We aim to make your JapanBall travel as seamless as possible. We provide you with everything you need to know to hit the ground running and we are always available to answer any questions. Here is a list of topics we are asked about most frequently.
Before You Go:
Our refund policy is the best in the business. If you cancel 45 days or less before trip departure, you’ll receive a full refund of your trip payment if your space can be filled from a waiting list.
If your space cannot be filled from a waiting list, you’ll receive an 80% refund of the total trip price, less the cost of any game tickets we are not able to resell on your behalf and/or any already paid for services or items, such as your hotel rooms, for which we may not be able to get a refund.
HOTEL: If you wish to stay at any of our tour hotels, we can make those arrangements and include such on your trip invoice.
If you plan to travel beyond our tour hotels, we recommend our Japan travel agent to obtain out-of-tour hotels and travel. Contact Katsumi Mamiya at 425-373-5626 for a no-obligation quote and information. He is available from 9 to 5 Pacific Time. His email is: Katsumi@JapanBall.com.
TICKETS: Sometimes guests have friends in Japan they would like to have join them at one of our games. Let us know and we will include any extra tickets in your trip invoice.
Should you want tickets to games or events outside the tour, we will direct you to our ticket maestro Michael Westbay at JapanBallTickets.com, who, for a modest service fee, will take care of your out-of-tour ticket needs.
RAIL TRAVEL: We provide you with 7, 14, or 21-day Japan Rail Pass, depending on your chosen tour. If you desire a rail pass before or after your tour, let us know so we can help you get the best rail travel value.
You will receive a variety of email newsletters full of trip info, in addition to maps, tour activity pages, luggage tags, and more. Plus we are always available to answer questions. We invite you to Contact Us with any questions you may have.
Planning Your Trip:
However, the other, smaller, Tokyo airport, Haneda (HND) is hosting a growing number of international flights, so you will want to use both Narita and Haneda airports when considering your air travel.
We encourage you to investigate the services of our Japan travel agent who strives to get the most cost-efficient fare. Contact Katsumi Mamiya of K-Man's Travel Expert at 425-373-5626 for a no-obligation quote and information. He is available from 9 to 5 Pacific Time at his office at 1370 116th Ave NE, Ste 201, Bellevue WA 98004. His email is: K_Mans@msn.com.
Don’t be concerned about getting in touch with Katsumi and then not using his services. He’s no-pressure and he’ll be the first to tell you if you can do better somewhere else.
If you buy airfare and can’t go, the airlines will often give you a credit on that ticket for at least a year. If you get the ticket with your air miles, the miles simply go back into your account often with little, if any, penalty.
At Narita Airport your transfer consists of a high-speed train that you board in your airport terminal and take into Tokyo. From there it is a short taxi ride to hotel. Your arrival instructions include a directional card written in Japanese for the taxi driver.
At Haneda Airport your transfer consists of a short monorail ride that takes you into Tokyo where you take a taxi to the hotel.
Budget about $40 each way. Though it can be less since we are sometimes able to use your rail pass to offset some of the transfer costs depending on the date of the transfer. We take care of that calculation during the trip planning.
Unfortunately, most such private health insurance will require you to pay on your own by credit card or cash for such medical services and then be reimbursed by your insurance company upon your return home. Check with your health insurance provider.
Medicare and other similar public insurance has extremely limited coverage, if any, for health care services outside the U.S.
Some guests avoid any guesswork by purchasing health insurance for travelers. An insurance agent or travel agent can give you more information about buying such insurance. Travel insurance does not always include health insurance, so be sure that is included in your purchase.
You generally can buy a plan for a limited period of time or keep a policy in-force year round if you travel frequently.
Katsumi Mamiya, the U.S.-based travel agent we use, can be reached at His email is: email@example.com.
Ideally, it should fit into the overhead luggage compartment of an airplane. You can accompany that with a small backpack. Previous guests have found themselves able to easily work with this luggage arrangement.
With a rolling suitcase and backpack, you can breeze through train stations and on and off trains with ease. Rolling luggage that can fit in an overhead also makes travel on the train much easier. Because there are no luggage cars, luggage in Japan has to accompany you in the seating cars. The seating cars resemble a much roomier version of a commercial airliner with ample overhead luggage racks.
If you can fit your luggage in the overhead on your flight over, you also eliminate the risk of your airline losing anything. By their own admission, airlines are not stellar at getting bags to the right place at the right time.
Having said all that, you can bring a larger rolling bag if you like, it’s just more of a hassle, and you don’t get all the benefits mentioned above when using a larger size.
Credit cards are accepted in Japan, though cash is king for meals, small purchases, and at the ballpark.
Guests tend to budget $70 or so per day for meals, small souvenirs, etc. Keep in mind that having a few beers or the like at the ballpark can mount up. I personally budget $100 per day.
We recommend you use the ATM at your Tokyo airport and/or exchange your cash or travelers checks at the airport upon arrival. Get more cash than you think you’ll need.
ATM’s are becoming more prevalent and you’ll be able to find them along the way, particularly at convenience stores, most notably 7-11s.
While You’re There:
Japanese wall outlets are for two-pronged plugs, with both prongs being the same size.
Some of our two prong plugs have one prong that is slightly larger and some have three prongs, with one of the prongs being round. Neither will fit in a Japanese outlet.
Fortunately, you can bring your own plug adapter to make this a non-issue. These adapters simply turn your three-prong or your two-prong plug with one prong larger than the other into a straight two-prong plug of the same size prong suitable for Japan.
If you pay more than a few dollars for one of these adaptors you are paying too much or are purchasing something more expensive like a transformer, something you don't need.
And, by the way, all hotels supply hair dryers and the like.
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You can easily rent a phone and have it waiting for you at the hotel upon arrival if immediate communication is important, but that may only be useful if you will be making a lot of in-Japan calls.
For us, we simply direct-dial from our hotel rooms to home since the rates are so inexpensive. Believe it or not we find the hotel phone rates to be the cheapest…and pose the least hassle.
Even more cost-effective is using the wireless capability of your cell phone to make calls. Download any one of the VOIP apps (voice over internet protocol) such as Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, etc. If you have an iPhone, you can use iMessage, FaceTime, and FaceTime Audio to stay connected with other iPhone users.
All our hotels have wireless internet access both in-room and in the lobby. Free wireless hotspots exist around Japan, but their promise is far greater than their delivery.
We, as the tour guides, also rent cell phones while there. But we do so because we are on the move making so many in-country calls for the trip. To use our own own USA cell phones for that would be a killer.
As to wireless internet access, the only way to be assured of wireless everywhere, other than at the hotel, is by having a mobile hotspot device known as pocket wi-fi, about the size of a very thin deck of cards. This gives you wi-fi pretty much wherever you are, including on the trains. These can be rented at the airport upon your arrival or delivered to the hotel for your arrival.
We use RentaPhone Japan for our rental phone and mobile internet needs. Their home page is: http://rentafonejapan.com
The combination of each participant’s unique tastes and the overwhelming variety of dining options in Japan makes a fixed selection impractical.
Plus a lot of eating is done at the ballpark!
Japan has every food you can imagine, and some you can’t. We promise that even the most finicky eater will find pleasure with the countless places to eat and the reasonable prices. We’ve never been proven wrong.
We familiarize you with each town so you can go out by yourself, or with some of the group, to eat on your own terms.
Coin laundries are not common in the downtown metro areas where we stay.
And that no tipping culture extends to this trip. No tipping to us.
We will run you ragged if you let us or you can wander off by yourself. It is up to you. The hallmark of our trip is flexibility.
Many guests enjoy bringing baseball trinkets such as baseball cards, pins or the like, to give to people they meet at games or along the way. This is always a hit.
When giving to children, first ask the parents for permission. The parents always oblige and the children are delighted.
I bring a few light washcloths with me. I keep one in my pocket to dry my hands, wipe my face, and mop my brow. I use that one as a washcloth for my next shower, rotating a dry one into my pocket.
Towels and hand towels are standard in hotels. Washcloths less so.
The only time they get a bit concerned that I've seen is when people bring in large scale photographic equipment that appears to be for commercial use.
As to outside food, that is okay. And most allow in outside beverage, though some will have you empty it into a large cup they provide as you come in.
We use our baseball contacts to obtain the best possible reserved seat tickets for each game. The ballpark, day of the week, and opponent determine available seat locations.
If you would like to see games outside of the tour schedule please visit our ticket site: JapanBallTickets.com.
If you do keep score, go in with the mindset that your book might not be as perfect as it typically is.
Scorecards are rarely available at ballparks in Japan, so be sure to bring your own book or scorecards.
It is also essential to print and/or download the rosters before leaving for Japan. You can find them on our JapanBall team info site.
You should be able to navigate a Major League Baseball style stadium and be ready to climb up and down usual stadium stairways…all without handrails.
I doubt we’ve ever walked more than a quarter-mile at any one time. But you’ll need sufficient stamina to keep pace with a reasonably active group of travelers on days of touring.
During our September trip the weather can be somewhat hot and humid.
Japan is not ADA accessible. Sometimes the urban terrain is uneven with a step or drop-off that we would not expect at home, so you must be very aware of where you walk.
They also drive on the left side of the road, so if unfamiliar with that, you really must keep a watchful eye crossing streets. Look both ways – twice!
No shots are required to enter Japan, which has a modern medical infrastructure.
If you have any questions about your ability to participate in the trip, please feel free to call or write.
Stories abound as to the honesty of the Japanese. One tour guest experienced this firsthand when she accidentally dropped over $200 worth of yen in a parking lot as she hurried to a lunch appointment. Three members of a Japanese construction crew working nearby saw this, rounded up the bills, and chased her down to return the cash.
We don’t mean to suggest that there is no crime in Japan, but we feel much safer in Japan than we do in the U.S. As the U.S. Department of State confirms, “The general crime rate in Japan is at levels well below the U.S. national average.”
On the other hand, most tend to suffer from jet lag upon returning home. So that you might succumb to it in peace, try not to schedule anything major during your first day or two back home.
Australians do fine both ways because of the similar time zones.
We are not equipped to give individual help for walking, dining, getting on and off transportation, or other needs.
A qualified companion must accompany those travelers needing such assistance and we must talk with both the traveler and companion to be certain that the type of travel we do and the available facilities in Japan are clearly understood and accepted.
JapanBall.com and related sites are not business entities, but simply web-marketing vehicles by which we distribute information about the tours.
We started Extra Innings, Inc., a Washington State corporation, for the purpose of owning and operating the tour.
Extra Innings, Inc. is licensed with the State of Washington as a registered seller of travel.
Your trip payments are deposited in the Extra Innings, Inc. Trust Account at Wells Fargo Bank in Everett, Washington under the terms of the state licensing board.
Extra Innings, Inc. purchases hotel, restaurant and transportation services, event tickets, and other products from independent suppliers who are not subject to our control. Therefore, we cannot be liable for any injuries, damages or losses that may occur due to any action or omission of such suppliers, their agents, employees or suppliers, or by any event over which we have no control.
By embarking upon travel you voluntarily assume the risks of such travel and we advise you to obtain insurance coverage as may be available against risks of such travel.
You acknowledge that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in travel including, but not limited to, the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, weather, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour operators and other third parties.
We shall not be responsible for any injuries, damages or losses caused by social or labor unrest, mechanical or construction difficulties, criminal activities, disease or sickness, local laws, climatic conditions, or any other action, omissions or conditions outside our control.
You assume full and complete responsibility to check and verify any and all passport, visa, vaccination, or other entry requirements at each destination on your itinerary, along with all safety and security conditions at such destinations, including travel advisories. Information about some of these items may be found at the passport and/or travel advisory sections at the website or other public source of your country’s secretary of state.
In case of a postponement of an event there shall be no refund except to the extent such may be available to us, which we will pass along to you.
Dates, schedules, program details and costs, are provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication, but all such items are subject to change and revision.
Every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned, but alterations may occur without penalty to us.
We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the itinerary whenever, in our sole judgment, conditions warrant.
We also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw a tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from a tour at any time when such action is determined by us to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant, subject only to the requirement that the recoverable portion of the total amount paid that corresponds to the cost of unused services and accommodations be refunded, if any, and only to the extent that such may be refunded or otherwise available to us.
We accept no liability for the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets.
Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.
You acknowledge that this particular tour includes attendance at professional baseball games and exposure to risks inherent in that venue including, specifically but not exclusively, the risks of bats and balls leaving the field of play and striking you wherever you may be in the stadium, and the risks of fall or other injury as you traverse the stadium, its stairs, aisles, and other areas.
By attending one of our tours, you grant to Extra Innings, Inc. and its subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, representatives and designees the irrevocable, non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty-free perpetual right and license to use and display your likeness, name, username, and/or social media handle in a photo, video, or other media form (collectively, "Likeness") and any of your photos, videos, or other media that you share with Extra Innings Inc. either physically or digitally (e.g. via email, text message, or social media platforms) (collectively, "Photo") for any and all purposes, including marketing, promotion or advertising, in any and all media channels and social platforms (now known or hereafter existing), without compensation, payment or other consideration of any kind.
Extra Innings Inc. may use, display, edit, alter, reproduce, create derivative works from, publish or distribute the Likness and/or Photo for any lawful purpose in its sole discretion, with no obligation to your or right of inspection or approval.