Animated Spring | March 15-26, 2015
North America’s most popular Anime tour is back for its fourth year, and it’s better than ever. In addition to tour favorites like Harajuku, Nakano Broadway and Akihabara, we’ve added extra free time, the new Hotaluna ferry designed by Leiji Matsumoto, Sega Joypolis, the historical Tokiwa-so complex that many famous manga-ka called home, and a whole lot more! Plus, you’ll have the chance to check out temples, neighborhoods and sites that no other tour visits!
Want to extend your journey? We’ve added more to our popular Kansai extension too! You’ll get four full days to explore Kyoto’s famed temples and shrines, Osaka’s Namba and Umeda shopping areas, Kobe’s gorgeous waterfront, and – new in 2015 – an included visit to the recently restored Himeji Castle and one of Japan’s most legendary hot springs, Arima Onsen!
|TOUR AT A GLANCE|
Baggage: 1 large/checked-size bag, 1 carry-on sized bag | Complimentary bag shipping for large bags available
Single Rooms available
- R/T airfare from Los Angeles to Japan
- Tour dates: Departs March 15, returns March 22 for Basic package; March 15 to March 26 for Extended/Perfect
- Hotel accommodations: 6 nights in Tokyo, 4 nights in Osaka (TOKYO ONLY for Basic Package)
- Stops in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe (TOKYO ONLY for Basic Package)
- All transportation (train, ropeway, bus, shinkansen/”bullet train”, etc.) within Japan
- Professional bilingual guide services
- Admission to all activities
- Customized tour guidebook
- Nightly turndown service with local snacks and homemade sweets
- Additional OPTIONS available: Tokyo Tower, Maid Cafe, Mt. Nokogiri + Tokyo Bay + lunch and an all access pass for Sega Joypolis
- Much, much more!
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. In the evening, you can choose to shop, rest, or join your guide for help with acquiring dinner.
DAY 3: Cat Buses and Collectibles
We begin our day at the Ghibli Museum, where you can explore the history of Miyazaki’s masterworks, see exclusive anime shorts, and even meet a giant robot. After that, get ready to dive headfirst into the mecca of all things Anime, Akihabara! Join the guides for shopping or go on your own – it’s up to you. In the afternoon, you can join us for a visit to one of the area’s iconic Maid Cafes, where you’ll sample some of the cutest desserts around with the most enthusiastic hosts you’ll ever meet. That night, turn in early or join us for a trip to Tokyo Tower.
Maid Café: $40
Tokyo Tower: $20
DAY 4: Cels, Sephiroth, Shibuya
Ikebukuro – home to the fangirl-centric Otome Road and the largest outpost of Japan’s biggest anime goods store – will be our starting point today. Take time to shop, or take a look into the past with a visit to Tokiwa-so, the apartment building-turned-museum that famous manga artists like Fujiko Fujio and Osamu Tezuka once called home. Then it’s off to the attic of anime fandom, Nakano Broadway. Here you can find forgotten treasures from classic shows, old manga, cels, and a whole lot more (not to mention a series of delicious hole-in-the-wall restaurants). If the Final Fantasy theme is your ringtone, you’ll want to join us for an optional jaunt to Square Enix Artnia in the afternoon, where exclusive figurines share space with a café that serves video game-inspired drinks and parfaits.
DAY 5: Fashion and Drama
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. From there, walk with us or take the train to Shibuya, where music stores and street art create one of Japan’s most vibrant urban collages. If you’re feeling a little shopped-out, don’t worry – we have an alternative excursion to a cool local crafts café lined up for you, where you can have a snack and create some cool one-of-a-kind goodies you can take home with you!
DAY 6: Freedom of Choice
Today is a free day, so you can take it easy – or you can join us for a trip to the remote temple atop Mt. Nokogiri. You’ll get whisked across Tokyo Bay by ferry and up a mountainside to the secluded mountain temple of Nihonji, where giant stone carvings, hidden Arhat statues and unbelievable views lurk behind every turn.
Mt. Nokogiri and Tokyo Bay (lunch included): $80
DAY 7: AnimeJapan and Beyond!
No Anime Tour in this season would be complete without a visit to Anime Japan (formerly Tokyo International Anime Fair) – and that’s where we’re headed today. We’ll check out all the up-and-coming anime on the show floor as we browse the exhibits. Then, we cross Odaiba to see the life-sized Gundam robot and Gundam-themed store, Gundam Front. Our last stop will be the massive arcade known as Sega Joypolis, where you can play the latest arcade marvels or upgrade your pass for unlimited access to all the attractions at Joypolis, including numerous virtual reality rides.
Sega Joypolis All-Access Pass: $30
DAY 8: On to Kansai!
Guests on our basic tour: this is where we bid you farewell. ;_; Extra days in Tokyo can be arranged by request. For those on the extension, the adventure continues as we hop on the Shinkansen and are off to Osaka! After dropping our bags, we’ll proceed to Himeji Castle, Japan’s most legendary castle. After exploring inside and outside the castle walls, we swing through Kobe to check out the city’s beautiful waterfront, eat Pudding Ice Cream (it’s awesome, trust us) and have a good time! Your guide will be on hand for an optional walk to Kobe’s Earthquake Memorial on the waterfront.
DAY 9: From Shrine Gates to Shinbashi
The picturesque shrine gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine are today’s starting point, and trust us, you won’t want to miss exploring the legendary shrine tunnels at this PacSet favorite. From here, we jump back into the present when we hit Osaka’s famous Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Arcade and Namba, where Osaka goes to eat, party, and get geeky.
Day 10: Kyoto!
We’re all about Japan’s old capitol city today! Board a private charter at Kyoto Station as we whisk you across the city to the famous golden pavilion, Kinkakuji. From there, we travel to Kiyomizu Temple to take in beautiful views and sample the flavors of the city. Next up is Nanzenji, where we’ll enjoy a tea ceremony and the picturesque grounds. Take part in an optional dinner at a Ninja-themed café before we head to Nijo Castle for a special seasonal treat: the yearly illumination of the cherry blossoms on the castle grounds.
Day 11: Relax and Recharge
Today begins with a trip to Arima Onsen, one of Japan’s oldest hot spring towns. Explore back alleys and old shops and – if you don’t have any huge tattoos – experience the baths for yourself! Then, we will wind our way out of the mountains to Sannomiya, Kobe’s bustling market area which also houses their Otaku Road shopping area. After finishing any last minute shopping, we’ll unfold our picnic blankets to partake in a PacSet tradition: cherry blossom viewing with the locals!
Day 12: Return Home
Depart for home. ;_;