See the places which inspired anime film director Hayao Miyazaki to create his stunning artwork and scenery for the Studio Ghibli anime productions such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. On this self-guided tour, explore the world of Studio Ghibli, and take time in Tokyo to explore and visit the specialist shops for anime-related merchandise. Then using the Japan Rail Pass, go “in the footsteps of Miyazaki”, visiting places which inspired Studio Ghibli animations such as the house from My Neighbor Totoro or Takeda Castle, perched dramatically on a hilltop like the castle in the film Laputa.

    • Visit Tokyo, with halfday sightseeing tour, a trip to the Ghibli Museum and time to shop and explore
    • Nagoya
    • Stay in Kyoto, with sightseeing of the city and nearby Nara


An extension tour to Hiroshima and Matsuyama is also available (total 14 days). See itinerary.


Tour ref: ANI1

Day 1 : Depart London

Depart from London Heathrow on Finnair via Helsinki overnight flight to Tokyo.

Day 2 : Arrive Tokyo

Arrive at Tokyo Narita Airport. Take the “Airport Limousine” bus (coupon provided) to your hotel in Tokyo. Stay for 4 nights at the Sunshine City Prince Hotel, in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo with many shops selling anime and manga merchandise.

Day 3 : Tokyo

Morning tour of Tokyo visiting Tokyo Tower Observatory, Imperial Palace Plaza, Sensoji Temple (Asakusa Kannon), Nakamise Shopping Arcade and Tasaki Pearl Gallery. Afternoon free at leisure.

Day 4 : Tokyo

Visit the Ghibli Museum in the western suburb of Mitaka, to enjoy the animation world of Hayao Miyazaki (reservation and entrance included). On the way to/from the museum you may visit Nakano famous for its many stores selling anime items and idol goods, including stores such as Mandarake, which specialise in manga and anime-related collectibles.

Day 5 : Tokyo

Free at leisure in Tokyo or visit animation-related places such as Akihabara or Suginami Anime Museum.

Day 6 : Tokyo - Nagoya

Make your way to Nagoya using the Japan Rail Pass. Stop on the way at Hamamatsu to visit Nukumori no Mori or ‘The Forest of Warmth’, a model village in the style of Studio Ghibli.
Travel Info (suggestion):
Tokyo 09:03 – Hamamatsu 10:35
From Hamamatsu take a bus (40 mins) or taxi (30 mins).
Then return to Hamamatsu to resume your journey by Bullet train to Nagoya. Stay at the Tokyu Inn hotel for 1 night.

Day 7 : Nagoya - Kyoto

Why not visit the House from ‘My Neighbor Totoro’, at Koen-Nishi?
Take metro and light railway to Koen-Nishi station (40 mins). The Rail Pass is not valid for these trains.
Other attractions of Nagoya include:
– the Castle (built in 1619, and restored in the 1950s)
– Pokemon Center Nagoya
– Osu Shopping Arcade, for cosplay items
– Mandarake Nagoya store
Then in the late afternoon take the Bullet train to Kyoto (1 hour). Stay in Kyoto for 3 nights at the Karasuma Kyoto Hotel.

Day 8 : Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto

Morning sightseeing of Kyoto, visiting Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Nijo Castle (when Nijo Castle is closed, visit Ryoanji Temple instead), and Kyoto Imperial Palace (on Sat., Sun & national holidays: visit Kitano Tenmangu Shrine or Higashi Honganji Temple instead). Lunch at Kyoto Handicraft Centre. Afternoon tour to Nara visiting Todaiji Temple housing the Great Buddha, colourful Kasuga Taisha Shrine with 3,000 lanterns, and Nara Park where tame deer roam. Return to Kyoto in the evening.

Day 9 : Kyoto

Free at leisure or visit anime-related museums such as:
– Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum (closed on Wed) or
– Kyoto International Manga Museum (closed on Wed) or
– Takeda Castle, which surprisingly resembles Machu Pichu of Peru. It’s a must-see for fans of the movie Laputa.
Travel Info to Takeda Castle:
Kyoto 09:25 – Fukuchiyama 10:41
Fukuchiyama 10:48 – Wadayama 11:16
From the station, take a taxi to the castle (20 mins)
Wadayama 15:13 – Fukuchiyama 15:42
Fukuchiyama 15:43 – Kyoto 17:06

Day 10 : Kyoto – KIX – London

Transfer to Kansai International Airport(KIX) by airport bus. Depart on Finnair via Helsinki to London Heathrow, arriving the same day.

Day 11 : EXTENSION PLAN: Kyoto - Tomonoura – Hiroshima

Make your way to Hiroshima using the Japan Rail Pass. On the way visit Tomono-ura town, said to be the model for the town in Ponyo (The American film “The Wolverine (2013)” was also filmed there).
Travel info (suggestion):
Kyoto 09:36 – Shin-Osaka 09:50
Shin-Osaka 09:59 – Fukuyama 11:01
From Fukuyama, take a bus a bus or taxi to Tomonoura (30 mins).
Then return to Shin-Osaka to continue journey to Hiroshima (25 mins).
Stay in Hiroshima for 2 nights, at the Grand Intelligent Hotel.

Day 12 : Hiroshima/Miyajima

Free at leisure in Hiroshima, or a take a day trip to nearby Miyajima using the Japan Rail Pass.

Day 13 : Hiroshima – Matsuyama

Make your way to Matsuyama by hydrofoil. Upon arrival visit Dogo Onsen, the outskirts of the city which is said to be the model for the bathhouse in the animation “Spirited Away”. Stay overnight at the Sunroute Hotel in Matsuyama. Alternatively, you can stay at a Ryokan and experience the hot spring (an extra cost will apply).

Day 14 : Matsuyama – Kansai Airport

Free at leisure until departure. Make your way to Osaka and on to Kansai Airport using the Japan Rail Pass, and stay overnight at the Washington Hotel.
Travel info (suggestion):
Matsuyama 14:23 – Okayama 17:11
Okayama 17:58 – Shin-Osaka 18:45
Shi-Osaka 19:15 – Kansai Airport 20:06

Day 15 : Kansai Airport – London

Depart on Finnair via Helsinki to London Heathrow, arriving the same day.


£ 1,665 per person

sharing twin room

Extension plan:


£ 512 per person

sharing twin room
(supplement on basic tour fare above)
Includes services Day10-14 as shown on the “Extension plan” itinerary.

* Our “from” tour price is based on Finnair economy class London-Helsinki-Tokyo, KIX-Helsinki-London. This is subject to availability. Other airlines and classes of air travel can be used. Please contact us for details and availability.
If you wish to source your flights elsewhere, and just wish to purchase the rest of the tour arrangements from us, please ask us for a “land only” quotation.


  • Return flight London-Tokyo, KIX-London on Finnair economy class via Helsinki*
  • Transfer from airport to hotel (airport bus coupon)
  • 10 nights accommodation in Japan at specified hotels or similar.
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 2 sightseeing tours (Tokyo and Kyoto) as specified by coach with English-speaking guide
  • Reserved entrance ticket to Ghibli Museum, Mitaka
  • 7-day Japan Rail Pass

Not included

  • any other entrance fees not mentioned above
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any meals and beverages not shown in the above itinerary
  • Incidental costs such as personal laundry, drinks, snacks
  • Passport and other visa document fees (UK citizens do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days in Japan)
  • EXTRA ARRANGEMENTS: Extension in Tokyo, Kyoto or personal tours before or after the scheduled tour – please contact us for a quotation.