Visitors to Japan will soon find the country even safer than before. With recent growth in tourists, there have also been increased number of unauthorised travel agencies and agents ripping off foreigners.
In the past, travel agencies may involve the use of “land operators” (local tour guides). These land operators are responsible for organising shopping and lodging, and they have been known to create itineraries are focused on increasing the amount of money spent. There are even fake tour guides who have been taking tourists to specific shops in return for kickbacks from the sales of goods at these stores at exorbitant prices.
However, there is now a bill up for constitutional revision that aims at regulating land operators through registration with their local governments. In the meantime, remember to purchase tours from reputable sources, and if tour prices are too low to believe, they just might have forced-shopping elements!