Leading Exceptional Tours in Japan

Course Code: IJV101
Day: Sat Time: 13:30-15:20 Hours: 20 Sessions: 10 Semester: Fall Instructional Language: English Prerequisites: This course requires an English proficiency level of Intermediate and above: https://www.tuj.ac.jp/cont-ed/courses/english-level.html. For lower level learners interested in the course, we recommend first taking our General English classes to help you build a stronger foundation for achieving your volunteer tour guiding goals. Location: Online

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Course Description

Developed in partnership with Walk Japan, this course explores both basic and more advanced skills required to be a successful tour guide and provide exceptional and authentic experiences in Japan. In the past decade, Japan has rapidly developed from an outlier into a major destination for overseas travelers and inbound tourism now is a major contributor to the nation's economy. Japan has the potential to be one of the world's top destinations, and high-quality tour guides are a key component to achieving this. The course covers a broad range of topics, including current trends in tourism; different types of travel companies, tours and tourists; and practical skills and knowledge for tour guides. Suck skills include establishing rapport with customers, managing a group and building cohesion, managing expectations, logistics, entertaining, handling difficult situations, judging one's own performance, handling emergency situations, and designing tours. Participants will engage in discussions referencing real-world cases, role-plays and an optional tour experience. The course is open to all who wish to provide a rewarding experience for customers and themselves as a professional or volunteer tour guide.

Learning Objectives

1. Gain a wider understanding of tour guiding.
2. Learn a variety of strategies to manage a tour group effectively and entertainingly.
3. Understand the basic principles of tour design.

Who should take this course

Those with a strong understanding of the English language wishing to lead tours confidently.
English Level: Intermediate and above


No required textbook


Giorgio Riccio

Instructor Biography

Giorgio joined Walk Japan as a Tour Leader in 2015, and since 2017 he has served as Walk Japan's Tour Operations Manager. Originally from Italy, we first gained exposure to Japan at the age of 12, when he started an 8-year long pen-pal friendship. He went on to pursue Japanese Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and spent an exchange year in Japan. He returned to Japan after graduation and travelled the country extensively as an English language tutor. The experience, he says, was an eye-opener as to how the education system and wider society function in Japan. While recruiting English teachers from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia from his base in Tokyo, he has travelled the length and breadth of the nation. In his free time, Giorgio enjoys cooking, particularly Italian and Japanese cuisine, for friends.