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Travel with confidence

All our client’s funds are protected under our ATOL and held in a Trust Account with the TTA. This means that any money you pay us can only be used towards your holiday and is therefore 100% safe. All the more reassuring during these turbulent times.

Luxury Private Journeys

We are a Japan-specialist tour operator aimed squarely at guests who want to travel without compromise or limits. We create tailor-made holidays that are as individual as the people we are creating them for. With Different Japan you can expect to travel in comfort, style, and with authenticity. We're passionate about Japan and therefore stick only to what we know - our relationships, know-how, and expertise all focussed on those fortunate enough to have a larger budget at their disposal.

Your itinerary will include private transfers, travelling on bullet-trains to cover the larger distances, and with some days packed with activities, excursions and sightseeing with your local guide and other days simply left free for you to explore (or simply relax) yourself. We have travelled the length and breadth of Japan, venturing beyond the obvious to unearth the extraordinary, unexpected and sometimes exclusive.

Therefore…we’re not for everyone. If you enjoy trying to make the arrangements yourself, then our service might not be right for you. Of course it is possible to do Japan on a modest budget wherein you’ll probably have an amazing time enjoying the experiences and accommodation tailored to this market. But we are not targeting the mainstream holiday-maker. We are something different, unashamedly luxury in purpose and upscale in delivery.

We work with only a comparatively small number of clients each year. However, you may be surprised to discover that the personal attention Different Japan deliver actually costs less than what the larger luxury tour operators with a global outlook would charge for a like-for-like itinerary (if only they were capable!), what with their overheads, corporate partners and many stakeholders. For us, good value is always good value whatever the budget.

Why Different Japan?

Because you love to travel, because we are passionate about all things Japanese and because we both believe that the right tour operator for you should be able to tick all these boxes;

Japan is all we do

It is our sole specialism. Japan is not merely another country we offer as part of a worldwide touring programme - such tour operators are, more often than not, jacks of all trades yet masters of none. We take pride in knowing Japan on-the-ground better than anyone else and this know-how means that we can offer things other operators can’t. Each holiday is designed to exceed your expectations.


Our guiding philosophy is to listen carefully to what you want from your travels in Japan and also to learn about your likes (and dislikes) whilst on holiday. We then use our first-hand knowledge and experience to plan a trip that is completely tailored to your individual needs, while delivering unrivalled personal service and absolute attention to detail at all times. Many may claim such. But we're confident we can deliver - no two holidays we've ever operated have been exactly alike.


From the moment you contact us and then throughout your travels in Japan our passionate and attentive team, both in the UK and with our local partners in Japan, will deliver the optimal amount of support, always comprehensive and thorough yet never matronly or intrusive. You’ll always feel like you are on your adventure, not ours. The travel documents we send to you in advance of travel are detailed, precise and informative - enabling you to relax and enjoy your holiday. And we'll always be on hand (24/7) while you're away, aided by our experienced English-speaking local partners in Japan. 

Honest Advice

It is because of our on-the-ground knowledge and years of experience in Japan that we are able to offer honest advice, as we’ve almost certainly stayed in that hotel or ryokan and explored the region thoroughly ourselves; this will ensure we are able to make the right choices for your trip. We won't sugar-coat anything, if we think something is not right for you then we'll steer you away from it, and the recommendations we make can be trusted.

100% financial protection

That money you pay us is totally safe. Both your deposit and balance payment are held in an independently controlled & managed Trust Fund, operated in conjunction with our ATOL license. We only then receive customer monies from Trust once you have returned from your holiday. Therefore, you would be guaranteed to get that money back in the unlikely event that your holiday couldn’t go ahead. When you travel with us, you can be assured that we have you covered.

Nick Coates
Nick Coates Founder

Nick Coates

Different Japan was founded by Nick Coates, a 25-year veteran of the travel industry and certified Japan obsessive. 

After several years living in Tokyo during the '90s, Nick returned to his native England and was part of the team which founded Audley Travel, where he oversaw 10 years of industry-defining growth. He then had a spell as Managing Director (UK) of rivals Abercrombie & Kent, before leaving to spend more time living in and travelling around Japan - in many ways a classic mid-life crisis, but one which ultimately led to Different Snow (born from a love of skiing), and then Different Japan.

Nick has racked up over 30 visits to Japan in as many years, including two extended periods living in Tokyo. His travels have taken him from the beaches of the Okinawan archipelago to the ski fields of Hokkaido and, almost literally, everything in between.

What might surprise you about Nick? He dislikes seafood (most especially when it's raw) and he has now had two Japanese teachers ‘give up’ on him due to his singular inability to master the language. He also once tried to establish Tokyo’s first cricket team. To this day one can only presume there is a small group of besuited and bewildered salarymen (now in their 50’s), with some basic bowling skills, an intimate knowledge of fielding positions, and bats, pads and boxes languishing at the back of their cupboards. And with absolutely no-one to ever play cricket against.

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Ski & Snowboarding holidays to Japan

We have a sister company. Different Snow is the UK’s #1 Japan ski specialist. However, we find that most Different Snow guests like to combine a holiday to the world's best powder snow with time to also tour around Japan. Therefore, the line that divides Different Snow and Different Japan is very often blurred.

What our customers say

5 star rating

Our customers rate us 'Excellent'

Very happy honeymooners...

Wonderful experience from start to finish. The binder they send you is like your Bible when you are out there. It has everything in you will need, from hotel addresses to train times, to advice about what to do whilst you're there. Trust the binder! Definitely will be using them for my next Japan trip.

Ashleigh  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

I can’t rate Different Snow highly enough...

Different Snow put together a well thought out and carefully researched tailored three week trip. Their recommendations for hotels, sightseeing, entertainment and dining were spot on.

David  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

Please visit our TrustPilot page to read the full reviews.

Begin your journey
How to book

It's pretty straight forward. You simply need to take the first step by getting in contact with us...


Give us a call, or fill in the enquiry form, or send us an email. We’ll listen, give advice and make suggestions.


We create a tailor-made itinerary proposal and email this to you. Together, we then refine it until it is just as you want.


A 20% deposit secures the booking. The balance payment is not due until 10 weeks before departure.


We post out your comprehensive travel pack, and then you travel in Japan under the care of our various local partners.