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David Ellis was born in Canada but has spent much of his working life teaching at universities in the Middle East. After a 20-year absence, he returned to his first home away from home, Japan, and rediscovered his passion for this country, its culture and its people.

David is working towards sustainable tourism practices that focus on quality experiences rather than high volumes of visitors. By focusing on Japan’s core values of omotenashi (hospitality) and monozukuri (craftsmanship), he carefully curates travel experiences to appeal to any demographic.

Tourism Development

I build tourism assets from the ground up by identifying and curating unique brands. For example, after posting a self-guided tour of Japan’s Wine Country, I received multiple requests to guide international journalists, which resulted in valuable free coverage in Food & Wine, Monocle, Fortune, Hemispheres and Travel+Leisure. From a consumer’s perspective, free coverage is infinitely more authentic than content which is clearly sponsored by local tourism authorities.

The journalists and filmmakers below are some of the people I have assisted over the past couple of years in my role as a Tourism Development Specialist. Allow me help develop your valuable tourism assets today.

  • Tania Esteban is a filmmaker who came to Japan in pre-pandemic 2020 to document wildlife and culture.
  • This is Andrew Sean Greer, journalist for Travel+Leisure, and Pulitzer prize winner for fiction (2018), at MGVs Winery.
  • This is Mary Holland, journalist for Food & Wine and Monocle, with her husband at MGVs Winery.
  • This is Shana Clarke, journalist for Fortune, with her husband at Marufuji Winery.

Travel Writing

I originally created a blog to share my passion for Yamanashi Prefecture but have more recently been writing for various entities throughout Japan. Some of the sponsored content that I produced for the Setouchi area includes articles on Naoshima, Shodoshima and Awajishima. In addition, please have a look at this blog post about Kyushu’s porcelain town, Arita, as it is a good example of how I like to write. My rates for articles up to 1000 words are very reasonable and include as many photos as you require. I currently use a Sony Alpha 7R III camera and a Sony FE 1.4/24 GM series lens.

Presenting & Navigating

In addition to having appeared on NHK World TV as a presenter, I have appeared on local and national Japanese television at least a dozen times. Most recently, I have been appearing as a navigator in promotional videos like the one below.

Professional Guiding

As a supporter of Yamanashi inbound travel, I have been guiding winery tours since 2019. The tours are based on my original full-day walking tour and the sequel to my original full-day walking tour. What sets me apart from local guides is that I have uploaded all the details of my tours to my blog in order to encourage people to visit Japan’s premier winemaking region for themselves. Despite the fact that my tours can be self-guided, many boutique travel companies continue to engage my premium tour services for their discerning clients.

Translations & Original Content

In order to help develop local tourism assets, I am often requested to do translation work. Much of the work I have done over the past couple of years is for local governments, but I also assist local wineries and other hospitality-related businesses. Below are some examples of my translation and original content work.

Hospitality English Training

In order to help attract more inbound tourists to Japan, I have been training people in the tourism industry in the use of basic hospitality English. While it is true that only a minority of international visitors speak English as a first language, we cannot ignore the fact that there are almost a billion speakers of English as an additional language.

  • Toyota-Rent-A-Car is just one of the many companies I support with hospitality English training.

Ellisさんは、縄文文化の魅力を深く理解し、縄文文化の観光資源化に熱心に取り組んでいます。北杜市役所ではインバウンド誘致のためのマーケティング業務委託にあたり、彼の有益な助言のおかげで最適な委託先を選定することができました。さらに造成した縄文生活文化の体験プログラムのモニターとしてインバウンド向けにプログラムを改善する的確な助言をしてくれました。北杜市役所は、今後もEllisさんに縄文文化を活用した観光プロモーションの指導と助言を期待しています。 

北杜市役所教育部参事 佐野隆


David was an absolute pleasure to work with when we were exploring Yamanashi’s wine and cultural experiences – Very flexible, willing to help and able to set up opportunities with the right people for customers and media.

James Mundy
InsideJapan Tours PR & Partnerships Manager


Let’s work together!

Begin your adventures off the beaten path by booking a night in my Airbnb property.

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