Off-Roads’ commitment to small group travel means unique, back-door access to sights and experiences in Japan that are off-limits to larger groups and regular package tours. We prefer authentic interactions over guidebook checklists, leaving you with the feeling that you’ve “experienced” Japan, rather than just visited it.
On an Off-Roads group tour, you might find yourself dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo or in a beautifully-restored farmhouse on the edge of Kumamoto’s Mt Aso volcano. You could be chatting with renowned craftsmen in the porcelain village of Arita or participating in a private tea ceremony in a historic machiya townhouse in Kyoto. With our intimate numbers, we can more easily reach hidden mountain towns like Gujo Hachiman or Ginzan Onsen and attend festivals such as the Karatsu kunchi in rural Saga or the Makabe Doll Festival outside of Tokyo. For those with a thirst for adventure, you may want to join us on a hike of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail. Or, if you’re looking for the ultimate spiritual getaway, retreat with us to the mountaintop temple complex on Koyasan. No itinerary is ever the same, as we’re constantly making new local discoveries and taking advantage of seasonal events and festivals – you can travel with us to the same destination twice and still feel like you’ve experienced an entirely different Japan.
Our small group size means that we can forgo the 45 passenger buses that most Japanese tour companies use and venture off the typical tourist trail. We’ll spend less time waiting on fellow travelers to gather and more time appreciating our destination. We may be the only guests in a small family-run inn or the sole diners at a ten-seat sushi bar. We’re better able to visit local craft studios and take alternative modes of transportation (cable cars, steam railways, riverboats, etc). We feel that the best way to visit Japan is to get up close and personal with its people, and our small group travel does just that.
Off-Roads is proud to maintain a commitment to responsible travel. Our top priority is cultural interaction and exchange, as these encounters can have a long-lasting and profound impact on our lives. We make every effort to connect our travelers with local tourism providers and eateries, and many of our itineraries bring a needed source of income to smaller towns and rural regions. Whenever possible, we prioritize the use of public transportation and help to educate our guests on the environmentally-friendly Japanese recycling policies. We are firm believers in the Japanese concept of mottainai, which roughly translates to “waste not, want not”. We seek to maximize our guests’ experiences while minimizing our carbon footprint.
If you’re looking for a small group adventure with like-minded people in a country that constantly surprises and delights, join us for an Off-Roads experience in Japan.