1.866.316.7268 [email protected]
WPCS 2.1.3
1.866.316.7268 [email protected]
WPCS 2.1.3

About Samurai Tours

Welcome to Samurai Tours

Irasshaimase!!* Welcome to Samurai Tours!!

We invite you to spend some time in this section of our web site to learn more about us and who we are.

Japan has something for everyone, whatever your interests. Tranquil mountain top temples and shrines, large neon-lit cities buzzing with an energy that will sweep you away, soothing hot spring baths, idyllic gardens, speeding bullet trains, soaring mountain peaks, welcoming, friendly, helpful people, and of course, the fantastic food.

As a Japan travel specialist we offer a wide range of Japan travel services. You can travel with the peace of mind knowing that you’ll have the full back-up from our English-speaking office staff at our fully-licensed and bonded travel agency in Japan (Kyoto Prefecture Travel Agency License ID #3-576) to make sure every aspect of your trip goes according to plan. Drawing on the meaning of Samurai, which is “to serve”, we emphasize the honor of serving you. Let us show you our side of Japan!!

Mike Roberts,
Owner, Samurai Tours

*Irasshaimase means Welcome. Customers entering stores, restaurants or other places of business all over Japan are met with enthusiastic cries of Irasshaimase!!

Maiko Mike

Our Philosophy

We recognize travel enlightens and promotes tolerance. Our mission is to offer well-balanced, educational, culturally-broadening, and most importantly, fun tours that inspire and inform.

The Samurai Tours Mission Statement

Our goal is to allow our tour members to travel as “temporary Japanese” to break down as many barriers to the lifestyle, customs and traditions as possible to allow the maximum cultural exposure and experience.

  • On our escorted tours, we prefer to use traditional, Japanese-style ryokans for lodging. These unique Japanese accommodations provide a unique Japanese experience. Whenever possible, we prefer to stay in smaller, more intimate family-run ryokans that are off-limits to larger groups. Many of the ryokans we stay in have as few as 10 to 15 rooms and are located on quiet, narrow side streets. Their owners take tremendous pride in their facilities, service and cuisine. Whenever we do use hotels, we prefer to use smaller, local hotels primarily used by the Japanese that blend in with the surrounding neighborhood, rather than the larger chain hotels catering to western tourists. We carefully select ryokans and hotels in the middle of the sights and culture that are within walking distance of what you came to see. This saves you time and money, and gives you lots of independence. All of the ryokans and hotels, with the exception of the Buddhist temple on Koya-san, have en-suite bathrooms. The bathrooms will include a bath/shower combination, sink and toilet, while the Buddhist temple has shared bath and toilet facilities “down the hall.”
  • We use only public transportation (with the exception of our new Rail and Drive tours where we use a convenient combination of public transportation and 8-seat vans chartered for the tour group). We use the same trains, subways, buses, taxis and ferries that millions of Japanese use every day. By traveling this way, you will get much closer to the people and culture you traveled thousands of miles to discover rather than seeing Japan through the window of a tour bus. And no trip to Japan is complete without at least one ride on the Shinkansens (bullet trains).
  • We feel food is an important part of traveling. One of the biggest misconceptions of Japan is that the Japanese only eat sushi. Nothing could be further from the truth. Japanese food is very diverse, and varies region-by-region. We introduce our tour members to the many different types of foods, and we always try to include at least one Kaiseki-style dinner on each tour. Known as the gourmet-style cooking in Japan, Kaiseki dinners are another essential Japanese experience that cannot be missed.
  • No one likes to pack and unpack every day. Our tour itineraries minimize the number of “one-night stands.” By staying multiple nights at one location, you become more familiar and comfortable with a destination, and are better-rested, and more energized. An appropriate amount of free time is built into the itineraries for you to follow your own curiosity and interests. We do also offer optional tours during your free time on many of our tours should you prefer to join. We also design our tours with the assumption that you will return to Japan someday. This means we don’t try to see everything, necessitating hurrying from sight-to-sight, wearing everyone out. Our intent is to make our tours “quality” over “quantity.”
  • We include many well-balanced cultural extras in our escorted tours such as tea ceremonies, calligraphy lessons, geisha walking tours and meeting a Maiko, an apprentice geisha.
  • Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable Samurai Tours and local Japanese tour guides are well versed in Japanese culture, history, art and architecture and will bring Japan alive with their insights.

Our Values

Culture

  • Our tours are tailored to break down as many barriers to the lifestyle, customs and traditions as possible to allow the maximum cultural exposure and experience.

Enjoyment

  • We strive to create a fun, informative and enthusiastic tour-environment our tour members look forward to participating in each day.

Quality

  • We are committed to continuously and proactively improving the quality of our services by constantly enhancing existing tours and developing new tours.

Value

  • We offer tours with the best combination of quality and price.

Honesty and Integrity

  • All business is conducted in a forthright and trustworthy manner, and all business practices will be consistent with our Mission and Values.

Testimonials

  • Terrific. I will highly recommend this tour to my friends. I enjoyed every minute. The tea ceremony and tour of Gion add a lot of value.” “The Shinkansens were awesome.

    Carlos Galvan-Torres
    New York, NY
  • I loved the trip and it was a perfect sample of Japan.

    Ramona Memmer
    Seattle, WA
  • The trip was all it was advertised to be. The small group made it much more personal. The exposure to Japanese traditions, the ryokans and foods were wonderful.” “Each was unique with its own atmosphere. All were enjoyable, and the locations were excellent.” “I enjoyed the presentation of the meals. Always a surprise, and a tremendous variety.” Our tour guide was very relaxed and willing to help each of us. Kept a steady pace, but not hurried.” Our local guides went out of their way to accommodate everyone. I couldn’t compliment them enough.” -“Wow! What a lot of planning went into the timing of the transportation.”

    Nalda Callicoat
    Enid, OK
  • Having never been on an organized tour before, I was very apprehensive. But everyone made me feel at ease.” “Great service from the ryokans’ staff, very good locations and extremely clean.” Our local guides spoke very good English and had very good knowledge of Japanese history.” “Being a very organized person, the tour handbook was extremely helpful! I can’t tell you how many times I read it, before and during the tour.

    Heidi Hammond
    Charlottesville, VA
  • The trip exceeded our expectations in every aspect. One of the best tours we’ve ever done, and we came away loving Japan.” “Good variety and well-thought-out.” “Best food we’ve ever had on an organized tour. Enjoyed the variety from the Kaiseki meals to the bento box lunches.” “The Tour handbook was very good! Better than any other tour we’ve been on, especially for getting a feel for what the trip was going to be like before we left. Always on top of everything!” The Tour was “Very well put together. Obvious that a lot of thought went into it, and it paid off.” “We feel we experienced everything and had a great opportunity to mix with the Japanese. It enhanced the whole experience.”

    The Wysockis
    Boston, MA
  • I could never have had this experience on my own. This tour is bursting with great experiences. It’s well-organized and well-conducted – a genuinely wonderful experience. Thanks for enriching my life!

    Karen Briggs
    Sacramento, CA
  • Very impressed by all aspects of this tour. It was a fabulous, very well-planned tour with knowledgeable guides, great ryokans and great food.

    Alison Clement
    Placerville, CA
  • One of the best run tours we’ve been on. The guides “read” of the group during the hot days helped greatly.

    Carol Burrows
    Overland Park, KS
  • The entire experience was wonderful and any anxiety about coming to Japan was totally eliminated by having such competent and helpful individuals assist with our travels. Thank you for a great trip and a lot of wonderful memories.” “Nice mix of big cities and more rural areas. The itinerary gave a view of modern and traditional Japan that was fascinating. Loved the Maiko session and the tea ceremony.” “The staff at all the ryokans were gracious and helpful and the public baths were an experience!” “Excellent! Our Samurai Tours guide had a wonderful foundation in Japanese history and culture, and was extremely helpful and friendly!

    Renea Harbert
    Maryville, IL
  • We had such a memorable trip. The culture, the sights, the others in our group and the tour guides were all enjoyable.

    Rob and Rose Welton
    Juneau, AK
  • I have never done an organized tour before, but this has been a wonderful experience.

    Floydette Seal
    Edmond, OK
  • The location of the ryokans was optimal for exploration. The logistics were handled smoothly. Thanks for stopping at Starbucks.

    The Hoopers
    Seattle, WA
  • Ryokan locations were great – easy access to ‘sites’ and transportation. The TourHandbook was Outstanding! Far exceeds the ‘big guys.’ Fantastic! Loved the trains and all the varied local transportation.

    Laura Shwala
    Laurenceville, NJ
  • I really appreciated the opportunity to try the many varieties of Japanese food.

    Donna Mead
    Olathe, KS
  • Our guide had the patience of Job. Thank you so much for a really fantastic two weeks.” The Tour Handbook was “Very well laid out. Covered everything we needed to beforehand and then some.

    Rebecca Ann Gummo
    Warriors Mark, PA
  • Our guide rocked! Our local guide went ‘above and beyond’ in helping to arrange special outings for each of us during the free day in Kyoto.

    Erin Endom
    Houston, TX
  • The volunteer guides in Kyoto you arranged for us on our free day were great.

    The Cosels
    Seatauket, NY