This Week @ PacSet: Last Call for 2019!
Coffee.jpg

WELL HI EVERYONE! Here’s what’s going down at PacSet this week…

ADVENTURES OF KIPPU CONTINUES

So many of you have commented on and liked Kippu’s new poll-driven adventure on Twitter - THANK YOU! Kippu’s journey is just beginning, but keep an eye on our Twitter every Tuesday (or follow #adventuresofkippu) for updates. Meanwhile, series artist/writer Juliana Chen has uploaded some concept sketches for ep. 3 here. We’re really fond of this coffee one because hey, that’s how we human PacSet employees roll. ☕️

LAST CALL FOR FALL!

The year is only half over, but guess what: this is your LAST chance to get on a PacSet Adventure for 2019! Autumn in the City closes this Friday and after that, we’re on to 2020. The trip is confirmed and we’re sending out hotel info to participants next week, so if you wanna join the fun, jump on it!

WE’RE GOING TO DENVER!

We will be heading to Denver in two weeks for Nan Desu Kan in beautiful Denver, Colorado! Our own Evan Miller will be hosting a panel on Japan Travel on Friday in Panel Room 1 (Governor's Square 15) at 05:00 pm. More details to come!

ALUMNI: Watch your inboxes for the next edition of Tabi Go! - we’re going to get an alumni hangout scheduled. It’ll be neat. Also, we promise that no Rocky Mountain Oysters will be involved, unless you are really into that sort of thing.

Thanks all! See you next week!

Evan Miller
ANN in Japan: The Details!
ANNJPN20_8.jpg

ANN and PacSet have teamed up to create a trip to Japan for ANN’s readership! Chances are pretty good that if you are reading this, you’re interested in that trip, or wondering why it has the content it does. SO: let’s dive into some details.

The trip includes a lot of stuff that you might not commonly associate with Anime. For starters, we’re going to a University Festival, making soba, and going to the massive Oeshiki Festival at Ikegami Honmonji Temple. We’re also visiting a number of places that have inspired artists for years, such as Dakigaeri Gorge and Matsushima. Of course, we’re also doing a lot of what you are expecting – Nakano Broadway, Akihabara, the Ghibli Museum… you get the idea. My hope is that the trip gives you chances to step off the beaten path and have an experience that is uniquely yours, maybe discovering a new favorite stop/hobby in the process. 

On top of all that, we’re going to have a special guest from ANN joining us for the duration of the trip! Additional ANN guests to join for dinner and/or day trips from time to time. Details about who will be joining the fray will be announced soon, but trust us – If you read ANN, you’ve seen their names before. ;)

The first thing on my mind when I designed this trip was that I didn’t want it to be the stereotypical “anime tour.” As a former ANN staff myself, I wanted to create something unique for ANN’s readership that includes some of what people are expecting to find on a trip like this but also eschews the expected in favor of unique experiences that let people do more than just buy stuff and actually get a chance to see a unique side of Japan. Half of this itinerary might not scream “ANIME”, but that’s by design, and I think you may discover that a lot of the experiences will remind you of scenes and backgrounds from a lot of the anime you’ve seen.

Stereotypical thinking says that the anime fan going to Japan must love Akihabara more than anywhere else, must spend tons of time shopping, and so on. However, much like most stereotypes of anime fans, most of that is just plain wrong, and if there’s anything we’ve discovered in our eight years of existence, it’s that anime fans have a list of interests that is even more diverse than that of the usual Japan visitor.

For starters, even though close to 90% of PacSet’s business comes from the fan community, we’ve been able to run popular trips way beyond Tokyo to places like rural Kyushu, multiple hole-in-the-wall izakaya in Aomori, and even Ogasawara (which is only accessible by a 24 hour ferry ride – one way!). When we surveyed our alumni last year, we discovered that Tokyo was the main draw for over 75 percent of guests before their trip. However, after the trip, the number of people who said Tokyo was the best part of their trip fell to just 30 percent, while locations like Hokkaido, Tohoku and Osaka saw double-digit increases.

On top of that, when ANN surveyed fans a few months ago about potential interest in a trip like this, the amount of interest in the Tokyo Game Show (a massive video game trade show) was equal to the interest in a traditional festival, which also tracks with what we’ve seen in our surveys as well. “Big draw” events like AnimeJapan and Tokyo Game Show do interest people going to Japan, but they have never been voted the highlight of anyone’s trip (they’ve been voted as the lowlight a number of times though).

All of that, along with the feedback of current and former ANN Staff, are what has contributed to the unique look of this trip. The itinerary combines the best parts of Tokyo and some really amazing stuff in Tohoku that we’ve found that anime fans really enjoy. On top of that, we get to visit and support a number of areas that are still coming back from the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011, so you’re also supporting a few areas that will really benefit from our visit.

If you have any questions about the trip, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, or just email us at info at pacsettravel dot com.

See you in Japan! - Evan :)

Evan MillerComment
This Week @ PacSet: Kippu Leaves the House + New Trip!
39.png

We’re in Tokyo this week! It is humid and hot, but we’re chugging water and making the best of the time. :) You may want to pity Evan though, since he’s spending this week wandering through half of Tokyo for the 2019 re-work of our shopping guide. Burn those calories, Evan!

KIPPU GOES OUT

Since we think he hasn’t been working hard enough, this Tuesday we’re sending Kippu out to do a little exploring for the good of the team. If you aren’t following our Twitter, you’ll want to start - because Kippu might need a little help. ;)

NEW TRIP THURSDAY

NTT is back! This Thursday, we’ll be dropping a new 2020 Adventure onto your schedules. If you were following us at Anime Expo, you already know what this is. The rest of you, well… stay tuned.

ON TAP FOR THIS WEEK

Monday: Best of Japan Wraps Up
Tuesday: Kippu begins his journey…
Thursday: New Trip Thursday

This Week @ PacSet: A WHOLE LOT OF UPDATES!
30.png

HI EVERYONE!

We’re knee-deep in Anime Expo prep (TOMORROW! Booth 1815!), but we have a whole slew of updates we need to share! We’ll start with some price announcements….

  • It took a little longer than we liked, but the prices for both Fire and Ice 2020 and Animated Spring 2020 have been confirmed! They didn’t change from the forecasted price, so that’s nice! Go get ‘em.

  • THE FOLLOWING TRIPS ARE CONFIRMED TO DEPART:

    • Gamer Heaven 2019

    • Kyushu Hideaways 2019

    • Autumn in the City 2019

    • Fire and Ice 2020

      Please contact us before you book flights for ANY of these because we are shifting some stuff around there. If you requested a flight quote for Gamer, Kyushu, or Autumn - they go out today and tomorrow!

  • JAPAN HOLIDAY 2019 HAS BEEN CANCELLED. It will NOT return in 2020, as we’ll be doing a different trip then (news on that soon ^_~). This is awfully sad for us, but we promise that we’ll try to figure out why this isn’t bringing in as many people as it once did and bring it back stronger as soon as we can. On that note…

  • Since 2021 will be PacSet’s 10th Anniversary, we are letting our alumni vote on which trips they want to see back! We felt it was only appropriate to let the trip lineup be picked by the people who have loved the trips they’ve taken. If you’re an alum, check your e-mail because the info is already in the latest TabiGo!

  • COME SEE US AND AITAI KUJI AT ANIME EXPO! Booth 1815.

Speaking of which, I’m going to go run to the convention center and sweat more. See you all there! <3

Evan Miller
PacSet Teams Up With Aitai☆Kuji for Anime Expo 2019!
AitaiPacSetBanner.jpg

PacSet is returning to Anime Expo 2019 - but this year, we’re doing things a little differently!

We are proud to announce that we will be sharing a space with our friends at Aitai Kuji! We’ve been friends with the Aitai team for a while now, and getting to work with them on this has been awesome. ^_^

Wondering what we have planned for the con? Read on…

I’m an Aitai Kuji fan - who the heck are you PacSet people?

We are a travel company that arranges travel to Japan! We do trips that feel less like tours and more like random misadventures where you have fun but we take care of the complicated stuff. We also offer a crazy-cheap trip troubleshooting service called Boost, and arrange private trips. More about us here/on this webpage.

We are also great at Karaoke. We rock those mics, friends.

I’m a PacSet fan - who are Aitai Kuji?

Aitai Kuji is a Japan-based company specializing in supplying Anime fans (and others) around the world with the latest and greatest in character goods, plushies, and more. This will be their FIRST Anime Expo, and they are bringing an assortment of goodies imported straight from Japan that will blow your mind. In a good way. :)

Their name comes from Kuji, which some of our alumni might remember from their trip. Kuji are like pull tabs, where you buy a “kuji” from a certain series or show and get a prize as a result. The prizes range from “nice!” to “crazy fancy” but there are never any bad pulls, and all the merch is exclusive.

Are you offering any sales or discounts during the con?

Yes!

Aitai Kuji will be offering Kuji pulls for $15 from a number of exclusive series Kuji. They’ll also have a ton of just-released stuff available at the show, as well as some other cool extras we’ll announce later, so stay tuned! ^_^

On the PacSet end, we will be offering $50 off any guided adventure - but if you make a purchase with Aitai Kuji, we’ll double it. And yes, if you are an alumni, you can combine that discount with your alumni discount!

ALSO: If you spend $50 or more with Aitai Kuji, you’ll get a free Boost. The boost needs to be used before December 31, but hey - free Japan travel advice! Hawt!

Will you be selling Kippu plushies or other PacSet merch at Anime Expo this year?

No. However, we will be selling our merch on a new site beginning this fall. Stay tuned!

PacSet Launches Rural Relaxation 2020!

Hi everyone!

It’s NEW TRIP TIME! Today we are proud to present a one-of-a-kind trip into rural Honshu and Shikoku: Rural Relaxation.

sqRURREL20_8.jpg

What is Rural Relaxation? Exactly what it sounds like. Want hot springs? We’ve got three of them - maybe four. Food? All breakfasts and dinners are included. Want some views that are so good that Instagram could never capture them? Yup.

Best of all, it’s affordable! This baby starts at just $2,795 - that’s right, less than three grand! - so if you have less time to spend traveling or money to spend, we’ve got you covered.

What’s more, the trip includes the flight to and from Tokyo’s Haneda airport, so all you need to do is get to Japan and we’ll get you out of the city and into a whole new state of mind.

Want more info? See the full itinerary right here, and we’ll see you in Japan next year!

PacSet Official Statement on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

Hi everyone,

As the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo draw closer, we have been getting more and more inquiries into whether we can assist with hotels and tickets for the Olympics. In order to arrange things, we met with a number of hotels and suppliers to see what we could arrange. Unfortunately, the news we got was less than fabulous, which is why we have decided to release the following statement to clarify our position.

The good news: Here is what we ARE planning for the 2020 Olympics Season.

  • We can help provide travel tips and suggestions for how to spend your time in Tokyo via our Boost service.

  • We are planning a post-Olympic trip called "Japan Beyond" that will take place after the games. Details for the journey will be announced this summer on pacsettravel.com and the usual bunch of social media channels that you know and love. <3


Beyond the two things listed above, we will not be able to organize any full itineraries or private trip arrangements during the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

This is due to the following reasons:

1) The Olympic Organizing Committee in Tokyo has seen fit to arrange all their tickets through select resellers in other nations. The only way you can get tickets is through these services, and even then, tickets are not guaranteed. Should you wish to purchase tickets in the United States, the only option at this time is via https://www.cosport.com and their packages. 

2) According to our suppliers, one company (that we will not mention in this post) has reserved close to 90% of the rooms in most hotels in Tokyo. While we do not agree with these kinds of business practices, we do not have the power to change them.

We are well aware that this is less-than-fabulous news. However, as a travel agency, we don't want to promise things to our customers that we cannot deliver.

We are very thrilled about our post-Olympic trip, and we hope you’ll give it a look when it goes live. Likewise, if you do make it to the games, have a good time! A lot of our friends in the city are working hard to make them the best Olympics ever, and we have no doubt that they’ll knock this one out of the park!

This Week @ PacSet: If Food is the Language of Love, Play On

Hey all! Here’s what’s on tap this week…

Tuesday, Feb. 12-Friday, Feb. 15: PacSet Food Battle!

All this week, we’ll be asking our Instagram and Twitter followers to decide between two Japan specialties each and every day. Pick the most delicious looking of the bunch, ask your friends, and let’s talk it out! We don’t want it to become a fight per se… but we aren’t responsible if it does. <3

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14 @5PM: The PacSet LiveStream Cooking Show @ twitch.tv/pacsettravel/

That’s right, we’re making Valentine’s Day Dinner on the INTERNET. Are you ready? I certainly hope you are. Join Evan as he whips up some traditional Oyakodon and takes your questions. We apologize in advance for the Valentine’s Day puns.

That’s it! Have a good week everyone!

Weekly UpdateEvan Miller
This Week @ PacSet: Housekeeping!

Hi everyone!

It’ll be another quiet week from us as we catch up on invoices and prep for Animated Spring and Pawprint Pathways. A few things of note:

  1. We’re hoping to have an LA Info Meetup near the end of the month! Details to come. :)

  2. Our next livestream will be next week on Valentine’s Day. Oooh.

  3. Only one month left to jump on Taste of Shikoku Kyushu!

That’s it! Back to work for us…

Weekly UpdateEvan Miller
Yuricon and PacSet Unveil "100 Years of Yuri" Trip to Japan [Press Release]

Yuricon and PacSet Proudly Present:

100 Years of Yuri

 
 

[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE] JANUARY 31, 2019: Yuricon, a celebration of Yuri in anime and manga, and Japan travel leader PacSet (PacSet Tours Inc.) have joined forces to launch the first guided trip to Japan dedicated to the Yuri genre of Japanese animation and manga. The trip will take place from September 8 until September 17 of this year.

Created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Yuri and lesbian images in Japanese art and literature, the trip will escort Yuri fans on a journey across Japan’s Kanto region to locations featured in many famed Yuri works, as well as popular series like Sailor Moon. The group will also attend the Girls Love Fest to check out the latest in Yuri fan works. In keeping with PacSet’s “off-the-beaten-path” focus, the trip will also visit the famous Akasaka Hikawa Festival, under-explored Tokyo neighborhoods, and spend an overnight at a hot spring resort in the Shonan region.

The journey will have two leaders; Yuricon founder Erica Friedman, who has led smaller private groups to Yuri-themed events and spots in Japan for more than a decade, and PacSet founder Evan Miller, the designer of the trip and creator of numerous trips for fans of Japanese popular culture, including North America’s largest anime-themed trip to Japan.

“We are truly lucky to have the chance to work on a project like this with Erica and the Okazu family,” says Miller. “PacSet has built a strong reputation for working with fans and creators, and to have the chance to create something like this is truly exciting. We hope people like what we have planned!”

The trip includes all accommodations, admission to all activities, all rail transit, and much much more. Prices start at $2,795 for the full journey, and $3,695 for the trip plus round trip airfare to Tokyo from Los Angeles. Guests can visit https://www.pacsettravel.com/ to book.

ABOUT YURICON: Yuricon was founded in 2000 by Erica Friedman with the mission of bringing together fans of lesbian images in Japanese animation and comics. Erica has written about Yuri for Japanese literary journal Eureka,  Animerica magazine, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund,  Dark Horse, and contributed to Forbes, Slate, Huffington Post, Hooded Utilitarian, Afterellen and The Mary Sue online. She has written news and event reports, interviews Yuri creators and reviews Yuri anime, manga and related media on her blog Okazu since 2002.

ABOUT PACSET: PacSet (PacSet Tours Inc.) offers a wide variety of Japan adventures that blend both traditional and pop cultures, while also allowing guests to customize their experience. PacSet also specializes in tours for student groups in Japan and travel arrangements for independent travelers. To learn more or make a booking, visit www.pacsettravel.com, e-mail info@pacsettravel.com, or call (310) 218-3816. CST#2107554-40.

This Week @ PacSet: New Trip Announcement + KYUSHU WEEK!
kyushuweek.png

IT’S KYUSHU WEEK KYUSHU WEEK KYUSHU WEEK KYUSHU WEEK 🎵

[cough] Sorry. We’re just a little hyper today.

As you saw earlier today, Kyushu Week has been announced and it’s happening NOW! It’s a great awesome thing and we hope you like it as much as we do.

You can get $50 off both Taste of Shikoku Kyushu AND Kyushu Hideaways this week! Both trips are confirmed to depart, so if you’ve been waiting, now’s the time to jump on it!

We will be running contests every day this week with Kyushu-related riddles EVERY DAY on our bevy of social media platforms, so follow us if you haven’t yet!

Here’s what else we have on tap…

MONDAY, JANUARY 28: Everyone on Animated Spring, Pawprint Pathways, and Taste of Shikoku Kyushu will hear from us today as we launch our first ever series of pre-trip courses. Hawt.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30: Check out PacSet’s Pinterest as we drop our brand new Kyushu-themed board. Images! Pixels! Wow!

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31: PACSET LIVESTREAM AND NEW TRIP ANNOUNCEMENT

We will be announcing a brand new trip today, and let me tell you guys - it’s going to be a huge announcement. We’ve been working with some friends behind the scenes on a new trip for September 2019, and we’ll be unveiling it during this week’s big Livestream. Tune in on TWITCH this Thursday, January 31 at 5PM for all the details.

And that’s it! Happy Kyushu Week, everyone!

-Evan and Kippu

Weekly UpdateEvan Miller
KYUSHU WEEK!
 
kyushuweek.png
 

Welcome to Kyushu Week!!!

It’s a full week of goodies dedicated to Japan’s southernmost major island - a land of history, fine cuisine, sea views and shochu. From the spectacular views of Kagoshima to the mountains of Nagasaki, Kyushu is a very different world from other spots in Japan - and we want to help you get there!

number1.gif

DAILY KYUSHU RIDDLES!

Every day at 9AM Pacific Time*, we’ll post up a riddle about a spot in Kyushu. If you are the first to submit the correct place name via DM (Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram) or e-mail (info at pacsettravel dot com), you’ll win a Kippu Plush and a little something extra! We’ll give out two prizes every day: one for alumni, and one for non-alumni.

number2.gif

DISCOUNTS! FABULOUS FABULOUS DISCOUNTS!

This week, take $50 off either:

Kyushu Hideaways OR

Taste of Shikoku Kyushu!

number3.gif

TAKE A LOOK AT ALL THAT KYUSHU HAS TO OFFER!

Plan your trip early by taking a look at our brand new Kyushu gallery, landing on our Pinterest this Wednesday. PLUS:

Join us on this week’s PacSet Livestream for a new trip announcement AND a Kyushu-related Q&A!

* Thursday’s riddle will be announced on the livestream.

Evan Miller
This Week @ PacSet: Kalm Before the Kyushu
IMG_4417.JPG

You know those weeks where tons of stuff happens? We’ve got announcements, promotions, and a whole lot of other stuff and it’s crazy?

That is not this week. Sorry guys!

This is our full on prep week for Animated Spring (and to a small part, Pawprint Pathways - hey, you can still sign up!) so if you are going on those trips, you’ll hear from us a lot. If you aren’t you…. won’t. BUT:

Next week we’ll be holding a little promotion called Kyushu Week! You can win stuff, get discounts on Kyushu Hideaways and Taste of Shikoku Kyushu, and more! More about that on Monday.

We’ve updated our Luggage Policy and we expect people to have lots of questions, so if you do, please don’t hesitate to e-mail or call.

Also: we’ll be announcing a new trip on Thursday, January 31 during our Livestream! If you’re not following us on Twitch, go do that and join us Thursday, January 31 at 5PM PST/8PM EST for the announcement of our next big adventure.

As for us, we’re heading back to the inbox to follow up with all of our travelers. Stay tuned for more announcements on Monday!

Weekly UpdateEvan Miller
This Week @ PacSet: Check (the) Bag
Look at how pretty this is. Yeah, you want to see this.

Look at how pretty this is. Yeah, you want to see this.

Hi everyone! Before I get to this week’s schedule, a quick word:

Japan Holiday 2019 has a price now! The SpotHolder price has held. Join us for the best darn holiday tour in Japan this December for just $2,795. That’s right - an awesome trip to Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo for 12 days/10 nights for just $2,795. BAM. If we had a mic, we’d drop it. Actually we do have a mic, but we will refrain from dropping it. It makes that really loud WHEEEEEEEEE sound when you do, and no one likes that.

ON TO THE SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK:

Tuesday, January 15: The last of the monthly invoices go out for our friends on Monthly Payment Plans. That’s neat.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 17 @ 5PM: PacSet Livestream @Twitch!

We’re back for another round of LiveStream over on our Twitch Channel this Thursday, beginning at 5PM Pacific/8PM Eastern. On tap: Evan joins us to talk trip confirmations, the return of New Tour Thursday, and the 2019 “Lucky Bags” that made the rounds over the new year in Japan.

And that's it! We’ll see you this Thursday for the next livestream!

Weekly UpdateEvan Miller
This Week @ PacSet: Happy New Year!

明けましておめでとう御座います!(Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu) - HAPPY NEW YEAR! Or as the cool kids like to say, “Ake Ome.” It sounds like “ah-kay oh-may.” Feel free to toss a lot of “AYYY” on that last syllable to add extra flavor.

workingcat.jpg

Animated Spring 2019 Final Invoice Delays

We decided to spend our holiday migrating a bunch of data and e-mail between servers, because that’s what responsible people do. Unfortunately, there is a LOT of data - and we don’t really want to send out the final invoices for Animated Spring until everything is done because we don’t want your info vanishing into the internet ether. Once the transition is done and we run a test, invoices will go out and the deadline will be a week later. Sorry for the inconvenience, friends. ;_;

ON TAP FOR THIS WEEK:

Thursday, 1/10: PACSET AT ANIME LOS ANGELES: PacSet’s own Evan Miller will be hosting a panel about Japan Travel at Noon at the Ontario Doubletree Lake Arrowhead Room. If you are at ALA and have your badge that early, come on out and listen to Evan say cool stuff about visiting Japan!

JAPAN HOLIDAY 2019 FINAL PRICES GO OUT: Yup, this is happening today too. If you want to get that sweet sweet SpotHolder discount, it’s time to jump on it.

OTHER COOL NEWS:

Pawprint Pathways is almost closed! If you want to see tons of cute animals and explore Japan in cherry blossom season, this is your LAST chance!

THANK YOU

Thank you all for bearing with us as we continue to play catch up. <3

We’ll see you all next week!

Welcome to the new PacSet site. No, really.

Welcome to PacSet 4.0!

It’s been a long time coming, but we have a new site (again), a new look, and - shock! - a new address on the internet. Thank you all for taking a break from your cat videos and shock over Tumblr’s implosion to say hi to us. <3

This new site reflects a really huge change for us, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make us nervous. Regardless, we hope you dig it.

We absolutely love the work we do at PacSet, and we want to keep bringing it to you - so please, spread the word! People that spread the word may get a super-cool shoutout. What does that mean? You’ll see.

A lot of thank yous are in order to all the people who made this site a reality, but most of all, to the alumni who have continued to show us all kinds of love - THANK YOU. This is for you.

-Evan

Evan MillerComment