John offers his services as a guide to birdwatchers and photographers visiting Japan (or Thailand or Australia, if requested). Basic information is below and simply submit a comment to express your interest or email John at email@example.com!
What John Can Provide for Birders Visiting Japan:
Custom birdwatching tours of Japan, mainly for small parties of up to 7 people (although up to 4 is best). John will take you to the best birdwatching spots in the country for your visit dates, and put you in the right place at the right time to have to best chances of spotting endemic species and rarities. He can also help arrange domestic flights, accommodation reservations, airport transfers, etc. John speaks fluent Japanese, and is experienced in giving you the best possible Japanese travel experience.
Basic Bird Tour Guiding Pricing, Terms & Conditions
Guide only (no vehicle): 30,000 yen per day (or part thereof), including any days taken to meet group and return home. In addition, all expenses must be paid (includes items such as accommodation, meals, transportation costs, etc.)
Guide plus Vehicle: 40,000 yen per day (or part thereof), including any days taken to meet group and return home. In addition, all expenses must be paid (includes items such as gasoline, accommodation, meals, transportation costs, road tolls, etc.). John’s current vehicle is a Mitsubishi Delica Chamonix Mont Blanc V6 4WD, which seats 8.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
The basic payment terms and conditions are as follows. Exceptions can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, and some custom tours may require different terms.
- A 20% non-refundable deposit of the total guiding fee must be paid at the time of tour booking.
- 30 days prior to tour start the remaining total guiding fee must be paid in full.
- A refund of 50% of the total guiding fee will be paid if the tour is cancelled from 30 days up to 15 days prior to tour start; 30% of the total fee will be refunded from 14 days up to 8 days before tour start; a cancellation 7 or less days before tour start will receive no refund.
- If a tour is postponed for up to 3 months, the original 20% deposit will be forfeited, but any remaining balance will be credited against the new tour. Any tour that is postponed for more than 3 months will be considered a new tour.
- Tour group is responsible for any and all incidental and associated costs such as hotel cancellation charges if tour is cancelled or modified.
The preferred payment option is PayPal – this option also allows for easier refunding if a tour is cancelled. PayPal accepts major credit cards. The only other acceptable payment option is international wire transfer. Payment of any outstanding expenses must be made in cash at the end of the tour. Payment of expenses by check or money order will incur a 10,000 yen processing fee to compensate for inconvenience and time taken to receive funds, but please note John REALLY prefers NOT to be paid by check or money order, so please prepare enough cash in Japanese currency to cover expenses before the commencement of the tour.
“Hello John, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the wonderful “guiding” you provided for us Gunns. We enjoyed climbing the mountain, viewing birds from behind the blind, easting somen and enjoying the local marina, but most of all, John, we enjoyed YOU. It was an honor to meet you and to receive just a little of your extensive knowledge of nature, science, photography, geography, travel, and yes, even human nature. Thank you John!” – Pam Gunn, Washington, USA
“Dear John, it was a great trip. Getting up at 4 to 4.30 each morning and birding all day was really rewarding, not only because of the birds, but because of the hot springs at the end of the day as well! I hope to be back soon to see the cranes.” – Paul Wirtz, The Hague, the Netherlands
“Hi John, I want to thank you for the great birding trip and your fantastic hospitality. I have enjoyed it very much and can’t wait to tell the stories to my wife. I believe it is a great way to see many birds in different habitats in a short time in a country that I am a stranger in. It also is a great way to experience Japan away from the city. I’m very impressed in the amount of energy you have put into showing me around and can see you are very passionate about this. Prior to the trip I had questioned myself if I should spend such an amount of money on the trip, but I must say it was absolutely worth it and I would do it again if I have the chance.” - Roland Bullens, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
“Thanks so much for all you did, and all the extra effort you put in to making it a great tour. It was one of our most pleasant birding tours in many years. We look forward to a February in Kyushu in our future. Terrific photos too, thanks John!” - Dan & Decie Coleman, Texas, USA
“Thank you very much for such an interesting trip through so many good birding places in Kyushu during only 2 days! The results of this trip were much more productive as I could want. Thank you also for so friendly atmosphere at this trip!” – Peep Lassmann, Tallinn, Estonia
“Hi John. We’re back in Shanghai now. Thanks for the trip! We had fun with you – thanks for zipping us around to all the hot spots. We had a wonderful time and your efforts in getting us to all the great places in the area (and early for the tides!) were extraordinary. Also much appreciated were the pics you sent and your follow-up with the confusing bird pictures we had. Thanks so much! All the best and hope to see you again soon.” - the Synders, Shanghai, China (www.moonbeampublishing.com)
“Hi John – the list of 41 species you sent tallies with my list, along with the moorhen and the common reed buntings – they may be common, but they added to my Japan list! I also saw some sooty shearwaters on the ferry trip back, just as the light was failing. I was just checking, and this afternoon’s trip added 13 species to my life list – that is very pleasing, but the opportunity to explore all those wonderful habitats was just as pleasing. The undoubted high point for me was seeing the Amur falcon perched on the wire so clearly, then watching as it took off and circled back right over our heads. Thanks once again for such a great afternoon of birding.” - Lynne Webster & Kevin Gaston, Cheshire, UK
“Hi John – thanks for sending the species list so quickly and also, for the photos. My trip total was 88 species. Of those, 23 were lifers (approximately 1 in 4) – not bad at all. Once again, thank you very much for the trip. It was not only great to get the chance to do some more birding, but as well, to spend time with you. If I ever get the chance to come back to Japan I will contact you and see if we can do some more birding together.” - Ken Morgan, Victoria, BC, Canada
“John, thanks once again for a fantastic birding tour of the winter hotspots of Kyushu and Hokkaido. We saw all of our Target Birds along with plenty of surprises. And you handled all the logistics, top to bottom, well done! You have our complete endorsement. Cheers!” – Dan & Decie Coleman, Texas, USA