FAQ

What is otomo?
otomo is a service that connects visitors to Japan (guests) with residents of Japan who speak foreign languages. Through our service, the residents become tour guides for the guests when they visit Japan. Guests select a tour plan of their interest, then select a tour guide from the list of registered otomo guides that can lead that particular tour, taking into consideration the tour guides' language skills, hourly rates and reviews, etc, and finally, reserve a tour plan.
How long are the tours and how much are they?
Each tour varies from three to eight hours in length, and tour fees include the tour guide's hourly rate, their expenses for the tour and the otomo service fee. The hourly rates span from ¥1,000 to ¥10,000, depending on the tour guide.
How do I reserve a tour?
Select your favourite tour plan and enter your prefered tour date, language and number of people attending the tour. Select five tour guides from the list of otomo guides who can lead that particular tour, and reserve the tour plan. Once you have reserved a tour, the five tour guides that you selected will get a notification about your reservation. The tour guides must respond to your request within 24 hours, and the first one to contact otomo about your request will become your tour guide for the day. Once your tour guide is confirmed, your reservation is confirmed.
How far in advance can I reserve a tour?
You can reserve a tour from 2 days advance to 30 days in advance. Please keep in mind that some tours do not operate on certain days.
What is included in my tour fee?
Tour fees include your otomo guide's hourly rate, their expenses for the tour and the otomo service fee. The guests' travel expenses and entrance fees are not included in the tour fee, so please bring some extra money with you on the day. Check "Tour Day Expenses" on each tour plan page to see how much you will need for the day.
How do I make a payment and which currencies do you support?
We take payments through credit cards, including; VISA, Mastercard, and American Express, and also payments through Alipay. The currencies we support include; USD, EUR, GBP, CHY, TWD, HKD, KRW and JPY.
Who are the tour guides that are registered with otomo?
otomo guides vary in age, occupation, and speak a number of different languages, so you will be sure to find someone perfect for you.
Can I register if I'm under the age of 18?
You must be over the age of 18 to register as a guest on our website.
Why is my tour fee not confirmed when I make a reservation, and when do I receive a confirmation?
The tour fee will vary depending on the hourly rate of the tour guide that responds to your request first. Your tour fee will be confirmed at the same time that your tour guide is confirmed, which will be within 24 hours after you make a reservation.
Where can I check my reservation?
Guests can check their reservation details through accessing their "List of Reservations" on their individual pages ("My Page").
If I want to visit somewhere not originally included in the tour plan, can I request to visit that place?
The tours will generally be led in the order specified on each tour plan page, but if you have any requests, you can consult with your otomo guide on your tour day.
How do I contact my tour guide prior to the tour day?
Guests can use the chat provided on their individual pages ("My Page") to message their tour guides. The chat can be used from the moment your reservation in confirmed to 14 days after the tour day.
Can I change my reservation details such as tour plan, tour guide or tour date once my reservation has been confirmed?
You cannot change reservation details once your reservation has been confirmed. You must cancel your reservation and make a new one.
If I cancel my reservation, do cancellation fees apply?

Cancellation fees will apply depending on the timing of your cancellation. For details please see our Terms of Use.
0% : Before confirmation
0% : Up to 15 days before the tour day (within 72 hours of receiving your confirmation)
10% : Up to 15 days before the tour day (after 72 hours of receiving your confirmation)
50% : Between 14 and 8 days before the tour day
100% : From 7 days before the tour day

Will the tour still take place in typhoon weather or when it is snowing? If the tour is cancelled due to weather purposes, will cancellation fees apply?
If the otomo support desk decides that it is dangerous to run the tour due to bad weather, your tour will be cancelled. Please keep in mind that if you do not hear from the support desk about a cencellation, the tour will be held as planned. If your tour is cancelled by the support desk, cancellation fees will not apply.
If I know I will be late on the day of my tour, what do I do?
Please use the chat provided on your "My Page" to contact your otomo guide in advance. If you cannot get hold of your otomo guide for various reasons, please contact the support desk. If you are more than an hour late, your tour will be cancelled.
I do not see my tour guide anywhere at our meeting point. What do I do?
Please use the chat provided on your "My Page" to contact your otomo guide. If you cannot get hold of your otomo guide for various reasons, please contact the support desk.
Can I cancel my tour on the spot if I need to?
You can cancel your tour on the spot but please keep in mind that you will not receive a refund.