Lorien K. Lorien K, 2010 Hanabi
“My boyfriend and I just got back from the PJT Hanabi Tour for our 10th anniversary. Nothing I have ever done or seen before compares to it. The tour was the perfect mix of pop culture and history, modern and traditional. Evan, our guide was fantastic! We saw so much more with him than we would have on our own. His food suggestions were the best. You’ll never go back to Top Ramen! The best part was Ito, the last two days of our trip. We stayed in a traditional ryokan, bathed in hot springs, saw fireworks that put the 4th of July to shame, and ate the freshest sashimi we have ever tasted! From the planning stages to the end of the trip Evan and Gigi helped us through every step. We are already planning our trip for next year. I wouldn’t  dream of planning it with anyone other than Pop Japan Travel…”

posted via Yelp.com

Hot Yaoi Man Alexis P, 2010 Fujoshi Paradise
Favorite parts: “Roppongi Kingyo, meeting Makoto Tateno (and having her draw for us!), eating fried things on sticks, Design Festa (even though it wasn’t actually part of the “real” tour), seeing the huge crowds of girls in the Otome Road shops on a Sunday afternoon, Oedo Onsen Monogatari, eating way too much food at the matsuri.  So many great things on the trip!!!

Evan was an awesome guide – and his subway knowledge is insanely impressive.  He really went out of his way to look after everyone, particularly when unexpected situations arose, or there were hiccoughs in our itinerary/schedule.  His tour-guidey talks were informative, but fun and (most importantly?) not too long or dull!”

Deanna B. Deanna B, 2010 Fujoshi Paradise
“I went on a PJT tour recently (In May) and it was quite fun!
Unfortunately, due to the small size of our tour, only one tour guide traveled with us on our trip, despite the fact that we had previously planned on having both tour guides traveling with us. He was very patient with the members of the tour, and he took very good care of us. I fell ill on the trip and he took extra measures to ensure I got back to the hotel room safely and made sure that I could contact my parents back in the US…”

continued at Yelp.com

Carina R. Carina R, 2010 Tokyo Anime Fair
“The tour was fun and I had a great time! Loved everyone in the group – we all got along really well.  The two tour guides, Evan and Gigi, were the best tour guides anyone could ever ask for.  They remained with the group from morning to evening.  Evan was fluent in Japanese and was a great translator and leader of the tour group.  He was also very knowledgeable about the history behind the different places we went to and did not hesitate to educate us.  Gigi was the coordinator and treasurer of the activities and ensured that everyone stayed together and didn’t get separated from the group despite the heavy crowds of Tokyo.  Both tour guides were funny and quite helpful to the group.  Evan even found a specialty shop for me at Nakano Broadway and called me up on my rental phone and personally guided me to the shop.  I really had a wonderful time and would not hesitate on doing another tour with Pop Japan Travel.

I basically loved a lot of what the tour had to offer.  First and foremost, the food.  Everything I ate at the tour was really delicious and at the same time, experience a bit of authentic Japanese cuisine from the best ramen that I’ve ever eaten to really fresh and inexpensive sushi to the all-you-can-eat okonomiyaki to the light and delicious flavor of Japanese curry to the different Japanese delicacies of the Sakura matsuri up to the ever-filling and all-you-can-drink event of the Farewell Dinner.  And we will never forget our daily morning trips to the best tasting bread from Anderson’s for a quick “to go” breakfast which complimented well with the great creamy taste of bottled “Blendy” coffee or Milk Tea.”

Erissa N. Erissa N, 2010 Tokyo Anime Fair
“I had used Pop Japan Travel once before in 2003 and had a good time, but it was nothing compared to the fantastic experience I had with them in March 2010.
I the night before my husband and were leaving Denver a freak snow storm hit and our flight to LA got canceled. One on our tour guides, Evan, was up till 2am trying to help us sort this out. Ultimately went missed the flight to Japan, but got to LA. and flew to Japan the next day. (Pop Japan arranged it so we didn’t have to pay extra to change flights at the last minute) …”

continued at Yelp.com

Leisl Adams Leisl Adams, 2009 Mind Over Manga
“I personally had a great experience.  It was nice to have all the hotel/transportation and other arrangements taken care of so we could just enjoy ourselves. Despite the rain, going to the Osamu Tezuka museum was fun.  Especially because I didn’t realize that was where we were going so it was a big surprise when we got there ^_^  I also really enjoyed walking around in Kyoto. Thanks Gigi, the trip was so awesome!  You guys were great!  Masa was hilarious!  Keep up the good work :D”

Greg Parris Greg Parris, 2009 Mind Over Manga
“Visiting the temples and walking through “small town” areas (Ome, Takarazuka, parts of Kyoto) was a lot of fun.  I particularly enjoyed the Kiyomizu visit.  The Roppongi Kingyo trip is also something I won’t forget. 8) Thanks for a great vacation.  PJT made my first international trip a memorable one.”

Dwain Pruitt Dwain Pruitt, 2009 Mind Over Manga
“Overall, the “Mind Over Manga” tour provided an excellent introduction to Tokyo’s pop culture districts and to elements of Kyoto. It was especially good for exposing us to things that visitors to Japan might not think to–or know how to–visit like Tezuka Osamu World, the manga juku and the Kyoto International Manga Museum.”

Christina Racca Christina Racca, 2009 Mind Over Manga
“I had a great time with Masa-San & Gigi. PJT did a wonderful job with giving us a ton of the Japanese culture experience! From fast paced ultra metro Tokyo to laid back traditional Kyoto, I will definitely be traveling with PJT again. My favorite part of the tour was dressing up as a Maiko in Kyoto. I want to personally thank Masa-san for working to coordinate everything & helping communicate with the owners on such short notice, I was very impressed. Thank you so much for helping me experience a very memorable and exciting event! I absolutely loved it and get great compliments on the photos <3 Thank you for the wonderful memories <3″

Lily C., 2008
“I had an amazing time at the MaruiOne Fashion Expo! Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity!.”

Tania del Rio, 2008
“Overall, it was amazingly well organized and executed given how many people were on the tour. All 3 guides were amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing! I had an incredible experience and saw and experienced so much. I will definitely take another tour again in the future!! Thank you!”

Robert Luoma, 2008
“I congratulate Ben Applegate, Masahiko Matsumoto and Shiori Takezawa on doing excellent jobs as tourist guides; I have been on a number of package tours and, despite that various hiccups, the Cold Steel Tour was well organized and well run; when difficulties arose, our guide provided creative (though sometimes quirky) solutions (I have been on tours where the guides froze in panic and thereby wasted everyone’s time).”

April Hatfield, 2008
“Thank you Pop Japan Travel! The tour was so much fun! Ben, Masa and Shiori were great and a blast to hang out with, it feels just like a family. I’m sad to be leaving everyone. I will be back Japan just you wait! Thanks again guys!”

Michelle Horton, 2008
“Thank you so much. :)
AMAZING experience and a once in a lifetime themed trip! Meeting all of the desginers was mindblowing. I was too happy to ask the Angelic Pretty designers questions!”

Jessica Oliver, 2008
“Meeting [manga artist Makoto] Tateno-san was amazing. I was stoked to win the drawing and have an awesome thing for a new tattoo! Also abolustely loved Roppongi Kingyo! It was a fun and visually exciting show. The men made better women than I do. Ha!”

Kevin Erhler, 2007 (Minnesota, USA)
“I had a blast and a half with [Pop Japan Travel], if I went to Japan by myself I would be completely missing out on all the great stuff on the tour. I had doubts from the moment I signed up (with [joining] a tour group in general), but no more.”

Joan Rotella, 2007 (Florida, USA)
“Anyone considering going to Japan should definitely go with Pop Japan Travel. Not only do you get to see the Anime world from where it began, the tour also takes you to many of Japan’s more traditional sights. The tour guides were great! You couldn’t ask for nicer people, they had an excellent itinerary planned for us and they were a lot of fun to be around. They were very knowledgeable about the Japanese culture and were a great help with finding our way around Tokyo and Sapporo. The group of people that went on this tour [had] some of the nicest and most interesting people that I could have wished for. I felt lucky to be among them. I never thought I would be able to visit Japan, it was a dream come true. I am hoping I will be able to go there again someday.”

Dian Hall, 2007 (Alberta, Canada)
“[Pop Japan Travel is] *by far* the best way to get your feet wet in Japan. If you�fve never been to Japan before, this is the way to go. It was really nice that it was such a small group this time so that we could all get to know each other and hang out. [It was] more relaxed a really nice way to spend a vacation. [Pop Japan Travel] made it tons of fun [They] figured out what the group wanted and started customizing the stops.”

Alex Horrell, 2007 (Montana, USA)
“I’ll start by saying I loved the tour it was awesome. Japan was everything I had hoped it would be, I wasn’t ready to leave by the end of the tour and wished I could have stayed longer. Not sure what else to say other than [that] Pop Japan Travel put together an awesome tour. That was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve ever had!”

Sean Sean (Slap) (California)
“I just got back from a week filled with twenty hours of sitting on a plane, several mornings of being wedged into a crowded subway train, and countless hours of wondering if I should have slept more the night before. All this and I couldn’t be happier. The time I spent in Tokyo under the very capable guidance of Pop Japan Travel was some of the greatest I’ve had so far in life.
Before the trip, I was convinced that Tokyo would be a fascinating and awe-inspiring city, but I hadn’t thought much about the tour group we had selected for our trip. We had selected PJT because it was affordable, but I wasn’t really aware it was any different from most travel companies. I expected a mediocre group of travel experts/robots who practiced a careful, liability-minded, watered down tour of Japan. Instead, we were treated to a trio of tour guides who were smart, funny, and very human. They knew the city, but more importantly knew how to have fun in the city.
I’m considering joining PJT on a future tour of Japan. The combination of value, entertainment, and peace of mind provided by a great agency such as PJT makes traveling that much more enjoyable.”

Pinguino Pinguino (California)
“To truly start to understand a culture, you need to immerse yourself in it. PJT provided that opportunity through their winter tour, where I had the best adventure of my life: exploring the futuristic anime mecca of Tokyo. Without comprehension of the language, we wandered through the streets of Japan, danced with the Japanese clubkids, searched for the perfect supply of capsule toys, and found the most awesome television commercial in the world. We discovered some tasty drinks (Qoo!), made new pen pal friends, met the creators of Last Exile at Studio Gonzo, and spent an afternoon at an anime school! We did all this and more, while living for a week in a world so different from the United States, that it seemed that we ourselves were in an anime story.
An anime tour in Japan- it was a dream come true, and great adventure was had by all. There really is no experience quite like it, and I highly recommend the PJT trip to any popculture fan interested in Japan.”

Paul Paul (California)
“The winter 2004 Tour was awesome. This was my first time going to Japan and I had an experience that I will never forget. I met a lot of new friends through this tour and was able to share this adventure with the group. This tour is tailored to a crowd that not only enjoys anime and manga but also wants to see Japan. I know without the group I would not have had such a good experience. From the first day of your tour until the last is wonderful. The tour guides are awesome in showing Japan and also sharing the history and culture. My favorite part of the trip was taking the Subways and trains all over Tokyo. This gave you a sense of adventure and also first hand experience on how commuting is I Japan.
Visiting Gonzo studios gave me a new insight in how anime is created. From the tour that was provided, and being able to talk and listen to some of the creative team was and experience. The Multimedia Art Gakuen was awesome you got to see first hand on how students go to school to study and you also get to experience a small portion.
If you always wanted to visit Japan and experience the wonderful culture and want an adventure I would recommend Pop Japan Travel. You will get an experience you will not forget.”

Kim Kim (Ohio)
“After planning most of my around going to Japan, this was the best way of achieving that goal. Not only affordable but it was one of the best trips I been on. The three tour guides were awesome and friendly, and lets not forget the other gaijin who came. There was never a day I didn’t feel welcome. Every moment was an exciting for me, the sights and sounds of Japan was something to be miss when I left. To checking out the sights by subway was great and seeing the many districts were fun. I sure did a lot of shopping and the capsule toys. Oh how I miss the capsule toys.
My favorite part of the tour was Multimedia Art Gakuen where many of tried our stuff at voice acting and painting part of a cell as well as checked some of the students’ work. Going to Club Asia with Pinguino and talking with some of the locals and making friends. It was definitely a memory that will stay with me as with the rest of the trip.”

Rachel Rachel (Maryland)
“My favorite part of the tour was the Ghibli museum. It was incredibly moving for me as an aspiring artist to see the beautiful works of art on display. I can’t put into words how meaningful and touching it was for me but I can say that I was ready to cry I was so moved. I recommend this tour to any fan of anime but especially to those like myself who also want to be a manga/anime artist one day. There was more than enough opportunity to quench one’s anime thirst on this tour with the anime museums, animation school and studios, and famous Japanese cultural experiences that you’ll recognize from the animes. The Staff of Pop Japan Travel was fun enthusiastic and accommodating. They answered all my questions and were ready to help me with any problem or concern I had. I can’t thank them enough for the memories and good times”

Thomas Thomas (Florida)
“My favorite part of the tour was the blending of Japanese pop culture and history. Seeing the Imperial Palace one day and Studio Gonzo the next gave me the best of both worlds. I would recommend this tour because its affordable, it combines both pop culture and history, and many of the activities were exclusive and not available to do otherwise. These kind of people would like this tour because they would get to see the stuff they see in anime in real life, and experience many things that other people would not experience. The staff/service at Pop Japan Travel was fantastic, professional, and a lot of fun. They are part of the reason the trip was so wonderful.”

Michael Michael (California)
“If you like your anime and manga so close you can taste it, then this is the tour for you! Never in my life did I expect to have the opportunity to gain such unprecedented access to the inner workings of anime. I will never forget the things we saw and did, or the people I met, in our time in Japan! I’m truly grateful for everything Pop Japan Travel provided me on our historic tour!”

John_Florida John from Animenation.com (Florida)
“Having been to Tokyo twice before within just the previous 7 months, I was at first a bit hesitant to commit myself to the structured itinerary of a package tour, but the opportunities offered by the Pop Japan Travel package, and the very reasonable cost swayed my decision. Now that the trip is over and I’ve arrived home again, I can reflect on the trip with great memories and wholeheartedly say that I’m very glad that I went.”

Sean (Arizona) Sean (Arizona)
“My favorite part of the tour was…Going to Japan! Though I guess if I had to break it down, I’d say going to Gonzo Digimation was my favorite part, just because they were so friendly and I was completely fascinated by the process. Seeing the CG floating on animated sketches just blew me away. Ghibli museum was fantastic, too. I may never see the wonderful Totoro movie again in person, but I can keep playing it over again in my head. And the restaurants were excellent, too! Every one was a different experience with great food and all so real, not tourist traps! Well, okay, actually my favorite part was going to Japan. I loved all of it.
I would recommend this tour because of the excellent price for the experience of a lifetime! We got to do stuff that no other tour has done, ever. Heck, I’ve ridden on subways and trains before, but never on JAPANESE subways and trains. Every little thing we did was all the more amazing because of where we were. I can look back and say, gee I wish I’d had more time to spend here or there, but then I say, well, I’m so glad we did so much in such a short amount of time, because if we had spent more time in certain places, I would have missed out on being other places! (If the makes sense.) It was really just an incredible adventure, and felt like a vacation with friends more than a structured tour.
Of course, anime and manga fans will enjoy the trip, because of the anime-themed events. Really, though, anyone of any age would enjoy this tour. It was just plain fun. And even if anime is not your thing, how can you not be fascinated seeing how it is made? Or delighted by Ghibli Museum? Or just completely stoked about being in Japan and visiting so many different areas in Tokyo? I honestly can’t see anyone NOT having fun on this tour.
The staff/service at Pop Japan Travel was excellent, excellent. They kept the party going. All the staff members were friendly and lively, and were obviously having as much fun as the guests. It didn’t feel like strangers leading strangers. Again, it was like a bunch of friends going on vacation! After spending a week with these people, I can’t imagine it being as much fun with anyone else!”

Christina_Alaska Christina (Alaska)
“The fall 2003 Pop Japan tour was an incredible way to get to a taste of Japan – literally, as with delicious sushi and ramen – and figuratively, by getting to see a little slice of life in a unique culture. I was apprehensive when I signed up because I had never taken a group tour before. I had heard stories, though, and I didn’t want to be stuck with a bunch of boring people or be rushed in and out of places without getting to really see them. I was also a little nervous about going to Japan for the first time – would I get culture shock? What if I got lost? I shouldn’t have worried. Pop Japan Tours had everything under control.
From the moment I met up with our tour group in Los Angeles, I felt absolutely comfortable. Our tour guides were funny and really knowledgeable, and everyone in our group was interesting and friendly. I don’t know how, but some combination of being in a terrific group, having such wonderful guides, and Japan itself created magic. I have never felt so instantly at home in any of the countries I have visited as I did that week in Tokyo. I didn’t want to leave – none of us did! We were having too much fun!
And boy, we had fun – cultural sites, pop cultural sites, restaurants, karaoke night, shopping… we covered a lot of ground in seven days, but I never felt like I was being rushed or had too little time. Even better, the tour plan let me decide if I wanted to explore on my own or stay with others from the group, depending on how I felt. We had lots of freedom, but also lots of help and support if we wanted it.
I had an unforgettable experience on this tour. It had something for everyone. We visited serious cultural areas like Asakusa and cut loose watching the cosplay in Harajuku. We filled our suitcases with traditional Japanese omiyage souvenirs side by side with anime, toys and manga. It was a real introduction to a real culture – vibrant, full of contrasts, and fun!”

Christi_California Christi (California)
“I had a fabulous time and PJT did a fantastic job. I also think PJT did a wonderful job mixing traditional Japanese sights with the things that otaku crave. From the Meiji Shrine to the glorious anime shops of Akihabara, from the Tokyo Tower to the Tokyo Game Show, from karaoke to kaiten-zushi… I loved it all!!”
Leisl Adams Leisl Adams, 2009 Mind Over Manga
“I personally had a great experience.  It was nice to have all the hotel/transportation and other arrangements taken care of so we could just enjoy ourselves. Despite the rain, going to the Osamu Tezuka museum was fun.  Especially because I didn’t realize that was where we were going so it was a big surprise when we got there ^_^  I also really enjoyed walking around in Kyoto. Thanks Gigi, the trip was so awesome!  You guys were great!  Masa was hilarious!  Keep up the good work :D”

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