Japan travel is back! Starting 11 October, short-term visitors can enter without a visa. Learn more here.

It's time.

All eyes on Japan

After a long-waited, anticipated announcement, the Land of the Rising Sun will finally allow visa-free independent tourism and abolish its daily arrival cap, marking a major policy shift after nearly 4 years of strict COVID-19 policies and restrictions.

It's been slow going — or no going — to Japan for quite some time. Completely off limits during the pandemic, the government has gradually started easing rules from June 10, where travelers were relatively restricted by booking a package tour with an escort or guide.

Aiming to visit in the next 3, 6 or 9 months?

From the vast wilderness of Hokkaido down to the tropical beaches of Okinawa, traveling to Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Allow us to help you truly access Japan, through the lens of experts and insiders who for decades have lived and breathed the heartbeat of this beautiful country.

We welcome you to go beneath the surface with us.

We are a full-service, boutique travel company that focuses on bringing

authentic, intimate and hyperlocal travel experiences to our clients. With our collective 30+ year relationship with Japan and offices in the U.S. (and soon, Japan!), we provide travelers from around the world an unmatched level of knowledge, service and connections to ensure their experience is not only unforgettable, but leaves a positive impact on the destinations they visit.

Whether you’re into history, culture, food, nature, sports, art, or fashion, allow our team to help you not just get the pulse of Japan, but hear her true heartbeat.

Ways to travel with us

Tailor-Made Travel

Custom trips and itineraries, made just for you and your party. Our highly experienced travel advisors and planners in the U.S. will partner with you to design a trip that is tailored to your specific interests and goals. From recommending the perfect accommodations to lining up unique experiences, we will provide you guidance and insight so you can make the most of your trip.

Private Local Tours

Intimate and immersive half-day and full-day tours in areas you have a specific interest in. We agree that while amazing memories are created in random encounters, we provide you the opportunity to learn from locals and guides who will deliver a unique in-country experience, sharing insights and moments you may otherwise miss.

Exclusive Journeys

Our hand-crafted signature journeys offer our clients a unique way to see a side of the country that most tourists cannot access. Join one of our seasonal trips led by an experienced Trip Director, trusted local partners, and guides who will open doors and guide you from start to finish. Exquisite accommodation, fine dining, and unique day activities makes this a very magical way to experience the country alongside like-minded, responsible travelers.

Virtual planning & advising

If we have learned anything in the wake of COVID-19, it’s that the internet is full of information – but often lacks credible knowledge. Navigating and sorting the sheer breadth and depth of options can be time-consuming and headache-inducing. Allow us to help simplify your planning process by scheduling a 30 or 60-minute Zoom session so you can feel more confident in making decisions during your trip-planning process.


What clients have to say

Tokyo was the city for the 2020 Summer Games, and there was huge worldwide interest in visiting for the Games and the country to gain a unique cultural experience, much like I experienced in 1964. If you are contemplating visiting Tokyo for the Games or just want to experience the real Japan, Terry and I would highly recommend that you work with ZI to greatly enhance your travel experience, enjoyment of a wonderful city and a beautiful country.

Jim Bregman

1964 Bronze Medalist, Judo

Leesburg, VA USA


What travelers have to say

We had never visited Japan before and Lauren and her team helped make it a trip of a lifetime for us. We needed to coordinate things before with phone calls and communication that we weren’t prepared to do. She recommended places that we certainly wouldn’t have known about and put together an itinerary that made our travels easeful and fun!

Robyn Dino

Denver, CO USA


What travelers have to say

ZI will offer you a made to measurement “off the beaten track program” of Tokyo according to your interests and time available. Lauren the Founder has loved Tokyo since her childhood and she speaks Japanese which facilitates logistics tremendously. With her enthusiasm, lively personality and down to earth approach, I enjoyed her guidance in helping me discover Tokyo at my own pace.

Willem van der Zee

Founder, Willem & TOO

Brussels, Belgium


What travelers have to say

Lauren and ZI provided me with so much information and guidance as we prepared for the 2020 (2021) Games. Thanks!

Robyn Raboutou

Mother, Brooke Raboutou, American professional rock climber

Boulder, CO USA


What's trending


Heading to Japan soon? As of 11 Oct, anyone can enter, without a visa, on an individual basis. Our expert team is here to help ensure it is a comprehensive and fulfilling one.


ZI's been in business since 2017! To celebrate and commemorate this special milestone, we're offering new clients 15% off our Custom Trip Design services.


Ready to finally experience Japan's sakura season? Join us on an exclusive, immersive, trip to Japan this upcoming March-April.

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