Animated Spring 2013 | March 25-April 1
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This is the ultimate anime tour to Japan! Designed with all kinds of fans in mind, the Animated Spring Tour includes fan-centric areas of Akihabara and Nakano Broadway to city highlights like Shibuya and Shinjuku. We’ll be taking a cruise on the Leiji Matsumoto-designed Himiko river boat and visiting the brand new park for mecha fans, Gundam Front. You’ll have the option to check out temples that no other tour visits, shop, and – weather permitting – picnic under the cherry blossoms at a park where you’ll feel less like a tourist and more like a local.
Not ready to go home after your week in Tokyo? Our Extended Journey to Kansai offers even MORE for the anime fan to enjoy. The thrills, views, and history of Kobe, Osaka, and Kyoto await you during our journey to the region’s best shrines, video arcades, and eateries.
The tour includes:
- R/T airfare from Los Angeles
- Tour dates March 25-April 1 for BASIC, until April 4 for EXTENDED/PERFECT
- Travel to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe (Tokyo only for BASIC TOUR)
- 6 nights hotel accommodations in Tokyo for BASIC TOUR | +3 nights hotel in Kyoto for EXTENDED/PERFECT
- All transportation (train, bus, shinkansen/bullet train) within Japan
- Professional bilingual guide services
- Custom tour guidebook
- Admission to all activities
- Much, much more!
Day 1: Departure!
After meeting up at Los Angeles International Airport, we’ll board our flight to Japan!
DAY 2: Get comfy!
Upon arrival in Tokyo, we’ll head to our hotel and get settled in before heading to a special “Welcome Dinner” near the hotel. If time permits, we’ll see if we can get a little late-night video arcade time in (for those of you who choose to ignore the jet-lag!).
DAY 3: The Basics
We begin our day in Harajuku, Tokyo’s new center of all that is hip. Shop for kitschy souvenirs, fashions, or just wander the aisles of one of Japan’s largest “100 Yen” stores searching for fun stuff to bring home. In the afternoon, it’s off to Akihabara to check out the cultural heart of anime fandom and otaku culture! Shop for character goods, try your hand at some crane games, or just people watch. Need a little something extra? Join us for an optional visit to one of Akihabara’s Maid Cafes!
Maid Café: $40
DAY 4: Temples and Spaceships and Robots, Oh My!
We’ll begin our day in Asakusa, where the famous “Kaminarimon” gate and Sensoji Temple expose the heart of Tokyo’s storied history. After that, leap into the future as you board the Himiko boat bound for Odaiba! Not only is the ride beautiful, but the futuristic boat is the brainchild of Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 creator Leiji Matsumoto! When we get to Odaiba, we’ll get up close and personal with a gigantic Gundam statue and the history of the famed anime series at the brand new Gundam Front attraction. Need to relax? Take a side trip to the hot spring onsen nearby– the Tokyo Oedo Onsen Monogatari – to recharge, relax, and enjoy the wonder of Japan’s world-famous hot springs. Finally, we’ll head back to explore Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s busiest areas and home to the city’s best manga supply stores. In the evening, you can choose to shop more, rest, or join us for a special trip to Tokyo Tower and an all-you-can-eat dinner at a special kushiage restaurant, where they’ll fry up skewers of almost anything edible for your consumption.
Oedo Onsen: $40
Tokyo Tower + Dinner Extra: $40
DAY 5: Into the Picture
Today, we head west to the Ghibli Museum, a shrine to all things produced from Hayao Miyazaki’s famed animation studio. After that, we’ll be checking out the collector’s paradise of Nakano Broadway later in the afternoon. Then, you get a choice: head to Ikebukuro and the center of yaoi fandom, Otome Road – or travel to the hidden jewel of Honmonji Temple in Ota Ward.
DAY 6: Anime Contents Expo
No Anime Tour in this season would be complete without a visit to the amazing Anime Contents Expo at Makuhari Messe! We’ll check out all the up-and-coming anime on the show floor as we browse the exhibits. After geeking out, we’ll make a pit stop for bento before our last stop of the night: a picnic under the cherry blossoms!
DAY 7: FREEDOM!
Today is yours to do as you like! Re-visit a place you visited before, or get whisked across the sea and up a mountainside to the secluded mountain temple of Nihonji on top of Mt. Nokogiri. Whatever you do, your guide will be available to provide tips and place suggestions if you need them.
Mt. Nokogiri and Tokyo Bay: $60
DAY 8: Off to Kansai!
For our main tour guests, you can choose to return home or stay a few extra days in Tokyo (ask us for details).
The rest of us will be departing for Osaka, Japan’s sarcastic, fun metropolis in the west. After having a special “welcome” lunch, we’ll head to Den Den Town, the “Akihabara” of the Kansai area, to check out the video game centers and other intriguing destinations. Following that, we’ll wander into the mayhem of one of Japan’s largest shopping and entertainment arcades in Shinsaibashi, where you’ll have the chance to experience a night out on the town the way the locals do.
DAY 9: Traditionally Intriguing
We venture to Kyoto today to visit some of Japan’s finest temples and shrines – with a twist. We begin with the golden pavilion of Kinkakuji and Nijo Castle, where the scenery and the “security system” are bound to impress. For lunch, we’ll pass through the hip Teramachi Area of town to visit some local “ninjas.” In the afternoon, we’ll head to the famous Kiyomizu Temple, where visitors can pass through darkness to grant their wishes, wish for true love, and more!
DAY 10: New Otaku Horizons
Prepare to check out the newest anime fan-centric areas in Kansai! First off, we’ll visit the museum dedicated to the god of manga, Osamu Tezuka. Then it’s off to the city of Kobe to visit the anime retail area in Sannomiya. Catch up on any shopping you have left, or have a meat bun in Kobe’s Chinatown. Finally, we finish with a stroll to the Kobe Waterfront (“Harborland”) to have a farewell dinner and watch the sun set!
DAY 11: Heading home…
Depart for home. ;_;