Japanese culture exhibits an incredible dichotomy of traditional and ultra-modern, sublime and weird, zen and robotic. From cuddle cafes to sumo wrestling, maid cafes and robot restaurants, toilet slippers and fashion trends, geishas, sushi-making, high-speed trains, fish markets and zen gardens… there is so much to see and do.
We love the idea of immersing ourselves in the beautiful and zen, weird and wonderful parts of Tokyo and Kyoto. But we are not offering your run of the mill tour. We are looking for guests who are interested not only in seeing Japan, but who are excited to befriend the eight who end up traveling together. Guests who are willing to get lost in order to discover something new; who prefer not having every minute planned; who want to have both eye-opening and heart-opening experiences.
We’ve booked a 4 bedroom AirBnB in the center of Akihabara, the mecca for Japan’s otaku subculture and anime culture. We’ll be surrounded by electronics and gadgets, maid cafes and sex shops, and still only a quick train ride away from the other neighborhoods we’ll want to check out including Shinjuku and Shiybuya.
Each day there is an experiential tour planned with a local expert, but we will not have a tour guide every minute of every day. We’ll be on our own to navigate the subway system, discover local restaurants and find our favorite karaoke bar!
We’re also giving guests the option to visit Kyoto for 2 days / 1 night midweek. For those staying in Tokyo you are on your own to make your adventure! For those who choose the Kyoto Option we’ll take the bullet train (2 hr 20 min each way), spend the night and return the next day. You must decide whether or not to choose the Kyoto Option at the time of booking.
Not sure what we’re talking about when we say weird and wonderful? Read our blog about Crazy Japanese Game Shows. The videos are sure to leave you wide-eyed , cringing and/or belly laughing – and possible all three.
Interested? Read below for the Trip Outline and costs and take our short survey.
Arrive Tokyo Arrive anytime, meet your housemates.
Sun Nov 10 (Day 2)
Tokyo: Animae Tour Japan’s otaku (obsessive geeks) are into all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff and one will guide down the rabbit hole, to witness the subcultures that make modern day Japan so fascinating. Dinner at the Robot Restaurant
Mon Nov 11 (Day 3)
We’ll learn how to navigate the subway system while going to visit Mori Museum; a digital art experience. Later in the afternoon we’ll enjoy a sake tasting and dinner at an Izakaya. Maybe this is our night for Karaoke?
Tues Nov 12 (Day 4)
Tokyo: Bike Tour. Get an intimate look at Tokyo during this 6.5-hour bike tour. Discover the city’s hidden paths and top landmarks, cycling beneath the skyscrapers of Shinjuku to a local shrine and exploring neighborhoods like Ginza and Roppongi Hills. Dinner on your own.
Wed Nov 13 (Day 5)
In Search of Old Tokyo An in-depth, expert-led exploration of Tokyo’s hidden history. Perhaps a mid afternoon nap before our Night Food Walking Tour
Thu Nov 14 (Day 6)
Tokyo. Choose your own adventure! OR Kyoto Option
Fri Nov 15 (Day 7)
Tokyo. Choose your own adventure! or Kyoto Option
Sat Nov 16 (Day 8)
Tokyo: Cooking Class. This is a 3-hour class taught by a professional Japanese chef in her private studio kitchen. Explore your last afternoon in Tokyo on your own and we’ll all meet up for celebratory farewell dinner.
Sun Nov 17 (Day 9)
Tokyo. Depart anytime.
Two day/ 1 night KYOTO OPTION
Thur Nov 14 (Day 6)
Bullet Train To Kyoto (2.5 hrs). Explore Kinkaku-ji Temple and Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine. Stay in an AirBnb
Fri Nov 15 (Day 7)
Explore Kyoto Take in the beauty and peacefulness of geishas, zen gardens, shrines and temples in Japan’s ancient imperial capital.Return to Tokyo via Bullet Train (2.5 hrs).
Please note, in order to keep costs down and allow for personal preferences, food is not included. Even when a tour happens over a meal (night food walking tour/ bike tour / sake tasting / the cost includes the guide, but not food and sake.
Please keep in mind this is an outline. We are intentionally leaving space for workshops, discussions and serendipitous discoveries. Some of the activities and/or the days of the activities mentioned may change.
Interested? Yay! Take our Survey now!
$500 deposit due upon booking. Trip due in full 90 days prior (August 9, 2019). Any cancellation made within 60 days prior (September 9th, 2019) will result in a refund of the trip price minus the $500 deposit. Any cancellation made within 45 days (Sept 23, 2019) will result in a 50% refund of the trip price. There will be no refunds for cancellations made after Sept 23 (45 days before departure). In the event that we cancel the trip your payment will be refunded in full. Should the exchange rate vary more than 5%, price is subject to change. Trip cancellation insurance is always recommended whenever making travel plans. World Nomads is the provider we use.