custom-made itinerary with an engaging combination of stadiums, teams,
visits, targeted sightseeing and outings, the result of which will give
you a cost-effective and in-depth personal tour of Japan like no other.
hotels with modern facilities. Your choice of single or twin rooms.
Modest additional charge for a single.
travel to planned events (including taxi, subway and high-speed bullet
Best available game
sightseeing outings and gatherings at little or no cost to you. We never have you at a loss for things to do.
Visits with local
baseball and Japanese friends.
Airport transfer guests who arrive and depart on scheduled Main
Tour arrival and departure dates as specified on itinerary. Transfer
is via business class high speed train. No buses.
professional tour guides...that's us! (Some of you may want to come
early or stay later. We can help you plan that.)
travel desk services.
Thorough pre-departure information.
A truly remarkable
included: Airfare and meals (see below)
In the past we included airfare in the trip price, but have discontinued that practice. We found
that guests often want
to use their own air miles or are going to other places before or after the
trip. In addition, some guests found better deals than we had arranged
since air rates tend to be quite fluid.
It's easy to check the travel web
sites and the airlines for the best air fare.
NRT is the airport
code for Tokyo Narita Airport, the Japan airport you'll use for this trip.
You may also want to investigate
the services of our Japan air specialist who strives to get the most
cost-efficient airfare. Contact Katsumi Mamiya at 425-373-5626
for a no-obligation quote and information. He is available from 9
to 5 Pacific Time.
Don't be concerned about calling
Katsumi and then not using his services. He is absolutely no-pressure and
he'll be the first to tell you if you can do better somewhere else. We
receive nothing from recommending Katsumi except the
satisfaction of knowing you'll be well-served.
If you buy the ticket and can't go the airlines will generally
give you a credit on that ticket for at least a year. If you get the
ticket with your air miles, the miles simply go back into your account with
little, if any, penalty.
never included meals in the tour price. The combination of each
participant's unique tastes and the overwhelming variety of dining
options in Japan make a fixed selection impractical. Plus a lot of eating is at
Japan has every food you can
imagine, and some you can't. I promise that even the most finicky eater
will find pleasure with the countless places to eat at reasonable prices.
We familiarize you with each town
so you can go out by yourself, or with some of the group, to eat on your own
terms. We do, however, schedule an optional group dinner at a special
restaurant where we can get together as a group.
Payment/Cancellation/Refund Our payment/refund policy among
organized tours has no
Payment is not due until 25 days before
We have a very liberal cancellation policy.
If you pay early and cancel more than 25 days before trip departure, you receive a full
refund of your trip payment.
If you cancel less than 25 days before trip
departure, you receive a full refund of your trip payment, if your space can
be filled from a waiting list. If your space cannot be filled from a waiting
list, you'll receive an 80% refund.
We've tried to craft this so the risk to you is minimal if
you're unable to go at the last minute. We're not interested in
profiting from travelers who find they cannot go.
Japanese currency is the yen. Credit cards are accepted in Japan,
though cash is king for meals and small purchases. Guests tend to budget
$70 or so per day for meals, small souvenirs and the like.
We recommend you exchange
your cash or travelers checks at the airport upon arrival and get more than
you think you'll need. This removes the hassle factor and time waster of
finding an exchange office while in the midst of the trip. You can always exchange remaining yen back to dollars at
the airport upon your departure.
ATM's are becoming more
prevalent, so you may find one along the way. But
I never count on that and always to try to get what I need upon arrival at the airport.
Baseball personnel or those in related businesses may want to check
with their tax advisors as to the deductibility of this trip as a business
We stay in modern, business class hotels within a five-minute walk of
subway and rail lines. All hotels have in-room bathrooms, televisions,
tea service, air conditioning, hair dryers and internet access. Also included
daily is a fresh yukata, a light robe-like garment, meant to be worn in place
of pajamas, so you can save the packing of night clothes if you wish.
This trip requires a moderate amount of
You should be able
to navigate a Major League Baseball style stadium and be ready to climb up and
down usual stadium stairways...all without handrails.
I doubt we've ever
walked more than a quarter-mile at any one time. But you'll need sufficient
stamina to keep pace with an reasonably active group of travelers on days of
When we do an April
trip the weather is generally cool, while during our September adventure
sometimes it can be somewhat hot and humid.
Japan is not ADA
accessible. Sometimes the urban terrain is uneven with a step or
drop-off that we would not expect at home, so you must be
aware of where you walk.
drive on the left side of the road, so for those of you unfamiliar with that
you really must keep a watchful
eye crossing streets.
are needed to enter Japan, which has a modern medical infrastructure.
If you have any
questions about your ability to participate in the trip, please feel free to
call or write.
Free time We leave plenty of time
for you to explore, poke, dig and mine Japan. We have lots of optional
touring and suggested things for you to do, all for little, if any, additional
cost. We'll run you ragged if you let us or you can wander off by
yourself. It's up to you. The hallmark of our trip is
Dress Code Dress is casual.
Your dress throughout the trip is what you'd wear to a
Major League Baseball game, and you needn't bring much of it since we have a
stop mid-trip that is perfect for having the hotel do your laundry.
See what previous guests wore by taking a quick look through the Trip Photo
Click here for TRIP PHOTO GALLERY
Phone, Fax and
easy to keep in touch. You can direct dial, use phone cards with a set
amount of time on them, or use most any telephone credit card, all from your
Most cell phones work in Japan. Call your provider to get the roaming voice and, if you
need it, data plan for Japan.
You can easily rent
a phone upon arrival at Narita Airport if immediate communication is important.
For my part, I simply
direct-dial from my hotel room to home since the rates are so inexpensive.
Mayumi and I also rent cell phones while there since that is more
cost-effective for us rather than using our own U.S. cell phones because we make so
many local Japan calls while on the move.
Internet access is
available through cafes or your own laptop. All hotels have at
least wired internet. If you bring a laptop
you may want to bring your own ethernet cord rather than having to borrow one
from the front desk. As to your laptop plug-in, see next entry.
Electricity Electrical devices
made for use in North America have no problems with the Japanese electrical
system...once you can plug them in!
The Japanese wall outlets are for two-pronged plugs, with both prongs
being the same size.
Some of our plugs have a prong that is slightly
larger and others have three prongs, thus, they will not fit in a Japanese plug. You will want to
bring an adapter to make such differing sizes into what will fit a two prong
outlet with holes of the same size.
Jet Lag I'm not
aware of anyone who has suffered jet lag coming from the U.S. or Canada.
Coming over appears to be a snap. Going
home is another story. Most everyone I know suffers it at home. To
combat it, I try not to schedule anything major during my first day or two
Those of you from Australia do fine both ways because of the similar time
zones. I haven't yet figured out how those of you from England and
Staying Longer If you're interested in spending more time in Japan, then I might suggest
you do so at the end of the tour. At that point you'll really know a lot
about Japan and getting around. We can help you plan your extra days.
During the trip we travel through Japan using public transportation.
You become familiar with how to get around and thus can make better use of
your time after the tour. We don't stuff people into a tour bus.
You traverse the county in the most open way possible - with everyone else.
is reputed to be one of the safest countries in the world and we've never
experienced anything on our trips to make us think otherwise. Common
sense is in order, of course.
Stories abound as
to the honesty of the Japanese. Margaret, my wife, experienced this
first hand when she accidentally dropped over $200 worth of yen in a parking
lot as she hurried to a lunch appointment. Three members of a Japanese
construction crew working nearby saw this, rounded up all the bills, and
her down to return the cash.
I don't mean to
suggest there's no crime in Japan, but I feel much safer in Japan
than I do in the U.S. And I have good reason. The U.S.
Department of State confirms, "The general crime rate in Japan is at
levels well below the U.S. national average."
All flights to Japan are nonsmoking, as are the train cars we
and the cabs we take. Nonsmoking and smoking hotel accommodations are
available according to your preference. We reserve non-smoking rooms,
unless you request otherwise.
Packing and Luggage -- Very Important!
Please pack a rolling suitcase. The type that fits into the overhead
luggage compartment of an airplane. You can accompany that with a small backpack or
Since you won’t need clothes for a variety of different settings and
since the hotels have laundry service, previous guests have found themselves
able to easily work within this luggage arrangement. Those who
brought more have regretted it.
A rolling suitcase accompanied by a backpack or briefcase enables you to
breeze through train stations and get on and off trains with ease. Luggage
with built-in rollers is an absolute must.
Small rolling luggage, the size that fits in an overhead, is preferable
since it fits on trains easier. Luggage in Japan has to accompany you in the
bullet train seating cars. There are no baggage cars. The seating cars
resemble a much roomier version of a commercial airliner with far more
spacious overhead luggage racks.
Another reason we recommend that your luggage be small, the size that fits
in an overhead, is so that you can, in fact, put it in the overhead on your
flight over thereby eliminating the risk of your air carrier losing anything.
By their own admission, airlines are not good at getting bags to the right place at the right time.
So we hope for you to keep as much on board
with you as you can.
hotel at which we stay has laundry service, but keep in mind that Japan hotels
are no different from most other big city hotels - laundry is expensive.
Coin laundries are not common in the downtown metro areas where we necessarily
Many Japanese speak English and for those who don't you can
get by with smiling and pointing without worrying about getting lost, going
hungry, or being unable to find a restroom. We won't, however, rely on
that. Our cultural attaché, Mayumi Smith, is a native Japanese and is
an integral part of the tour.
Tipping There's no tipping.
Anywhere. Ever. You pay the price indicated. All
prices already include any service charge and tax.
Bowing Visitors are not expected
to know the complexities of the bow. Bow as you like, but a handshake is
Gifts The Japanese are
gift-givers. To the extent that we need to present gifts on behalf of
the entire group, Mayumi and I will take care of that.
Many guests enjoy bringing baseball trinkets such as baseball cards,
pins or the like to give to people they meet at games or along the way. This is
always a hit.
When giving to children, first
ask the parents for permission. The parents and children will be delighted.
Game Tickets We obtain the best
available reserved seat tickets for each game. The ballpark, day of the week,
and opponent determine available seat locations.
Pre-Departure Information As part
of the tour you'll receive a wealth of pre-departure information to thoroughly
prepare you for your visit and the people you'll meet. We invite you to
contact us with any questions you may have.
Most private health insurance is not place specific, meaning
it will cover you anywhere, including Japan, which has modern health care
However, you may have to pay by credit card for such medical services and be reimbursed by your
insurance company upon your return home. Check with
your insurance provider.
Tour Members Japan is not ADA
accessible and, therefore, we cannot be held responsible for denial of service by transportation carriers, hotels, restaurants or other suppliers.
We are not equipped to give individual help for walking, dining, getting on or off transportation, or
A qualified companion must
accompany those travelers needing such assistance and we must talk
with both the traveler and companion to be certain that the type of travel we
do in Japan is clearly understood and accepted.
Limits on Responsibility and
Okay, here's the usual travel fine print:
embarking upon travel you voluntarily assume the risks of such travel and we
advise you to obtain insurance coverage as may be available against such
You acknowledge that there are many risks and
uncertainties inherent in travel including, but not limited to, the hazards of
various modes of transportation, forces of nature, weather, acts or omissions of
foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness and damage
to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour operators
and other third parties.
We at JapanBall.com are independent contractors
who purchase hotel, restaurant and transportation services, event tickets and
other products from independent suppliers who are not subject to our control.
Therefore, we cannot be liable for any injuries, damages or losses that may
occur due to any action or omission of such suppliers, their agents, employees
or suppliers, or by any event over which we have no control.
We shall not be responsible for any injuries,
damages or losses caused by social or labor unrest, mechanical or construction
difficulties, criminal activities, disease or sickness, local laws, climatic
conditions, or any other action, omissions or conditions outside our control.
In case of a postponement of an event there
shall be no refund except to the extent such may be available to us.
Dates, schedules, program details and costs,
are provided in good faith based on information available at the time of
publication, but all such items are subject to change and revision. Every effort will be
made to carry out the program as planned, but alterations may occur without
penalty to us. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in
the itinerary whenever, in our sole judgment, conditions warrant.
We also reserve the right, without penalty, to
withdraw a tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in
a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from a tour at any time when
such action is determined by us to be in the best interests of the health,
safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant,
subject only to the requirement that the recoverable portion of the total
amount paid that corresponds to the cost of unused services and accommodations
be refunded, if any, and only to the extent that such may be refunded or
otherwise available to us.
We accept no liability for the purchase of
non-refundable airline tickets. Baggage and personal effects are at all times
the sole responsibility of the participant.
You acknowledge that this particular tour
includes attendance at professional baseball games and exposure to risks
inherent in that venue including, specifically but not exclusively, the risks
of bats and balls leaving the field of play and striking you wherever you may
be in the stadium, and the risks of fall or other injury as you traverse the
stadium, its stairs, aisles, and other areas.
here to use a form to reach us, being sure to include your
e-mail address if you wish a response.