Otaku Tour: Japanese Pop Culture Experience | Yampu Tours

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Otaku Tour: Japanese Pop Culture Experience

$ 7069 10 days Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov Private/Group

Tour Highlights

  • Lesson in Iaido, a form of Japanese swordsmanship
  • Step into the world of Miyazaki with a visit to Studio Ghibli to learn about iconic animation and storylines
  • Learn about and experience all things Anime and Manga with stops at J-World and the local Pokemon Center
  • Soak in the atmosphere of pre-World War II Tokyo while exploring Tokyo's shitamachi (downtown)
  • Explore four floors of endless Manga at Kyoto International Manga Museum
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Details

Learn about traditional and modern Japan with the Otaku Tour: Japanese Pop Culture Experience! Otaku is word used to describe those who are devoted to their specific hobby such as Manga (Japanese Comic Books), or Anime, a popular style of animation favored by children and adults alike. Become immersed in modern-day Japan and its eccentric interests from Harajuku Fashion and animated characters to historic traditions such as tea ceremonies and the intricate dress of Japan’s notorious geishas. Before exploring the famous Pokemon Center and being whisked away on a cat bus by Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli museum, learn about laido, a form of Japanese swordsmanship, and practice actual cutting techniques. After exploring J-World and its popular Dragon Ball and One Piece Series, visit old temples and shrines stopping to peruse traditional shops selling Japanese paper crafts and sweets. Japan is a country Where new and old converge, adapting to include one another. Experience the past and future of Japan with Yampu!

Country Notes:

Nationals of many countries, including nearly all Western countries, are eligible to enter Japan for short-term stays (usually 90 days) with a visa on entry for holiday and business trips. Nationals that do not have the “Reciprocal Visa Exemption Arrangements” with Japan must obtain a visa beforehand. To apply for a visa, the applicant must apply in person to a Japanese embassy or a consulate. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

All foreigners arriving in Japan are fingerprinted and photographed, except children aged 15 and younger, diplomats, and permanent residents of Japan. All visitors must complete an entry/exit form including a customs declaration. It is important that this form is kept safe and presented to immigration officials on departure. All airport taxes are included in the price of flight tickets.
Travelers aged 20 or older can bring the following duty-free items into Japan:
• 400 non-Japanese cigarettes
• Three bottles (760cc each) of alcohol
• Two ounces of perfume
• Tourists can also bring in goods for personal use – purchased abroad – whose total market value is less than 200,000 yen

Health & Wellness
No vaccinations are required except for yellow fever if you are traveling from an area where the disease is present. It is essential to take out a good medical insurance policy prior to travelling. The policy should cover adventure excursions and full medical coverage as the country’s excellent hospitals come at a premium price if the policy holder needs emergency treatment.
Police dial 110; Emergency Medical Services dial 119; Fire service dial 119. The Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Information Center offers an emergency interpretation service with English-speaking doctors at: (03) 5285-8185.


Inclusions
Price includes domestic and regional flights within the itinerary; all hotel accommodations including daily continental or buffet breakfast and daily city tax; all transfers between airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling; guided tours in English including entrance fees.
Exclusions

International airfare (unless specifically included), airport departure taxes that must be paid on-site, gratuities, meals not mentioned, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages with meals, early / late check-out, room service, visa fees/services and other personal items or services not mentioned.

Best Time to Travel
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Best Good Consult

Package Price: $7069
Pricing Details

Prices shown above are per person, in US Dollars ($) or Pound Sterling (£) for residents in the UK. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability.

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

Flight to Tokyo

Overnight International Flight to Tokyo

Overnight International Flight to Tokyo

Day
2

Day of Leisure in Tokyo

On arrival at Narita Airport, be met in the arrival hall by a Yampu guide who will assist with the shared transfer to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Included is a 7-Day Japan Rail pass.

Enjoy an afternoon free to explore one of the world's most cutting-edge capitals. Behind the shopping, entertainment and commercial emporia can be found quaint wooden houses, private gardens with meticulously clipped bonsai trees and the Zen-like calm of the Hamarikyu Gardens. The city's reputation read more...

On arrival at Narita Airport, be met in the arrival hall by a Yampu guide who will assist with the shared transfer to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Included is a 7-Day Japan Rail pass.

Enjoy an afternoon free to explore one of the world's most cutting-edge capitals. Behind the shopping, entertainment and commercial emporia can be found quaint wooden houses, private gardens with meticulously clipped bonsai trees and the Zen-like calm of the Hamarikyu Gardens. The city's reputation as a mega-expensive metropolis is ill-conceived and visitors can take advantage of inexpensive izakaya bars and neighborhood cafes that serve delicious noodles and rice dishes.
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Day
3

Full Day Tokyo Art and Culture

A comprehensive immersion into Japan's rich art and cultural heritage. Today will start with a lesson in Iaido, a form of Japanese swordsmanship. Iaido's emphasis is on precise, controlled, fluid motion and is sometimes referred to as 'moving Zen'. Yampu Travelers will be allowed to practice actual cutting techniques on bamboo or straw block forms using real Iaido swords.
Time to put down the sword and take up the pen for a lesson in shodo, Japanese calligraphy. Learn how, when writing kanji (Japanese pictographs), read more...

A comprehensive immersion into Japan's rich art and cultural heritage. Today will start with a lesson in Iaido, a form of Japanese swordsmanship. Iaido's emphasis is on precise, controlled, fluid motion and is sometimes referred to as 'moving Zen'. Yampu Travelers will be allowed to practice actual cutting techniques on bamboo or straw block forms using real Iaido swords.
Time to put down the sword and take up the pen for a lesson in shodo, Japanese calligraphy. Learn how, when writing kanji (Japanese pictographs), each stroke has a proper way to begin and end and there is a correct order and path to follow. The slightest lapse in concentration will show in one's work.
Last, head to Shinjuku's Samurai Museum. The Museum, located in a traditional Japanese building nicely contrasting with the neon jungle of Shinjuku, hosts an incredible collection of armor, swords and objects that belonged to samurai warriors throughout the ages.
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statue-equestrian-bronze-samurai
Day
4

Full Day Tokyo Ghibli Museum Tour

The Ghibli Museum is the animation and art museum of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, one of Japan's most famous animation studios. They have produced many feature length films with worldwide distribution such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. Located in Mitaka, just outside of central Tokyo, the museum is a must-see for fans of the films. The museum itself is whimsically designed in the distinct style of the studio's films, and many of their famous read more...

The Ghibli Museum is the animation and art museum of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, one of Japan's most famous animation studios. They have produced many feature length films with worldwide distribution such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. Located in Mitaka, just outside of central Tokyo, the museum is a must-see for fans of the films. The museum itself is whimsically designed in the distinct style of the studio's films, and many of their famous characters are there, including a life-sized robot from Castle in the Sky on the rooftop garden. The first floor of the museum exhibits the history and techniques of animation and has as a small theater which shows short movies by Studio Ghibli that are exclusive to the museum and are rotated monthly. The second floor houses special temporary exhibitions. The museum has a cafe, children's play area, a rooftop garden and a gift shop.
Half Day Tokyo Garden and Fire Ceremony Tour
Journey to the Eastern part of Tokyo, to Fukagawa district - a quieter, but no less charming area. Enjoy a stroll in the beautiful Kiyosumi Teien gardens. The first location to be designated a site of scenic beauty by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, its origins date back to 1721 when it was a villa for a feudal lord. In late XIX century it was purchased by Iwasaki Yataro, founder of the Mitsubishi Corporation, who used his company ships to transport 50 precious stones here from all over Japan and set them around a pond ringed with Japanese black pine, hydrangeas, Taiwan cherries and other plants designed to make the garden look splendid at all times of the year.
A walk in this charming residential district will take you to the Fukagawa Fudo-do Temple. This large temple's main object of veneration is a statue of Fudomyo - a fierce-looking representation of Buddha's determination. The temple itself is very solemn and interesting, but the highlight is the spectacular goma-kito ceremony, in which the Buddhist priest burns consecrated wooden sticks on a large fire to gain protection and grant the wishes of who offered the sticks, as he chants sutras and other priests play the taiko drums. You will be able to observe the ceremony from close by.
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ghibli-museum
Day
5

Anime and Manga in J World and Old Tokyo

Anime (Japanese animation) and manga (comics) are loved throughout the world and are just as important a piece of Japanese culture as more traditional arts are. On this day tour a local guide will take Yampu travelers around to discover all about manga and anime. First stop is J-World, an amusement park dedicated to the heroes of the Shonen Jump stories, the best-selling magazine in Japan where popular comics such as One Piece and Naruto are serialized. Continue on to the Pokemon Center to find all sorts of read more...

Anime (Japanese animation) and manga (comics) are loved throughout the world and are just as important a piece of Japanese culture as more traditional arts are. On this day tour a local guide will take Yampu travelers around to discover all about manga and anime. First stop is J-World, an amusement park dedicated to the heroes of the Shonen Jump stories, the best-selling magazine in Japan where popular comics such as One Piece and Naruto are serialized. Continue on to the Pokemon Center to find all sorts of items related to the famous pocket monsters including the iconic character, Pikachu! This tour disbands in the Ikebukuro area.
Half Day Old Tokyo Tour by Public Transport
This afternoon explore Tokyo's shitamachi (downtown). Our image of Tokyo is usually that of a super-modern metropolis but suburbs like Yanaka, which was miraculously spared the carnage of the Allied bombings in World War II, still preserve a nostalgic atmosphere. Part of its charm today lies in this sense of being hidden. Visit old temples and shrines, one of Tokyo's oldest Buddhist cemeteries as well as traditional shops selling Japanese paper and sweets, and soak in the atmosphere of pre-war Tokyo. Take a look at what life in this area used to be like in the Shitamachi Museum, located in Ueno Park. One of the most popular parks for hanami (cherry blossom parties) in Tokyo, Ueno Park was originally part of Kaneiji Temple, which used to be one of the city's largest and wealthiest temples and a family temple of the ruling Tokugawa clan during the Edo Period. The guide will take travelers on a stroll to show the many attractions that enrich this large park.
Last stop for the day is Ueno's Ameyoko-cho, a busy market street underneath the train lines. Originally the site of a black market after World War II, this bustling market is the last of its kind in Tokyo and is filled with shops and stalls selling various products such as fresh fish, dried foods and spices. At one of the many open air restaurants under the train tracks, stop for a cold drink and yakitori (grilled chicken skewer).
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apan-tokyo-train-manga-anime
Day
6

Onward to Kyoto

Today, travel onward to Kyoto. Travelers will make their own way to Tokyo Station to take the bullet train (covered by Japan Rail Pass) to Kyoto. Upon arrival, make way to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Kyoto is the nation's former capital and was the residence of the emperor from 794 until 1868. It is Japan's seventh largest metropolis with a population of around 1.4 million and a city of culture that offers a plethora of temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures read more...

Today, travel onward to Kyoto. Travelers will make their own way to Tokyo Station to take the bullet train (covered by Japan Rail Pass) to Kyoto. Upon arrival, make way to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Kyoto is the nation's former capital and was the residence of the emperor from 794 until 1868. It is Japan's seventh largest metropolis with a population of around 1.4 million and a city of culture that offers a plethora of temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures that still survive today. With 2,000 religious buildings, including 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, as well as palaces, gardens and associated architecture, it is one of the best preserved cities in Japan. Kyoto has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status and represents the "Japan of old." Beyond the high rise skyscrapers built as a monument to progress, the real monument to Japan's historical and cultural past can be found in the city's narrow alleyways where tea houses abound and kimono-clad geishas hurry from elegant function to function. This is a place to go back in time to Japan's mysterious past where echoes of the court nobility resonate at the Imperial Palace and the search for contemplation can be found in Ryoanji's Zen rock gardens.
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kyoto-japan-kiyomizu-temple-asia-2
Day
7

Kyoto Highlights, Manga, and Railway Museum

Visit two of Kyoto's 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and a local market in the morning. Start the day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death, the villa became a Buddhist temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto's most famous temples. Next is Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle that was built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning surrounding gardens. The main building read more...

Visit two of Kyoto's 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and a local market in the morning. Start the day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death, the villa became a Buddhist temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto's most famous temples. Next is Nijo Castle, an ornamental castle that was built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning surrounding gardens. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors and 'chirping' nightingale floors. Finish the day with a visit to Nishiki Market. Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", Nishiki is a narrow shopping street lined more than 100 shops, selling fresh seafood and vegetables, pickles, Japanese sweets and sushi.
Proceed to visit two of the most exciting non-art museums in Kyoto. The Kyoto International Manga Museum was opened in November of 2006. It consists of three floors and a basement, and most of its walls are lined with shelves of manga. Browsing this massive collection of manga is one of the museum's main attractions. A small section of the books is dedicated to foreign and translated manga, but the vast majority is in Japanese. The museum also focuses on both the adoption and development of manga internationally. In addition to its permanent collection, the Manga Museum also features temporary exhibitions on various themes. The building, which now acts as the Manga Museum, was previously an elementary school. Some relics of the former school are on display for visitors.
Next, visit the nearby Railway Museum. Advanced railway technology is a source of pride for the country that invented the bullet train; One does not have to be a train fan to enjoy the huge museum, which exhibits 53 retired trains, from steam locomotives to more recent electric trains and shinkansen. Visitors can also walk underneath and observe the inner workings of a retired freight locomotive. The museum displays railway uniforms, tools and dioramas; there are also a variety of interactive exhibitions where visitors can perform the duties of a train conductor or drive a train simulator. The museum's restaurant is on the second floor directly below an observation deck. Both offer nice views of the passing trains along the JR Kyoto Line and Tokaido Shinkansen. At the museum's exit stands the Nijo Station Building, a picturesque, old-fashioned building relocated from nearby Nijo Station in 1997. The building was originally erected in 1904, making it the oldest of its kind in Japan.
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japan-kyoto-kinkakuji-temple
Day
8

Nara and Fushimi Tour

Transfer from your hotel to Nara by train (45min) with a local guide. For 74 years during the 8th century Nara was Japan's capital and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain. Visit Todaiji temple, the world's largest wooden building and home to Japan's largest Buddha. Next stop is Nara's most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, established in 768 AD and famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns which have been donated by worshipers. Take a wander through Nara Park, called read more...

Transfer from your hotel to Nara by train (45min) with a local guide. For 74 years during the 8th century Nara was Japan's capital and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain. Visit Todaiji temple, the world's largest wooden building and home to Japan's largest Buddha. Next stop is Nara's most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, established in 768 AD and famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns which have been donated by worshipers. Take a wander through Nara Park, called Deer park by locals due to the large population of more than 1,000 tame deer living there.
Quench your thirst at a sake brewery. During a tour of the brewery, you will learn about the traditional brewing process, and then sample the different types of their sake.
On the way back from Nara, visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, which was used in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. It is home to over 10,000 red tori gates, which form a path up the mountain behind the temple.
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nara-biche-lake-japan-trees-deer
Day
9

Uji Tea Experience and Tea Ceremony

Enjoy a half day tour to Uji, a traditional town near Kyoto that is famous for its superior quality green tea. While Kozanji Temple in Kyoto is believed to be the original site of tea cultivation in Japan, Uji's tea became better known for its superior quality in the 1100s.
After a brief 20 minute train taking you directly from Kyoto into Uji, head to the tea making experience. In a group of no more than 5 people, the guide shall translate so Yampu Travelers can learn from local Uji residents about the kneading read more...

Enjoy a half day tour to Uji, a traditional town near Kyoto that is famous for its superior quality green tea. While Kozanji Temple in Kyoto is believed to be the original site of tea cultivation in Japan, Uji's tea became better known for its superior quality in the 1100s.
After a brief 20 minute train taking you directly from Kyoto into Uji, head to the tea making experience. In a group of no more than 5 people, the guide shall translate so Yampu Travelers can learn from local Uji residents about the kneading and drying of the tea leaves in this 1.5 hour experience. Afterwards, stroll through the picturesque town sampling tea from local store sellers. One need not feel under any pressure to purchase, but if one does like Green Tea, this is a great place to purchase while in Japan.

Tonight experience one of Japan's most traditional cultural practices, the tea ceremony. This ceremony synthesizes the preparation and drinking of tea together with spirituality, architecture and history. ...read less

teapot-tea-ceremony-teabags
Day
10

Sayonara!

After check-out this morning, make way to Kyoto Station to take the bullet train to Shinagawa to transfer to the Narita Express to Narita Airport (covered by Japan Rail Pass).

International Flight Home

After check-out this morning, make way to Kyoto Station to take the bullet train to Shinagawa to transfer to the Narita Express to Narita Airport (covered by Japan Rail Pass).

International Flight Home

Tokyo, Japan

Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan

Places You'll See

  • shibuya-crossing-tokyo-japan-asia

    Tokyo

    One of the World’s most cutting-edge capitals, Tokyo is a city of contrasts. Famous for its cutting edge modernity, neon-lit landscape and towering skyscrapers, it is also home to sprawling parkland, peaceful shrines and temples and lovingly tended gardens. Despite its love affair with manga pop culture, fashion, high-tech trends and conspicuous consumption, below the surface is a city that has its roots in an ancient heritage. Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples stand close to skyscrapers as a reminder of a more contemplative time.

  • japan-kyoto

    Kyoto

    Kyoto is the nation’s former capital, the residence of the emperor from 794 until 1868, and is Japan’s seventh largest metropolis. With 2,000 religious buildings as well as palaces, gardens and associated architecture, it is one of the best preserved cities in Japan and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Kyoto represents the “Japan of old” and beyond the high rise skyscrapers built as a monument to progress, the real monument to Japan’s historical and cultural past can be found in the city’s narrow alleyways where tea houses abound and kimono-clad geisha hurry from elegant function to function.

  • Nara-Japan-deer.

    Nara

    Once the capital of Japan, dating back to 710, Nara is now a historic and cultural hub filled with ancient treasures for travelers to learn more about this country’s dramatic and rich history. Testaments to Nara’s ancient status consist of many of Japan’s oldest temples and pagodas. Visit the worlds oldest wooden buildings and Nara’s most celebrated Shinto shrine, all before making friends with the wild sacred deer that roam the area freely.

Hotel Options

hotel-gracery-shinjuku-godzilla-room

Featured Accommodation

Gracery Shinjuku

In 2015, a new, next-generation hotel focused on providing convenience, efficiency, and comfort opened on the site of the old Shinjuku Koma Theater, the heart of the area around Shinjuku Station’s East Exit.

With its height of 130 m (30 stories), it will stand head and shoulders above the surrounding buildings and will become the new landmark on Shinjuku Station’s east side.
Single rooms are a spacious 18m2 and are outfitted with a range of modern facilities including comfortable beds, bathrooms with separate toilet, a TV that can access helpful information, and all rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi.

At the island-style front desk, self check-in machines make your welcome quick and painless. Furthermore, our female guests can feel perfectly secure thanks to security measures such as guest keys linking with the elevators, and the provision of ladies only floors.

Whether your goal is business, sightseeing, or leisure, Hotel Gracery Shinjuku will support you throughout your stay.

For pop culture lovers there are also 2 special rooms, “GODZILLA ROOM” and “GODZILLA VIEW ROOM”.
In the “GODZILLA ROOM”, guests feel like they jumped into the Godzilla world! There are many surprises with a playful spirit in this room such as a trick wall which reacts to black light and Godzilla’s scaly foot crashing in above your bed. in the “GODZILLA VIEW ROOM” witness the famous monster peering into your room, breathing fire! Only here, you can experience the Godzilla world.

Tokyo ,

4 Star Properties

Tokyo : Villa Fontaine Shiodome

Kyoto : Vista Premio Kyoto

5 Star Properties

Tokyo : Hilton Tokyo

Kyoto : Granvia Kyoto

Kyoto : Kyoto Tokyu Hotel

Testimonials

Katherine

Traveled March, 2017

Dream tour of Japan

Yampu Tours helped me design a dream tour of Japan for myself and my eighteen year old son, who is off to college next year. They found activities and venues that I had never thought of that turned out to be the highlights of the trip! They made getting around with minimal language skills a snap. Their guides became what I sincerely hope will be life long friends. The hotels were centrally located and friendly, spotlessly clean, and reasonably priced. We had only nine days, but with everything going so smoothly, we were able to enjoy every minute of the trip. It could not have been better. I can’t wait for my husband to retire so we can call them again for trips for us together. I especially appreciated how Maggie, my contact person, answered every question within hours of when I emailed it to her. She was helpful in every aspect of the trip. She is a great communicator, and always willing to find special places and activities to fit our interests, such as my son’s desire to see the Manga Museum, or my interest in temple gardens. She was flexible, creative, knowledgeable, and always fun to talk to. I look forward to working with her again soon

Traveled To

Jim, Travel Agent

Traveled July, 2016

An incredible time……

WOW!!!…..

Just had Evelyn on the phone for over an hour and they had an incredible time……

“Very impressed with China and learned a lot! We loved our experience in Tibet. The people are lovely and scenery magnificent. We had very accommodating and thoughtful guides. Very helpful.”

Flights in China were great and no delays, hotels were awesome, guides were wonderful, tours were perfect and even the train worked out. The 8th person on the train was a young Tibetan woman and they felt safe with her in the compartment.

Once again, a total success and very happy clients….

 

Traveled To

Fritz M

Traveled February, 2013

All in all, this was a great trip

All in all, this was a great trip. I am reminded of something I read in a travel book some years ago which said Here’s what I love about travel; strangers get a chance to amaze you. In Myanmar, I found myself constantly amazed. I would love to go back and pick up the areas of the country that I missed on this trip and spend more time in the sites that I found to be particularly interesting and which required more time than I had on this trip to do them justice. I think things will begin to change rapidly in Myanmar now that liberalization has begun. I appreciate all the work Yampu staff put into developing this custom itinerary for me, and I wish all of you great success in building your business in Myanmar.

Traveled To

Jeff N.

Traveled June, 2014

Everything met, or exceeded our expectations!

We did not know what to expect with our trip to Vietnam, but everything met, or exceeded our expectations! The guides were both excellent, and added their own local perspective to the areas we explored. All of the included meals were excellent, and exceeded our expectations!

Traveled To

Let Us Customize This Trip For You

Our World Experts offer full support and dedication to customizing this tour to fit your wishlist - We can mix and match experiences, hotels and highlights to fit your budget and taste.

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