General Terms and Conditions (GTC)
1. Scope of Application
These General Terms and Conditions govern the legal relationship between the tour operator Shitamchi t Pro Co., Ltd. (hereafter referred to as "STP") and the tour participants/customers for all services provided by STP, in particular the organization of excursions (hereafter referred to as "Tour(s)") and their guiding. The present GTC form an integral part of any individual contract independently of the medium through which the contract is entered into.
2. Conclusion of Contract/Booking
Bookings can be made through different distribution channels (internet, travel agency, hotel, tourist information, etc.) by telephone, e-mail, fax or in person. If bookings for customers are made by third parties (including bookings of customers on behalf of other customers), such third parties are liable both for payment of the booked service and customers' agreement to these GTC. The contract between the customer or the third party making the booking, respectively, and STP is concluded upon the unconditional acceptance of the booking by STP. Through the booking, the customer, as well as any third party making the booking, shall accept the present GTC as binding. STP will not accept any non-binding reservations.
3. Rates and Terms of Payment
The Tour price per person (hereafter referred to as "Tour Price") is stated in Japanese yen. All prices quoted include Consumption Tax. Prices are subject to change according to Section 6 herein. Payment for the Tour is due and shall be paid for at the time of booking.
4. Terms of Cancellations/Changes in Bookings by the Customer
STP does not offer any cancellation insurance.
4.1 Scheduled Tours
Bookings for scheduled Tours can be cancelled up to one business day (Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm JST) prior to the Tour start, free of charge.
In case of cancellations made less than one business day prior to the Tour start and in cases of no-show, the full Tour Price per customer will be charged.
The Terms of Cancellation/Changes in Bookings as mentioned above also apply to bookings which are made less than one business day prior to the Tour start.
5. Cancellation by STP
It is at STP's free discretion to cancel a Tour which is jeopardized, considerably hindered or made impossible due to Force Majeure, meteorological hazards, official measures, political disturbances, strikes, demonstrations, difficult traffic conditions, closed roads or similar unforeseeable events. The Tour payment, provided that it has already been paid, will be refunded and further compensation claims are excluded.
6. Changes in Tour Prices or Services
STP reserves the right to change the Tour Price, in case of extraordinary circumstances, in particular:
due to changes in the rates of third-party providers, e.g. transportation companies
due to newly introduced or raised taxes, charges or fees
Changes in Tour Prices in the case of extraordinary circumstances will be communicated 1 week prior to the Tour start, at the latest. If the difference between the new and the initial Tour Price exceeds 10%, the customer is entitled to either withdraw from the contract upon written notice within 5 days after communication of the change in Tour Prices, against full refund of any Tour payment, or to book an alternative STP Tour, to the value of the initially booked Tour, without any rebooking fee applying. Further compensation for damages is excluded.
STP reserves the right to change the Tour program at any time, prematurely curtail the Tour or offer alternative solutions in case of extraordinary circumstances. Any costs/expenses outside the scope of the Tours, relating to the customer’s participation (transportation to the meeting point, personal provisions, etc.) shall be the sole responsibility of the customer. STP undertakes to immediately inform the customer of any changes in services and/or in the program. If the alternative solution is more expensive than the initially booked Tour, the customer will be offered withdrawal, free of charge. Refunds are effected in the same way as payment has been made. Further compensation for damages due to change(s) in Tour Prices or services is excluded.
7. Terms of Participation
Tours are offered subject to the terms published by STP (e.g. with regard to language, Tour guiding, etc.). Tour participants must identify themselves at the check-in time, prior to the Tour start by showing their ID or passport (identifiable with the booking); otherwise, STP may exclude both the Tour participants and customers for whom the booking was made from the Tour, without refunding payment. All Customers must have their ID or passport with them. Infants/children (customers) must be accompanied by a person having the power of representation. Pets are not allowed, with the exception of companion dogs for disabled persons. Customers undertake to inform STP of any health problems, at the time of booking. Adequate health and accident insurance coverage is the responsibility of the customers. Joining a Tour under the influence of drugs, medicines and/or excessive alcohol is not permitted. Customers undertake to strictly comply with these GTC, the instructions of STP (tour guide included), support staff, as well as rescue staff, as the case may be. Furthermore, customers are obliged to wear seat belts and to use child safety seats, if applicable. STP reserves the right to exclude a customer from the Tour with immediate effect in case of health problems, non-compliance with the terms of participation or violation of these GTC or any instructions. In the case of an infant/child (customer) being excluded, the accompanying person is also excluded from the Tour. Should the exclusion be made prior to the Tour start, the terms of cancellation (Section 4 herein) shall apply. Should the exclusion be made during a Tour, the customer has no right to a refund of the Tour payment. In cases of exclusion, any and all claims for damages against STP are excluded.
If the customer is not present at the meeting point, by the designated meeting time, STP reserves the right to exclude the customer from the Tour after a waiting period of 5 minutes and to depart without the customer. In this case, the customer is neither entitled to a refund of the Tour payment, nor may the customer claim any damages. Furthermore, the customer must pay for any additional costs (e.g. transportation back to the starting point) relating to himself/herself.
8.1 Limitation of STP's Liability
Customers undertake all activities at their own risk. Any liability related to STP is limited to the Tour payment, as well as any direct damages caused willfully or by gross negligence by STP. STP's liability for slight negligence, assisting persons as well as consequential damages and lost profit is excluded. STP does not assume any liability in case of non-fulfillment of contractual obligations that results from omissions or contract violation by the customer (in particular, due to violation of the Terms of Participation, indicated in Section 7 herein). In case of cancellation of a Tour, STP is only liable for the refund of the Tour payment, if no alternative Tour is offered. STP does not assume any liability for the disappearance/loss of personal items, cash, valuables, luggage, photographic equipment, etc. as well as loss, theft, damage or misuse of checks and credit cards.
8.2 Exclusion of Liability in Case of Force Majeure
STP rejects any liability for damages based on circumstances that are beyond STP's control, such as Force Majeure, natural events, catastrophes, changes in program due to non-adherence of train or bus companies or other third-party providers to their schedules, etc. The customer is responsible to claim any damages directly with the third-party provider.
8.3 Customer's Liability
STP expects from each customer a considerable degree of personal responsibility. Customers shall only participate in activities that are compatible with their physical condition, in particular their health and physical efficiency. Customers are in particular responsible for preparing adequate/suitable equipment (clothing, footwear, sun protection, etc.).
9. Deadline for the Assertion of Claims
Customers' claims towards STP due to non-fulfillment or fulfillment not in accordance with the contract must be asserted within 30 days after the contractually agreed Tour date in writing with a detailed explanation of the claims. A complaint vis-à-vis the Tour guide is not sufficient. Claims received by STP after expiry of this deadline cannot be accepted, except in cases where customers prove that they were faultlessly prevented from meeting such deadline.
10. Data Protection
Customers agree that their data, in particular the customer's personal information including their names are collected by STP for the carrying out of certain Tours, according to the contract.
11. Amendments to these GTC
STP may amend these GTC at any time. Such amendments are legally binding upon notice to the customer or publication on STP’s website.
In the case that any of the provisions of these GTC shall be held or become invalid, void or unenforceable in any other way, the validity of the remaining provisions shall not be affected thereby. In case of unenforceability of a provision, such provision shall be replaced by an enforceable provision that reflects the intention and purpose of the invalid provision as closely as possible. The same procedure applies if a gap in these GTC becomes evident.
13. Applicable Law and Place of Jurisdiction
The current governing laws of Japan shall apply to the legal relationship between the customer and STP (with the exclusion of conflict of law rules). For claims against STP, the exclusive jurisdiction of the ordinary courts at the seat of STP is agreed to.