The mission of PacSet is simple: to give you the kind of tour experience that feels more like a journey with friends – not a journey where everyone follows a dorky looking flag that the tour guide is holding up. Flags are for nations, not tours!
We won’t spend the entire trip addressing you from a microphone on a bus, and we won’t fill your schedule to the point that it can’t accommodate free time. No matter how you travel with us, we’re here to help you have a great time, the way the locals have a good time. To help you experience Japan as you want to experience it. In other words: if you’re ready to nibble on Japan’s best cheap eats, explore a majestic shrine and a bizarre electronics store on the same day, and have an unbelievable amount of fun – all with tour guides that are always there to help but don’t force you into a relentless, strict schedule – you’ve come to the right place.
Our tours offer a mix of pop culture and traditional culture, taking you to places way off the beaten path and to experiences that no one else offers. We’ll hit some of the tourist traps, but we’ll dedicate just as much time to places that fit each tour’s special theme and the requests of the group. You can choose to stick with the guide the whole time or split off to spend more time in certain areas – it’s all up to you.
Photos of our tours can be found on our Facebook page. See where we’ve been, and the fun other participants have had!
PacSet is a small family business run by the amazing staff shown here. Otsukare-sama desu!
Evan Liu (formerly Miller)
As the CEO and co-founder of PacSet, Evan has led more tours to Japan than he’s prepared to admit, but that’s cool – he loves his work. He first got into travel when he led tours of diplomats around rural Akita Prefecture as a Coordinator for International Relations on the JET Programme. While earning his MA in Japanese Literature at UW-Madison, Evan also began a career in the Anime industry at Anime News Network, where he got to interview lots of cool people and author a weekly art column called The Gallery. If he isn’t on a plane, you can find Evan cycling around LA, baking cookies, using bad puns, or at a convention running panels and helping friends in Artist Alley.
A seasoned world traveler with a passion for exploration, Valerie helps lead PacSet’s School Tours division. She spent three years in Hyogo, Japan on the JET Programme teaching English and promoting cultural exchange. After earning her MA in International Education at NYU, she spent several years as a dancing artist teaching and performing in various cities across the globe. Valerie continues to travel using her passion to connect with communities wherever she goes.
Christine comes to PacSet with a decade of experience in travel. After finishing school at CSU Fullerton and working for one of Japan’s largest travel companies, she made Osaka her home for over three years teaching English to locals. Once she returned stateside, she spent a number of years overseeing the front of house for a renown Japanese Hotel chain, and become a research specialist for the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun. When she isn’t keeping us organized and/or supplied with snacks, Christine can be found traveling and exploring SoCal.
Kippu (mascot character)
Kippu – or Kip for short – is the official PacSet Tours mascot character. As an adorable fox, his hobbies include eating tasty food, listening to music, traveling, and flying around on his trusty jetpack. We’re not sure where Kip got the jetpack (we certainly don’t have the budget for such things), but he seems pretty happy when he’s flying around with it, so who are we to judge?