Gomineko Tours

Through the bookstore I have had the privilege of being involved in the Japanese tattoo community for the last 15 years and have arranged for you to meet some of the top tier artists here as well as see the relevant cultural sights to further you tattoo career. Moreover, the tour aims to provide you with a more thorough understanding of Japanese culture and aesthetics. The Japanese tattoo world is often inaccessible and hard to navigate…we’ll take the footwork out of your networking. If you want to get an authentic Japanese tattoo while you are here we can arrange that as well.

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The tours includes accommodations, bilingual guides, seminars, all travel and entrance feesc....basically everything except for your airfare and food. Each tour is $3000USD per person and we required a $500 non refundable deposit to hold your spot. Feel free to book with us, then take care of your airfare now while it is still inexpensive, and pay the tour balance upon arrival. If you would like to participate in back to back tours the total cost is $6000 and we will cover the cost of the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto and back.

 

Tours are limited to 15 people so book early to reserve your spot.

 

Please remember that if you have a group of friends and would like to arrange a private tour catered specifically to your interests, it's easy to arrange and truly the best way to experience Japan. I need a group of at least 5 people to make this happen. Message me here from more details.

 

The Cherry Blossom Tour will be held in Osaka/Kyoto/Nara April 3-13th, 2013.

 

You will need to book a flight into Kansai International Airport arriving on April 3th...which means you will need to depart on the 2nd from most countries, and fly out on the 13th. You are welcome to stay longer or arrive earlier but will be responsible for yourself on those extra days. We can extend your hotel reservation for you at the tour rate if you would like to stay longer.

 

Cherry Blossoms are held in high regard here in Japan...emblematic of life's fleeting nature they represent mortality, love...magnificent beauty and sudden death. It is a flower meant to invoke loyalty in Japanese people, esp. in the military and is regarded by all as a good omen. Sakura viewing, or hanami, is a national event. People of all walks of life gather under the trees in bloom to picnic, drink sake, karaoke and welcome spring.

Osaka is the definitive center of youth culture, the arts, and music in Japan. Being the hotbed of Japanese tattooing talent, there is a cavalcade of top tier talent concentrated in this fun, crazy and visually stimulating city. Japanese pop culture is heavily represented here, street fashion is to the nines and the top level tattoo shops are in major abundance. This is the best place to check out Japan's stellar modern tattooing scene. We will take you around this city, to meet some of the top artists, do studio visits, (both shops and tebori artisans), visit what is undoubtedly one of the best aquariums on earth,  and enjoy the outrageous nightlife.

 

Kyoto is the former imperial city of Japan. There are over 2000 Buddhist and Shinto shrines and it retains a traditional atmosphere, that is seemingly unaffected by time. We will explore temples such as the Golden pavilion, Ginkakuji, Kiyomizudera and Fushimi Inari (fox) Shrine. There are over ten World Heritage sites here, and the classical architecture of the buildings gives the entire city a charming, classic bygone feel. Enjoy the temples, the beautiful riverside bars, the geisha district and the best traditional food in Japan. Kyoto also has fantastic nightlife, and a great tattooing scene.


The ancient city of Nara is similarly abundant with World Heritage Sites, and monuments- rich with references, it is a dream for lovers of classic Japanese art. Nara has some of the most important Buddhist effigies, such as the majestic 15 metre "big Buddha of Nara" at Todai-ji temple. It is also the home of several hundred deer that are quick to attach themselves to anyone with snacks....

 

This tour is an excellent way to experience both new and old world Japan at it's most beautiful.

 

 

Tokyo Tour - Sanjamatsuri - May 13th -23rd, 2013

 

 

The second Tour this Spring will be based in Tokyo and run May 13th - 23rd in Tokyo. We have timed this one to coincide with the legendary Sanja Matsuri in Asakusa. The three shrine festival has long been a draw for people interested in irezumi as for years, men clad only in fundoshi, have born the Mikoshi thru the Asakusa promenade. Policy was passed a couple years ago banning visible tattoos around the Mikoshi, but the spirited festival still draws thousands of people to old town Asakusa and the event is not to be missed.

 

The tour includes accommodations, bilingual guides, seminars, all travel and entrance fees…....basically everything except for your airfare and food. Each tour is $3000USD per person and we required a $500 non refundable deposit to hold your spot. Feel free to book with us, then take care of your airfare now while it is still inexpensive, and pay the tour balance upon arrival. You are welcome to stay longer or arrive earlier but will be responsible for yourself on those extra days. We can extend your hotel reservation for you at the tour rate if you would like to stay longer.

During this 10 day tour of Tokyo we will visit the nearby temples and shrines, we’ve organized a tebori seminar with world renowned tattooist Horiren, so you can witness traditional hand poke tattooing up close, and ask questions. We will go to the Horiyoshi III museum as well as the Kyosai museum....one of my personal favorites, reference galore!!! We’ll take you to see the Rockabilly kids dance in Yoyogi park, visit the downtown Blade Runner-esque areas, and go see the Harajuku goth and lolita kids and hit some of the cool record and toy shops.

 

We will spend a day near the beach in Kamakura, home of the legendary Daibutsu, (The Big Buddha) and spend a day as well in Nikko - which is one of my favorite places in Japan. It is a Buddhist pilgrimage area, and a world Heritage site. It is rife with temples in a serene mountain location. There are a mind boggling amount of temples, each lavishly decorated with mythological animals, gods and goddesses. It is one of the most picturesque areas in Japan and tattoo reference mecca!!!

We’ve arranged budget accommodations right in the heart of the city - rife with neon and always buzzing this area is overflowing with cafes, great restaurants, bars, clubs and fantastic shopping.

We are happy to arrange tattoo appointments for you, just let us know what you want and by who and we’ll do our best to get you sorted out.

 

The tour will run 5/13 - 5/23 and you will need to book a flight into Narita Airport arriving on the 13th of May, which means you will most likely fly from home on the 12th. You will need to book out of Narita on the 23rd.

 

If this is your first visit to Japan we recommend this tour.....

 

 

Tokyo Tour October 7, 2013 - October 17, 2013

 

 

Again, the idea is to take a bunch of like minded, fun (please, please don’t sign on if you have no sense of humor) people to our favorite haunts and hangs. We will visit all the nearby temples and shrines, we’ve arranged a tebori seminar so you can witness traditional hand poke tattooing up close, and ask questions. We will go to the Kyosai Museum as well as Horiyoshi III's Tattoo museum. We’ll take you to see the Rockabilly kids dance in Yoyogi park, visit the downtown Blade Runner-esque areas, and go see the Harajuku goth and lolita kids and do day trips to the Daibutsu (Big Buddha) and Temples in Kamakura as well as the Nikko National Park. Way up in the mountains Nikko is home to some of the most amazing Shinto and Buddhist Shrines in Japan - rife with dragons and baku sculptures it is tattoo reference mecca!!

 

We’ve arranged budget accommodations right in the heart of the city - rife with neon and always buzzing this area is overflowing with cafes, great restaurants, bars, clubs and fantastic shopping. We will also arrange tattoo appointments for you, just let us know what you want and by who and we’ll do our best to get you sorted out.

 

 

You will need to book into Narita International Airport on the 7th of October, most likely departing on the 6th from your departure point. You will need to fly out of Narita on the 17th.

 

Osaka/Kyoto/Nara Tour -October 18, 2013 - October 28, 2013

 

 

 

 

Osaka is the definitive center of youth culture, the arts, and music in Japan. Being the hotbed of Japanese tattooing talent, there is a cavalcade of top tier talent concentrated in this fun, crazy and visually stimulating city. Japanese pop culture is heavily represented here, street fashion is to the nines and the top level tattoo shops are in major abundance. This is the best place to check out Japan's stellar modern tattooing scene. We will take you around this city, to meet some of the top artists, do studio visits, (both shops and tebori artisans), visit what is undoubtedly one of the best aquariums on earth,  and enjoy the outrageous nightlife.

 

Kyoto is the former imperial city of Japan. There are over 2000 Buddhist and Shinto shrines and it retains a traditional atmosphere, that is seemingly unaffected by time. We will explore temples such as the Golden pavilion, Ginkakuji, Kiyomizudera and Fushimi Inari (fox) Shrine. There are over ten World Heritage sites here, and the classical architecture of the buildings gives the entire city a charming, classic bygone feel. Enjoy the temples, the beautiful riverside bars, the geisha district and the best traditional food in Japan. Kyoto also has fantastic nightlife, and a great tattooing scene.

The ancient city of Nara is similarly abundant with World Heritage Sites, and monuments- rich with references, it is a dream for lovers of classic Japanese art. Nara has some of the most important Buddhist effigies, such as the majestic 15 metre "big Buddha of Nara" at Todai-ji temple. It is also the home of several hundred deer that are quick to attach themselves to anyone with snacks....

 

This tour will run October 18th-28th,2013 and you will need to book a flight into Kansai International Airport on the 18th of October, which means you will most likely fly out on the 17th from your departure city. You will need to fly out on the 28th from Kansai airport.

 

The October tours are set up back to back so if you can get away for 20 days, you can join us for both. Those of you planning to do both tours back to back should look into flights that arrive in Narita on the 7th and depart from Kansai on the 28th. The cost of the back to back is $6000 and includes the additional nights hotel as well as the bullet train fare from Tokyo to Osaka....an amazing voyage that takes up past the majestic mount fuji. If you can get away for the 20 days do it. Your calf muscles will hate you but you'll have an unforgettable experience!