— A detailed itinerary with an engaging combination of stadiums, teams, visits, targeted sightseeing and outings, the result of which will give you a cost-effective and in-depth personal tour of Japan like no other.
— Business class hotels with modern facilities.
— All in-country travel including taxi, subway, rail and high-speed bullet train.
— Best available game seats.
— Additional sightseeing outings and gatherings at little or no cost to you.
— Visits with local baseball and Japanese friends.
— Detailed airport arrival and departure instructions.
— Scheduling flexibility. Want to come early or stay late? We can help you plan that.
— Translation and travel desk services.
— Thorough pre-departure information.
— A truly remarkable time.
Not included: Airfare, airport transfer and most meals
Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT) is the Japan airport that most international visitors use.
However, the other Tokyo airport, Haneda (HND) is hosting a growing number of international flights.
We encourage you to investigate the services of our Japan air specialist who strives to get the most cost-efficient fare. Contact Katsumi Mamiya at 425-373-5626 for a no-obligation quote and information. He is available from 9 to 5 Pacific Time. His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t be concerned about getting in touch with Katsumi and then not using his services. He’s no-pressure and he’ll be the first to tell you if you can do better somewhere else. We receive nothing from recommending Katsumi except the satisfaction of knowing you’ll be well-served.
If you buy airfare and can’t go, the airlines will often give you a credit on that ticket for at least a year. If you get the ticket with your air miles, the miles simply go back into your account often with little, if any, penalty.
We provide detailed arrival instructions that take you through the airport and on to the hotel, and from the hotel to the airport at the conclusion of the trip.
If you arrive at Narita Airport your transfer consists of a high-speed train that you board in the basement of the airport and take into Tokyo. From there it is a short taxi ride to hotel. Your arrival instructions include a directional card written in Japanese for the taxi driver.
If you arrive at Haneda Airport your transfer consists of a monorail that you board in your arriving terminal and take into Tokyo where you take a taxi to the hotel.
Budget about $40 each way. Though it may be next to nothing inasmuch as we are sometimes able to use your rail pass depending on the transfer. We take care of that planning.
While we do host a few dining events, the bulk of the meals are on your own.
The combination of each participant’s unique tastes and the overwhelming variety of dining options in Japan makes a fixed selection impractical.
Plus a lot of eating is done at the ballpark!
Japan has every food you can imagine, and some you can’t. I promise that even the most finicky eater will find pleasure with the countless places to eat and the reasonable prices. I’ve never been proven wrong.
We familiarize you with each town so you can go out by yourself, or with some of the group, to eat on your own terms.
PAYMENT – CANCELLATION – REFUND
The bulk of the tour payment is not due until 30 days before departure.
If you cancel 30 days or less before trip departure, you’ll receive a full refund of your trip payment if your space can be filled from a waiting list.
If your space cannot be filled from a waiting list, you’ll receive an 85% refund of the total trip price, less the cost of any game tickets we are not able to resell on your behalf and already paid for services or items, such as your hotel rooms, for which we may not be able to get a refund.
Japanese currency is the yen.
Credit cards are accepted in Japan, though cash is king for meals, small purchases, and at the ballpark.
Guests tend to budget $70 or so per day for meals, small souvenirs, etc. But keep in mind that having a few beers or the like at the ballpark can mount up. I personally budget $100.
We recommend you use the ATM at your Tokyo airport and/or exchange your cash or travelers checks at the airport upon arrival. Get more cash than you think you’ll need.
ATM’s are becoming more prevalent and you’ll be able to find them along the way.
For citizens of most countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia, a valid passport is all that is required for entry into Japan. No visa is needed. If you have a passport, please see that it is valid for six months after your return date.
For further details about U.S. passports see:
For Canadian passports see:
For Australian passports see:
This trip requires a moderate amount of physical exertion.
You should be able to navigate a Major League Baseball style stadium and be ready to climb up and down usual stadium stairways…all without handrails.
I doubt we’ve ever walked more than a quarter-mile at any one time. But you’ll need sufficient stamina to keep pace with a reasonably active group of travelers on days of touring.
During our September trip the weather can be somewhat hot and humid.
Japan is not ADA accessible. Sometimes the urban terrain is uneven with a step or drop-off that we would not expect at home, so you must be very aware of where you walk.
They also drive on the left side of the road, so if unfamiliar with that, you really must keep a watchful eye crossing streets. Look both ways – twice!
No shots are needed to enter Japan, which has a modern medical infrastructure.
If you have any questions about your ability to participate in the trip, please feel free to call or write.
We leave plenty of time for you to explore, poke, dig and mine Japan. We have lots of optional touring and suggested things for you to do, all for little, if any, additional cost.
We will run you ragged if you let us or you can wander off by yourself. It is up to you. The hallmark of our trip is flexibility.
We stay in modern, business class hotels within a ten-minute walk of subway and rail lines. All hotels have in-room bathrooms, televisions, tea service, air conditioning, hair dryers and internet access. Also included daily is a fresh yukata, a light robe-like garment, meant to be worn in place of pajamas, so you can save the packing of night clothes if you wish.
Dress is casual.
Your dress throughout the trip is what you would wear to a Major League Baseball game.
PHONE AND INTERNET
It is easy to keep in touch.
Most cell phones work in Japan. Call your provider to get the roaming voice and, if you need it, a data plan for Japan. Those plans, however, tend to be very expensive compared to what you are used to paying.
You can easily rent a phone upon arrival at the airport if immediate communication is important.
From your hotel room you can direct dial or use phone cards that you bring from home with a set amount of time on them.
For my part, I simply direct-dial from my hotel room to home since the rates are so inexpensive. Believe it or not we find the hotel phone rates to be the cheapest…and pose the least hassle.
Mayumi and I also rent cell phones while there. But we do that because we are on the move making so many in-country calls for the trip. To use our own own USA cell phones for that would be a killer.
Unless you need to be constantly in touch, the hotel phone will be cost-effective with either direct-dial or a phone card.
All hotels have wireless internet access both in-room and in the lobby. Free wireless hotspots exist around Japan, but their promise was far greater than their delivery.
The only way to be reasonably assured of wireless everywhere, other than at the hotel, is by having a mobile hotspot device known as pocket wi-fi, about the size of a very thin deck of cards. These can be rented at the airport upon your arrival or delivered to the hotel to be there upon your arrival. And they are pretty slick.
Here is a link to a page with a variety of info about wireless. The pocket wi-fi info is at the bottom of this linked page:
Electrical devices made for use in North America have no trouble with the Japanese electrical system, as long as you can plug them in!
Japanese wall outlets are for two-pronged plugs, with both prongs being the same size.
Some of our plugs have one prong that is slightly larger and some have three prongs. Neither will fit in a Japanese outlet.
Fortunately, you can bring your own plug adapter to make this a non-issue.
For more info visit:
I am not aware of anyone who has suffered jet lag coming from the U.S. or Canada. Coming over seems to be a snap, other than wanting a quick nap during the first afternoon or two.
On the other hand, most people tend to suffer from jet lag upon returning home. So that I might succumb to it in peace, I try not to schedule anything major during my first day or two back home.
Australians do fine both ways because of the similar time zones.
ARRIVING EARLIER – STAYING LATER
If you are interested in spending more time in Japan, I tend to suggest you do so at the end of the tour. At that point you’ll really know a lot about Japan and getting around.
During the trip we travel through Japan using public transportation. You become familiar with how to get around and can make better use of your time after the tour.
We do not stuff you into a tour bus. You traverse the county in the most open way possible – with everyone else.
Let us know and we can help you plan your extra days.
Japan is reputed to be one of the safest countries in the world and we’ve never experienced anything on our trips to make us think otherwise. Common sense is in order, of course.
Stories abound as to the honesty of the Japanese. Margaret, my wife, experienced this first hand when she accidentally dropped over $200 worth of yen in a parking lot as she hurried to a lunch appointment. Three members of a Japanese construction crew working nearby saw this, rounded up all the bills, and chased her down to return the cash.
I don’t mean to suggest there’s no crime in Japan, but I feel much safer in Japan than I do in the U.S. As the U.S. Department of State confirms, “The general crime rate in Japan is at levels well below the U.S. national average.”
All flights to Japan are non-smoking, as are the train cars we reserve and the cabs we take. Nonsmoking and smoking hotel accommodations are available according to your preference. We reserve non-smoking rooms, unless you request otherwise.
Very Important! Use a rolling suitcase.
Ideally, it should fit into the overhead luggage compartment of an airplane. You can accompany that with a small backpack. Previous guests have found themselves able to easily work with this luggage arrangement.
With a rolling suitcase and backpack, you can breeze through train stations and on and off trains with ease. Rolling luggage that can fit in an overhead also makes travel on the train much easier. Because there are no luggage cars, luggage in Japan has to accompany you in the bullet train seating cars. The seating cars resemble a much roomier version of a commercial airliner with overhead luggage racks.
If you can fit your luggage in the overhead on your flight over, you also eliminate the risk of your airline losing anything. By their own admission, airlines are not good at getting bags to the right place at the right time.
Having said all that, you can bring a larger rolling bag if you like, it’s just more of a hassle, and you don’t get all the benefits mentioned above when using the larger size.
Each hotel at which we stay has laundry service, but keep in mind that Japan hotels are no different from other big city hotels – laundry is expensive.
Coin laundries are not common in the downtown metro areas where we stay.
The Japanese are gift-givers. To the extent that we need to present gifts on behalf of the entire group, Mayumi and I will take care of that.
Many guests enjoy bringing baseball trinkets such as baseball cards, pins or the like, to give to people they meet at games or along the way. This is always a hit.
When giving to children, first ask the parents for permission. The parents always oblige and the children are delighted.
We use our baseball contacts obtain the best available reserved seat tickets for each game. The ballpark, day of the week, and opponent determine available seat locations.
Many Japanese speak English and you can generally communicate with those who do not by smiling, gesturing, and pointing. I promise that you will always find help and never need worry about getting lost, going hungry, or being unable to find a restroom. We will not, however, rely on that. Our cultural attaché, Mayumi Smith, is a native Japanese and an integral part of the tour.
There’s no tipping. Anywhere. Ever. You pay the price indicated.
All prices in Japan already include any service charge and tax.
And that no tipping culture extends to this trip. No tipping to us.
Baseball personnel or those in related businesses may find this trip to be tax deductible.
Visitors are not expected to know the complexities of the bow. Bow as you like, but a smile and/or a handshake is just fine.
As part of the tour you will receive a wealth of pre-departure information to thoroughly prepare you for your visit and the people you will meet.
We invite you to contact us with any questions you may have.
Most private health insurance is not place specific, meaning it will cover you anywhere, including Japan, which has modern health care services..
However, you may have to pay by credit card for such medical services and be reimbursed by your insurance company upon your return home. Check with your insurance provider.
DISABLED TOUR MEMBERS
Japan is not ADA accessible and, therefore, we cannot be held responsible for denial of service by transportation carriers, hotels, restaurants or other suppliers.
We are not equipped to give individual help for walking, dining, getting on and off transportation, or other needs.
A qualified companion must accompany those travelers needing such assistance and we must talk with both the traveler and companion to be certain that the type of travel we do and the available facilities in Japan are clearly understood and accepted.
LIMITS ON RESPONSIBILITY – LIMITS and LIABILITY DISCLAIMERS
Extra Innings, Inc. owns and operates this tour.
JapanBall.com is not a business entity, but simply a web-marketing vehicle by which we distribute information about the tour.
We started Extra Innings, Inc., a Washington State corporation, for the purpose of owning and operating the tour.
Extra Innings, Inc. is licensed with the State of Washington as a registered seller of travel, with its office at 4904 Harbor Lane, Everett, WA.
Your trip payments are deposited in the Extra Innings, Inc. Trust Account at Wells Fargo Bank in Everett, Washington under the terms of the state licensing board.
Extra Innings, Inc. purchases hotel, restaurant and transportation services, event tickets, and other products from independent suppliers who are not subject to our control. Therefore, we cannot be liable for any injuries, damages or losses that may occur due to any action or omission of such suppliers, their agents, employees or suppliers, or by any event over which we have no control.
By embarking upon travel you voluntarily assume the risks of such travel and we advise you to obtain insurance coverage as may be available against such risks.
You acknowledge that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in travel including, but not limited to, the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, weather, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour operators and other third parties.
We shall not be responsible for any injuries, damages or losses caused by social or labor unrest, mechanical or construction difficulties, criminal activities, disease or sickness, local laws, climatic conditions, or any other action, omissions or conditions outside our control.
In case of a postponement of an event there shall be no refund except to the extent such may be available to us.
Dates, schedules, program details and costs, are provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication, but all such items are subject to change and revision.
Every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned, but alterations may occur without penalty to us.
We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the itinerary whenever, in our sole judgment, conditions warrant.
We also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw a tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from a tour at any time when such action is determined by us to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant, subject only to the requirement that the recoverable portion of the total amount paid that corresponds to the cost of unused services and accommodations be refunded, if any, and only to the extent that such may be refunded or otherwise available to us.
We accept no liability for the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets.
Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.
You acknowledge that this particular tour includes attendance at professional baseball games and exposure to risks inherent in that venue including, specifically but not exclusively, the risks of bats and balls leaving the field of play and striking you wherever you may be in the stadium, and the risks of fall or other injury as you traverse the stadium, its stairs, aisles, and other areas.