Unique Japan Tours is a global Japan travel specialist company, registered with Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) and the Irish Travel Agents Association. Our Managing Director, Darina Slattery, is an Alumni of the University of Ulster and the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin. She holds an MA in International Marketing and a BA in Business with Japanese. After studying in Japan, Darina developed expertise in Japanese culture, language and traditions. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Japan. Darina has forged strong cultural relationships and has been the Chairperson of the Ireland Japan Association 2009-2011 & 2016-2020.
Combining both theory and practice, Darina created Unique Japan Tours. She has built an internationally diverse team around her. Their sole purpose is to help you enjoy the attractive, mysterious and adventurous destination that is Japan.
Darina and her team have spent the past twenty years researching and designing exciting adventurous routes throughout Japan. The itineraries are personally designed to embrace Japan’s highlights as well as some hidden gems. The company’s head office is based in Dublin with another office in London & Tokyo.
We have a long list of others who help us all across Japan (local guides, drivers, assistants at the airport, and so on). Each one of these individuals contributes to making each and every tour unique and personal in its own way. Our wonderful team of local Japanese staff is what makes our tours so unique. They bring expert knowledge and a lovely friendly approach to touring Japan. We hope you get to know our team well, while you enjoy your trip with us!
Unique Japan Tours
Darina first went to Japan in 1998 as part of a university exchange programme (Business Studies with Japanese). She spent a number of years studying all things Japanese until she moved back to Ireland in 2003. On her return, she spent a further year doing an MBS in International Marketing at the Smurfit Graduate School of Business, where she researched the idea of specialising in two markets; Japan and Ireland. While in Japan she spent considerable time traveling around, whilst also working full-time, her passion for Japan has continued and she takes regular trips to Japan to keep in touch with her contacts for both business and pleasure. Darina enjoys horse riding, skiing, hiking, dancing, adventure traveling and working!
- Kumiko BreenOperations Administrator
Kumiko has been with Unique Japan Tours since the early days. She joined us in 2008 when we were a mere yearling! She helps design fabulous tours, prepares our detailed travel packs, and is our technical genius for the most part! Originally from Himeji, Kumi has settled in well to life in Ireland.
Originally from Kobe city, Mizuki also lived in Nagoya. She's been with Unique Japan Tours for a couple of years now. Her positive attitude and impeccable English (to mention expert knowledge of travel options in Japan) has made her extremely popular with all of her clients. She was a co-presenter on some of our summer series of video webinars that you can see on our blog.
- Shane KellyFinance Department
Shane has been a part of our team since 2013. He holds a degree in accounting and finance from the Technological University Dublin. With almost ten years practical experience, Shane brings with him expertise in sectors such as construction, travel, retail, and hospitality. Shane loves to travel, particularly in Asia, so he couldn’t be more suited to the role of Accounts Administrator for Unique Japan Tours!
- Andrew ClarkeMarketing Manager
Andrew has spent 8 years living and working in Japan and is intimately familiar with Japan's destinations, highlights and cultural experiences offered by Unique Japan Tours. He has been working on and off with Unique Japan Tours since 2012 and has been running our social media channels and digital marketing for many years.
- Kaori KijimaJapan Travel Specialist
Kaori started her long term love affair with travel over twenty years ago when she joined a leading Japan travel agency. She was then responsible for planning hundreds of tours from start to finish all over Japan. After moving to the UK in 2002, she continued her career in travel sales, planning, managing, and operations for both leisure and business travel, before becoming a Senior Japan Travel Consultant for Unique Japan Tours. She has traveled all over the world and loves nothing more but to share her knowledge and love of Japan to the world!
- Eva ReavleyContent Creator / Travel Writer
Eva has been infatuated with Japan since childhood, when on a Rhineland tour a visiting a Japanese professor demonstrated demonstrating Origami. It was then she instigated a curiosity of this Asian culture. Eva has since studied, lived and worked in Japan. She has been to all corners of Hokkaido and many iconic locations on the mainland, cruised the inland sea to the far southern remote islands off Okinawa.
Since then, she has explored some great states in the US, working in academia and high-end luxury travel. Back in Ireland, she enjoys sharing her love of her homeland to the tourism industry providing industry support. Eva cares about the passenger journey as she herself is very well-traveled and experienced. She has joined our team with the hope to merge her enormous industry knowledge and a life-long love affair with Japan. The perfect match!
- Toshie Mori'Omotenashi' - Guest Executive
Welcome Toshie-san, our newest member to the team. All the way from Kyoto, Toshie is all about the arts - Japanese Arts. She considers herself a 'perfectionist', and with good reason. She spent over 15 years becoming a master of Japanese Tea Ceremony, Ikebana (flower arranging), Calligraphy, and Kimono Dressing/Wearing at various private schools in Kyoto. If you are familiar with Japanese culture, becoming a master in anything requires military dedication and determination. After perfecting a skilled knowledge of the arts in Kyoto, she went on to specialise in Japanese make-up/hair styling for special ceremonies such as shinto-style weddings (held in the Shrine), kimono dressing events, and so on. She did this throughout Kyoto & Nagoya before moving to Ireland in 2015.
You will most likely meet Toshie at some stage of your journey with Unique Japan Tours, either in person or remotely. Just like the art of performing a Tea Ceremony in Japan, her role of 'Omotenashi' Guest Executive (to whole heartedly look after our guests) will be her main priority until she is trained up over the next few months to become one of our Japan Travel Specialists!!
The core values of our company are customer service and customer safety.
We promise to provide first-class customer service in assisting you to choose one of our small group or self-guided tours or design a tailor-made tour to match your dreams. When you contact our company your personal travel consultant will be appointed to manage your travel plans.
We promise while you are in Japan that your safety is our number one priority. In the unlikely event of an emergency, or should something of an unforeseen nature occur, our local staff will respond to your every need. This 24/7 customer support will deal with anything from lost luggage to rescheduling itineraries.
We promise that our private guides will assist you in exploring the treats that Japan has in store. Our knowledge and in-depth experience will ensure you are exposed to the wide and diverse culture of Japan. This will make choosing Unique Japan Tours a memorable lifetime experience.