Anime Flavor: Tokyo & Kyoto Spring Tour
Anime Flavor Spring Tour is the best thing to fulfill your Otaku needs. We will go to some of the popular anime spots while learning about Japan’s culture. See Tokyo not only as a tourist, but as an Otaku on a mission. Have fun exploring the different shops in Akihabara, one of the main centers for Otaku culture. Not only that we will visit the famed Ghibli Museum as well as other anime related areas.
Navigate Tokyo's cultural landmarks, fashionable neighborhoods, and diverse shopping districts. Learn how to make your own sushi with a professional sushi chef and savor your delicious creations. Explore attractions like the Asakusa district with an atmosphere of old Tokyo, Japan's largest and busiest fish market, the historical Imperial Palace, and the record-breaking Tokyo Tower.
After touring the “Old Meets New” city, travel to Hakone, home of Mt. Fuji. On very rare days, Fuji-san can be seen from as far away as Tokyo! If the weather is in your favor, we hope to grant you glorious views from the valleys below, a ropeway on one of the nearby mountains, and even from one of Fuji’s own 5th stations.
Though your luggage will conveniently stay on our private, luxury coaches during your entire tour, you will be able to enjoy the lightening-fast speed of the Shinkansen, which can reach speeds of almost 200 mph (320 km/h). Your ride on this bullet train will be brief, but memorable. You will also be able to visit the beautiful Hikone Castle, one of the few original castles left in Japan. You’ll also visit Miho Museum: distinguished for its fascinating architecture designed by I. M. Pei. The museum exhibits various collections of artifacts from diverse ancient civilizations. It is named after Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan and the museum's founder. Miho Museum is also listed as one of the "1,000 Places to See Before You Die".
Spend two days in the deeply historic city of Kyoto, where you will have exclusive access to the best gardens, temples, shrines, and specialty shops in the city. Our travelers will also have opportunities to experience a traditional green tea ceremony hosted by an apprentice geisha (maiko). Visit Arashiyama, located on the outskirts of Kyoto, famous for its bamboo forest and traditional Zen landscape garden at Tenryuji Temple. You will then visit the ancient city Nara to see the inspiring architecture of Japan's largest wooden building, as well as the towering Great Buddha statue. Here, you will understand why this city is considered the birthplace of Buddhism in Japan. Your last stop will be Osaka’s entertainment and shopping districts: Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi.
Tokyo Narita Airport
Welcome to Tokyo! You will be met at the arrival gate by an AJT representative holding an "All Japan Tours" sign.
Hotel Mystays Premier Narita or similar class
Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or similar class (NOTE 1 & 2)
NOTE 1: If you wish to stay in the center of Tokyo for the first night instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included. We will provide you directions to get to your hotel in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$65.00 per person per way.
NOTE 2: If you will be flying into Haneda Airport (HND) instead of Narita International Airport (NRT), we can arrange for you to stay in the center of Tokyo (Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or similar class) instead of Hotel Mystays Premier Narita. In this case, meet-and- greet and airport transfer are not included. We will provide with full instructions to get to the hotel in advance, or we can arrange shared shuttle service for you at US$60.00 per person per way.
NOTE 3: The meet-and-greet is ONLY available for flights arriving in Terminal 1 & 2 after 11:00 AM. For guests arriving in Terminal 3, airport pickup is not included, but we will provide you with directions to get to your hotel in advance.
NOTE 4: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.
Tokyo (Ghibli Museum / Nakano Broadway / Akihabara / Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo)
Today we will be going to the Ghibli Museum. The Ghibli Museum has various exhibitions featuring the works by Studio Ghibli. This includes the work desk of Hayao Miyazaki, some of his sketches, and original movie that cannot be seen outside of the museum. Then we will shop to our heart’s content at Nakano Broadway, which has many old school anime and idol shops for fans. The shops span over three floors as the anime related ones are scattered among the levels. No anime tour is complete without a visit to Akihabara. Here you will have the chance to go shopping for your Otaku needs. Do not forget to see UDX Building, Kanda Myojin Shrine, and oh so many cafes. Yuo will then Tokyo's largest Pokémon Centers in Ikebukuro. This is a merchandise heaven for all Pokémon fans.
Breakfast / Lunch
Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or similar class
Tokyo (Asakusa Sensoji Temple / Sushi-Making Experience / Tsukiji Outer Market / Imperial Palace / Tokyo Tower)
Today, you will be taken to the Asakusa Kannon Temple, an active place of worship where you can see the largest paper lantern in Japan. You will also be able to explore the Nakamise Market, which is located right after the temple's outer gates. It is a traditional-style shopping street with centuries of history. Next, you will have the chance to enjoy a sushi-making experience with a professional sushi chef. Whatever you prepare, you will get to eat! Afterwards, we will proceed to the Tsukiji Outer Market, where various restaurants and shops line the streets. Then, pay a visit to the Imperial Palace, the former site of Edo Castle and current residence of Japan's Imperial Family. In the afternoon, we will visit the world's tallest self supporting steel tower. At 333 meters (1092.5 feet) high, Tokyo Tower is 9- meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. You will be able to get a bird's eye view of the city from 150 meters (492 feet) at the main observatory deck.
Note: For Sushi Making Experience, if you are vegetarian, on gluten-free diets, have seafood allergy, or don't eat raw fish, please contact us for other ingredient options.
Breakfast / Lunch
Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or similar class
Mt Fuji, Hakone (Hakone Ropeway / Owakudani), Shinkansen Bullet Train Ride
We will depart from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji on our private coach. Along the way, enjoy the changing scenery, from thick vegetation to lowlands and rolling clouds. Stop at Mt. Fuji 5th station (depending on weather conditions) to admire the world famous peak. Next, travel to Hakone, one of Japan's most popular hot-spring resorts. You will also get to view the forested slopes of Hakone National Park. We will take a 20 minute ropeway ride from Togendai to Owakudani. Most of Owakudani is considered an active volcanic zone since its creation from the eruption of Mount Hakone some 3,000 years ago. Visitors will encounter the area's hot springs and bubbling pools, complete with sulfurous fumes and steam vents. If the weather conditions are in our favor, Owakudani also grants splendid views of Mount Fuji. Then, experience a Shinkansen bullet train ride, which can reach speeds of up to 320 km/hr (200mph). We will stay at the Onsen Hotel at Hamanako Kanzaiji Onsen, where you can soak in the therapeutic waters of a spa bath and feast on a traditional Japanese Kaiseki banquet dinner.
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
The Hamanako or similar class
Hikone (Hikone Castle - Genkyuen Garden), Koka (Miho Museum)
After breakfast at the hotel, our group will visit the Hikone Castle, an original castle that has survived the post feudal era without undergoing severe damages or reconstruction. It is considered an excellent impression of what a complete feudal castle looks like, and is a national treasure itself. Afterwards, visit the tranquil Genkyuen Garden, located on the grounds of Hikone Castle. From there, proceed to the Miho Museum, which is distinguished for its fascinating architecture designed by I. M. Pei. The museum exhibits various collections from different ancient civilizations. It is named after Koyama Mihoko, one of the richest women in Japan and the founder of the museum. Miho Museum is also listed as one of the "1000 Places to See Before You Die"
Kyoto Tokyu Hotel or similar class
Note: If Miho Museum is close, we will visit Kyoto National Museum or Sagawa Art Museum instead.
Kyoto (Arashiyama - Tenryu-ji Temple Zen Garden - Sagano Bamboo Forest - Togetsukyo Bridge / Golden Pavilion / Nishijin Kimono Show / Kiyomizu Temple / Gion Geisha District)
Today we will start our tour of Kyoto, once the capital of Japan and still considered its cultural center. First, we will visit Arashiyama to see the Tenryuji Temple, where you can have a glimpse of a traditional Zen landscape garden design. Then, proceed through the dense Sagano Bamboo Forest, pass several small shrines, tea shops, and private houses before arriving at the Togetsukyo Bridge over Hozu River. Continue on to the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) covered with 18- karat gold leaf. This three-story structure was originally built by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. At the Nishijin Textile Center, you can view displays of kimonos, watch an elegant kimono fashion show, and learn how they are made. Our group will tour the Kiyomizu Temple, best known for its large wooden stage that sits 13 meters (42.6 ft) above a hillside. Visitors are granted a charming view of numerous cherry trees that come with spring, as well as a beautiful scene of Kyoto City in the distance. Lastly, we will tour Gion, a famous geisha district in Kyoto lined with many restaurants and teahouses called ochaya.
Breakfast / Dinner
Kyoto Tokyu Hotel or similar class
Kyoto (Green Tea Ceremony with Maiko Interaction / Fushimi Inari Shrine), Nara (Todaiji Temple / Deer Park), Osaka (Dotonbori - Shinsaibashi)
The day begins with a green tea ceremony and a meet- and-greet with a maiko – an apprentice geisha. You will have photo-taking opportunities and a chance to interact with the maiko. After that, make your way to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The shrine is famous for its thousands of stunning vermilion torii gates that are lined along a 4 km (2.5 mile) long tunnel, which was even featured in the film "Memoirs of a Geisha". This complex wraps around a bamboo wilderness that consists of mountains, streams, and ponds, making it the perfect backdrop for a scenic hike. We will then travel to Nara, where we will go to Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in Japan. The temple also houses one of the largest bronze statues of Buddha at 15 meters (49 feet) tall. Nearby, explore the surrounding Deer Park, filled with over 1,000 Sika Deer. Our final stop of the day will be in Osaka. We will spend some time in Dotonbori, a popular shopping, entertainment, and food district. It is known for the hundreds of neon and mechanized signs that line its streets. Our group will also stop by Shinasaibashi, one of Osaka's oldest shopping destinations.
Breakfast / Lunch
Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport or similar class
Hotel Elsereine Osaka or similar class (NOTE 5 & 6)
NOTE 5: If you wish to stay in the center of Osaka for the last night instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport, we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class). In this case, airport transfer is not included, but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.
NOTE 6: If you will be flying out from Itami Airport (ITM) instead of Kansai International Airport (KIX), we can arrange for you to stay at Hotel Elsereine Osaka (or similar class) instead of Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport. In this case, airport transfer is not included but we will provide full instructions for you to get to the airport in advance.
After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Checkout time is 11 am and Osaka Kansai Airport can be reached in a three minute walk.
NOTE 7: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.