INSIDE jAPAN: MANGA & ANIME TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
Experience the very best of Japan with a manga and anime twist on this unusual ten-night itinerary. With sightseeing time amongst the bright lights of Tokyo, historic Kyoto and vibrant Osaka mixed with visits to the top manga and anime museums, this trip is sure to be packed with fun.
Manga (Japanese comics) and anime (Japanese animation) have become integral parts of modern Japanese life and culture, and as such there is no way of escaping their influence. Without them Japan would definitely not be the brilliant and intriguing country that it is today!
In Tokyo you will kick off your trip with a full day of exploring with one of our ex-pat "Insiders". Wander Harajuku to catch up on the latest youth trends, spot cosplayers displaying their elaborate costumes based on their favourite fictional characters, and visit the fabulous Studio Ghibli Museum just outside Tokyo.
The latter is a must for all anime fans, giving visitors the chance to learn about the inner workings of the animation genius Hayao Miyazaki - revered creator of Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro and Princess Mononoke.
Heading south on the world-renowned Shinkansen bullet train, you will spend a few days in the cultural heart of Japan, Kyoto, before making your way to Osaka - Tokyo's fun loving cousin.
As well as the classic cultural highlights in Kyoto, you will have the opportunity to visit the International Manga Museum and spend an afternoon at the Toei Movie Park - where you can dress up as a samurai, geisha or ninja and explore some real Japanese film sets!
We also recommend a day trip to Takarazuka just outside of Osaka, where you can visit the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum.
* Take a manga & anime themed tour of Tokyo with our "Insider" expert
* Explore Osaka's buzzing Dotonbori district
* Spend an afternoon at Toei Studio Park
* Travel on the world-famous bullet train
* Visit Akihabara - the centre of all things anime
* Stop by the Kyoto
(NOTE: All trips are customizable, simply inquire about your desired experience)
DAYS 1 - 3
Find your own cosplay costume in Akihabara “electric town”, sip tea with the otaku in a Maid Café, and stand in the shadow of a Gundam Wing suit in futuristic Odaiba.
On arrival at Tokyo's Narita Airport today, you will make your way to your hotel by shuttle bus and have the rest of the day free to explore.
You will be staying in Akihabara, the national centre of all things anime and manga-related. Stop in at the famous Mandarake shop with its outrageous costumes, wigs, comics and models; check out the AKB48 café for an insight into Japanese pop idol culture; or just explore “electric town” in general.
On your first full day in the capital you will be accompanied by one of our "Insider" staff on a manga and anime-themed tour of Tokyo. The plan for today is completely flexible and your Insider will help you decide what you'd most like to do. Perhaps you'd like to head over to Harajuku to spot some cosplay enthusiasts in Yoyogi Park, or ride the monorail to Odaiba to see a “life-sized” Gundam Wing suit.
There will be lots of time for shopping, and your Insider will take you one of the city's famous maid cafés for a complementary lunch. We can also arrange a manga and anime drawing class this afternoon for those with creative flair – just ask us for details!
After this action-packed first day you can choose to continue exploring the metropolis independently or take a day trip out of the city. The elaborate sacred shrines at Nikko or the giant stone Buddha at Kamakura are both well worth a visit – for full details of our favourite day trip suggestions just check your Info-Pack.
Overnight: Remm Akihabara
DAYS 4 - 5
Head to Japan's cultural capital, where a blend of ancient temples and manga madness is sure to be a highlight.
Today you will ride the Shinkansen bullet train to Japan's cultural capital, Kyoto. In the afternoon we have included tickets to the Toei Movie Village – where you can dress up as a historical character and wander through real Japanese film sets!
On your second day in Kyoto you have a full day with a private tour guide who will help you combine the city's most famous spots with some of its lesser-known treasures including the fantastic International Manga Museum. The itinerary today will be completely flexible, but if you have anything specific in mind just let us know and we can pass on your preferences to the guide in advance.
Overnight: Mitsui Garden Kyoto Shijo
DAYS 6 - 8
Wander Osaka's neon-spangled Dotonbori district before heading to the hometown of a manga master.
The next stop on your adventure will be Osaka, only 30 minutes by train from Kyoto. You'll have two full days to explore the city, where highlights include Osaka Castle, the architecturally spectacular Umeda Sky Building, and one of the world's largest aquariums.
Be sure to try the local speciality of takoyaki octopus balls (tastier than they sound!) The neon-spangled Dotonbori district is the place to go this evening – there's a reason it's known as “Japan's kitchen”!
After an action-packed day in Osaka you may like to make the short train ride west to Takarazuka, the hometown of the acknowledged grand master of manga – Osamu Tezuka. Here you can visit a museum dedicated to his life and works with original drafts, an expansive library and a movie hall.
There is also a live anime workshop where visitors can experience anime production first-hand! This is an essential day trip for the serious manga fan.
Overnight: Cross Hotel Osaka
DAYS 9 - 11
Finish your adventure with a wander through the fantastical imagination of Japan's number-one animator at the Studio Ghibli Museum.
Leaving Osaka behind, today you will hop back on the bullet train and return to Tokyo. This time your hotel will be in the fashionable Shibuya district – full of shopping options and conveniently located for visiting Nakano Broadway, a suburban arcade that rivals Akihabara as a centre for manga and anime shops. The nearby entertainment district of Shinjuku is the perfect place to spend your penultimate evening.
On your last full day in Japan you'll take a very special Ghibli inspired bus tour. Ghibli films such as My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service have firmly established the studio not only as the pre-eminent animation film studio in Japan, but one whose films surpass language and culture to be loved all over the world. Included on the bus tour is entry to the Ghibli Museum. This is a must-visit location for fans of celebrated director Hayao Miyazaki and will open up a whole new world for those who have yet to be introduced to the surreal, sublime, and totally amazing world of Studio Ghibli.
Finally your time in Japan must come to an end, and after ten days of manga madness it's time to head home. You will be picked up from your hotel by a shuttle bus and conveyed to Narita Airport in plenty of time for your departure flight today. Have a safe journey home.
Overnight: Shibuya Mets
* We have full descriptions of the accommodations and the activities included in this experience. Just ask for them!
* Price is per person, based on double occupancy.
* Prices and itinerary are estimates only, only the final booking will secure price and availability.
* Not Included: airfare, insurance, meals not described on the itinerary, tips and any additional services.
* World Oyster Travel is available to also book your airfare and trip insurance separately and additionally, simply inquire.
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