Anime De-Tour 2012 | October 8-16, 2012
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An anime-centric tour of Japan – created exclusively for Anime Detour con goers – that departs from Minneapolis? In the words of a questionable anime dub script – Believe it! This tour is open to people departing from Minneapolis only. Check out our equally awesome alternative departing from LA, the Alt Anime Tour, instead!
Anime Detour has done some pretty amazing things over the years. The attendees of the convention donated over $35,000 to earthquake relief efforts in Japan, helped their guests of honor when medical bills began to mount… and they also fill a hotel every April with thousands of Anime fans for an amazing convention. Now, PacSet Tours is joining forces with Anime Detour to give midwestern anime fans the chance to explore Japan, shop for one-of-a-kind character goods, stay at a traditional onsen ryokan, experience a vibrant local festival, and have a blast! You don’t have to be an Anime Detour attendee to join the tour – all are welcome. ^-^
Your tour guide will be Anime Improv/Great Debate host (and PacSet Director) Evan Miller. And don’t worry – he’ll leave the mallet at home (maybe).
The tour includes:
– Round trip flight to Japan from Minneapolis/St. Paul
– 5 nights hotel accommodations in Tokyo
– Admission to all activities
– 2 nights hot spring (onsen) ryokan accommodations
– Custom guidebook for the tour
– Tour guide services
– Much, much more!
Day 1: Departure!
We depart from MSP for the adventure of a lifetime.
Day 2: Arrival in Tokyo
After arriving in Tokyo and clearing customs, we’ll head into the city and get settled at our hotel. In the evening, sleep off the jet lag or join us for a late dinner at a local establishment.
Day 3: Let the fun begin!
Our first stop of the trip will be Harajuku, where we’ll start with a visit to the famed Meiji Jingu Shrine before moving into the area’s iconic shopping streets. Shop for kitschy souvenirs, fashions, delicious crepes, or just wander the aisles of one of Japan’s largest “100 Yen” stores searching for fun stuff to bring home. After we regroup, we’ll head to Akihabara, the otaku mecca of anime character goods, electronics, video games, and much more! Explore labyrinthine video arcades, doujinshi and manga stores, weird shops selling curry-flavored candy, and (if you dare) the area’s famous Maid Cafes. That night, we’ll take a detour to Tokyo Tower to take in a great view of the city.
Day 4: A Festive Occasion
Our day begins at the Ghibli Museum, an imaginative tribute to the films of the famed animation studio where guests can see an exclusive Ghibli animated short. Then it’s off to the great closet of anime fandom, Nakano Broadway, where old school toys and rare anime cels share shelf space with all kind of manga, CDs, character goods, and other fun stuff. Take a break in the afternoon or do some exploring on your own before we gather for a trip to one of Tokyo’s best festivals: the Ikegami Honmonji Festival! Get freshly cooked food from festival vendors as you watch the festival parade stroll by on your way to a massive temple ground in the center of the neighborhood.
Day 5: Freedom of choice
The day begins with a trip to Shinjuku to explore the area’s many unique offerings, such as the observation deck of the capitol building, the collection of strange gifts, art supplies, and more at Tokyu Hands, and exclusive Square/Enix merchandise at their “showcase” store. In the afternoon, take your pick: go back and visit more of the areas you didn’t get enough of, or follow the guide to other destinations in the city.
Day 6: The Kamakura Experience
Today is all about tradition as we head to the ancient city of Kamakura! We start at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine grounds, where the city views and gorgeous gardens are sure to impress. Check out the alley of souvenir and tea shops before we regroup and cross town to visit Hase Temple, a famous temple where visitors can “spelunk” in temple caves, or just relax and take in a panoramic view of the ocean coast. Finally, we’ll visit the city’s own giant buddha – a massive statue that visitors can actually enter to explore!
Day 7: Intriguing Ikaho
We depart Tokyo today for the mountain hot spring town of Ikaho. In other words, slip on a yukata and prepare to leave the skyscrapers behind: this is your chance to experience Japan off the beaten path. After checking in at our traditional onsen (hot spring) ryokan inn, we’ll head to Ikaho’s famed stone steps – a mountainside stairway lined with old game arcades, tea and snack shops, and more! If the climb up made you tired, worry not – there’s a natural volcanic foot bath at the top. When you’re done exploring, head back to the ryokan to experience the hot spring’s indoor and outdoor baths before we regroup for a night of games and karaoke!
Day 8: Mizusawa Mountains
The second day in Ikaho will have us visiting the Mizusawa Temple, an old mountain temple where visitors can sample the regions famed udon noodles and explore the huge temple grounds. After sampling the food, you’ll have a chance to make the udon yourself and eat the finished project! Once your stomach is full, we’ll be taking a ropeway cable car up the side of the mountain overlooking the city to explore an amusement park and shrine on the mountaintop. Descending into town again, we’ll take in the city’s illuminated fall colors. In the afternoon and evening, take your pick of exploring the stone staircase, bar hopping, or just relaxing in the onsen before a fancy dinner prepared by our hosts!
Day 9: Departure
Return home and tell your friends how much fun you had!