Guiding Tours in Tokyo
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your Trips or Experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with your city or an attorney.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
When am I likely to be considered a tour escort (tsukisoi)?
Under the Licensed Guide Intrepreters Act, individuals who (i) escort (tsukisoi) non-Japanese individuals and provide them with (ii) guiding services concerning travel (iii) with the use of a language other than Japanese (iv) for a fee, are generally required to obtain a license.
Guiding services refer to physically accompanying individuals from one location to another, and generally would not apply to guiding that occurs within only one facility (museum, temple, shrine etc).
What if I am considered to be a tour escort (tsukisoi): do I need to get a licence?
Yes. If your activity is covered by the Licensed Guide Intrepreters Act, you will need to apply for a registration as a licensed guide interpreter with a prefectural governor which requires taking and passing an examination (covering topics such as history, geography and foreign language). You can find out more information about how to do this here.
If you are providing tour escort (tsukisoi) services in certain special districts outside of Tokyo (such as Sapporo City, Kyu-syu area and other areas listed here, under the section titled “地域限定通訳案内士制度について”), instead of obtaining the national licence, you have the option of obtaining a Regional Guide Interpreter licence with the local government. You can find out more information about how to do this here (under the section titled “地域限定通訳案内士制度について”).
You should be aware of financial penalties of up to JPY 500,000 for failure to comply with the licensing requirements under the Licensed Guide Interpreters Act.
I heard that the Japanese government plans to amend the Licensed Guide Interpreters Act by the end of March 2017. Where can I find more information about this legal reform?
You can find out more about this legal reform here (under the section titled “通訳案内士制度のあり方に関する検討会” Tsuyaku-Anaishi Seido no Arikata ni kansuru Kento-kai).
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your experience will involve other activities (for example, transportation or serving or providing alcohol or food), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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