Revised on Aug. 18, 2017
* This page is available in the following languages: French, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Chinese (簡体字), and Japanese.
Acceptance of the following policies, terms and conditions is required for participation in the TOKYO FREE GUIDE program.
1. About TOKYO FREE GUIDE
TOKYO FREE GUIDE, hereafter referred to as TFG, is a purely volunteer group formed to encourage understanding of Japanese culture and people and to promote cross-cultural friendship.
1. Members of TFG and TFG guides are volunteers who provide guide services out of their own goodwill. TFG makes no claims or guarantees as to the qualifications or experience of its guides.
2. TFG guides will be wearing or carrying a Guide ID card which displays the TOKYO FREE GUIDE logo, the guide’s name, and a valid date.
3. Any and all persons who request and/or utilize the services of TFG will be referred to as “guest(s)” hereafter.
4. Typically, TFG offers one (1) guide per group of guests. There are no predetermined routes of destinations. TFG guides will do their best to suggest custom itineraries based upon the needs of each group of guests. TFG reserves the right to refuse requests or itineraries that TFG deems unreasonable for any reason. TFG guides are unable to reserve events, tickets or otherwise act in as intermediary booking agents.
While TFG guide services are free of charge, guests are responsible for the following expenses:
1. TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE GUIDE while conducting a tour for the guests. These include any and all public transportation fees incurred after meeting the guest at the appointed meeting place. Guests are not responsible for costs incurred by the guide while traveling to or from the meeting place both before and after the tour period.
2. ADMISSION FEES to museums, temples, events etc. incurred by the guide while providing guide services.
3. MEALS eaten by the guide while providing his or her services to the guest(s).
4. EXPENSES for any additional guides. The guest(s) will be responsible for any of the expenses outlined in this section for all guides provided to them by TFG. Typically, only one (1) guide is provided per group of guests. However, for a group with six (6) persons, an additional guide may be arranged. Please be prepared to pay the expenses of both guides. We do not accept requests from any group with seven or more persons.
4. Inappropriate Conduct
TFG and its guides reserve the right to terminate guide services at any point during the tour if the guest(s) exhibit any of the following behavior’
1. UNSAFE or ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR.
2. INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR or advances. This includes sexual behavior initiated by the guest(s) toward the guide, occurring among the guest(s) and or that initiated by the guest(s) toward persons outside of the tour group.
3. INTOXICATION AND ILLICIT DRUG ABUSE.
4. REFUSING to cover expenses incurred by the guide as outlined in the above section on expenses.
5. ANY CONDUCT, BEHAVIOR, OR ACTION that the guide feels is inappropriate or offensive or reflects poorly upon his or her self or TFG.
5. Statement of Limited Liability
TFG and its guides are not responsible for any illnesses, injuries, thefts, losses, or any resulting damages incurred by the guest(s) while using TFG services. The guest(s) accept(s) full responsibility for any damages, injuries, or losses that he/she/they may incur while using TFG services.
6. Right to Refuse Service, Conflicts of Interest
TFG can refuse to offer its services and/or terminate its services to the guest(s) at any point for the following reasons:
1. The guest(s) provide(s) false information through the application form when requesting a guide and/or e-mail exchanges with TFG or the guide(s).
2. The guest(s) attempt(s) to profit or gain monetarily from TFG services or operate(s) a business which attempts to profit or gain from TFG services.
3. The guest(s) paid for or received a referral to TFG services by a for-profit entity such as a travel agency. We do not accept requests from travel agencies who make requests on behalf of their clients.
4. The guest(s) request(s) to engage in “sexual tourism” in any form or fashion. This includes but is not limited to requests to visit brothels, sexual goods shops, adult book stores and other similar venues which TFG deems inappropriate for its guide services.
5. The guide(s) may cancel appointments with due notice if unavoidable reasons or extreme circumstances (e.g., extreme weather conditions, natural disaster, etc.) occur.
7. Sudden Cancellation by Guest(s)
TFG reserves the right to refuse service to guest(s) who have previously cancelled guide appointments without due notice. This excludes cases in which cancellation was for unavoidable reasons or extreme circumstances.
8. Process for Being Appointed a Guide
Guest(s) agree to adhere to the following process when requesting a guide from TFG.
1. Guest applies for a guide using the relevant form on the website (http://www.tokyofreeguide.com).
2. Guest receives a confirmation of their request by an automatic email from TFG.
3. A guide is arranged to the guest and contacts the guest via email directly.
4. If the guest does not receive an e-mail from a guide up to within two (2) days prior to his or her requested tour date, it means that no guide could be found. No further correspondence from TFG to the guest will be issued.
9. Cases in Which TFG May be Unable to Provide a Guide
In the following cases, TFG may be unable to provide a guide to the guest(s):
1. There are too many guide requests and or a shortage of available guides.
2. A guide cannot be found who speaks the language requested by the guest.
3. A guide cannot be found who is able to meet the guest’s request (e.g., starting a tour from 7 a.m., visiting a facility, venue or attraction that requires an advance reservation, visiting a sumo stable, showing the guest to areas not covered by TFG, and etc.).
4. Guest fails to submit his or her request at least two (2) weeks prior to the requested tour date.
10. Acceptance of Policies, Terms and Conditions of Tokyo Free Guide (TFG)
I, the guest, by clicking “Agree” in the form below do hereby state my absolute acceptance of the policies, terms and conditions of TOKYO FREE GUIDE (TFG) as outlined in this agreement.
I am currently 17. Can I book a free guide?
If you are under 20 years old, please find an adult person who is 20 years old or above to accompany you.
How much does it cost to use this service?
Our guide services are totally free of charge and no tips are necessary. However, please be prepared to pay all the expenses of the guide during the tour, such as admission fees, restaurant meals, transportation fees, etc.
We are a group of seven people. Can we still request a guide?
We are sorry but we cannot accept a tour request from a group with more than six persons. In general we think it appropriate to arrange one guide per five guests. For a group of six persons, two guides may be sent, but this depends on the availability of guides on the tour date. To maintain the safety of the guests and the quality of our volunteer guide service, we limit the number of guests in a group to no more than six. Thank you for your understanding.
What language do guides speak?
Currently, we have English, Italian, French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese speaking guides. However, the availability of guides who speak languages other than English or Japanese is limited.
Can I request a guide for weekdays?
Yes, you can. However, we would recommend booking a guide for weekends or Japanese holidays, as more guides are available on weekends and holidays.
For how many days can I request a guide?
You may request a guide(s) for as many days as you wish, but we can’t guarantee the availability of guides for all the dates that you have requested.
When should I request a guide?
Please submit your request about four to six weeks before arriving in Tokyo. You can submit a request up to two months in advance, but you may need to wait for several weeks or more before your guide is arranged. We are not able to comply with last-minute requests. We need a minimum of two weeks for the arrangement.
What if there is no guide available?
We have many more requests than we have available guides. Please understand that if you do not hear from a guide by two days prior to your requested tour date(s), it may mean that no guide is available for your tour. In that case, you will not be notified of the unavailability.
Can I request a guide to pick me up at the Haneda or Narita airport at night and take me to my hotel?
We do not arrange a pick-up service at the airports.
When is the busiest time for TOKYO FREE GUIDE?
The largest number of guide requests are during the cherry blossom season (from middle of March to middle of April) and the summer season (August).
Japanese people traditionally return to their homes for the new year holidays and in the middle of August. Many guides are not available during that time.