Frequently Asked Questions
Please click here
to go to our general FAQ
, which has essential information that applies to all of our programs.
Resources to Learn & Teach about Japan
Visit our recommended reading page
to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans
and Pinterest boards
that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
Terms and Conditions
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions
page before signing up for this program.
GEEO Program Confirmation Process
We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to email@example.com
. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
- If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
- JAPAN RAIL PASS: Please note that only foreigners traveling as a tourist are able to use a Japan Rail Pass. If you are a Japanese citizen/resident or traveling on a student/business visa please advise us at the time of booking as you will not be able to take advantage of the Rail pass.
- TATTOOS: Tattoos are not common or widely accepted in Japan. There is no cause for concern, but do your best to cover your tattoos when possible and note that you may not be permitted to enter public spas or onsens (hot springs).
- OVERNIGHT BAG: Please note that you’ll need to prepare an overnight bag for a two-night stay in Hagi, as your main luggage will be sent on to Tottori.
- LANGUAGE: Travel in Japan is easy, clean, fast and efficient, however, please be aware that English is still not widely spoken. However, a lot of patience, a sense of humor, and respect for the local culture goes a long way in any Japan and will greatly enrich your experience.
Group Leader Description
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
This trip includes walking and hiking. Make sure you stay hydrated and opt out of activities if you are exhausted.
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here
where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world and space is at a premium. Therefore, hotel rooms are small! Additionally, many Japanese hotels do not have designated non-smoking rooms. Therefore, we ask hotels to deodorize rooms before check-in.
Ryokan are traditional inns found across Japan. Featuring tatami floors (soft mats of woven straw), futon beds, Japanese-style baths, cotton kimono (casual robe worn to lounge around or to head to the bath), and elaborate meals (often served in the comfort of your own room), a ryokan is the perfect place to experience traditional customs and hospitality. As ryokan are usually top tier accommodations, most guests stay only one night, often to celebrate a special occasion or holiday. Don’t be intimidated by the formalities inherent to a stay at a ryokan, your hosts will welcome you the same way they do all their guests. Have fun and enjoy this relaxing opportunity to learn more about Japan’s unique customs.
Minshuku are Japan’s answer to the Western bed and breakfast. Similar to ryokan, they have traditional features like tatami floors, futon beds, and Japanese-style baths. Minshuku are often family-run, and as such, they offer a great opportunity to interact with local people and learn more about the nation’s customs. More affordable and simpler than ryokan, minshuku tend to have smaller guestrooms, shared bathroom facilities, and any included meals (traditional, local, and delicious) are served in a communal dining room.
Please note that some of the traditional Japanese inns used on this tour only offer shared bathing facilities. This means that individual shower stalls will not be available, instead several shower stations are available in an open, same-sex bathing area. Shared bathhouses and onsen (hot springs) are an essential part of Japan’s culture, traditionally serving as a place for men or women to gather, relax, and discuss the day's happenings.
Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.
Directions to Shinjuku Washington Hotel
The nearest station is Shinjuku Station, south exit. Shinjuku Washington Hotel is directly connected by an underground passageway (serviced by JR, Tokyo Metro, Odakyu, Keio, and other railway lines) between 06:00 and 22:45 for comfortable access even in bad weather. It is an 8-min walk from Shinjuku Station.
Tocho-mae Station (Oedo subway line) is approximately 5 mins from the hotel on foot.
From Narita International Airport:
- By train: Take a train from Narita International Airport, Keisei Skyliner, for approximately 40 minutes to Keisei-Nippori Station. There, transfer to JR Yamanote Line and get off at JR Shinjuku Station (south exit) after about 8 minutes. See instructions above about walking from the station to the hotel. The train ticket fee is 2,770 JPY per person.
- By airport limousine bus: Take the bus from Terminal 1, bus stop #10. It is about 120-150 minutes to the entrance of the hotel. The fare is 3,200 JPY per person.
From Haneda Airport:
- By train: Take a train from Haneda Airport, Keikyu Airport Line, for
approximately 23 minutes to Hamamatsucho Station. There, transfer to the JR Yamanote Line and get off at JR Shinjuku Station (south exit) after about 5 minutes. See instructions above about walking from the station to the hotel. The train ticket fee is 700 JPY per person.
- By airport limousine bus: Take the bus from Terminal 3, bus stop #4. It is about 60-80 minutes to the entrance of the hotel. The fare is 1,300 JPY per person. Bus tickets can be purchased at each terminal of Haneda Airport from vending machines near the bus stop.
Pre-booked airport transfer:
If you have booked an arrival transfer shuttle bus with us, a local representative will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it outside of the luggage hall. Emergency phone number: +81(0)479-85-7522.
Transfer time from Narita Airport to the hotel is approximately 2 hours, and from Haneda Airport it is approximately 1.5 hours, depending on the number of stops and traffic conditions.
Luggage restrictions on the shuttle bus: Maximum 2 suitcases per person excluding the following items: ski equipment, golf bag, snowboard.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
G Adventures Local Office (Japan)
During office hours, Mon-Fri 9:30-18:00 Local Time
From outside Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6659-9074 (2nd contact +81 80 6779 1851)
From within Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6659-9074 (2nd contact +81 80 6779 1851)
After office hours emergency number
Primary phone: +81 80 6779 1851 (from within Japan: 080 6779 1851)
If you are unable for any reason to contact their local office, they have a toll-free line for North America, which will connect you directly with their Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of their Operations department at the mobile number below.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Please read this article
on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and downstairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
This tour uses the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a maximum luggage size restriction of 160 cm (63 in) in total. This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as a carry-on item and allow in overhead storage compartments. We strongly recommend bringing a day pack or backpack to use during the day in addition to your carry-on sized luggage.
Health & Safety (Required!)
- N95/KN95 face masks (at least three per week)
- Hand sanitizer
- Pen (please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
- Rapid COVIC-19 test/antigen tests (at least 5, and 3 per week of travel)
- Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
- Raincoat and/or umbrella
- Personal clothing for warm weather – we recommend packing 8-9 days of outfits so you only have to do laundry once
- Light fleece (for flight over)
- Comfortable waterproof walking shoes
- Sun hat
- Small towel and swimwear
- Watch or alarm clock
- Flashlight or headlamp
- First-aid kit, including: lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
- Travel pillow
- Money belt
- Water bottle
- Phone/Tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
- Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
- AirTags or Tile trackers
- Packing cubes
- Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here
- Ziplock bags for wet clothing
- Reading/writing material
- Hand sanitizer/Baby wipes
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- EUR/USD cash
- Credit or debit card
- G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent 10-30 days before departure
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels but this is very expensive. Your leader can show you self service coin laundries in larger cities. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Passports and Visas
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ
for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double-check the information we provide below by searching here
Americans do not need a visa to travel to Japan. Non-American participants should check with their government or nearest Japanese Embassy to find out if they need a visa.
As currency exchange rates fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
Every Post Office and 7-11 Convenience store has an ATM machine that accepts Visa, Mastercard and Debit Cards. At times, Maestro/Master Card/Cirrus have been problematic at these machines, so please bring a back-up card.
Credit Cards should not be relied upon for purchases as they are not widely accepted, except in some restaurants and department stores. Money can be exchanged at Post Offices and some banks and hotels in major cities, however, it can be a very slow process.
Tipping is not practiced in Japan. Leaving money at restaurants, in taxis, etc will simply cause confusion!
At the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, tipping is highly appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $5 USD per person, per day, can be used.
We legally cannot give you any medical advice. We recommend going to CDC’s webpage for Japan
We find the best prices for flights are often available 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. We advise that you wait until this trip is confirmed before booking non-refundable and non-changeable flights.
GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed.
Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Tokyo. You can arrive at any time you choose, although we will have a group meeting at 6:00 p.m.
Your trip ends in Kyoto. You should book your return flight from there unless you have further travel plans in Japan.
Plugs and Converters
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Japan uses Type A plugs, which is the same plug design used in the United States. Their voltage is 100 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
- The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe, well-located place for you to sleep. We use simple hotels to keep these trips as inexpensive as possible.
- We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. The transportation will often be an adventure in itself.
- You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
- This trip occurs in locations where it is warm to hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometimes include day hikes with your daypacks.
- We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
- Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring, and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
Hopefully, this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Japan is sunny and warm in May with low rainfall.