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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 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 to show parts 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.

Tour Packages and Experiences

We offer a range of package tours and individual experiences with a careful curated and constantly changing menu of offerings. Our programs put an emphasis on interaction with locals and deep Japan experiences.

Self Guided Planning Info

We started as a travel blog introducing the splendor of the countryside regions of Japan. Explore our site for some of the many destinations and experiences available off the beaten path.

...and more!

The Hidden Japan Company Information




Operation 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 Yamagata Prefecture Councils and committees and heads various projects around Japan promoting tourism beyond the beaten path.

Derek Yamashita

Creative Director

Graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Derek followed his passion to connect with his roots as a Japanese American and moved to Japan in 2015. With a background in commercial photography and advertisement, Derek co-founded The Hidden Japan in 2018.

Wesley Keppel-Henry

Senior Inbound Specialist

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 for some years, she has now joined The Hidden Japan.

Bridgitte Kayasith

Inbound Division

Tomoaki Sato

Domestic Services

Kanae Tagusari

Domestic Services