Why spend money on a consultant when I can do everything by myself online?

Sure, you can plan your Japan trip by yourself. Most of the information you need is somewhere online. The problem is finding the right information and putting it all together. We have spent decades living and working in Japan and traveling the length of the archipelago to find the best spots. Unlike anonymous online reviewers, when we recommend something, we know it’s truly special. For the cost of one decent meal in Tokyo, you will access several lifetimes of deep Japan experience.

How does JTC work?

JTC is a team of freelance Japan travel consultants led by Chris Rowthorn. When you first email JTC, Chris will help you choose the consultant who can best help you plan your trip. Once you are in touch with your consultant, you deal directly with that consultant.

Most consultations take one hour, which includes a Zoom meeting of 30 to 40 minutes and a follow-up email of 20 to 30 minutes. We bill for one hour of time for this (US$190). We normally work by Zoom so that we can share maps and other images while we talk. We don’t write a full itinerary or make bookings, but we give you all the information you need to book everything yourself, at the lowest rates.

For people who find scheduling a Zoom meeting difficult, we can also work entirely by email. All payments are via PayPal (you do not need a PayPal account to make a payment).

How much does JTC cost?

JTC consultants charge US$190 per hour. For most people, this is enough to plan your whole trip. If necessary, you can do an additional Zoom meeting or continue to work by email, but this will incur an additional charge at the same hourly rate of US$190 per hour. Please keep in mind that doing a consultation with JTC does not create an open-ended agreement where an unlimited number of emails can be replied to. Furthermore, JTC does not provide emergency or urgent support for clients while they are in Japan.

Do I choose a consultant? Or, do you choose one for me?

Normally, Chris will choose a consultant for you, based on your email communications with him. But, of course, you can always choose which consultant you will work with, provided your consultant of choice is available at that time.

How do I pay for consulting?

All payments are via PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to make a payment.

How do I get started?

Send us an email at chris@japantravelconsulting.com. Please include as much information as possible. The more information we have, the better we can match you with the ideal consultant for you, and the more efficiently we can work once we get started. Here is some information you might include:

  • When do you plan to go to Japan?
  • If you have specific dates already, please let us know. Likewise, if you already have flights reserved, please let us know your arrival and departure dates and airport.
  • How many people will be in your group? Please include age, gender, dietary preferences, level of fitness and any other important notes.
  • Is this your first time to Japan? If not, when and where did you go?
  • What places would you like to visit?
  • What things would you like to do?
  • What is your style of travel? Luxury, budget or midrange? Famous places or off-the-beaten-track places? Fast or slow?
  • Do you like hiking or cycling?
  • Are you interested in hot springs and public baths?
  • What is your nightly accommodation budget (a range is best for this, any currency is okay, we can convert)?
  • What type of hotels do you like (business, luxury, boutique, etc)?
  • Would you like to try a ryokan (Japanese inn)?
  • Are you adventurous eaters?
  • Would you like to try an onsen (hot spring)? Are you comfortable with nudity in gender-segregated baths?
  • How do you like to communicate? Zoom is our preferred method, but some consultants also work by email. Please let us know your preference.
  • If you want to do voice consulting, what is the best time to reach you?Please include your time zone and a few convenient time slots.
  • Any other notes that you think will help us plan a great trip for you.