About us

Discover Our Side of Japan

The Hidden Japan is a team of international and Japanese travel experts from all walks of life based in the Tohoku Region of Northern Japan.

Established in 2018, The Hidden Japan is an inbound tourism company aiming to offer travelers deep Japan experiences alongside local masters with a focus on culinary, craft, and outdoor experiences.

Our company is partnered with global players like Lonely Planet and also works closely with governments to help promote Japan for international travel.

We are a fully privately owned venture separate from government or large Japanese corporations which allows us to offer our guests experiences at their very best, free from outside influences. We at the Hidden Japan seek to offer an alternative route to experience the untouched beauty of Japan.

Join us as we remove the barriers that have prevented foreign tourists from discovering the beauty of these less-traveled areas and aspire see a part of Japan that you can experience all to yourself.

What The Hidden Japan offers

Custom Tour Crafting

The Hidden Japan is a nationally licensed travel agency specializing in deep Japan experiences and custom tour crafting. Our goal is to help local communities across Japan to connect with travelers like yourself.


Don't need a full tour, but want to have a taste of The Hidden Japan? We can arrange unique guided experiences which can be done in a couple of hours, perfect for those doing day trips.

Virtual tours

We have started operating virtual tours either through live video or pre-produced video with live chat functionality.  Please feel free to reach out to us if you are interested in a live tour for yourself or your organization.

...and more!

The Hidden Japan Company Information





Work Hours

Mon. – Fri. 9AM – 7PM


Yamagata City Office
Q1 Creative Center 1-A
1 Chome-5-19 Honcho, Yamagata, 990-0043

Shonai Main Office
〒998-0864 Yamagata, Sakata, Shinbashi, 2 Chome−26−20

Meet the Team

Saori Yamashina

Company President

After 8 years of freelance public relations and writing, she founded The Hidden Japan in 2018. She is a member of many Yamagata Prefecture Councils and comittees, which supports the operations of the Hidden Japan to help the tourism industry in less traveled places in Japan.

Derek Yamashita

Creative Director

Following his passion to connect with his roots as a Japanese American, Derek started a life in Japan after college living in Yamagata Prefecture. Falling in love with the trails, cycling courses, fishing and all that it had to offer, Derek co-founded The Hidden Japan in 2018.

Wesley Keppel-Henry

Inbound Operations

Graduating from UC Berkeley, Wesley moved to Japan one year after the Great East Japan Earthquake to teach English at a school for evacuees. After working for a Tohoku-based design and marketing company, she is now in charge of inbound tour operations at The Hidden Japan.

Bridgitte Kayasith

Inbound Division

Tomoaki Sato

Domestic Services