|Above, the Wako Department Store that was trashed by Godzilla in 1954. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
For years, Digital Manga has been offering up tours of Japan. The Great East Japan Earthquake caused a major disruption in Japan's tourism industry. There's now good news on the tourism front.
Now, the Japan Culture Tour resumes. According to Animation Insider:
One year and two months ago, the Great East Japan Earthquake rocked an island nation, and tens of thousands of lives were lost -- countless more displaced. Long since, regional and national rebuilding efforts have sought to clean up and resurrect Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, and its surrounding areas. Also long since, efforts to re-ignite tourism in Japan have been popping up, lending hope to certain industries whose bread-and-butter rests in keeping close relations with the land of the rising sun.
All this to serve as a little reminder that manga publisher and culture authority Digital Manga has officially returned to the business of offering weeklong travel tours in Japan. The Pop Japan Travel (PJT) organization has been offering group tours tailored to western anime and manga aficionados for quite a few years now, and has planned its first group tour for later this year. Want to see a genuine summer festival fireworks display? Taste the freshest sashimi on the planet? Tour the stables of your favorite anime artists at a renowned studio? PJT makes all the arrangements and does all the translation, all you have to do is show up (and pay the registration fee, of course).
For some time, I've been advocating similar tours tailored to fans of Japanese science-fiction and fantasy movies. The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan was designed for use by individuals or tour companies to see the sites and landmarks trashed by Godzilla, Gamera, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Gyaos, Mothra and others on celluloid.
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