Japan’s distinctive Anime and Manga styles of animation have legions of fans the world over. The art form has developed well beyond the often epic books, movies and comics of history, love, betrayal and combat. Otaku have developed their own cultures, and fashions, and altered both the way that the world sees Japan, and the country itself. Now you can experience this totally unique culture for yourself. Over our exclusive eleven night tour to Japan you will get to visit some of the largest anime and manga studios in the world, see the places that inspired some of your favourite stories, and head to the heart of the current culture in Harajuku and Nipponbashi. You will also get the chance to experience Japan for yourself. With plenty of free time and traditional tours of all the cities you go to, you will get to immerse yourself in the animation, but also see all the usual highlights of this fascinating country as well.
Arrive at Narita airport and travel to your hotel in the heart of Tokyo using the provided limousine bus coupon. You will be staying here for three nights.
Take a morning walking tour of the unique Harajuku neighbourhood and visit the iconic Kiddy Land Harajuku, Omotesando Hills, and 100 Yen shop DAISO. You have the afternoon off to explore for yourself – suggested places to go include J-world Tokyo, the Pokemon Centre in Ikebukuro or the robot restaurant in Shinjuku.
A free day in Tokyo. With so many places to visit you will be spoilt for choice and capable of tailoring your tour to your liking. Shibuya, for example, is a great place to shop for Anime and Manga. If you prefer you can head out of Tokyo itself to see Yokohama or Nikko where the attractions are the National Park, the mausoleum of shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Futarasan Shrine, which was built way back in 767.
Take a trip on the world famous Shinkansen, bullet train, to Kyoto. Once the capital of Japan this city is the still beating heart of Japan’s history. Depending on when you go you take in the incredible beauty of the cherry blossoms, the ancient temples and historic castles. The rest of this day is at your leisure so perhaps consider a trip to Nara, another of Japan’s once mighty capital cities, to see the legendary Todaiji Temple.
Participate in a full guided tour of Kyoto visiting places such as the International Manga Museum, Toei Studio Park and the Tezuka Osama Manga Museum.
The shrines and temples of Kyoto stretch back across the millenia. Gorgeous gardens, surround ancient wooden buildings with a thousand stories to tell. Visits to these buildings will often give a clearer idea of ancient Japanese culture than anywhere else. If you have never had Tofu or Sake then Kyoto is also the place to try this out – the water here is said to be purer than anywhere else in Japan thus making the world’s best examples. In the evening why not take in traditional Kibuki theatre, wander the Geisha district or try your hand at a traditional tea ceremony?
Travel from Kyoto to Osaka by train. There you will check in to stay for the next two nights. The afternoon is yours to do with as you please so why not take the opportunity to visit one of Osaka’s numerous Manga cafes where customers can read from a library of manga for a specified time at a corresponding fee. The more adventurous might like to try a “Maid Cafe” where the waitresses are all dressed in french maid outfits and the menu, food and decor are just about as kawaii, as things get.
This is a day that is set aside for you to see Osaka as you want to see it. If you haven’t had enough of the Manga and Anime theme yet you may want to try Amerikamura or Osaka Nipponbashi. Otherwise why not head to Universal Studios Japan, the Osaka Castle, or Dontonbori, a shopping district where you can find absolutely unique items amidst ancient buildings crammed in between garish neon signs?
Travel from Osaka to Tokyo on the bullet train. Once again you will get the opportunity to see the legendary Mt Fuji out of the window as your fly by at 320km/h. The afternoon in Tokyo is yours to do with as you wish, and that evening you can choose to either go to the Gundam Front Tokyo or Nakano Broadway – a shopping complex famous for it’s anime and manga stores, which sell everything from unique figures to out of print copies of your favourite animation.
Dedicate this day to the Ghibli museum. Tickets to this museum are difficult to come by and are sold in advance of your trip. Fortunately your tour includes free access to this museum dedicated to the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of such films as Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. Afterwards you can also stop by the Suginami Animation Museum.
Check out of your hotel and use the limousine bus coupon to travel to Narita airport for your flight back to South Africa.
From R31 700 per person sharing.
If you want your own room add roughly an additional R4330.
Tour price is valid for travel in 2015. Subject to availability and rate of exchange fluctuations.
The tour includes:
5 nights accommodation in Tokyo at the Hotel East 21 or similar.
2 nights accommodation in Osaka at the Toyoko Inn Tenmabashi Otemae or similar.
3 nights accommodation in Kyoto at the Toyoko Inn Kyoto Shijo-Omiya or similar.
Limousine bus coupons to and from the Narita Airport and Tokyo hotel.
7-day Japan Rail Pass
Half day walking tour of Akihabara
Full day tour in Kyoto
Ghibli Museum admission ticket
Toei Studio Admission ticket