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Monday, 8th July 2013

Be Hyper in Japan: InsideJapan Tours teams up with HYPERJAPAN to produce first official tours

Be Hyper in Japan: InsideJapan Tours teams up with HYPERJAPAN to produce first official tours

Following the success of the fourth HyperJapan event at the end of July, and the cultural event's ever-strengthening relationship with InsideJapan Tours the tailor-made Japan travel specialist has launched two experience-packed HyperJapan tours.

For the past four years, HyperJapan has showcased Japanese pop culture and food, from cosplay (dressing up in character) to green tea ice cream. This colourful event, held over a weekend, has given InsideJapan Tours the opportunity to connect with a growing number of curious Japan fans - 40,000 attended HyperJapan at Earls Court last month.

InsideJapan's Alastair Donnelly says: "HyperJapan and  InsideJapan have worked closely together combining their expertise in Japanese culture and travel to create these two unique tours. Just like HyperJapan, these tours offer unusual and quirky experiences, designed to help people discover the qualities that make Japan such a special destination. Japan fans will not be disappointed."

The new InsideJapan/HyperJapan tours:

Departing on 10 May 2014 is the fast-paced 'J-Pop & Go!' small group tour combining the latest in Japanese craziness with zazen meditation. In Tokyo, visit the newly-opened manga theme park, 'J-World', and then pop next door to Namja Town, built by the creators of Pacman, for arcade games and indoor rides. Feast your eyes on high-fashion in Harajuku and visit Studio Ghibli - its most recent animation film, 'From Up on Poppy Hill', was launched in the UK on 2 August 2013.  Zoom out of Tokyo at 300kph on the shinkansen bullet train and arrive at the tranquil foothills of Mt Fuji, in Hakone, one of the most famous hot spring spots in Japan. Take a dip in an indoor or outdoor bath and rest well in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. Head to the ancient cultural capital of Kyoto, overflowing with quintessential Japanese sights, and find inner calm at the Kodaiji Temple, where the head priest will give a lesson in zazen meditation. Hop back on the bullet train bound for Hiroshima and experience some sobering moments, before travelling to the often-overlooked Osaka. The city is packed with video game parlours, karaoke bars and clubs, as well as being rich with Japanese history. Learn the art of samurai-sword fighting on one day and visit Osaka Castle the next, plus the quirky Momofuku Ando Lup Noodle museum, followed by a night in a capsule hotel.

The ten-night ' J-Pop & Go! ' tour costs from 1,575 pp (two sharing) and includes airport meet and greet, all accommodation, all domestic transport, full-time services of a tour leader, daily breakfast, some other meals and a whole range of entrance tickets and experiences. Excludes international flights. Call InsideJapan Tours, tel: 0117 370 9730; info@insideJapantours.com

Departing on 19 November 2013 is the packed 'Food and Culture Adventure' small group tour, taking in lesser-known parts of rural Japan and culinary experiences to tantalise even the most well-travelled of taste buds. In Tokyo, sample chanko-nabe, the traditional sumo wrestler fare, and visit Tsukiji fish market. Pop to the port city of Yokohama, famous for its ramen noodles and the ramen museum. Travel by train past rice fields and rivers, into the mountains, and arrive at Matsumoto, a samurai town. Home of Japanese soba (buckwheat) noodles, here you can learn how to make your own. Spend a day on a wasabi farm before leaving for Takayama, with its thatched-roof buildings, markets, crafts and sake breweries. Kyoto is next, offering an exclusive audience with a geisha, a visit to a sake museum and the chance to pop to nearby Kobe to visit the Takami Wagyu Kobe Beef Farm. Ascend into the mountains once again, this time to the holy Mt Koya, where Shingon Buddhism was founded. Stay in temple lodgings run by monks, visit the beautiful cemetery and appreciate the serenity of the Garan temple complex. Come down the mountain to Osaka for its okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) before returning to Tokyo for teppanyaki and a meal in 'Gonpachi', with its striking two-tiered interior that was recreated to provide the set for the fight scene in 'Kill Bill'.

The 14-night 'Food and Culture Adventure' tour costs from 2,400pp (two sharing) and includes airport meet and greet, all accommodation, all domestic transport, full time services of a tour leader, daily breakfast, some other meals and a whole range of experiences. Excludes international flights. Call InsideJapan Tours, tel: 0117 370 9730; info@insideJapantours.com