Founder and CEO
I started Michi Travel Japan in 2006 with a belief that it would be wonderful if we could satisfy the unmet needs of international travelers to Japan who want personalized travel experiences. I am very delighted that many of our previous customers thoroughly enjoyed their travels in Japan and keep visiting Japan and introduce their families and friends to us.
When I was younger, I traveled to many countries. Trekking in Nepal, visiting beautiful villages in Europe, floating in the Dead Sea and visiting spectacular national parks in the United States are some of my lifelong memories.
Among my favorite places in Japan, the ones I prefer most are tranquil and peaceful places, which entices me to visit countryside on weekends. I was born and raised in Nara and spent my college days in Kyoto, both of which are old capitals of Japan, I hope you have time to explore their unique culture and to visit the hidden gems. Please also enjoy Tokyo where I live and do not miss some of the finest dining options Tokyo has to offer.
- MBA from University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (2001)
- LLB from Kyoto University (1994)
- Certified National Guide
Client Service Director
One was my love for travelling and being used to planning a unique and fun-filled trip for my family. The skills I learned in the media has also helped me in doing extensive research for each customer's needs. When planning a trip for my customer, I make sure that it is a one-and-only trip, and it will create wonderful memories for him/her. When my customer sends a feedback filled with happiness, I always feel that I made the right decision to become a travel consultant.
The other reason was the company's warm atmosphere and each staff's passion to create an exciting trip. That warmth and passion is what makes Michi Travel the best custom travel agency in Japan, and this has not changed since I joined in 2007. I believe it will continue to be so as long as we are in business.
As for my own travel, I like to go far away from Tokyo. That's why my favorite places to visit are Hokkaido and Okinawa, the northern and southern parts of Japan. Also, I have two sons, so planning a family trip is one of my strong points. I am looking forward to creating a memorable trip with you!
Client Service Manager, Certified National Guide
I was born and raised in Yokohama. My first experience of living abroad as an exchange student at the University of Florida strengthened my desire to get professional experiences overseas. I went to New Zealand and worked in service industry. I was really pleased that I was able to receive an award of best staff of the year. I am very passionate about providing the best service; I always hold to uncompromising standards.
My favorite area in Japan is Tohoku which is the northern part. In this area, you can see beautiful countryside of Japan and throw yourself in a peaceful atmosphere. Rice fields in summer are particularly picturesque. It is one of the most relaxing moments for me to see the green rice fields from the windows of the local train. Japan has a very good contrast of futuristic cities and traditional countryside.
Coming to Japan can be an awesome experience, and it can be even better by crafting your own itinerary with our support. I am looking forward to making a special trip with you, like no others. YOKOSO!
Client Service Manager, Certified National Guide
I joined Michi Travel to help customers traveling in Japan as if they have old friends living in Japan. In my experience, it's really challenging to travel in a country where locals speak completely different language. However, if you have friends there, the country becomes your home ground. Your friends know your taste, tell the tips, and furthermore, teach you the best secret - the hidden gem which only savvy locals know.
I traveled many countries, all of which left me with happy memories. I can say that the best memories could not have been created without local friends' helps; I could not have enjoyed the most delicious ice cream in Paris, I could not have bought a specialty coffee machine in a maze-like market of Ho Chi Minh City, and I could not have seen a breathtaking view of frontier mountains between El Salvador and Guatemala. I thank my friends for all of these memories.
I am originally from old countryside of Japan. I used to teach Japanese literature. After living in Chicago for two years, I now enjoy my life with my family in Tokyo. Using these experiences, I would like to offer valuable advice to our customers who seek to experience various aspects of Japan. My hometown, Wakayama, still has beaches and forests which remind us of ancient poetic sceneries. I'm glad if I could share my favorite places to create your treasured moments just for you!
Client Service, Certified National Guide
My work at Michi Travel Japan started as tour guide. I went on tours for their clients and often experienced to witness their full of joy and excitement of journey. Michi Travel knows the secret of offering the best service to you. So, I joined the company and would like to help people plan their ideal destinations to Japan. I was born and raised in Tokyo. When I was a high school student, I decided to study in U.S.A. and went onto college. During the stay, I liked traveling by long-distance bus or train to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the cities and country-side. After graduating from college, I came back to Japan and started working in the international trading section in German company. Then, I joined American financial institution and mostly worked in risk management for more than 13 years. One of the most memorable international trips was a tour to Bahamas for swimming with wild dolphins. I also like the peaceful and picturesque country in Italy, France and Switzerland. Of course, I love travelling in Japan. My favorite places are Yakushima Island, Kumano Kodo, Matsue, Nara, Hakone and various other hot-spring resorts all over Japan. I look forward to serving you as client service officer as well as tour guide.
Saki ShirataClient Service, Certified National Guide
I was born in Kumamoto, which is south part of Japan. Kumamoto is blessed with the abundant nature such as the active volcano, Mt. Aso, beautiful islands in Amakusa, and a variety of hot springs. I spent my university days in Akita, which is north part of Japan. Akita has many kinds of traditional festivals in each season. What I recommend the most is Akita Kanto Festival in which performers balance long bamboo poles with array of paper lanterns attached to the end. While I was in the university, I had an opportunity to study in England for a year. I traveled around more than ten countries in Europe. Then, I thought that it would be wonderful if more international tourists visit Japan and become fans of Japan as I did while traveling overseas.
Japan has a variety of attractions in each city and in each season. I hope our customers find their favorite thing in Japan and come back to find another once again. I am looking forward to arranging a memorable trip with you!
Chisato Nishida Client Service
Traveling is one of the things I love since I was little. Eating something local, experience the culture and seeing the breathtaking sceneries. There's always something new I learned through traveling; not only did I enjoy experiencing the differences from what I was used to in Japan, but it also made me realize how attractive Japan is, and yet, there still remains rooms that are not known well. I always enjoy communicating local people and travelers when I travel and ask them what they know about Japan. Their answers are "Sushi, Tempura, Anime, Tokyo and Kyoto" most of the times. Of course things they said are partly our culture, but these things are not all about Japan. For example, I grew up in the suburb of Tokyo, where changes have been taking place constantly while retaining some good old culture. I have always been thrilled with such vitality and energy of Tokyo, while on the other hand, I also enjoy traveling to other prefectures that have different traits, food, culture and sometimes languages.
As a travel consultant, I would like you to experience the beauty of various parts in Japan. I am truly pleased to help your trip in Japan make memorable and enjoy your adventure by creating your own trip based on your interests.
Ai Ikeda Client Service
I experienced homestay for one month in the countryside in the United States when I was 12 years old. It was my first overseas experience and everything was new and exciting to me. Since then I was keen to see different culture and traveled to many countries. When I was working at a small esidence & hotel in Canada, one of the residents with whom I got acquainted became interested in Japanese culture. The experience in which I myself was the opportunity for her to deepen interests in Japanese culture gave me a sense of joy and fulfillment. Since then I got motivated to introduce Japan to people from all over the world. Traveling is not only fun but also gives you opportunities to understand cultural differences and may change your values which can enrich your life. I even believe such understanding and respects for different culture will lead to a peaceful world. I hope many people to see, feel and enjoy the beauty of Japanese nature, architecture, fine arts and other Japanese culture. I would be delighted to help plan your travel to make it a memorable and unforgettable one.
Minami Maeda Client Service
I was born in Osaka and I have lived in many places such as Kagoshima, Kobe, and Tokyo. Every time I explored new surroundings, I always encountered with something unique or surprising. It is just amazing to see how different each city is in this small island country, Japan. I have also traveled extensively around the world.
After spending wonderful nine months in New York City, I traveled not only in the US, but also Peru, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, France and more to see my friends whom I met in NYC. I always felt I was able to broaden my world and cultivate sensitivity through my exposures to different cultures. There is nothing that inspires my mind stronger than what I experience myself, which is why I love traveling.
A wide variety of traditions and unique lifestyles that are rooted in our long history still remain in our daily life. I think traveling in Japan is full of new discoveries about Japan, whether you are a first-timer to Japan or a repeating visitor.
I decided to join Michi Travel Japan because I would love to share my passion for traveling and Japanese culture with people around the world. It would be my pleasure to tailor your travel to your needs, expectations and wishes and show you the best of Japan. Make your travel in Japan the best one ever with Michi Travel Japan!
Kenji Kuwata Client Service
Traveling enriches our life. This kind of once-in-a-lifetime experience broadens our horizons. I believe traveling sometimes even makes us rethink about how you want our life be in the future and might change our values. I am not an exception. I felt so by traveling to other countries. I have a lot of memories that I want to cherish for the rest of my life.
While staying in foreign countries, it was also surprising for me to realize how many people want to come to Japan to travel or study. A lot of my friends from other countries keep coming back to Japan in a short space of time, which made me proud of where I am from.
Through these experiences, it became my dream and goal to help guests from abroad enjoy Japan to their heart's content. I hope that you will have a great time in Japan and, it will be a great pleaseure if the trip I will assist will be a trip of your lifetime. It would mean more than anything to me if I could be part of the reason that you enjoy your time here in Japan.
Tomoyo Hamaoka Client Service
I have been interested in introducing Japanese culture since I was in university. When I was an exchange student at university in the U.S, I was a member of Japanese language exchange club, and had opportunities to present on Japan to other students. Instead of anime or manga which typically came to their mind, I presented traditional cultures such as tea ceremony or flower arrangement that I had learned from my childhood. This experience made me realize how unique and diverse Japanese cultures are, and I started to embrace a passion for spreading them to people around the world.
Every year, a couple of my friends from all over the world come and visit Japan, and I really enjoyed taking them to various areas. I also love to travel to see my foreign friends. They showed me around local places which I would not be able to find by myself. Travel can be more special and interesting if you have someone with local knowledge. I would like our guests to experience diverse aspects of Japan with my local advice and assistance, and visit Japan repeatedly. As a member of Michi Travel Japan, I will do my best to help create your memorable and unforgettable trips. It will be my pleasure if my guests become fans of Japan after traveling with us.
Sadako Shirota Client Service, Certified National Guide
As a university student, I wanted to see different countries and experience various cultures, and I have tried to find opportunities to travel abroad ever since. My overseas trips opened my eyes to the misconceptions I had about some of the countries I visited and instilled me with a desire to learn more about them. I began to discover Japan more deeply after I started to hike in the Oku-Tama mountain range in the suburbs of Tokyo with my Japan-based foreign friends. They helped me notice not only the beauty but also the uniqueness of Japanese mountains with their distinctive flora and fauna and their spiritual and religious significance in Japanese culture. Soaking our tired bodies in hot springs was an exceptional experience, and it was during these times that I truly recognized the wonder of Japanese hot springs. I began to realize the richness and diversity of other Japanese tourism resources such as history, tradition, culture, local food, advanced technology and popular culture. I became more passionate about helping visitors from other countries understand such wonderful aspects of Japan. I am looking forward to showing my appreciation to our customers who chose Japan as their travel destination and selected our company, Michi Travel Japan to assist them. I will strive to do my best to create tailor-made itineraries fully considering each customer's request.
Rie Furuki Client Service, Certified National Guide
I was born and raised in Hiroshima, a peace memorial city, and have been in love with traveling since I was a child. During my time as a student at Osaka University, I studied Thai language and had a chance to spend time in Thailand for one year as an exchange student. My passion and love for Thailand made me come back to the country to travel again many times. After graduation, I worked in Nagano before moving to work in Thailand for three years. Through my experiences of living abroad and exchanging ideas with foreigners, I gradually realized unique charm and beauty of Japan. I became attracted to Japan once again. Now I am excited to be able to explore Japanese sightseeing places, cultures, history etc. while assisting my customers visiting Japan from all around the world. It would be my great pleasure to make your travel as memorable and enjoyable as possible.
Atsumi Morizono Client Service, Certified National Guide
I was born in Nagasaki, located in the Kyushu island of Japan. I have long wanted to introduce Japan to people from all over the world since when I was a junior high school student. After graduating from university and worked three years in Tokyo for one of the most famous travel agencies in Japan, I joined Michi Travel in 2014 to make my career dream come true. It has been a real pleasure to work with clients from all around the world looking for unique travel experineces in Japan. Our customers are looking for custom-made private itineraries and travel experiences. So, I was fortunate to introduce not only famous destinations, such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hokkaido but also countryside including Nagasaki, which is my hometown. I will continue to do my best for all of you make a wonderful trip throughout Japan as a member of Michi Travel.
Maaike BootsSenior Travel Consultant
It is a great pleasure to be a partner of Michi Travel, and work closely together to provide the best of services.
During my studies of Japanese language and culture in the nineteen-eighties, I lived 1 year in Nagasaki and traveled around Japan from Beppu (Kyushu) to Wakkanai (Hokkaido).
Ever since I have loved the country of buzzing cities and impressive natural beauty. For business purpose I have traveled extensively around Japan, and many other countries both in Asia, and around the world. I have lived and worked as a professional in production, sales, and marketing altogether more than 10 years in Japan. I traveled to most prefectures in Japan with both groups and individual travelers for business and pleasure. Tea ceremony is my passion, in combination with my fascination for Japanese contemporary culture and arts.
For Michi Travel customers I will create optimal travel plans and programs based on my learnings about (im)possibilities of transportation and accommodation to suit each client`s individual needs, to enjoy the splendors of Japan and to achieve your personal or business objectives. My favorite destinations is Japan are the hot springs which you can find everywhere in this volcanic country, and of course the Festivals that take place around the year from Fireworks Festivals in summer to Snow Sculpture in winter.
I look forward to present you with the most exiting unforgettable experience in Japan!
- MA, Literature, Japanology, Leiden University, 1988
- Marketing Management, NIMA-B, 1990
- Heineken International Management Development of Excellence Course, 2002