Japan Bonsai Tours

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General

Q1 - How should I sign-up for the tour?

A1 - Fill out the form at the bottom of the tour page (Japan Bonsai Tours) and click the button "Click to Pay $100 Deposit."  You will then be directed to PayPal to pay the $100 deposit (refundable up to October 1st prior to tour) via credit card.

Q2 - If I want to apply for, or on behalf of, more than one person, how do I do that?

A2 - Use the same form above to apply for yourself and indicate in the comment section how many people you are applying on behalf of.  We will then send you a follow-up message regarding payment of the deposit.

Q3 - What are the available payment methods for the tour?

A3 - The deposit must be paid by credit card or PayPal, and the remaining balance must be submitted via direct bank transfer.  Banking information will be provided to you at a later date.

Q4 -  Can I extend my trip before or after the scheduled tour dates?

A4 - Of course, but please make necessary additional hotel arrangements yourself.

Q5 - If I extend my trip, will you arrange airport transportation and additional hotel bookings for me?

A5 - AIRPORT PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF WILL NOT BE PROVIDED IN SUCH INSTANCES, AND YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE ADDITIONAL HOTEL BOOKING ARRANGEMENTS YOURSELF.

Q6 - If I extend my trip, how should I get to the hotel from the airport (or to the airport from the hotel)?

A6 - Please e-mail or ask the hotel front desk staff for information regarding airport transportation.

Q7 - If I choose to skip certain days or parts of the tour, can I receive a discounted price?

A7 - No, the tour is a set package, so if you choose to skip parts of the tour, it won't affect the price.

Q8 - Who will be my tour guide once I arrive in Japan?

A8 - Bjorn and Nanxi will both be your tour guides for the duration of the tour.

Q9 - I have sent you several e-mails, but I haven't heard back.  What should I do?

A9 - We usually respond within 3 business days, so if you don't hear from us, please check your e-mail spam folder and add our e-mail address to your address book (tours@bjornbjorholm.com).

Q10 - How many people are there on the tour?

A10 - It varies from year to year, but expect between 20-30 people (absolute maximum is 30 people)

 

International Travel

Q1 - Do I need to apply for a visa before attending the tour?

A1 - Please check with the local Japanese consulate in your region.

Q2 - Is airfare included in the tour package price?

A2 - No, the tour package price does not include airfare.  Please book your plane tickets yourself either online or through a travel agency.

Q3 - Where should I purchase traveler's insurance?

A3 - Please inquire about traveler's insurance either through a travel agency or through the online service where you purchased your plane ticket.

Q4 - What is the best route for me to travel to Japan?

A4 - It depends on your region.  We recommend that you check online outlets such as Expedia.com to find the best route from your home location to Japan.  Please note that you will be arriving and leaving from different cities in Japan at the beginning and end of the tour (see itinerary for details).

Q5 - How many pieces of luggage can I bring?

A5 - Please bring only one checked suitcase under 20 kg (44 lbs) and one carry-on item.

Q6 - Do I need to arrive at a certain time to be picked up at the airport?

A6 - You can arrive anytime, but pick-up services end at 9pm.

Q7 - Can I use my cell phone in Japan for calls, texting and internet?

A7 - Please speak with your cell phone provider in your home country first to see if you can add international roaming service to your phone.  Nearly all companies offer this add-on.

 

Money/Currency

Q1 - How much money should I bring with me on the tour?

A1 - This depends on how much you expect to purchase regarding souvenirs and additional food.  Japan is a cash-oriented society, so we recommend you bring at least 50,000 yen in cash with you.

Q2 - Can I pull out more cash or exchange money once I'm in Japan?

A2 - Yes, there are many places near each of the hotels where you can pull out/exchange money.  Please ask the hotel front desk for the nearest location.

 

Clothing/Attire

Q1 - What kind of clothes should I bring?

A1 - Please check the weather on this website (https://www.accuweather.com) and dress accordingly based on the predicted forecast.

Q2 - Do I need formal attire on the tour?  

A2 - No, you can wear casual clothes for the duration of the tour; however, be sure to bring seasonally appropriate attire.

 

Food

Q1 - What kind of food will we be eating during the tour?

A1 - Breakfast will be a Western & Japanese style buffet at each hotel.  Lunches and the farewell dinner will be a mix of Japanese cultural foods and local cuisine.

Q2 - Where should I get dinner each night?

A2 - Please speak with the front desk at the hotel to get recommendations for dinner in the local area.

Q3 - I have dietary restrictions.  What should I do?

A3 - Please send us an e-mail with your specific dietary concerns and restrictions prior to the tour.

 

Japanese Culture

Q1 - Should I learn any cultural manners or etiquette practices before arriving in Japan?

A1 - We recommend that you take a look at this site for some basic manners/etiquette information (https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e622.html)

Q2 - Will I need to bring gifts to present to nursery owners on the tour?

A2 - No, it is not necessary for you to bring gifts; however, if you do bring gifts, small items are best.

Q3 - Will I be required to tip?

A3 - No, you should not tip under any circumstances, including at restaurants or in taxis.

 

Accommodations

Q1 - When will you provide me the hotel list?

A1 - YOU WILL RECEIVE A FULL HOTEL LIST VIA E-MAIL THE FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER PRIOR TO THE TOUR.

Q2 - What hotels will we be staying in for the tour?

A2 - We will be staying in both four-star and three-star hotels for the duration of the tour.

Q3 - What size hotel rooms should I be expecting?

A3 - Japan is a small place with lots of people and limited room.  Hotel rooms will be small compared to the US, but not dissimilar to standard European hotels.

Q4 - Will we be staying in a traditional Japanese Ryokan?

A4 - No, we will only be staying in western-style hotels.

Q5 - Can you pair me with another participant to use the double occupancy option?

A5 - No, you must make arrangements with someone on your own in order to use the double occupancy option.

Q6 - If I extend my trip beyond the tour, will you help me book additional hotels?

A6 - Regardless of whether you stay at the same hotel, or move to another hotel prior to or after the tour, YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE ADDITIONAL BOOKING ARRANGEMENTS YOURSELF.

 

Other Questions

Q1 - Can I ship trees home from Japan?

A1 - No, quarantine laws prohibit the shipment of trees overseas.

Q2 - Is the JR Railpass included in the tour?

A2 - No, we do not use the JR Railpass on the tour.

Q3 - Do the tour guides (Bjorn & Nanxi) receive a commission if participants make purchases at any location on the tour?

A3 - No, we do not receive additional commission at any location for the duration of the tour.  We're just a couple who loves Japan, and the locations we visit are chosen only because we wish to share the best of the country, its history, culture, and of course bonsai with you!