FAQ

Why don’t group tours include airfare?

Previously we offered tours that assembled at LAX and flew to Tokyo together. Unfortunately, the rising cost of air travel both inside and outside the United States means many of our guests can no longer afford to fly to LAX first, so we are instead starting group tours at Narita International Airport in Tokyo after guests have arrived individually. But that doesn't mean you're on your own when it comes to making air reservations! We are happy to recommend flights or even book them for you, and if you'd rather buy them on your own, you can send your itinerary to us to make sure your schedule meshes up with the tour.

top

I am not a US Citizen – Can I still join a tour?

Yes! We've had participants on our group tours from all over the world and we're always happy to help anyone explore Japan. No matter where in the world you're flying from, we will meet you at Narita International Airport, where the tour will begin. In the additional comments for your application, let us know if you'd like us to get a quote from your local international airport, or if you'd rather arrange your own airfare.

top

Do we have to stick to the Itinerary for the tour? I actually want to do ____ at some point during the tour.

We try to create our itineraries to be favorable for a general audience, but we completely understand if you are interested in something else. You do not always have to stick with the group, in fact, we encourage exploring the area on your own. When we arrive at a location, we will talk about the area together, then set a meeting point and the group can split up. It is an option to stick with the guide, but you can also do some independent travel with the guide book that we hand out at the beginning of the tour. If you decide to skip a day or want to stay in a certain area, we just ask that you let our guide know so that they won't be looking for you at the meeting area. >_< Also, if you let us know ahead of time which activities or days in particular that you'd like to do something else, we can arrange it for you! We've arranged for participants to go a restaurants they heard about, or attend an event that was going on the same time as the tour. 
Bottom line - it costs a lot of money to travel internationally, and we think you should spend your time the way you want to!

top

I would like to have PJT arrange my airfare as well. Can you arrange that?

Yes! We work hand in hand with a travel agency that is able to provide flights from anywhere in the world. And if you arrange flights with us you rest assured that if anything happens (such as unforeseen flight delays or cancellations), we have you covered! Just let us know what airport you'd like us to get an estimate from, and soon you'll be flying to Tokyo, where you will meet the tour group.

top

Why are some tours more expensive than others?

This depends heavily on the itineraries of each particular tour, as they will almost inevitably differ in several ways. Some tours are during heavy traveling seasons, which means increased airline ticket prices. Some tours are also longer than others, and you guessed it, a longer tour means more hotel accommodations, transportation, and a higher price tag.

Another thing that factors into the price is what cities/sites the tour visits. If a tour remains completely in the city of Tokyo, the tour price is going to be lower because there is no need to take a bullet train or bus outside of that area. If a tour is going to a region outside of the Kantou (Eastern Japan) region, then the cost of transportation will inevitably alter the price.

Transportation within each area is also a very important factor. Pop Japan Travel strives to create itineraries that provide participants with the best possible convenience and comfort during tours, and if that means reserving a charter bus to take the group through the city to maximize the experiences you can enjoy, then it is a cost we are willing to incur. Pop Japan Travel also makes sure to deal directly with hotels and airlines to Japan to ensure the best cost and value is offered to each participant.

top

When do you announce your new tours?

New tours are announced anywhere between 4-8 months in advance of their departure days. We are sensitive to the fact that tours in foreign countries take quite a bit of planning ahead of time. People need to request days off of work, save up enough dough, etc. etc.

We're always thinking of new sites, activities, and events to visit on our tours, and once we think we've got enough put together to make a whole tour, we'll pick a name for it, add a little bit of a flavor (see "theme"), and throw it up on the website. The best way to know when a new
tour is up is to sign up for our newsletter or simply keep checking back at the site.

top

What is the minimum number of participants needed for a tour to be confirmed?

This may vary from tour to tour, but the minimum is generally around 15 participants. If we are unable to reach the minimum number of participants, the tour may be canceled (we will notify everyone after the tour's deadline). If we meet the minimum number of participants early, we will announce that the tour will be held to all those who've registered.

top

Is there an age restriction for group tours?

It is recommended that anyone under the age of 18 be accompanied by a parent/relative/guardian that is over the age of 18. Please contact us by e-mail (go@popjapantravel.com) or phone to further discuss this issue, as situations may differ depending on the tour and the participant(s) in question. Please note that some tours may enforce a strict 18+ ONLY policy.

If you are under 18 and would like to attend a tour, we ask that you have your parent or legal guardian fill out a release form consenting you to travel on the tour. This option is not available for all tours.
top

Is it possible to extend my stay in Japan beyond the Pop Japan Travel tour itinerary?

top

Does Pop Japan Travel make any special arrangements for those who may need special medical attention?

Clients who require special medical attention during the tour for reasons of chronic disease, general illness, pregnancy or physical handicap, need to advise Pop Japan Travel when applying for the tour. Sometimes our tours tend to include a lot of walking, standing, and stair climbing.

Pop Japan Travel reserves the right to refuse some applications if the client's age, qualifications, and other conditions do not conform to those designated for tours aimed at specific customer categories or purposes.

top

I noticed that the tour schedule is always subject to change. What are the reasons for this?

Although Pop Japan Travel makes arrangements with our contacts in Japan, due to unforeseen circumstances that are beyond Pop Japan Travel's control, there may be rare occurrences when the schedule must be altered.

Since Pop Japan Travel visits exclusive locations based on private companies and schools, their schedules affect Pop Japan Travel itineraries. In such a rare occurrence, if a location must be altered or set at a different time, Pop Japan Travel will do our very best to accommodate our participants and offer the best alternative to these locations.

top

How do I pay for a tour? What are my payment options?

Upon registering for a tour you will be asked the question, "Would you like to pay for this tour monthly?" Please select Yes or No from the drop down menu.
If you select Yes (and if the Monthly Payment Plan is available for the tour), we will calculate how much you would be paying each month and get back to you. If you select No, or if the payment plan is unavailable, you will be paying via our One-Time Payment Plan.
top

What is the Monthly Payment Plan? How does it work?

With our monthly payment plan you can now apply to have the tour total automatically taken from your account monthly!
When you register for a tour, to select the monthly payment plan, select "Yes" when asked "Would you like to pay for this tour monthly?"
We will email you back with a breakdown of the pricing per month if it is available for the tour you've selected.

The Monthly Payment Plan is as follows:
  • Credit card provided must expire at least one month after the tour’s conclusion. So if the tour is in May, 2011, the card must expire June, 2011, or later.
  • $300 deposit will be due at sign-up
Tour payment will be due every 18th of the month (prior to the month the tour is held). If due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the charge will be made the next business day.
  • Tax & fuel, additional options, or other special arrangement fees will be charged the month of the tour if applicable.
  • You will receive a full receipt of the charges after the tour is paid in full.

top

I don’t have a passport yet. Can I still make a reservation?

Yes, you can. However, Pop Japan Travel does require a state-issued ID to be submitted alongside your application and credit card information.

Please submit a copy of your passport when you have received it. Also please note that if you are unable to acquire your passport by the time the tour departs, you will be ineligible to go on the tour.

top

How do I know my application registration was received?

After registering online, you should be redirected to a page saying your registration was received. On that page, please follow the instructions. A PJT representative will email you that we've received your application and will let you know if there is any more information that we will need.

If you do not receive a response within 24 hours, we recommend you talk to a Pop Japan Travel consultant via email (go@popjapantravel.com), or toll free at

(310) 817-8010 x111

(ask for

Ben Applegate

).

top

When I submit my application, will my credit card be charged?

Full payment for the tour is required no later than 14-30 days prior to the tour departure date, depending on the tour. The deposit for the tour ($300) may be charged after you've submitted your reservation, but there are times the travel agency will wait until the minimum number of participants is met before charging.

Your credit card will be charged for the full tour amount either when the minimum number of participants for the tour has been reached, or soon after the tour deadline. You will receive an emailed invoice so that you can review your tour package price before we actually charge. Although you have signed a document allowing us to charge the tour fees during registration, we ask that you reply to the invoice we send that you have checked that the prices shown are correct and ready to be charged.

If you have a special financial situation (e.g. you may not have enough money until a specific date, or you wish to split payments between credit cards), please email us at go@popjapantravel, or submit this information during registration, and we'd be glad to help!

top

Is there a cancellation policy?

top

When should I exchange my money?

If you're joining a group tour, Pop Japan Travel gives participants the opportunity to exchange their money to yen when the tour arrives at the airport in Japan. Whether you are entering via Narita Intl Airport (Tokyo) or Kansai Intl. Airport (Osaka), there are banks available to exchange money.

The airport has the best exchange rate, so you should try to exchange the maximum amount of money you plan to spend on your trip to avoid exchanging at the hotel or a bank later for a lower rate. You can always exchange any leftover yen back into your own currency at the airport again before your return flight.
We also recommend that participants use traveler's checks instead of cash because the exchange rate for traveler's checks may be slightly higher.
top

Can I use my ATM or Credit Cards in Japan?

Most shops in Japan will accept major credit cards such as Visa or Master Card, but most restaurants and food outlets will only accept cash. Please keep in mind that most of Japan is a cash society and many people pay in yen.

Most ATMs in Japan will accept ATM/debit cards with a major credit card logo on it and will dispense yen. On your bank statement, the yen will be converted into dollars. Pop Japan Travel will provide participants with money information and ATM locations that can be used in Japan.

top