Pre-booking FAQs

Booking with Oku Japan - FAQs

For our FAQ page covering travel under the guidelines set by the Japanese government in 2022, please see here.

What type of trips do you offer?

Oku Japan offers self-guided walking tours for independent travellers, small-group guided walking tours and small-group guided cultural tours. We are happy to organise private departures of our trips - please complete our enquiry page to share your requirements with us.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We ask for a 20% deposit on booking and the final balance 2 months before your tour starts.

We accept payment by:

  • Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard) in Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, US Dollars
  • Debit cards (Visa debit, Visa Electron, UK issued Maestro & Solo)
  • Bank/wire transfers in Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, US Dollars

Oku Japan does not charge any additional fee for card payments.

Do you arrange flights to Japan?

You are free to use your preferred airline or flight agent - we do not offer flights ourselves. We will happily advise on the best options for your particular trip.

How big are the groups on guided tours?

Our small-group guided tours have a maximum of 12 or 13 participants which keeps them small, friendly and personal.

What is the usual make-up of the group?

Our groups tend to be international, with guests from all over the world including North America, Australia and Europe. We have a variety of ages on our trips.

What financial security do I have?

Oku Japan is a member of ABTOT, the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers in the UK. All our tours are 100% bonded against financial failure, so your money is protected.

Can I make last minute bookings?

Yes, we will do our best to accommodate last minute bookings for our scheduled trips subject to the availability of accommodation.

What happens if I need to cancel?

Please read our booking conditions page for charges which will apply if you need to cancel your trip with us.

Do you offer single rooms?

On our small-group guided tours, we ask solo travellers to pay a single supplement, which guarantees you a room to yourself at the western-style hotels on the tour. At the Japanese inns on the tour, tatami-mat rooms are culturally less intimate spaces than western bedrooms and Japanese guests travelling with acquaintances are accustomed to sharing. We follow this Japanese custom and will ask you to share a tatami-mat room with another group member of the same gender. We will never ask you to share with someone of the opposite gender or someone outside our group. If you are a solo traveller willing to share a room throughout the small-group guided tour with another solo traveller of the same gender, please let us know. We will happily refund the single supplement if we can find you a room-mate before the tour starts.

On our self-guided tours, we ask solo travellers to pay a single supplement to ensure you have sole occupancy of a room throughout your tour.

What is the standard of accommodation?

In cities we use mid-range Western-style hotels, all with private bathrooms. In the countryside we use Japanese inns called Ryokan or Minshuku, with futons laid-out on tatami-mat floors for sleeping. At Japanese inns bathrooms and toilet facilities are normally ‘along the corridor’.

For more information about the accommodation we use, please see here.

Can you book accommodation before or after my tour?

We are always happy to book pre-tour or post-tour nights for you. We also offer an exciting range of extensions and experiences so you can create your own ideal itinerary.

Timetable for travellers

  • On booking: please inform us of any dietary requirements. It may not be possible to accommodate requests at a later stage.
  • After you pay your tour deposit: we will send you a booking acknowledgement and digital copies of our handbooks ‘Preparing for your Trip’ and ‘Travelling in Japan’.
  • 2 months before departure: we will invite you to pay your final balance.
  • 3 weeks before departure: we will send you a digital copy of your tour itinerary so you have time to read it and ask questions.