Thank You For Dropping By!




Welcome to our very first Partner Spotlight Newsletter! Since our beginning, ZI has forged lasting, one-on-one relationships with locals in Asia and developed a robust network of responsible and sustainable hotels, alternative lodging, tour operators, and restaurants. As the country plans to reopen to travelers, we look forward to working with many of these partners and assisting you in designing and planning your next responsible trip!

Yamanouchi Prefecture.

(山ノ内) is a municipality in northern Nagano Prefecture, famous for its snow monkeys, seasonal delicacies, hosting the 1998 Nagano Games and, you named it....JAPOW!

Thanks in part to super cold winds that blow across Siberia and pick up moisture over the Sea of Japan, Japan receives copious amounts of snowfall each season and welcomes thousands of powder enthusiasts every year. With its growing infrastructure, remote resorts and ski culture, it has become a top ski and snowboard destination for winter sport enthusiasts around the world. More so, the serene faces of snow-covered monkeys soaking in a hot spring bath have become an international sensation!!

Why We're Vibing With It. 

Aibiya is quaint ryokan, bed and breakfast and hostel in the heart of Yudanaka Onsen, the heavenly onsen (hot spring) town next to Japan's largest ski resort, Shiga Kogen.

What we love about Aibiya is that it offers a space to relax and recharge from travel fatigue and extreme days in the mountains. Each season, sports enthusiasts can enjoy water activities, cycling, hiking, skiing and snowboarding. For those seeking some R&R, it is a short walk away from four different types of hot spring baths.

More so, every morning the staff offers locally sourced breakfast (Nagano grown eggs and apples = oishii = yum!!!) and supports other local businesses, giving travelers a chance to bring a local omiyage (souvenir) home from their quaint gift shop.



Planning a Trip? Why Working With a Travel Advisor Is Your Best Option.

As we enter into the middle of summer, signs of life in the travel industry continue to bloom.

Folks are once again venturing out to domestic destinations like Hawaii, Florida and Puerto Rico. For those who choose to travel internationally, Mexico, Iceland and Europe continue to be popular destinations.

Everywhere, however, the new Delta variant of COVID is on the rise, and, as in the past, COVID rules and restrictions are constantly changing and evolving.

That's why we believe that working with a Travel Advisor who is aware of the most current COVID regulations and policies continues to be your best option. Here are 5 ways a TA can problem solve and enhance your next trip. And a fun BuzzFeed article

to seal the deal!

Post Pandemic Knowledge.

We get it. As the world begins to reopen for travel, it can be challenging to keep up with travel regulations, which areas are accepting visitors, and visiting places with increased safety standards. Instead of getting frustrated and wasting time, TAs can help you navigate all of the rules and even do some of the legwork for you to ensure a more seamless experience both before and during your trip. Our team did a lot of this for various families of athletes for Summer Games in Tokyo, and learned A LOT!

Readily Available. 

From re-booking during an unexpected event, battling cancellation and refunds policies to handling accommodation issues, your TA acts as your personal travel advocate. They are available for you by telephone, through email and other communication methods, even while on you’re on your trip. Our team is tech savvy, also allowing our clients to interact with us through travel apps and via social media!

Time Savers.

Armed with the latest, up-to-date information about the industry, from airlines to cities and hotels, TAs have the inside info that you’d have to spend hours searching for online. With years of experience and firsthand travel knowledge to your destination, they’ll plan your trip with expertise no search engine can give.

Extremely Well Connected. 

TAs have all the inside info and hyperlocal experiences you can’t find on your own. Our industry connections not only help travelers get the best value for your trip, but the ability to make unique requests and deliver access to some out-of-this world experiences. We pride ourselves on our unique connections in and throughout Japan!

That Personal Touch. 

TAs love to listen, learn, and help, which is why they are masters at finding the perfect destination and experiences for you. It is this kind of one-on-one and customized approach that makes travel planning a stress-free and enjoyable experience.