Who are we?

Who are we? 

Founded in 1981, Japan Experience is the first European tour operator to specialize exclusively in Japan. As a team of enthusiasts, we seek to pass on our love and knowledge of Japan to any prospective traveler, in order to make their experience as smooth as possible. Whether you’d like to organize your trip yourself, or let us handle all the details, we have everything you need among our large catalog of products. Beyond that, our mission is to inspire you and help you discover Japan differently, far from the usual clichés. Prior to the Japanese borders closing in 2020, we accompanied 29,000 visitors per year to Japan.

Our vision 

We aim to become the go-to brand for anyone who loves Japan and wants to travel there, with three priorities at the heart of our strategy: freedom of choice, simplicity and people at the core. With thousands of articles, unique accommodation and transportation solutions, and numerous activities, excursions and tours, we offer a vast catalog to allow you to create the trip that suits you best.

We do everything possible to provide you with the best experience, with three priorities:

  • Freedom of choice

    Travelers are free to choose where to go and what to book.

    Japan Experience is the only tour operator to not only offer all possible ways to travel, but also give travelers the freedom to book as little or as much as they want to.

  • Simplicity

    We let travelers focus on what’s important and handle the rest.

    Our website and storefront are meant to be one-stop shops for travelers to Japan: information, advice, accommodation, transportation, activities, excursions or full tours - we take care of it all!

  • People at the core

    For us, traveling is all about discovering new places, new people, and new things about yourself.

    We put people above all else. Whether it’s our travel consultants or Travel Angels in Japan, they are here to advise and inspire you.

Our approach 

Nowadays, the vast majority of travelers want to organize their trip to Japan themselves. That’s why we’ve gathered everything you might need to personalize your experience to Japan, all in one place.

  • Cut out the middleman: to offer you better rates, and to put you directly in contact with your host.
  • Reconcile freedom and security: our Travel Agents in Tokyo and Kyoto will advise and assist you throughout your stay.
  • Don’t just visit, live: go beyond mere sightseeing and live an authentic experience.
  • “À la carte” choices: spend your day with a private tour guide or take part in our gastronomic and cultural activities.

Japan Experience in a nutshell

  • 2021: Vivre le Japon becomes Japan Experience
  • 2018: Local office opens in Madrid
  • 2017: Local office opens in Los Angeles
  • 2016: Local office opens in Berlin
  • 2014: Local office opens in London
  • 1981: Creation of “Carrefour Japon”, which would later become Vivre le Japon
boutique japan experience

The Japan Experience Team

We are a team of Japan enthusiasts who share common values, enjoy sharing and strive for excellence.

Our team is:

  • About forty employees in 6 countries
  • Average age of 30 years old
  • 50/50 parity between men and women
boutique japan experience

The Chairman of Japan Experience

Thierry Maincent discovered Japan in 1994 during a professional internship in Tokyo, where he met his wife.

After graduating from the University of Paris Dauphine in 1995, he returned to Japan between 1996 and 1998 to complete his cooperation in a French cooking school.

Returning to France in 1998, he founded with 2 friends an online wine-selling company, which he introduced on the stock exchange at the end of 2006. In early 2010, he joined the specialized tour operator Vivre le Japon to participate in the development of the company alongside its founder Claude Saulière. After sustained international growth, Thierry Maincent became chairman of the company in 2018. He now lives between Paris and Tokyo with his family.

What does the media have to say about Japan Experience?

As the first tour operator exclusively dedicated to Japan, Japan Experience’s 40 years of expertise have been recognized, both in France and abroad.

In this section, you’ll find press articles and reports about us:


Join us on our social networks

  • Daily inspirations
  • The latest news and trends to follow
  • Videos, testimonials and interviews, all live from Japan


réseaux sociaux

Unsplash / Christian Chen