About Us

Christy at the Ghibli Museum

Christy at the Ghibli Museum

My name is Christy and I’ve been traveling to Japan with my daughter, Kira, since 2006. This website is where I provide tips and advice to help you travel to Japan and explore all the wonders it has to offer. I hope this website will inspire Otaku, Japan-lovers, and anyone else who’s interested by showing them that a dream trip to Japan can come true.

You see, before we took that first trip I didn’t think that I could afford to travel that far away or negotiate a country where the language is so different from English. The only non-English speaking country I had visited was Mexico. And I studied Spanish in school; and besides, their alphabet is the same.

But I have a friend who grew up in South Africa and she encouraged me to go. She knew that Kira and I were huge anime fans and wanted to make the pilgrimage. Anime—Japanese animation—often tells stories about life in Japan and is always a reflection of their culture. My interest in anime became an interest in Japan so I followed my friend’s advice and began researching trips to Japan.

Our first trip in 2006 was a 5-day package tour that I booked through Jalpak Tours. My agent, Reiko, arranged everything. She even had a woman meet us at our hotel and take us on the train to visit the Ghibli Museum. The package included a city tour with a guide who had nothing new to tell me. I realized that I would rather explore without a guide. So, on our last day, I decided to brave the train station and we rode to Shibuya and back on our own!

Kira hugging Purin at Puroland

Kira hugging Purin at Puroland

In 2007 we took a 16-day trip and traveled beyond Tokyo. This time I gave Reiko specific instructions: a few days in Tokyo, a stay in a hot springs resort, and a few days in Kyoto. She arranged the transportation and hotel stays; I did the rest. I researched things to see and do and figured out how to get there. Despite some bumps we managed and our confidence grew.

In 2009, I made all of the arrangements for our 20-day trip. We stayed in Tokyo,  went to Naeba for the Fuji Rock Festival, visited Mt. Fuji and finished up in Hakone. I found and booked accommodations, poured over train schedules, and selected activities.

Now I am planing our next trip. We want to visit Hokkaido so this time we’re getting Rail Passes. We want to try more hostels and inns.  I built this website so I can help you create the trip of your dreams—just like me.