A space for me to reflect on Japan and my tours. Thank you to all my fellow travellers.
Sunday, September 18, 2022
Riki's September 2022 Newsletter
We did it! First post-COVID tour done!
Riki's Tours Japan is back! We cleared all the steps, enjoyed each day and completed our first tour post-COVID! At all the accommodation where we stayed, we were told that we were the first tour group from overseas since COVID began. We were treated so kindly and I appreciate everything they did for us. Despite this, I understand why we were one of the first because it was almost too much to prepare, and there were also so many what ifs before we went. However, eight fellow travellers trusted us by joining our 20 day City Lights & Alpine Trails walking tour from Kyoto to Hokkaido. They trusted us to organise all the documents needed to acquire a tourist visa, and they also had to present a PCR negative test result before flying to Japan (fortunately, no longer needed). Anyway, our fellow travellers had a great time and we had lovely warm weather filled with sunny days (as pictured above on Mt Kurodake in Daisetsuzan NP, Hokkaido a few days ago). I'm so happy to be able to get back to do what I enjoy. Ookini for walking with me!! The next City Lights & Alpine Trails tour is in May and is filling fast, so get in touch if you would like to join.
Devil Ark sponsorship
We have been donating to Devil Ark on an ad-hoc basis for some time now, but this year we have taken up their offer to be a special 2022 sponsor. This required us to donate $2022 to help with the running of their ark for Tasmanian Devils. In return, we get some social media mentions and most excitingly, a private tour of their park north of Sydney. For more information about Devil Ark and to donate however you can, go to their website or Facebook page.
Four spaces available on Autumn Colours tour!
Our Autumn Colours tour is one of our most popular, but unfortunately we had four travellers recently pull out. This could be good for you though because it was sold out, but now it's not! This itinerary includes not only Tokyo and Kyoto but also Kanazawa, Kurashiki, Nara and Miyajima. Please contact us ASAP if you'd like to enjoy the beautiful colours departing November 19!
When will "true" independent tours be possible again?
Unfortunately, Japan is still not open to "true" independent travellers despite what you may have heard. It is still necessary to have all flights & land arrangements pre-organised from the Japan side, who will certify your travel and then issue a visa. It's not the way most independent Australian travellers want to travel, who prefer to buy their air tickets themselves. According to the media & newspaper reports in Japan, PM Kishida will make another announcement about lifting restrictions for independent tours, which may include visa free travel to Japan. However, we have no details about when this will occur nor how it will be. It's a frustrating situation for those who have pre-purchased airline tickets by themselves and are now waiting for Japan to be truly open, but we just have to wait and see. Our apologies to everyone who has contacted us that we cannot help at the moment. We hope to be arranging independent tours again in the new year. We'll let you know when this becomes possible!