How far in advance should we begin planning for our trip to Japan?
As far in advance as possible! Japanese usually book their travel plans and events months in advance (if not a full year), so if you’re expecting to get a spot at a popular restaurant on two weeks notice, you’ll generally be out of luck. Although it’s true that some places only take reservations two or three months in advance at most, it helps to let us know your travel details as soon as they are made, so we can map out a timeline of what needs to be done when.
Do you assist with general (non-culinary focused) itineraries?
We sure do! Although our passion is food, much of our knowledge and expertise translates quite easily into building general Japan sightseeing itineraries as well.
Can you guarantee a certain reservation/date at a particular restaurant?
No, we cannot absolutely guarantee a reservation at a particular place or at a specific time/date.
You can however improve the odds of us securing a reservation at your spot of choice by giving us much notice beforehand as possible – 3+ months is optimal.
For assistance in booking your upcoming reservation(s), please fill out this form.
Do you assist with reservations for large groups?
Yes, we can make proper arrangements and reservations for groups of any size.
Please be aware that the larger the group, the more advanced notice is requested (otherwise we may need to split your group into separate dining areas or hotels whenever necessary).
Also, please make note that some restaurants will be effectively off-limits for groups over a certain size, as it is not uncommon to have very limited seating at some (as few as eight or so spots in some cases).
For assistance with your large group reservation(s), please fill out this form.
What if I need to make a cancellation, or reschedule?
Sudden cancellations, no-shows, or late arrivals are considered very bad form in Japan, and should be avoided if at all possible.
Always try and let us know ASAP if you foresee any chance that a reservation may need to be canceled or altered, and we will do our best to assist.
Depending on the restaurant and the the amount of time left before your upcoming reservation, there may be a charge incurred if you need to cancel (we will always let you know when you make the reservation if this is the case).
What if I have food allergies/restrictions?
We will do our best to convey to the proprietors of any establishment your dietary needs and preferences.
Be aware that certain dietary requests are more difficult to adhere to than others however, such as severe gluten intolerance or Celiac/Coeliac disease, as Japanese food frequently contains soy sauce, which usually contains gluten.
Certain establishments will not be willing, or will be unable to alter their ingredients to better suit those with dietary restrictions. We will let you know if that is the case for any establishment you have selected ahead of time, in order to better help you choose a replacement venue.
How long should my trip to Japan be?
As long as you can make it!
We recommend limiting your trip to a smaller radius of the country if you have only a limited amount of time, to really get a feel of a particular region. However, we realize that this is not always an option, and many guests try and take as much in as possible ion the time they have.
If you want to spend a few days in Kyoto, a couple days in Tokyo, and some time around Osaka, Nara, Mt. Fuji, etc., we would recommend no shorter than 7-9 days. Two weeks (or more) is definitely preferable if you have the time.
Whatever the amount of time you have, we’re happy to assist you in experiencing as much of the country as possible during your stay!
Do you assist with air travel reservations?
We are happy to assist you with planning your flights, but we generally do not directly book flights for our guests. If you need us to actually book your flights for you, this can be arranged for an additional fee.
Do you assist with ground travel reservations?
Yes, we can assist with booking JR Railpasses to use on the Japan Railways rail network and Shinkansen (bullet train), as well as assisting you in exploring the various types of transport from place to place.
Most of your journey will be via rail, either by Shinkansen between the major cities/areas, or by normal trains and subways between/within the cities themselves. Taxis are generally prohibitively expensive unless you are using them for short distances within cities.
Do you assist with hotel reservations?
Yes, we can assist with securing hotel rooms, as well as providing info on where in a particular city you may prefer to stay based on your preferences.
For hotel reservation assistance please fill out this form.