The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.
Off-season winter trips to Tokyo are no different than traveling to New York or Paris when the weather turns cold. Normally a city of lights and noises, Tokyo in the winter is rife with electric splendor that makes it the most high-tech looking city in the world. Temperatures range from the mid 50s to the low 30s (Fahrenheit), so bring a winter coat and some sweaters, or buy them there. Tokyo is an incredibly fashionable city with magnificent stores; high and low fashion, and a great youth culture very in-touch with hip music and film.
For lovers of animated film and television, JTBUSA (tel. 800/235-3523; www.jtbusa.com) offers a tour of Japan's animated world taking place during the Tokyo International Animated Fair from March 23 to March 30, 2006. The six-night air-land trip costs $1,775 out of New York City and includes round-trip airfare, all hotel accommodations, visits to the Suginami Animation Museum, the Toei Animation Oizumi Studio, the Toei Animation Institute, the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, and of course, the Tokyo International Animated Fair (www.taf.metro.tokyo.jp/en/). Other highlights include the Odaiba section of the city where you'll visit amusement parks, shopping centers, and the Fuji Building for an example of "futuristic" architecture. The Japanese have long been the leaders in creating animated characters and entertainment. This trip gives you a front row seat to a vast world of the technology that created and sustains that world. Accommodations are at the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, centrally placed in Shinjuku, the center of Tokyo. You get more than a day of free time with this tour as well to take advantage of the day trips around Tokyo to Mt. Fuji and other sites in the vicinity.
For a less-structured trip to Tokyo, Asian Affair Holiday (tel. 800/742-3133; www.asianaffairholidays.com) has a five-night "Japan Holiday" special starting at $959 with round-trip airfare on Singapore Airlines out of Los Angeles available from now through April 30, 2006. The trip includes round-trip airfare, all airport and hotel transfers in Tokyo, five nights lodging at the Tokyo Hilton International Hotel, a half-day tour of the city, and a $110 dollar security and fuel surcharge imposed by Singapore Airlines. The tour does not include a foreign airport tax of up to $72.15 or the $2.50 September 11th security tax.
JalPak (tel. 888/352-5725; www.jalpak.com) is offering a "Winter Special Package" that includes airfare and accommodations for four nights costing approximately $799. Travel is good from January 3 to March 9, 2006 with midweek departures out of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Several different hotel options are included in the package. Price of the trip increases based on the level of hotel luxury. Extra night extensions are available with single supplements starting at $116. This trip gives you the option of selecting the Japanese city you most want to visit. Available cities include Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. The price of the trip is based on double occupancy. An additional travel tax of $90 will apply. JalPak also has a "Hello Kitty" vacation package that visits some of Japanese theme parks and museums dedicated to the country's animated heroes. The seven-day five-night fun-filled air and hotel package starts at $1,238 and departs through the winter and into spring.