Just back from their first ever "Starving Artists" tour for 2012, PacSet Tours announced dates and costs for their Summer 2013 trip to Japan, designed just for budget-conscious manga artists.
Now called the "Drawn to Manga" Tour, this guided tour to the motherland of manga scheduled for June 18-26, 2013 includes visits to the Ghibli Museum, a session at a school for manga artists, and a day selling your comics at Comic City, a doujinshi event for independent comics creators held at Tokyo Big Sight. Tokyo Big Sight is the mega event center in Odaiba, where Comic Market (a.k.a. Comiket) and other pop culture events are held. Tour group members will also have the option to extend their trip a few days to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo to enjoy the quieter side of Japan in Ito, where hot springs and scenery await.
Priced at $1,895 for the main 7-day trip (or $990 for just the guided tour without airfare from LAX to Tokyo, and/or the option to add the 2-day journey to Ito for $350 more), the PacSet Drawn to Manga Tour is designed for budget conscious travelers who want to experience Japan, but don't mind no-frills accommodations at hostels instead of fancy hotels.
PacSet also offers the option for monthly installment payments, because somehow, paying $160 a month for a trip to Japan seems a lot easier to do than paying $1,895 in one chunk. You can also just sign up now, and pay a $300 deposit to save your space on this 2013 summer tour. Just remember to tell 'em About.com sent you, just because. :-)
The Drawn to Manga tour is lead by Evan Miller, a former writer for Anime News Network who wrote The Gallery column, which spotlighted manga artists from all over the world. He also wrote about his trip to Comitia, Japan's quarterly gathering of indie comics creators. Besides being fluent in Japanese and knowledgeable about manga, Miller is also a very funny, down-to-earth guy who creates some quirky video blogs about PacSet Tours adventures in Japan that he posts on YouTube.
You can get a taste of the Drawn to Manga tour experience by checking out the videos from the 2012 tour - Here's part 1 and part 2. You can also see photos from their adventures on PacSet Tours' Tumblr blog.
PacSet Tours also offers other guided tours to Japan, including a Holiday Tour in December to see the festive lights and uniquely Japanese spin on Christmas, and the "Narrow Road Tour" that takes travelers down scenic rural byways to experience the quieter side of Japan. Check out their Facebook page for updates or follow them on Twitter for the latest news, videos and photos from their travels.
Image credits: © PacSet Tours