Let’s face it: we probably won’t be traveling, internationally anyway, anytime soon. But we will again in the future. And what is the next best thing we can do right now? Travel planning, of course. Here are some Japan tour and activity ideas you can book ahead risk-free—they allow last-minute cancellations and guarantee full refunds.

If you book, and the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t sufficiently under control by the time you are due to travel, you can cancel up to 48-72 hours before the date and get your money back, with no questions asked. So get excited now, travel later!

Suggested Activity
Cheapest Way to Transfer Your Money Out of Japan
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to send money from Japan is TransferWise, tried and tested by our Cheapo team. It's fast and reliable. ...

Japan tours and experiences you can cancel last minute

The list is likely to get longer in the coming weeks, as the travel industry looks at ways to recover.

Last-minute cancellations with Voyagin

Popular tour booking platform Voyagin have added an optional guarantee to a number of their activities, intended to alleviate insecurity among travelers.



They are offering free cancellation and a full refund up to 2 or 3 days prior to the booked activity date (not all activities have the same conditions, so read the fine print for each of them).

Note: Selecting the guarantee option adds an extra 10% or more to the ticket price, so you’ll need to look at the upfront costs vs. potential losses.

Here are a few examples of what you can book with a full-refund guarantee.

ghibli films
Photo by iStock.com/mizoula

Studio Ghibli Museum Tokyo: Preorder and last-minute tickets

If there is one activity you absolutely must book before landing in Japan, it is the Ghibli Museum. Tickets for this magical venue, which will make you feel like you have stepped right into a Hayao Miyazaki movie, sell out weeks or sometimes even months in advance.

Though there is quite a mark-up on this particular activity, Voyagin lets you preorder for your preferred date, or you can sometimes snap up last-minute tickets. The guarantee lets you cancel it all for free, as long as you do it by the specified date and time.

Harajuku nights: Kawaii Monster Cafe oiran show

If you are looking for a uniquely Tokyo experience that embodies the fusion of fashion and crazy at the heart of Harajuku’s street culture, look no further than the Kawaii Monster Cafe.

This cute-kitsch daytime cafe puts on special shows at night, ranging in theme from burlesque to oiran (high-class courtesans of the Edo era; think a flashier version of a geisha).

We like the oiran show, as it lands right at the intersection of old and new Japan. And you get themed food and drinks!

Easy day trip from Tokyo: Hakone hot spring theme park

If you want to infuse your Tokyo trip with one of Japan’s best views, just a 2-hour train ride from Tokyo, Hakone is your destination. Besides bathing, this popular hot spring resort also offers hikes, dining, and some of the best views of Mt. Fuji. People usually spend a full day in Hakone, or a weekend.

Mt Fuji view
Photo by Lucy Dayman

The Kowakien Yunessun Onsen Theme Park offers a fun and accessible take on onsen, Japanese hot springs, with multiple themed baths that can be used wearing swim suits. You can tack this on to your Hakone trip totally risk-free, as long as you cancel in advance.

Geisha for a day: 15% off a maiko makeover in Kyoto

If you are planning on heading to Kyoto while exploring Japan, why not dress up like a maiko (geisha in training) for a day?

Couple in kimono holding hands
Photo by istock.com/nevereverro

This maiko makeover includes everything from make-up to hair, the kimono of your choice and even a photographer. Voyagin’s pre-book deal offers a 15% discount, and again, you can cancel if you can’t make the trip.

Photo by Adriana Paradiso

Last-minute cancellations on Tiqets

Ticket and tour booking platform Tiqets are also offering a last-minute cancellation option on some of their tickets and activities.

When booking, you’ll need to select free cancellation. If you do this, you’ll be able to cancel right up until 11:59 pm of the day beforehand, and still get a full refund. See what’s available in Tokyo.

This article, though it is not sponsored, contains affiliate links. While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.

Watch this next

Get our Tokyo Cheapo Hacks direct to your inbox