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Kuroko Boutique Tours

We design, curate and lead authentic experience-focused Japan tours.

Everything we do and touch is coming from our first-hand experiences. It is our sheer pleasure to show you Japan through the eyes of locals. Welcome to Kuroko Boutique Tours.




It all started when Rika’s Australian friends called in a favour to create an itinerary for their first trip to Japan.  

Being a travel enthusiast herself, she took this mission very seriously and couldn't hide her passion.

Being a Japanese who loves and is proud of her home country, she wanted to show the real side of Japan, not a tourist traps. 

She have enjoyed the whole process so much. When her friends came back awed by Japan and loved how easy their custom itinerary made their trip, she decided to officially start Kuroko Boutique Tours and dedicate herself in crafting unparalleled boutique trips to Japan.



We design, curate and lead authentic experience-focused boutique and unique Japan tours.  

We aim to convey Japanese aesthetics and ethos throughout our tours. Because we believe those are what makes Japan so special. 

We support sustainable communities and work with small local businesses as much as possible for your immersive and authentic travel experience.

We understand you and how precious your time is.

We are travel enthusiasts - constantly wondering, exploring, and seeking authentic experiences. 

We love Japan. Our heart glows to see our customers fall in love with Japan during each tour.



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Rika Nishimura 

Founder/Travel Designer/Tour Leader

Rika was born and raised in Japan. She spent her 20's in Kyoto before moving to Australia where she started Kuroko Boutique Tours. She designs and leads bespoke ‘one of a kind’ tours. Her dedication to authenticity transforms each tour into an incredibly deep exploration of the Japanese culture, tradition, landscape, and people. Rika’s passion for sharing her beloved home country shines through in every step she takes. Rika, a former professional interpreter, also holds a bachelor's degree in International Law from Ritsumeikan University.

Joan Shiba

Admin/Travel Assistant 

Joan, a native of the Philippines, moved to Japan in 2017 when married to a Japanese husband and start a family. Thanks to the warm hospitality of her new Japanese friends, she quickly felt at home in a scenic rural part of Gifu-ken. She indulged herself with Gifu's well-known traditional sweets called Kurikinton (made of fresh chestnuts) and Ayu river fish (sweetfish). She enjoys celebrating the Matsuri, a Japanese summer festival together with her two bubbly sons. They get to dance at the energetic processions, savour the street food, and watch the impressive display of fireworks.  She is the backbone of Kuroko Boutique Tours, helping the business operation be smooth and efficient.  She obtained a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration from Manila University.

Soryou Yamaguchi 

Master of Japanese Tradition and Culture

Soryou Yamaguchi a tea master and Japanese culture researcher from Osaka. After graduating from high school in Canada, he started learning the Urasenke tea ceremony while his university studies in Kyoto.  As a tea master, he organises tea ceremonies at special events. He is deeply devoted to Japanese history, shrines, temples, festivals, Kabuki, Bunraku (a Japanese puppet theatre), Noh (classical Japanese dance-drama), hanging scrolls, Japanese poetry, and Ikebana. Yamaguchi is currently enrolled at Tanechiin University for a further understanding of Buddhism and Japanese art culture. He is an avid open-water swimmer.


Yamaguchi has deep connections with traditional Japanese communities, schools and masters. We can offer authentic cultural experiences involving masters like Yamaguchi to showcase the real Japan.

Claire Heginbotham

Digital Content 

Like many others, Claire first discovered Japan through the stories told by Studio Ghibli movies. In 2017, she took the leap and moved to Japan. After a brief time in the bright neon lights of Tokyo, she settled down in Japan’s foodie capital, Osaka. There, she enjoyed practicing Japanese at the local Izakaya, sailing in Kobe Bay area during weekends, and learning to eat the infamous fermented soybean dish, “Natto”. Her favourite weekend getaway is the idyllic town of Kamakura where sunset views of Mt. Fuji are an everyday delight.




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