Walk Japan vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4
Value — 4.0
Guide — 4.0
Activities — 4.0
Lodging — 4.0
Transportation — 4.0
Meals — 4.0
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Recent Reviews

had a wonderful time

5.0 September 2018
S
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My son (age 18) and I walked a self-guided route on the Nakasendo earlier this month and had a wonderful time. Walk Japan's arrangements were faultless and the hiking guide was easy to follow and also provided us with some terrific historical background. The highlight was getting to Cafe Poppoya outside Kaida and being treated to a lovely breakfast and a terrific musical interlude by Mr. & Mrs Ando... very unexpected and a great memory to take home with us.
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Tour Walk Japan Company Reviews

A word of caution

1.0 July 2018
Awoc
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Watch out when dealing with these guys. In addition to not accepting credit cards, Walk Japan's other business practices fall short of Western norms. I experienced this in a rather shocking way after I wired a downpayment to them about 4 months before the scheduled trip. A brief 2 weeks later I had to cancel because of an unforeseen scheduling conflict. That's when Walk Japan hit me with full force of their "non-refundable deposit" policy. In letting me know that they intended to keep my deposit (and of course having incurred no expenses in that short time), the borderline gleeful tone of their emails struck an exceedingly sour note with me. They also played the "we're a small operator" card, of course. I argued that if ever there were an opportunity to offer a discretionary refund, in the interest of fairness and customer care, this would be it. In fact, I would hope for such grace from a small shop that was run by decent people. In the end, their longwinded and self-serving defense convinced me that I was better off walking away.
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Tour Walk Japan Company Reviews

Our guide Joshua was fantastic,the food and accommodation was great

5.0 May 2018
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We walked Kumano Kodo pilgrimage April 11-19 2018. Our guide Joshua was fantastic,the food and accommodation was great. The walking, the historic and sacred locations enabled us to understand and respect Japan's culture, it was a privilege to be part of Walk Japan guided tour.
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Tour Walk Japan Company Reviews

Tours 0 Trip 1 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 0 $ 0
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Local Specialist Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Custom Itineraries
  • Independent / Self-Guided Packages
  • Group Tours
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • Asia
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • 50+
  • Budget
Headquarters N/A Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Year Established 1992 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
      Similar Companies
        Countries
        About Walk Japan

        Since 1992, Walk Japan has led tours rich in history and geography, exclusively in Japan. 

        What Makes Them Stand Out? 

        Walk Japan began with two Hong Kong University academics leading study trips to teach students about Japanese history and geography, eventually developing into a tour company. As a result, their tours are focused on seeing Japan by foot, through an educational experience in areas that may be lesser-known. Tours are comprised of small groups with a maximum of 12 people per tour leader.

        Who Travels With Them?

        Walk Japan creates tours for families, friends, groups, and schools. Its tours are suitable for multi-generational groups, solo travelers, and couples. Most participants are aged 30 to 70 and they come from all over the world. 

        Where Do They Operate? 

        Walk Japan leads tours throughout Japan, staying in local accommodations, and exploring off the beaten track.

        Why Travel With Them? 

        Walk Japan has an in-depth and broad knowledge of Japan and is continually researching the best tour sites for its guests. All leaders have the skills to talk with locals and a deep familiarity with the country. One leader is a professor of Japanese history; another of Japanese social geography; one ran the Japanese subsidiary of a foreign corporation and now lives and works in a remote rural area of Japan; while another was educated at a Japanese middle school, worked in Japanese TV and lived for many years in Tokyo and Kyoto. With a commitment to corporate responsibility, Walk Japan supports family-run and local businesses, cares for and creates woodlands, and participates in community projects.

        About Signature Collection by Gate 1

        A unique collection of luxury trips designed by Gate 1 travel.

        What Makes Gate 1 Signature Collection Stand Out?

        These are luxury minded trips with a local focus. Guides are all local experts, from and living in the destination you’re visiting. Each itinerary features exclusive experiences. Groups are small and each day is full of activity but well balanced.

        They focus on offering only a select group of trips in this special collection - allowing them the freedom to create truly spectacular itineraries - which include more inclusions in the price than their other collections.

        The tagline is “More Luxury for Less”. These tours may not be in same luxury travel class if you’re used to Abercrombie & Kent, however where comfort and extravagance meets fun and busy travel days of sightseeing and tours, you’ll find Gate 1 Signature Collection.

        Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

        Those travelers who are willing to spend a little bit more for a 4-5 star experience, will probably find a sweet spot with Gate 1 Signature tours. These trips tend to be attended by older travelers, in the 50+ range.  

        Don’t expect too much strenuous activity. You can expect easy paced walks, guided tours and lectures, and stops to explore interesting cultural sites and historical attractions.

        While some of these cultural experiences, included in their “Signature Experiences”, are truly unique, be wary that many of these inclusions are fairly standard offerings - such as a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah. So the luxury experience of exclusivity you may be expecting is to be taken with a grain of salt. These tours offer wonderful experiences - but the destinations or activities are not always particularly uncommon or rare.  

        Top Destinations

        They currently don’t offer an overly extensive list of countries, but tours do go all over the world. This includes Central Europe, Spain, and the UK, Israel, Jordan and Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

        Gate 1 Signature Collection Travel Style

        Signature Collection tours with Gate 1 aim for comfort, ease, and unique cultural experiences. Like their other brands, Gate 1’s Signature Collection is about making sure your sightseeing is maximized, and the price is right for the experience.

        Most sightseeing, meals, wifi, tips, and their “Signature Experiences” are included in the itinerary price - unlike Gate 1’s main brand which offers less inclusions. This type of itinerary more helpful to budget travelers wishing to pick and choose which activities they would like to pay for. Gate 1 Signature Tours, however, are best suited to those who want more inclusions and less hassle to have to decide on how to spend their travel time.

        Why Choose a Tour with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

        If you’re an older traveler looking for a boutique, comfortable, and well paced tour, the Signature tours may suit you very well. Travelers love the customer service, attention to detail, and depth of knowledge the guides bring to each day on the tour. There is also a good balance of free time and optional additional sightseeing opportunities.

        All tours feature included “Signature Experiences” which are the main highlights that make the Signature Collection tours stand out from the other Gate 1 brands. These are unique excursions, usually with a strong cultural focus - such as an evening of Irish music in Galway, or a traditional dinner in the deserts of Morocco. They also often include lectures that explore a destinations history or a specific facet of the culture.

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