Luxury Travel Japan
Hi, My name is Mari Nozu who is the Founder & CEO of C&R Travel Co. Ltd., d.b.a. Luxury Travel Japan. Luxury Travel Japan is a bespoke travel agency created with the goal of providing the finest level of service to each of our guests by designing and then deftly executing one-of-a-kind travel plans to meet their desires. Please allow me to talk about what led me to start a travel agency that would not just satisfy people, but also inspire them. I have been fascinated by the world of what I would like to call “entertainment which inspires” since I was a child, which led to my first job in the entertainment industry as a radio DJ during my 20s. It was a challenge I jumped into no holds barred, and I found it to be immensely rewarding. Seeing people being entertained while also being inspired (in this case inspired to listen to new music) was incredibly rewarding and brought me great happiness. At the same time, from my teenage years, I had a keen interest in speaking English. As a high school student, I studied in the United States for a short period. There were so many experiences I wanted to talk about with my host family, but unfortunately I didn’t have the English skills to fully express myself. Luckily, in my mid-20s, I had a chance to study in the U.K. and improve my English. Fast forward to the present day, and I have now lived in both England and Italy, and travelled to more than twenty countries. From these experiences, I have learned how to not just converse with people from many countries, but also related to them culturally using English. After returning to Japan in my 30s, I started working in the trade business. Over the course of those years, I guided customers from America, England, Australia, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Russia, Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, and more, on business trips to Kamakura, Hakone, Izu, and other areas easily accessible from Tokyo. It was most certainly here that I was bitten by the travel guide bug, so to speak, as I realized that I enjoyed pleasing the customers during their off time in Japan more than anything, and I would even ask them their requests in advance so that I could create original tours. As I entered my 40s, most of the customers I interacted with were entrepreneurs. These guests inspired me, and the feeling that “I want to start a business too” started to grow inside me. When considering what type of business I should start, I recalled a company I had worked for in the past whose sales were good, but put “profits above pleasing the customers.” There were many, many angry complaints from customers which I had to field, and it pained me so much to have my hands tied, unable to make the customers happy. I even had trouble sleeping at night. I believed then, as I do now, that although company profits are important, a company must first please the customers and recognize their happiness to be paramount. After all, doing a good job makes customers happy and results in great word of mouth! When I considered what job could make the customers happy while also making myself happy, the answer was clearly the travel industry. But please rest assured that I am not merely a well organized travel planner with a strong customer service bent. I believe in what I do, and revel in sharing Japan’s culture with our cherished visitors. Along those lines, I am licensed to teach traditional Japanese instruments, specifically the “Koto” and “Shamisen”. Sometimes I perform at places like embassies and universities to share with foreigners the beauty of traditional Japanese instruments. The way I first became interested in learning traditional instruments was while studying in the United Kingdom, I was often asked about Japan, and finding myself embarrassingly short on answers, ended up researching Japanese culture to obtain a respectably level of knowledge. In doing so, I found myself becoming very interested in traditional Japanese performing arts, and upon returning to Japan I took the plunge and tried koto and shamisen music, which was how I got started in the field. It pleases me to be able to help customers experience the true appeal and inspiration of Japan, which Japanese people tend to take for granted after spending their entire lives surrounded by it. You will find no such nonchalance in my attitude, but I also know that a great trip is both about sharing culture and just plain having a good time. In the tours I provide, I strive to share the world of entertainment which inspires people and has fascinated me since I was a child. It is my desire, happiness, and goal to inspire people to go deeper and get more through the form of entertainment that we know as travel. This is the reason I created a travel agency that inspires. Won’t you come along?