Adventure in Hokkaido for Generations to Come
Hokkaido is our home. We care about the environment and the people of Hokkaido, both presently and in the future. We are committed to minimising negative impacts of tourism to the environment and local communities and believe that, managed properly, tourism and our tour operator business can have an overall positive impact on where we live and the communities we visit.
We want to ensure that people can travel and enjoy our home island for many generations to come. We’re aware that our current practice as below is not enough alone to make changes that the Earth is urging. While we continue to strive to be a more responsible player in Hokkaido’s adventure travel community, we’d also like to ask you (our guests) to think how you can help us go low impact together, whilst on your holiday in Hokkaido.
- Say no to single-use plastic by encouraging our guests and guides to bring their own eco-friendly shopping bags and to use their own toiletries instead of using packaged amenities provided by hotels. Bringing their own water bottles and thermos is also encouraged.
- Travelling in small groups of 10 people max to reduce the impact on the flora and fauna. Small groups can also be more comfortably catered by locally owned and operated businesses, allowing use to support smaller local hotels and restaurants.
- Use of public transport such as local train, bus, and Shinkansen is encouraged and supported as a means of transportation during self-guided tours and during the travel to get to and from our guided tours.
- Use of hybrid vehicles is encouraged for rental, as opposed to a petrol-powered vehicle when a rental car is preferred by our guests. Hokkaido’s infrastructure and climate don’t provide suitable conditions for electric vehicles today, but this is slowly changing and we continue to monitor improvements being made.
Behind the Scenes
- Careful itinerary planning to reduce unnecessary driving mileage.
- Be a greener driver when we drive ourselves to pick up and drop off our guests. We use a hybrid car of our own as much as possible and be conscious of how we drive by keeping record of kms run and litres of fuel filled. For longer drives, we use passenger endorsed transportation providers in the region where the tour takes place, so as to minimise the reallocation of the vehicle and the driver.
- Say no to single-use paper, by politely refusing to receive pamphlets and by reusing as much paperwork as possible when communicating with our guides and suppliers. Although fax for reservations and mail for invoices are still very common in this industry, we are determinedly going 100% digital and only print materials when it is absolutely necessary.
- We don’t have a physical office. All of our office staff work from home.
- Observe wildlife with utmost respect and leave them undisturbed. We only visit establishments where the birds and animals are kept for conservation and rehabilitation purposes, avoiding zoos and tourist bear parks.
- Work together with Ainu to share their values, beliefs and stories with overseas visitors. We take utmost care to ensure the comfort of everyone, by becoming a cultural bridge between the host and the guests, to ensure the Ainu can share their culture on their own terms.
- Support local conservation groups through annual donation. These groups work to eliminate invasive species and maintain the trail network in our national parks. Regular trail maintenance is needed due to overuse combined with the harsh Hokkaido environment.
- Support Hokkaido based businesses. While we recognise that competition is essential for healthy growth and evolution in the industry, we choose as our first preference the hotels and restaurants that are locally owned and operated. Help us keep the Hokkaido-ness vivid!
- Grow together with local guides. Most of our guides and staff speak English as a second language. We may write and speak a little weirdly at times, but we are all learning! We believe your experience is enhanced when you travel with a local guide, who has lived in Hokkaido all seasons for many years. We believe the whole industry benefits from quality guides and we support our guides taking training courses and gaining qualifications, encouraging them to keep levelling up.
- Collaborate with others in the industry and local authorities. We are always willing to share our experience and information with others in the local industry, including DMOs, DMCs and government entities responsible for tourism development. We hope that the shared knowledge helps Hokkaido become a leading adventure tourism destination in Japan and beyond.