6 reasons to travel with us

Why Oku Japan


"We strongly believe that travel should have a positive impact on both the traveller and local people."

Matt Malcomson, Oku Japan's founder.



Our mission is a simple one; to show visitors to Japan the beautiful scenery, the charming towns and villages, and above all the lovely people we have discovered on our travels. From village-to-village walking along rural valleys on the main island of Honshu, to marvelling at the volcanoes of Kyushu, the Japanese countryside will unfold before your eyes and deliver a truly captivating experience.

1. Unique, hand-crafted itineraries

We have travelled the length and breadth of the country, stayed at hundreds of hotels, Ryokan and Minshuku, taken trains, ferries and buses to the far corners of this amazing country to discover the best food, best accommodation and best service. We will take you to Japan’s most remote destinations, far away from mass-market tourist centres. Our trips all offer the visitor a wonderful opportunity to see Japan from a perspective bypassed by most travellers. Our favourite inns may not have internet access or even their own website, but they have the freshest food and personal service which cannot be reproduced on a large scale.

2. Exceptional service, unparalleled local support and great documentation

Our service begins the minute you book, with the personal service and assistance of our team who will do their best to answer any question or fulfil any request you have. Once in Japan, our service continues with support from our local offices and exceptional guides. For our self-guided clients, even in the most obscure locations, your trip to Japan is made easy thanks to our topographical maps, our GPS tracks, our detailed day-by-day itineraries, and our walking directions. Leave all the preparations to us - enjoy a side of Japan that few visitors do!

3. Outstanding qualified local guides

Our guides are qualified professionals, fluent in Japanese and English (as well as some who speak German, French or Spanish). They have a deep knowledge of and passion for Japan’s people, culture and history. On our small-group, guided tours, our guides travel with you throughout the trip, always on hand to help and offer you worry-free holidays and unforgettable memories.

4. Responsible Tourism

We firmly believe in travelling responsibly. We craft our itineraries with consideration for nature and for people. We want to foster genuine interaction between local communities and visitors. We aim to ensure the long-term sustainability of natural resources, culture and society, treating them with respect and fairness. We are proud of our membership of the responsible travel community and develop tours which have a positive impact on travellers, local people and the environment. Learn more about how we are acting responsibly as a tour company here

5. A window into local communities

Close-knit communities deep in the countryside preserve the traditions of a not-too-distant past. Our trips combine the simple pleasures of enjoying the hospitality of these communities: their home-grown food, carefully-preserved buildings and immense pride in where they live and who they are. We have our very own team in Kyoto and along the Kumano Kodo Trail and Nakasendo Trail - not representatives, not partners, but our very own staff members ready to support you and to show you facets of Japan you never knew existed. Explore our Kumano Kodo branch here, and our Nakaendo branch here

6. Secure and easy payment options

We aim to make your holiday straightforward – right from the moment you book. We offer various payment methods in six different currencies. You can opt to pay by bank transfer or by credit card. We charge no additional fees for card payment.