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Our Team

Unique Japan Tours (UJT) is a neatly run, highly specialised travel company, founded by Darina Slattery in 2007. Darina and her team have spent 10 years developing a diverse mix of travel itineraries ranging from budget – style independent trips, to fully tailored luxury itineraries. UJT have carefully chosen Japan Travel Specialists and Operators from all over the world but mainly in Ireland, UK, and Japan. Darina set this company up after realising that Japan had so much more to offer Westerners, than the Japanese knew themselves. With her knowledge, passion, and eagerness to please people, Unique Japan Tours now run tours for all nationalities who wish for a personal service that is with you from the start of your trip to the end.

Our Team

  • Darina Slattery
    Managing Director
    Darina Slattery
    Managing Director

    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 Breen
    Japan Travel Specialist
    Kumiko Breen
    Japan Travel Specialist

    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.

  • Karen Abe
    Japan Travel Specialist
    Karen Abe
    Japan Travel Specialist

    Karen joined UJT in January 2016 and has not looked back! Fortunately, she adds a wonderful mix of Irish and Japanese to our team so is a true professional on both sides. Karen has spent many years in both countries so understands each others cultures and travel styles therefore able to put together the perfect itineraries for all types of requests. 

  • Belinda O'Byrne
    Accounts Administrator
    Belinda O'Byrne
    Accounts Administrator
    Try to add some panel text for this employee 😉
  • Michiko Ishimoto
    Japan Travel Specialist
    Michiko Ishimoto
    Japan Travel Specialist

    Michiko has been in the travel industry for many years mainly working in Japan as a tour guide. More recently, she joined our team as senior travel consultant, looking after the UK and European markets. Her knowledge on getting around Japan, finding the best routes to send people, and awarding great offers to clients, is second to none. Originally from Osaka, her Kansai-ben (accent) always adds a bit of colour to our office!

  • Tomohiko Moritani
    Japan/Ireland Tour Guide
    Tomohiko Moritani
    Japan/Ireland Tour Guide

    Tomo's passion for Ireland began as a result of playing football. He arrived to Ireland from Japan in 2012 to, like many Japanese people, improve his English, and has been here since. He then found the perfect solution for his free time - teaching soccer to Irish kids!! While he still enjoys doing this, his main job is to lead our tours both in Ireland and Japan.  Be warned, if you ever have the pleasure of joining one of his tours, don't be surprised if he breaks out in a song! A gentle type but full of quirky surprises!! 

Helpers along the way…

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 contribute to making each and every tour unique and personal in its own way. Our wonderful team of local Japanese staff are what make 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!