Anime De-Tour 2020
NOTE: The itinerary you see here is subject to adjustments and changes at the discretion of the guides (if needed).
DAY 1-3: FLash back, hop forward
The trip departs from Minneapolis for Japan! Upon arrival, we connect flights and arrive at Hiroshima Airport before transferring to Fukuyama City. That night, join us for a welcome dinner in the shadow of Fukuyama castle. The next day, we begin our adventure with a nod to the 2014 De-Tour: Tomonoura, an ancient fishing village which inspired the backdrop for the Miyazaki/Ghibli anime film Ponyo. Explore shops, sample locally brewed drinks and wine, climb up to scenic temples or just take in the beautiful sea views – the choice is yours! In the afternoon, we’ll ride the train along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea to the famous “Bunny Island” of Okunoshima, where thousands of friendly locals (bunnies) await you! Explore the island’s hidden spots, or just kick back and relax.
Day 4: The Seaside is Something
Today, you have a choice: cross the Seto Inland Sea by boat, or you can join your guides and ride two wheels across multiple suspension bridges on Japan’s legendary Shimanami Kaido cycling road! After the pedaling and wave-ing, we arrive in Matsuyama and Dogo Onsen, one of the spots that inspired the look of the Ghibli film Spirited Away.
Day 5: Chairs to castles and back alleys to baths
It’s Matsuyama time! Hop on a chair lift or rope way on your way up a mountain to the majestic Matsuyama Castle, a very well-preserved castle with the best views Shikoku island has to offer. In the evening, we head to Japan’s oldest onsen – Dogo – to relax and check out historical sites, like the Emperor’s special private quarters and the Hi-Kara shopping lane.
Day 6: Remembrance and Revelry
After a late start, ride a jet foil back across the sea to Hiroshima! When we arrive, we’ll check out the famous Hiroshima Peace Museum to reflect on the end of World War II and learn about local efforts to make Hiroshima an international city. In the evening, we’ll shop for Anime goods and eat Okonomiyaki on Hondori, where Hiroshima goes to have fun!
Day 7: Oysters and Deer, Together at Last
It’s time for a day by the sea! We depart for Miyajima to visit the famous Itsukushima “floating” shrine, shop for cute local goodies, hang out with the locals (spoiler alert: deer) and eat good food. Feeling adventurous? Hop on a ropeway to scale Mt. Misen in the center of the island to check out the view, temples, and maybe encounter a few wild monkeys…
Day 8: Welcome to Kyushu
Today we arrive in Kyushu’s massive metropolis of Fukuoka! Check out the Tenjin Area’s many shopping arcades, doujinshi/anime goods shops, and more before we join the locals for a pilgrimage to the many famous ramen stands that line the banks of the river.
Day 9: Born to Make History!
If you love Yuri!!! On Ice, today is for you! We’re off to Karatsu, the inspiration for the fictional city of Hasetsu from the anime. On tap: the gorgeous castle featured in the anime, a peek at the historical “Niji no Matsubara” forest on the shore, and some free time where you can check out the city OR splurge on a fancy dinner hosted by Karatsu’s biggest super-fan of the show, who also happens to be a Michelin-starred steak chef. You’re welcome. ^_~
DAY 10: Fukuoka and Festival-ing Free Day!
It’s a free day! Shop more in Fukuoka’s hip Tenjin area, or just kick back and eat ramen. In the evening, join your guides for a trip to the Nakasu Festival, which will also feature special events for Halloween!
Day 11: YUFUIN AND BEPPU
It’s time to relax! We head to Beppu today to check in a fancy hot spring resort, but on the way, we’ll swing by the storybook-esque town of Yufuin, where unique vendors and breathtaking mountain views will have you feeling like you stepped into a storybook. When we arrive at the hot spring, enjoy a massive buffet dinner before we have the next edition of the legendary Anime De-Tour Onsen Room Party!
Day 12: BEPPU free day!
Today is a full day to relax and take in the majesty of the hot springs in Beppu! Take advantage of the goodies our hot spring resort affords, explore the “hells” of Beppu, or just kick back and relax. Your guide will be on hand to help with directions and pointers on other stuff to see.
Day 13: Return home - or keep going!
Head home and show off all those photos you took, or head elsewhere in Japan to continue your trip.