Animated Spring 2020 | March 20-April 1, 2020
What is SpotHolder/The Estimated Price?
Estimated Trip Price:
$2,995 total (estimate, full trip)
FINAL PRICE ANNOUNCED ON: APRIL 11, 2019
(What’s included? Read the Trip Information)
Read Terms & Conditions and FAQ / Prices listed are per person, double occupancy
Sign up & payment deadline: January 10, 2020
This ain’t a tour. It’s the ultimate anime fan experience – and it comes with unparalleled flexibility.
You’ve spent months scouring the internet, navigating sites filled with misinformation while scrounging to book Ghibli Museum tickets and an Air B&B that the Japanese government could kick you out of any minute. You’ve planned out every hour. You’ve done a ton of research. By the end, you’re exhausted and thinking, “Hey, isn’t a vacation supposed to be… fun?” We couldn’t agree more.
Animated Spring has been tooled and re-tooled for almost a decade to create a Japan travel experience that helps you cross everything off your wishlist (and shopping list!), see the best of Japan, and keep your sanity in the process. We’re veterans of the anime industry who understand that anime fans are just as interested in exploring, partying under the cherry blossoms, and having a good time as they are shopping – but don’t worry, we’ll help you find that figure/doujin/Blu Ray/game on your wishlist too!
We’ll explore Anime hotspots like Akihabara, Nakano Broadway, Ikebukuro (home to the re-designed Pokemon Center and fangirl paradise Otome Road) and the Ghibli Museum. In Kansai†, you’ll get to explore Kyoto’s famous temples and shrines, shop Osaka’s “Otaku Road” in Namba, savor the region’s famous food, and take in the views a gondola in the mountains above Kobe. Plus, because we know there’s so much more than shopping on your wish list, we’ll also visit cultural sites like Meiji Jingu Shrine, cruise across the bay on a futuristic ferry designed by Leiji Matsumoto, and party with the locals at an Izakaya Dinner. Want more? Join optional trips to scenic Mt. Nokogiri, Tokyo Disney Sea, a fantastic hot spring “theme park” on Odaiba, and/or a fancy dinner on a Yakatabune longboat in Tokyo Bay! If this sounds like a lot, don’t worry; there’s also a full free day so you can shop more, check out a different spot in the city, or just relax and admire the loot you bought in Akihabara. ^_~
In 2020, we’re adding even more to the trip too! We’ll be spending a full second day in Kyoto so we can check out the bamboo forests of Arashiyama and the magnificent Himeji Castle. In addition, starting in 2020, you’ll be able to fly to Osaka or either Tokyo airport† to join the trip, giving you even more ways to join the fun.
Ready to go? Sign up below and get ready for a journey you won’t soon forget! Don’t wait too long, though: space is limited!
“The detailed tutorials were really well laid out and informative. I especially appreciated the chance to be able to arrange alternate plans during the trip to be able to see things not on the tour. Finally, the enthusiasm of our guides and their love of Japan was infectious!” – Andrei, Animated 2015
“I’m glad a company like this exists, where the guides know how to do their job, but also have fun. It felt more like a long group outing and less like following a tour guide with the flag. Because of this, PacSet makes it very easy to come alone or withsomeone else and still feel comfortable.” – Alan, Animated 2016
“Evan went out of his way to help when I had problems arise during the trip. I believe all the guides genuinely cared about the attendees and making the trip as enjoyable as possible.” – Autum, Animated 2017
†- Guests on the “Tokyo Only” trip will not visit Kansai and cannot fly to Osaka.
** = included with the perfect package
Tokyo Tower* ** +$15
Maid Cafe* ** +$45
Tokyo Disney Sea* or Mt. Nokogiri + Lunch* ** +$85
Oedo Onsen Monogatari Hot Spring* ** +$30
Yakatabune* ** (longboat bay cruise), with dinner and views of the cherry blossoms +$100
Single Room +$600 (Tokyo Only), +$1000 (entire trip)
Extend Your Trip: All trips can be extended! Mention your extension request during signup so we can follow up with you!
Today is the day you’ll need to depart your home country for the beginning of the trip!
Day 2: Kansai Arrival!
You can arrive in Osaka (Kansai Airport) or in Tokyo (Haneda or Narita) – it’s up to you. No matter where you’ll be, we’ll help you get your rail passes processed before we meet up and check in to our Osaka hotel.
Day 3: First Impact
Today begins with a trip to the mountains above Kobe, where we’ll begin our adventure by taking in amazing views from a gondola that goes over a waterfall! It might feel a little relaxing, but that’s by design; you’ll want to have energy for our afternoon stop! We’re off to Osaka for some of the city’s best food and snacks in Namba, the popular Osaka neighborhood that is also home to one of the world’s largest shopping arcades, neon-lined rivers, and the Kansai area’s biggest “Otaku Road.”
Day 4: Kyoto!
We’re all about Japan’s old capitol city today! We’ll board a private charter at Kyoto Station as we whisk you across the city to the famous “silver” pavilion, Ginkakuji. If you’re feeling like taking in the city up close, walk the famed “philosopher’s path” down to Nanzenji, where we’ll explore old aqueducts and climb inside the giant Sanmon Gate! From there, we travel to Kiyomizu Temple to take in beautiful views and sample the flavors of the city on the area’s famous Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka boulevards. Finally, we’ll visit Nijo Castle for a special seasonal treat: the yearly illumination of the cherry blossoms on the castle grounds.
Day 5: Shrine Gates and Soaring Forests
The picturesque shrine gates of the fox-themed Fushimi Inari Shrine are today’s starting point, and trust us, you won’t want to miss exploring the legendary shrine tunnels at this PacSet favorite. From here, we’ll cross Kyoto to see the bamboo forests and river views of Arashiyama. We’ll take pics and explore, but don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of time to relax, sail on the river, or just hunt for delicious local treats.
Day 6: From the Castle to the Tower
TOKYO ONLY GUESTS: You join the group in Tokyo today!
In the morning, do a little more shopping on Kobe’s own anime goods shopping street, or visit Japan’s largest and most famous castle, Himeji! Then, we’ll bit adieu to Kansai and take off on the Shinkansen to Tokyo! Upon arrival in Tokyo, we’ll head to our hotel and get settled in. In the evening, you can choose to shop, rest, or join your guide for an optional trip to the picturesque observation deck of Tokyo Tower!
Optional: Tokyo Tower $15
Day 7: My Neighbor Akihabara
We’ll begin our day at the Ghibli Museum, where you can explore the history of the iconic studio’s masterworks, see exclusive anime shorts, and even meet a giant robot! Then, it’s off to the mecca of all things Anime, Akihabara! Join the guides for shopping or go on your own – it’s up to you. You’ll also have the chance to join us for a visit to our favorite Maid Café for dessert!
Optional: Maid Café $45
Day 8: Gundam, Game Centers, and Anime Goods
We begin the day on the futuristic Hotaluna ferry boat, designed by anime legend Leiji Matsumoto, for a gorgeous ride across the bay to Odaiba! When we get there, you’ll have the chance to see the life-sized Gundam UC robot and the brand new Gundam model store. The journey continues as we make our way to Ikebukuro, where you can visit exclusive shops for anime series like Free!, Evangelion, Pokemon and more. If that’s not your thing, worry not: you can also chill at a local cat cafe, browse the fangirl-centric Otome Road (hi ladies!), or sample fancy desserts at countless cake shops near the station. If all this urban exploring has you feeling like a change of scene, join us for a special multi-course Tempura dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay, complete with bottomless drinks and spectacular views of the budding cherry blossoms from the Sumida River.
Optional: Yakatabune Dinner Cruise $100
Day 9: The Future (and Past) of Anime
No Anime Tour in this season would be complete without a visit to Anime Japan (formerly Tokyo International Anime Fair) – and that’s where we’re headed today. We’ll check out all the up-and-coming anime on the AnimeJapan show floor as we browse the exhibits. After seeing what’s next in Anime, you can browse Odaiba more or join us for a trip to the local hot spring “theme park” of Oedo Onsen Monogatari! In the evening, we’ll gather for the 6th Annual Animated Spring dinner to socialize, laugh, and eat lots of good food (included!).
Optional: Oedo Onsen $30
Day 10: Decision Time!
Today is the first of two free days on the tour! You can do your own thing, or you can join your guides for one of two optional excursions. The first: a seaside lunch followed by a trip to Mt. Nokogiri, a mountaintop temple where a giant buddha, thousands of stone carvings, and thrilling views are bound to leave an impression! The second: a visit to Tokyo Disney Sea, a Disney amusement park with numerous Japan-only attractions and a design that has earned the park accolades from Disney fans all over the world.
Optional: Mt. Nokogiri (lunch included) OR Tokyo Disney Sea $85
Day 11: Huge Shrines, High Fashion, Hidden Treasures, and Hanami!
We begin our day at Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tokyo’s iconic forest shrine dedicated to the Meiji Emperor. After making wishes and taking in the sights, we’ll head to Harajuku, Tokyo’s new center of all that is hip. Shop for kitschy souvenirs, fashions, or just wander the aisles of one of Japan’s largest “100 Yen” stores searching for fun stuff to bring home. Then we’ll step back into the past through a visit to Nakano Broadway! Here you can check out hundreds of thousands of new and used figures, manga, and more as you shop the “rental cases” and shops spread over four awe-inspiring floors. In the evening, join your guides and a bunch of friendly locals for an unforgettable picnic under the cherry blossoms!
Day 12: Free Day!
Yup, it’s another free day for you to explore Tokyo! Your guides will be on hand the night before to help you plan your day out on the town.
Day 13: Return home
Return home to tell your friends how much fun you had!
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