especially, local governments in Japan have been collaborating with growers to create special dining experiences for overseas visitors, and we often get recommendations through them. We also actively look for and include restaurants that use locally-sourced foods.

Social responsibility

Many of our tours are made with the focus of presenting overseas visitors with unforgettable experiences and leaving
impressed upon them fond memories and fascinating new information about Japan’s culture and local people.
Our Samurai Craft Tour, for example, is based in Seki City in Gifu prefecture. We created this tour with assistance and
connections from the municipal government in the hope that we can promote the revered art of katana craftsmanship
to overseas visitors. Warriors who wielded the katana considered their sword to be an extension of one's self, and
thus their creation was done with keen attention to religion as well as artisanship. On this tour, we bring visitors into
the ateliers of Seki's most prominent katana artisans and by the end, we hope for visitors to walk away with a deeper
appreciation of the craft, while artisans have an opportunity to promote their work and art to a new and slightly wider
audience than before.
Through our Sawara Festival experience, we allow visitors the rare opportunity to go beyond passively watching the
festival parade from the crowd and actually join the local participants and immerse themselves in the harvest
celebration. We have a vast network of connections to local festival organizers across the country, and we work with
them regularly to facilitate more unique and interactive experiences for our visitors.
We also keep a constant eye out for potential new experiences that can help local people. One of the indiginous
groups of Japan called the Ainu are trying to preserve and promote their history and culture to the world, and on April
24th of this year, a museum called the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park will open on the northern island of
Hokkaido. We hope to create Ainu-oriented tours in the future and are currently looking for English-speaking Ainu
guides so that we can help promote Ainu culture through a member of the community itself.

In our itineraries, we give detailed information about the areas customers will visit, and provide orientation with a local guide at the start of their trip to offer explanations and address any questions or concerns customers may have.

We're currently creating a guidebook on suggestions about dos and don’ts in Japan (tipping, mealtime manners, train etiquette, etc.), weather, and environmental awareness that will be given to customers upon arrival. We currently include that in the orientation portion of tours, and our guides often speak on this subject as well.

We ensure that customers on tours with guides are given a fully-guided experience. While our customers are in Japan, we want them to feel as though they're with a guide who can act not only as a navigator and interpreter, but as a facilitator in the absorption of local culture and emotional resonance of every place they visit.

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