Anime Expo 2006
Pop Japan Travel

by Sean Broestl, Jul 3rd 2006
Pop Japan Travel is a collaboration between HIS Travel and Digital Manga

Earl explained that they are a special kind of tour trying to bring a lot of pop culture angle to their tours. Pop Japan Travel tours last 8-10 days and cost between $1600 and $2200 normally. HIS Travel provides all the services the groups need including translation and guides.

There are four tours each year. Each tour has a special theme. For example, 2007 will have a ninja-themed tour, and they are planning a special yaoi tour. Besides the tour themes, they try to mix in traditional Japanese stuff like visiting shrines or seeing a tea ceremony, etc.

PJT is changing things up this year to do these themed tours so it's not the same thing every year. They want you to have a reason to come back and do another tour.

One thing that people seems to find scary in Japan is the food. In the past, the food side of the tour has been lacking and they are trying to beef that part up to show more of the core food types that people in Japan eat.

The big news for their studio tours is that the 2006 Endless Summer tour will feature a tour of Studio Gonzo. Beyond Gonzo, they are expanding the number of studios available for them to tour.

They want to do a car-focused tour in the future, though details beyond doing a car part shopping trip were not revealed.

Pop Japan's Travel website will have teasers up for all their tours, and full itineraries later this year.

2006 Tours:

September Endless Summer Tour: Entire tour in Tokyo. Studio Gonzo tour. Sightseeing in Tokyo, attending Tokyo Game Show. There will be plenty of time to shop like every tour. Going to Harajuku, Shinjuku, and Shibuya. Trip to Hangone, which will feature riding a pirate ship across Hashinoko Lake and taking a train up Mt. Fuji. Also going to go to see a Sumo Wrestling match.


2007 Tours:

Real Ultimate Ninja Tour (April – May) – Some time in Tokyo, will visit ninja restaurant. Tour ends in Osaka. When traveling between Tokyo and Osaka, they are going to go out in the “boonies” and visit a real ninja village. Going to stay one night in a 500-year-old temple.

Winter Samurai Tour – Going to go to the snow festival in Sapporo. There are huge snow sculptures the size of buildings.

Pop Evolution Tour – “Punch in the face with pop culture.” Attend a JPop concert. See some of the musical shows that Japan is famous for. Like Taiko and the muscle musicals.

Yaoi Tour – Whole thing will be unveiled at Yaoicon. PJT did give some teasers for the tour though. Planning a session to see a yaoi VA recording session, dinner with a yaoi artist and signing afterwards. Visits to yaoi stores that sell stuff you cannot get here.

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