Join members of the Japanime Games team for this unique tour through Tokyo & Japan during the Tokyo Game Market in 2023!

Japan is the eleventh-most populous country in the world, as well as one of the most densely populated and urbanized. About three-fourths of the country’s terrain is mountainous, concentrating its population of 125.44 million on narrow coastal plains. Japan is divided into 47 administrative prefectures and eight traditional regions. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.4 million residents.

The trip is divided into two parts - the Tokyo Game Market Tour takes place over six days (December 5-10 with travel days on either end). The post-tour adds eight more days (heading home on December 16). For more information on both parts of the trip, read on!

This itinerary remains the property of Explorations by Thor and is subject to change without notice. Please note that if a last minute cancellation occurs, a replacement technical visit of equal value will be arranged.

Tokyo Game Market Tour

*Monday (December 4) - Depart the U.S. for your flight to Tokyo, Japan (Narita airport code NRT). Air travel not included in price of tour.

Day 1 - Tuesday (December 5) - Afternoon arrival in Tokyo for the 6 day Tokyo Game Market & City Experience and check in to your hotel. Welcome dinner tonight at the hotel tonight. Overnight Tokyo (D)

Day 2 - Wednesday (December 6) - Start your Tokyo experience with a full day with Japanime Games Owner, Eric Price. Visit the SkyTree for amazing views at 2,080ft, the world’s tallest tower. Travel with Eric to Asakusa, which is home to the Nakamise Shopping Arcade. The streets are lined with stalls, selling a wide range of local goods and souvenirs. Visitors can get a taste of a bustling Buddhist temple and take part in a fortune telling activity called “omikuji.“ Late in the day, visit the district of Akihabara, known as Electric Town, a district filled with neon signs and collectible, electronic/game and hobby stores. Overnight Tokyo (B)

Day 3 - Thursday (December 7) - Today, start your day with a city tour of Tokyo. This custom guided tour will highlight the city's neighborhoods, temples, shrines, and historic landmarks such as the Sakurada Gate and the Niju Bridge. Later, experience a local foodie tour to enhance your taste buds with a variety of Japanese foods. Next, visit the Ghibli Museum (pending ticket availability) which is dedicated to the works of master animator and director, Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli. Ghibli films are beloved in Japan and several have become international hits as well. Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and many more have captured the imagination of children and adults alike. Tonight, enjoy a dinner and dance show in Tokyo. This show combines robots, dragons, ninjas, blue-haired dancers and music! Overnight Tokyo (B,L,D)

Day 4 - Friday (December 8) - Full day at Tokyo Disney Sea! Overnight Tokyo (B,D)

Day 5 - Saturday (December 9) - Full day at the Tokyo Game Market or enjoy Tokyo as you wish!
Optional half day tours can be booked onsite: Taiko drumming demonstration or Sumo wrestler meet and greet! Overnight Tokyo (B)

Day 6 - Sunday (December 10) - Another full day at the Tokyo Game Market or enjoy Tokyo as you wish!
Optional half day tours can be booked onsite: Taiko drumming demonstration or Sumo wrestler meet and greet! Overnight Tokyo (B)

*Monday (December 11) - Check out of your hotel and travel to the Tokyo Narita Airport for your return flight home.

End of 6 day Tokyo Game Market Tour.

Post-Game Market Tour

Day 7 - Monday (December 11) - For those doing the post tour, depart Tokyo for Hakone Owakudani, (Great Boiling Valley) affectionately referred to as “Hell Valley” by some locals due to the rocky desolate landscape and billowing sulfur mists rising from cracks in the earth. It is a place of unforgettable sights and smells. Take a cable car up to Owakudani for excellent views of the curious landscape. If the weather is cooperating, you can also get a fabulous view of nearby Mt. Fuji. Next, enjoy a delicious lunch followed by a sail across the lake on a pirate ship. Later, check in to your hotel and have an optional hot spring bath (at or near the hotel) called an “onsen.” Overnight Hakone (B,D)

Day 8 - Tuesday (December 12) - Travel to Takayama, the “Little Kyoto”, a hidden gem in mountainous Gifu Prefecture. On the way, stop in the town of Matsumoto and the Matsumoto Castle, or “Crow Castle” because of its black exterior. It is designated as a National Treasure in Japan and is one of the best preserved structures of its kind, dating back to the 1500s. After lunch, continue the journey to Takayama, which has the old-Japan charm and well preserved streets where the shops and homes make you feel as if you have stepped a few centuries back in time. Overnight Takayama (B)

Day 9 - Wednesday (December 13) - Enjoy a morning walking tour and then free time in Takayama exploring the town! The town is also home to some great museums such as the festival museum dedicated to the elaborate parade floats and the “Showa” museum which is a nostalgic blast from the past that recreates Japanese life from the ‘20s through the ‘80s. Takayama is also famous for its beef. While Kobe beef is the most famous variety of “wagyu,” Hida beef from this region is just as well-regarded and delicious. Tonight, enjoy a sake tasting followed by a Hida beef dining experience (vegetarian or vegan options available). Overnight Takayama (B,D)

Day 10 - Thursday (December 14) - After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Kanazawa Station. As one of the premiere cities on the Sea of Japan coast, Kanazawa is famous for its gold mines, abundant seafood, and for having one of the top gardens in the country. Kenrokuen Garden exemplifies the ideal of a Japanese strolling garden. Visit the eastern tea house district, (Higashi Cha-ya) a delightful walk to discover all of the different uses that the merchants have found for gold leaf. Take part in a hands-on class where you can apply your own gold leaf designs to lacquered boxes. Overnight Kanazawa Station (B)

Day 11 - Friday (December 15) - Start with an early morning departure via train to Osaka. Tour Osaka on foot and visit the Anime shops in the Nipponbashi and Osakajo grounds and castle. After lunch on your own, continue back to Kyoto to visit some Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Visit the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, which is covered in gold leaf, making it the most iconic building in Japan. Kyoto Station is an architectural marvel and a great place to dine, shop, or just explore. Enjoy the rest of the evening on your own. Overnight Kyoto Station (B)

Day 12 - Saturday (December 16) - In the morning, visit Kiyomizu Temple. Kiyomizu’s favor is that it offers an excellent view of the surrounding mountains. Next visit the ancient street of Ninenzaka. The historic street is filled with unique shops and souvenir stands. Participate in a hands-on lesson on the tea ceremony. Learn about the history and meaning behind the ceremony as you watch this ancient ritual. Try your hand at making a traditional cup of matcha with lunch! After lunch, visit the Samurai and Ninja Museum which gives great insight into the history and myths of these legendary warriors and spies. Guests can also try on costumes and handle weapons. Also visit the Nijo castle and grounds. In the evening, travel to the Gion neighborhood, home to many geisha and apprentice geisha, known as maiko. Enjoy a farewell maiko dinner. Overnight Kyoto Station (B,L,D)

*Sunday, (December 17) - Depart your hotel for Osaka Kansai (Airport code KIX) international airport and your return flight home. Air travel not included in price of tour.

Pricing, restrictions and more details

The form below will send your information to Explorations by Thor who is organizing the trip, and will reach out for more information, so please double-check your responses! You can download a PDF of the itinerary, restrictions and pricing information HERE. Questions can be sent to Explorations by Thor!