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


As a coach preparing athletes for a shot at the Olympics, I learned so much about Japan, and truly appreciate the work and passion of ZI in preparing even athletes and/or coaches for travel — being well equipped with and understanding of customs and traditions that are deeply rooted in Japanese culture.

Aman Anderson

Head Coach, Beast Fingers, USA Climbing

I spent four years in Japan, attending Sophia University and practicing the art of Judo. Tokyo is the city for the 2020 Summer Games, and there is a worldwide interest in visiting for the Games and the country to gain a unique cultural experience, much like I experienced in 1964. Terry and I would highly recommend that you work with Lauren and ZI to greatly enhance your travel experience, enjoyment of a wonderful city and a beautiful country.

When you visit a new place you want to feel the vibes of the city. You want to find all of the small and hidden gems. You want to meet the local people and hear amazing stories. The best restaurants, bars, views, and xperiences. Take my word forit...finding all of those things by yourself is impossible. That is why we use ZI anytime we travel and look forward to working with the team on our first trip to Japan. If you want to spend time with an amazing company and really understand the heartbeat of a destination, call ZI!

Adrian Larrea

Co-Founder, Tribucha

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

My daughter qualified to compete for Team USA in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo in August of 2019. I started working with Lauren (ZI) to make travel arrangements to attend the Games when my daughter would be competing and plan a side trip to experience the culture of Japan outside of Tokyo. When the Olympic games were cancelled to foreign spectators in 2021 Lauren went to bat to procure as much refund as possible from the airfare and the hotel. The team’s effort was invaluable to us!

This team surrounds you in a bubble of safe, hyperlocal awesomeness no matter where you are on the globe. Lauren, the owner, is a warm, approachable, down to earth adventurer who adjusts her travel rhythms to those around her. She moves at your pace. Her attention to detail is quite something. I’ve never felt more comfortable when traveling domestically or internationally.

Austin Macfarlane

Founder & CEO, My Girl Friday

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

Lauren and ZI provided me with so much information as we were heading into the 2020 (2021) Games. Thanks!

I worked with Lauren after My daughter qualified for the Olympics. It was a dream come true for our family. She helped me figure out the best places to stay and how to get tickets for the games. She also provided amazing support when the announcement came that we would not be able to attend. She is caring and well organized and if I ever need help with a trip I would work with her anytime!

Cathie Condie

Mother, Kyra Condie, American professional rock climber

We were introduced to ZI by the United States Olympic Committee to help my whole family (10) people to prepare for our trip to Tokyo. This included airline reservations, transportation to and from the airport and preparation for a variety of side trips that we wanted to take before and after the Olympic Games. The most important help that we needed was to obtain appropriate housing for the 10 of us. When Japan decided that foreign guests would not be able to attend the Games, it was necessary for Lauren to assist us to get appropriate refunds which she accomplished expeditiously and in a very satisfactory manner. We would highly recommend ZI's services for travelers going to Japan in the future.

Marty Blank

Private Donor

Back in 2016, a trip to Japan was finalized along side with Lauren Zelek, who grew up in the country, speaks the language, understands the culture and easily can recommend all the hidden gems. My husband and I experienced a lot in Tokyo from fantastic sushi spots, local cuisine, and attractions. One of my favorite memories was to go to Tsukiji fish market early one morning and have sushi for breakfast. Another memory was the tips we got on best times to go here and there and make reservations. Undoubtedly, a very smooth trip with a lot more explored by knowing Lauren rather than going alone. We felt safe, comfortable and relaxed -- what a a fantastic experience!

Gabrieli Pearl

Washington, DC

ZI and I first came in contact with each other over a year ago when Lauren reached out to the 1964 athletes with hopes of aiding those of us who might be planning to return to Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Games. I recognized this as a wonderful opportunity for our Diving Team to gather back in Tokyo for a sort of "homecoming" to experience the Games from the other side of the fence as spectators, not competitors. Taking upon myself I contacted our USA team members and the responses I received were encouraging. However, it revealed much information regarding travel, housing and ticket availability was needed. ZI proved to be extremely resourceful. All our questions and concerns were promptly answered and showed Lauren's extensive knowledge as a travel partner. Later, her team's understanding of the Covid-19 epidemic and in keeping us informed was invaluable.

Lou Vitucci

1964 Diver

Lauren is the definition of a consummate professional. Her kindness, courteousness, and professionalism radiate in every interaction. Unsurpassed quality service provided by her and the entire ZI team. Incredible attention to detail and a true desire to leave clients with the utmost level of satisfaction. Cannot recommend their services more highly!

Jonathan Gunderson

Husband, Foluke Gunderson, USA Volleyball