Thursday, February 25, 2010

Summer 2010 Itinerary

JapanLA Summer Tour 2010
July 14 - 22, 2010
$2595 (plus $225 estimated tax and fuel charge)

Tour Price Includes: Airfare, Hotel, Limousine Bus (to and from airport), Admission to Puroland, Admission to Studio Ghibli, Local Transportation (including local trains and charter buses), Tour Guides, Guidebook, Shopping Maps.

Hotel: Shibuya Excel Hotel (7 nights, double occupancy, add $620 for room by yourself)

Airline: Korean Airlines

July 14, 2010 - Wednesday
Leave LAX

July 15, 2010 - Thursday
  • Arrive Narita Airport
  • Take Limousine Bus to Hotel and Check In
  • Night time: Shibuya (Tour Guides will be available to take small groups to dinner, and some people will be on their own to wander around Shibuya to eat and shop. Maps will be given with landmarks to find your way around easily.)

July 16, 2010 - Friday
Charter Bus To:
  • Asakusa - Traditonal Japanese souvenir shopping, visit Buddhist Temple, and Shinto Shirine
  • Nakano Broadway - Toy Shopping (place to buy used and hard-to-find toys that people sell back to small shops, most are in brand new condition, and you can find rare items)
  • Akihabara - Electronic City Shopping for electronics, video games, anime, toys. Visit a Maid Cafe, or a Cat Cafe, (where you can hang out with cats).

July 17, 2010 - Saturday
Odaiba Adventure
  • Tokyo Toy Show - At Big Site Tokyo - See all the new toys coming out in Japan
  • Hang out in Odaiba and go to: Aqua City Shopping Center, Venus Fort, Fuji TV, Decks Tokyo Beach Shopping Mall, Sega Joypolis (Indoor Arcade Theme Park), Little Hong Kong, Replica of Statue of Liberty, Daikanransha (ferris wheel), Tokyo Leisure Land
  • Visit a Japanese Onsen (Spa) (No tattoos allowed, it’s a Japanese thing)
  • Character Street - Shop at small shops of particular characters like Ultraman Store, NHK Store (Domokun), Rilakkuma Bear Store, Sanrio store, Fuji TV Store and more!
  • Visit a Japanese Supermarket

July 18, 2010 - Sunday
  • Studio Ghibli Museum
  • Harajuku Shopping
  • Shibuya Shopping

July 19, 2010 - Monday
  • Puroland (Hello Kitty/Sanrio Indoor Theme Park
  • 100 Yen Store (Japan’s version of 99cent store)
  • Things I like to do around there: Eat a Japanese donut at Mister Donut, Eat a Fried Apple Pie at McDonald’s, Eat a Japanese Crepe, Play some claw machines and video games at the Arcade
  • Optional at Night: Kingyo (Burlesque Dinner Show, not included in the tour price)

July 20, 2010 - Tuesday
  • Ginza- Lunch with Mori Chack, Creator of Gloomy Bear, at Sweets Paradise. All-you-can-eat sweets pasta, curry, and other foods too! Mori Chack will do drawings and take photos with our group. (Lunch included in tour price)
  • Shopping in Ginza including visiting largest Sanrio Store in Tokyo (you can get Hello Kitty nails done here, and Hello Kitty Flowers)
  • Optional rest of day: go to other parts of Tokyo in smaller groups like Wholesale Fabric District. Other options will be available depending on where the group wants to go.
July 21, 2010 - Wednesday
  • On your own day! Wander around Tokyo!
  • Options: Tokyo Disney/Tokyo Sea

July 22, 2010 - Thursday
  • Leave Tokyo
  • Arrive LAX

July 22, 2010
OSAKA GROUP - (Extra Charge To Be Decided Soon)
Leave Tokyo
Arrive Osaka, Japan
Hang out in Osaka

July 23, 2010
Tour Shrines & Temples

July 24, 2010
Free Day
Options: Nara
Options: Kobe
Options: You Choose (you have a rail pass to travel around wherever you want, explore Kansai Region)
Stay in Osaka and celebrate Tenjin Matsuri Festival Activities

July 25, 2010
Tenjin Matsuri Festival Parade in Osaka (Festival of Water and Fire)
Boat Procession
Fireworks Show

July 26, 2010
Leave Osaka to Narita Airport
Back to LAX

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shibuya Excel Hotel

The JapanLA Summer Tokyo 2010 trip is planned! This, year, we are staying at the Shibuya Excel Hotel. We chose this location because it is right in the middle of great shopping, eating, and night time hanging out, and it is easy to find your way back to your hotel without a tour guide if you are wandering around Tokyo, and it is an awesome hotel with great reviews too!

The Shibuya Excel Hotel has 408 guestrooms, all with views of Tokyo, and there are 25 floors. The rooms have free wired high-speed internet, (so you can bring your laptop), tea maker, soft tempur foam pillows, and Japanese-style yukata cotton bathrobes. Some other things in the hotel that you may want to know are there is: air conditioning (you control climate in the room), TV, hair dryer, iron, complimentary toiletries (this usually means big pump bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash). The tour price is for double occupancy per room, and each room has 2 twin beds. If you would like your own room, by yourself, please add $620 to the tour price.

If you are bringing your laptop or other electronics, you will need a plug converter, if your cord has a 3-prong plug, or one of those 2-prong plugs where 1 prong is bigger than the other. A 2-prong plug with both prongs the same size will most likely work in a Japanese outlet. If you do find you need an adapter, you can see if the hotel will let you borrow one or run over to Tokyu Hands, (there's one in Shibuya near the hotel).

Here's an action shot of Shibuya at night. This is the Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest intersections in the world. It is referred to as a "scramble" crosswalk. All of the car traffic is stopped in all directions, and everyone crosses in all directions at the same time. It looks intimidating, but everyone is used to it and knows what to do to avoid running into each other.
You can CLICK HERE to see a YouTube video of people crossing, pretty amazing. Our hotel is right around here too!

Shopping in Shibuya is pretty awesome! You will get a map of all of our favorite shopping spots in every neighborhood in Tokyo that we travel too, including Shibuya. Some popular spots to mention are: Loft, Tokyu Hands, Shibuya 109, Parco, Marui 0101, and my favorite Don Quijote. There are also lots of record stores, bars, and restaurants around here too!