Connecting curious travelers with meaningful experiences that celebrate local flavor, tradition, and community
Though travel’s gotten easier today, we know that accessing authentic local experiences at your point of destination can still be a challenge.
We’ve experience our own moments of frustration when trying to locate alternatives to overcrowded tourist attractions, knowing that there had to be so much out there to explore in our own travels. In guiding friends and family around our home country Japan, we've also realized that the best memories are made when wandering off the guidebook route, and into nooks and crannies where organic connection can truly happen. Language and cultural barriers can make it particularly hard to locate local hidden gems, and this is definitely the case in Japan. With this in mind, we started Detouur in 2017 with a desire to serve as a bridge to authentic experiences that are off the beaten track.
Our services are far from a one-way street. We’ve seen and heard firsthand about the overall decline of traditional crafts and art forms in Japan from local makers, and want to do our part in supporting these artisans practice and pass on their valuable knowledge and insight. We want to be part of the solution in preserving centuries-old arts, local spots, and communities.
Travel can often get overwhelming. We invite you to duck into a local artist studio, temple, or cafe for a refreshing and perhaps unexpected experience. With Detouur, come learn new skills, support the legacy of traditional crafts, and meet the creatives of Japan.
While we are based in Japan now, our vision is to expand Detouur’s services to other countries. We hope that Detouur can serve as a platform through which the uniqueness and particularities of local cultures all over the globe can be cherished and celebrated.
We select experiences taught by highly trained artisans and artists, many of whom have devoted their lives to their craft and are continuing on their multi-generational family businesses. In our selection process, our litmus test is whether or not Japanese locals would themselves respect and be interested in what we offer.
Traveling should introduce you to experiences that you can only encounter at that particular place. Whether it’s Buddhist cooking at a Zen Buddhist temple, washi paper making or aizome-dying in Saitama (an area known for these crafts), we want to help you get close to the roots of each craft.
We want to support practitioners of traditional arts as they teach and pass on knowledge and skills that will otherwise soon be lost. There is so much value in traditional Japanese craftsmanship and it is our privilege to partner with these experts in continuing century-long practices. We also seek to maintain positive relationships with these practitioners, respecting their needs so that the Detouur experiences are beneficial not only for the guests, but for the hosts. We also know that travel and tourism can be damaging to local communities and infrastructures. We want to offset the negative effects of increased tourism and instead focus on more sustainable ways to travel.
We think you will truly enjoy learning from all the Detouur artisans because our hosts are highly hospitable, unfazed by cultural or language barriers in their pursuit to teach their skills and connect with people of all nationalities and backgrounds.