Starving Artist | June 19-25, 2012


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As artists ourselves, we at PacSet know how tough it can be to pay the bills and support your craft. That’s why we created this tour, where you’ll be able to sell your work at a Japanese dojinshi convention, check out art stores and institutes in Japan, and organize special sketch sessions based on what YOU (i.e. the people attending) want to see. To keep things as cheap as possible, we’ll be staying in hostels and other “cheaper” accommodations so we can get the most out of our journey. Who knows – if your art sales are good enough, you might be able to pay for the trip while you’re there!

1 DAY 1: Departure!
We meet at the LAX International Terminal and depart for Japan!

2. DAY 2: Arrival
Upon arrival in Tokyo, we’ll get checked in at our hostel, drop off our luggage, and head out for an optional dinner at a local “Beer Garden” – where the food is DIY, the refills are free, and hospitality is boundless.

3. DAY 3: The Fundamentals
Our day begins at the Studio Ghibli Museum, where we’ll get a look at the career of one of Japan’s most famous illustration and animation teams. Next up, we’ll head to Shinjuku to shop at Japan’s finest art supply havens. After getting lunch, stocking up on supplies, and exploring Shinjuku, we’ll head to Ikegami’s Honmonji Temple to explore and – if you like – do a little sketching. In the evening, you can choose to relax or join us for a late run to Akihabara.

4. DAY 4: Learning Curve
Today, we head to one of Japan’s art schools to gain a look at how the other side learns the ropes! After meeting some students and breaking some pencils, we’ll head to a local manga exhibit or meet with a creative team (details TBA). If time allows, join us for some manga shopping in Nakano Broadway.

5. DAY 5: Join in the Circle
On the eve of Comic City, we’ll be visiting Asakusa to check out some traditional temples, shop for souvenirs, and get a little inspiration. After taking a water taxi ride across Tokyo Bay beneath the city skyline, we’ll be meeting up with a circle of aspiring manga artists like you to hang out and have an international sketch jam!

6. DAY 6: Welcome to the Comic City!
The time has come: today we’ll spend the entire day at Comic City, where you’ll be able to sell your work to hundreds of thousands of Japanese manga and art fans. In the evening, as time allows, we’ll retreat to the hostel and anyone with the energy to do so can join us for dinner and karaoke!

7. DAY 7: Escape to Ito
Some of our group will be leaving us here to return home. If you’re not ready to make tracks for home, join us for a low cost extension to Ito, where a converted hot spring (onsen) hostel and rural hospitality awaits. After arriving and dropping off our bags, we’ll check out the onsen and the local temples, and if weather permits, take a look at one of the most gorgeous expanses of coastline in Japan.

8. DAY 8: The Ito Experience
Today, we’ll head south to a place where you can make your own soba and learn the art of Japanese calligraphy. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Atami area to check out some other scenic onsens, visit a few shrines, and have a farewell party.

9. DAY 9: Return home
Depart for Los Angeles.

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