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NEWS: Pop Japan Travel Extends Winter Deadline


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animedevil



Joined: 29 Aug 2002
Posts: 8
Location: FL

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:55 pm Reply with quote
Damn this is expensive for a week.,
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azzmoneky



Joined: 26 Jul 2003
Posts: 193
Location: With my lord and master Foamy

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:21 pm Reply with quote
that is actuly a good deal I think.
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darkhunter



Joined: 13 May 2004
Posts: 2992
Location: Los Angelas

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 10:33 pm Reply with quote
animedevil wrote:
Damn this is expensive for a week.,


Never travel before?
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daxomni



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 2650
Location: Somewhere else.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:33 pm Reply with quote
darkhunter wrote:
animedevil wrote:
Damn this is expensive for a week.,


Never travel before?


Yeah, it isn't as bad as you may think. If you want something cheaper in Asia, you can try Thailand or Vietnam. It'll still cost you $700 - $1,400 after taxes just to get there and back, but once you're there you can live pretty well for not too much money.

A ticket to Japan and very basic hotel can easily run $2,000 or more for a week without covering anything beyond air, hotel, and bus transfer. You can find cheap food in Japan, but everything else seems to be really overpriced IMO. I wouldn't seriously consider moving there unless my salary was doubled, and even then I'd really have to think about it.
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evilnekohilda



Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Posts: 166
Location: Wichita, KS

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:28 pm Reply with quote
Akihabara and Harajuku in one day??? I admire those who have that kind of stamina... XD I spent 3 days going in and out of those two districts by themselves... o_o
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sorvani



Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:42 pm Reply with quote
i went with PJT back in september, and they always schedule shopping to go along with the studio. it's not a bad thing actually, for those who need the help figuing out how to do things on ones own.

The summer tour had a day and a half of "free time" preceeding the studio tour (Production I.G., a group or Studio Deen, b group). I spent most of that day and a half in ginza, akihabara, shibuya, and a optional morning tour to tokyo tower. but i'm a pretty self confident type, and just said "screw it. i may never get to do this again." and promplty wandered off on my own into the wilds of tokyo. but honestly anyone who is city bred can handle tokyo with just a little thought.
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:31 pm Reply with quote
evilnekohilda wrote:
Akihabara and Harajuku in one day??? I admire those who have that kind of stamina... Anime hyper I spent 3 days going in and out of those two districts by themselves... o_o


Well, they introduce you to the districts in one day, and I have to agree, it isn't nearly enough time.

But you have every evening free to go back, and you also have a free day.

Some smart people also chose to stay a day or two longer than the tour, to give them more time to re-visit more places introduced to them by the tour at their own schedule, or to visit places that the tour didn't take them.

-t
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daxomni



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 2650
Location: Somewhere else.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:06 am Reply with quote
sorvani wrote:
i'm a pretty self confident type, and just said "screw it. i may never get to do this again." and promplty wandered off on my own into the wilds of tokyo. but honestly anyone who is city bred can handle tokyo with just a little thought.


Interesting read. I've only spent a couple days in Tokyo a couple years ago. I didn't use PJT or any other travel agent or service. I simply reserved my plane tickets and my hotel stay online. Getting to Tokyo's major shopping areas seemed surprisingly easy, but finding my little out-of-the-way ryoken was seriously difficult for me. I finally broke down and asked for assistance from a local, and I felt a little better when even he had to think a bit about how to find it.

Much of Tokyo is ugly and mundane. In all honesty, it looks a lot like any other Asian metropolis, but with better public transportation and much higher prices. You can't be nearly as indiscriminate with how you spend your money as you can in other parts of Asia, and some Japanese folks are just a little bit cooler and slightly less receptive to foreigners IMO. That's not to say that Japanese people are 'unkind'. In fact they all seemed to treat me with a rather gracious level of respect. However, I still had the unusual feeling that there was more of a wall between us than I usually feel in other countries. Granted, I'm not exactly a seasoned world traveler, but neither was Japan my first foray into foreign territory.

In any case, I feel I have more interest in seeing places like Kyoto and Hokkaido than Tokyo in the future. Tokyo seems to be more about shopping and spending money than anything else, and since other parts of Asia offer much better value for your money (heck, even New York is less expensive than Tokyo) I don't see much point in that. Instead I'd prefer to spend my time sightseeing in those areas of Japan that are a bit more unique than yet another spaghetti-style urban metropolis. PJT seems to offer a somewhat unique anime-oriented approach to their trips, but some of their trips still seem to focus just a bit too much on Tokyo IMO. I'll probably go back to Japan once I've tired of the rest of Asia, but something tells me that could take a while. Also, it looks like stopovers in Japan are going to become less and less common as newer airplanes are able to reach locations well beyond NRT.
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Cheesemon



Joined: 05 Dec 2002
Posts: 117
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 3:00 am Reply with quote
While going to Gonzo is nice, the main attraction that I'd recommend this trip on is the Sapporo Snow Festival, which was the most awesome experience I had in my two years in Japan. Far more awesome than Akihabara or anything else in Tokyo. My trip to Sapporo for three days was about $1000, and I was travelling from within Japan, so this agency's price isn't *that* bad. Heck, when I flew back from Japan this summer, my one-way plane ticket was over $2000. >< So if you have the money, go for it. Otherwise, be sure to save for snow festival 2007. ^^
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daxomni



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:41 am Reply with quote
Cheesemon wrote:
While going to Gonzo is nice, the main attraction that I'd recommend this trip on is the Sapporo Snow Festival, which was the most awesome experience I had in my two years in Japan. Far more awesome than Akihabara or anything else in Tokyo. My trip to Sapporo for three days was about $1000, and I was travelling from within Japan, so this agency's price isn't *that* bad. Heck, when I flew back from Japan this summer, my one-way plane ticket was over $2000. >< So if you have the money, go for it. Otherwise, be sure to save for snow festival 2007. ^^


$2000 seems a bit much for US > Japan considering how many carriers offer that route. It's typically $600-1,200 or so from where I'm located. You must have been buying at the last minute? Otherwise, why not buy a throwaway return instead and simply pocket the difference?

The Snow Festival seems interesting and Gonzo is one of my favorite anime studios. Hmm. Maybe I'll buy a ticket after all. After visiting London, Munich, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket in 2004 (that last one was but several days before the big tsunami hit), I was pretty dormant in 2005 with all my trips being domestic holidays visiting family members. Now I'm almost ready for another long-distance run and a week's vacation is perfect since I tend to get a little bored after that. Anybody willing to chime-in on their PJT experiences?
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animaniac



Joined: 06 May 2003
Posts: 246
Location: Idaho

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 3:15 pm Reply with quote
I would like to go a few times on these trips (or on my own) I'd like to go during winter (I like winter and the snow festival looks great) and during summer for the game show and maybe for spring to see the blossoms. I'm trying to go for the first time this summer. Gonzo would be a great studio to see.
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PantsGoblin
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Joined: 27 Jun 2005
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Location: Agoura Hills, CA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:12 pm Reply with quote
I've said before that I went on the previous tour in September. Ya, I really enjoyed it. Tokyo isn't that bad I think. I actually liked it a lot, well, Akihabara that is. I spent two days there looking through the stores and there's still a lot I wasn't able to get to. Kyoto, umm, it seemed to have a lot of the cultural type stuff. It had a lot of historical stuff too and was great for sightseeing. It had the most greenery out of the three cities I went to. Osaka I actually liked the best. It didn't smell quite as bad as Tokyo, the people were generally nicer, and it still had a good number of shopping areas. It also had some really good restraunts. It still had the city feeling like Tokyo, but the buildings weren't quite as tall. I'll probably go on another tour with them, maybe next September if they go to the Tokyo Game Show again.
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daxomni



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:42 pm Reply with quote
PantsGoblin wrote:
I've said before that I went on the previous tour in September.


I'm still waiting for your detailed trip report. Very Happy
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PantsGoblin
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Joined: 27 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:56 pm Reply with quote
daxomni wrote:
I'm still waiting for your detailed trip report. Very Happy


The IM I sent you wasn't enough? I guess I could go into more detail. It may take me a while though.
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PantsGoblin
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Joined: 27 Jun 2005
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Location: Agoura Hills, CA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:41 pm Reply with quote
I wrote this pretty fast. Here's the first night. Is it enough detail for you?

Day 1. I arrived in Osaka/Kansai International Airport at around 6:00 p.m. I didn't get much sleep on the plane so I was pretty tired. We waited in a line for custom checks or something. It took about half an hour to an hour. I listened to a few other peoples conversations, I don't really talk that much and I didn't know anybody else on the tour. I Went downstairs and exchanged my US money for Japanese yen. I think I got about 300,000 yen. I had more money in traveler's checks. All together I had $1,000 in spending money. Our luggage went on a truck.

We got to meet our Japanese tour guides on the bus to our hotel. One of them, Aka-san, came with us on the plane so I already knew him. The other two were Japanese natives. Oka-san, was a bit odd, we seemed to joke about her a lot, but she ran things well. She was pretty short. Kaz was pretty normal. He seemed to know more about some of the more modern trends in Japan compared to Oka-san.

I arrived at the New Hankyuu Hotel in Osaka. I got my luggage and went up to my room and stuff. My room mate was nice and quiet. We didn't really talk that much. The room was... very small, and the pillows were filled with beads or something. The toilets were wierd and high-tech compared to ones in the US. They really stood out. Oka-san warned us about the button with a picture of water spraying. Yes, it sprayed water on your ass while you sat on the toilet I think. I didn't press it. The shower was like a hose and was flexible. The shampoo, conditioner, and body wash were placed in some kind of dispenser.

Finally, I get to walk around outside. I went out with a few other people. Places I noticed was a casino, called puchinko, I think (I could have spelled it wrong). Some of the slot machines were "Fist of the North Star" themed. I saw some yahoo internet cafe. I never went in it, I was too fascinated with other things. I went to eat at a fast food restaurant. It may have been a chain but I don't remember its name. They sold burgers, but all of them had eggs in them. I pointed to what I want. The girl said "Arigato Gozaiimasu!" (may have spelled it wrong) after I payed her. Seriously, all of the girls there who worked at fast food restaurants sounded exactly the same. And that's all I ever heard them say. I think it came out to about 580 yen for my meal. That's about $5.80. That's pretty expensive considering it was about the same size as a kid's meal in the US. Wow, there was a second floor. A bunch of Japanese teenagers were smoking up there. We all sat at the same table upstairs. Yes, we were pretty loud compared to everbody else there. I didn't talk that much though.

I walked around alone outside a bit. I noticed there was at least three vending machines per block if not more. Right outside our hotel across the street were about six or seven vending machines lined up. They sold beer, cigarettes, pocari swear, sodas, pocky, and many other things in their vending machines. Back in my room I remember seeing "Kiki's Delivery Service" on TV I watched a minute or two of it and then went to sleep.

Maybe I should write the rest of this while it's still somewhat fresh in my mind (3.5 months). Maybe I'll add pictures later.
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