About us

Welcome to Expedition Japan

Expedition Japan

Expedition Japan was started by people who love their home. People who wake up every day and are greeted by the humbling leviathan that is Mount Zao. People who ride their bikes to work and from work in tandem with their reflection in the terraced rice paddies. And people who no matter how many times watch the sun vibrantly dip into the Sea of Japan, they are still moved to tears by the colorful sunset and feel grateful to live in such a place that they can call home.


In 1878, an English woman by the name of Isabella Bird first set foot in Japan and began her historic journey as the first western woman to visit the northern Japanese frontier of Tohoku. Starting in what is now Tokyo, she traveled up through Nikko, stopping in Kaminoyama, Shinjo, Akita, Kuroishi, and Hokkaido before looping back down along the western coast and returning home.


Not knowing the language, the culture, and at the stern deviance of the patriarchy, Isabella Bird’s expedition into a Japan less-traveled paved the way for travelers today to discover what makes this region truly shine and what we hope will inspire you to push past what you know to discover a Japan beyond imagination.


When deciding on what direction we wanted to take this company, we all agreed on one thing, this company would be for the benefit of the local people themselves. This is why we have decided to follow the principles of ecotourism in order to ensure that not only is the money from tourism going directly back into sustaining the local community, but local resources are not being depleted as a result of overtourism.

Learn more about Ecotourism and how we operate as a sustainable travel company!


Every year, less than 1% of visitors that come from overseas set foot into our beloved Tohoku Region. Is it because there is nothing to do or see here or that it is in some way incredibly boring? Surely that is not the case as how could the land that has inspired the works of famed artists, writers, and poets such as the great Matsuo Bashō for centuries be lackluster in the slightest? So if that’s not the case, what makes this part of Japan sojourned by so few?


When it comes down to it, we realize that for many foreign people, visiting Tohoku is difficult. In a land where centuries of tradition have largely evaded the tendrils of globalization, for non-Japanese speakers, there can be several challenges presented when one considers making their way north.


This was why making experiences and tours that were accessible to a global audience became a pillar in the creation of this company so that we can take what we love about the land that we live, and show it to the world.

Check our our Experience and Tour pages to see more what we offer!


Here at Expedition Japan, we firmly believe that travel is more than just stopping in on a place, seeing some stuff, taking a bunch of pictures and then leaving. To us, travel is about learning something new about the place you are and engaging with the local community to make meaningful memories on both ends. Travel is a chance to discover worlds completely unknown to you before, and to stumble upon something that may change your entire outlook on life.


When you return home after your trip, the learning doesn’t stop there. You will then go on to tell and educate all of your friends and family about the incredible places you visited and the amazing things that you did there. Maybe in turn, they’ll be inspired by your anecdotes and one day set out on an expedition of their very own.

To learn more about the rich culture and history you are set to explore, read up on our blog!