Just as there are some people who don’t seem to age physically, there are people who apparently never age vocally. For three decades and counting, voice actress Kikuko Inoue has been the anime industry’s go-to-choice whenever they need to fill the role of an angelically kind and femininely sophisticated character, resulting in her being referred to as the anime sphere’s “eternal 17-year-old.”
After 30 years of touching performances, Inoue, 53, (whose credits include "Ranma 1/2’s" Kasumi, "Oh My Goddess’" Belldandy, and "Clannad’s" Sanae) is now proving that her voice has the power to literally move people. Travel service Japan Walker Travel, in conjunction with long-distance bus operator Willer, is offering fans the chance to take an overnight trip to a hot spring resort with Inoue.
However, as such a brightly shining voice acting luminary, demand is far too great to award this honor to just one traveler, and so the tour is seeking (and sure to find) 80 participants for the trip to the town of Omachi and Lake Kizakiko in Nagano Prefecture. In addition to sightseeing, the itinerary includes a barbeque and soba noodle-making lessons, both of which Inoue will be present for, as well as a dinner party with the voice actress with games, karaoke (Inoue says she’ll be taking requests), and a photo session with fans.
The participants will board the tour bus in Tokyo on Saturday, May 26, and during the ride to Nagano a special video message from Inoue will be played on the in-vehicle monitors. The actress herself is scheduled to join the group upon their arrival in Nagano, but the tour’s website cagily says fans might see her before then too.
The hotel’s amenities include large communal baths filled with natural hot spring waters (no mention is made of whether or not Inoue will be taking a dip in the women’s-only bath at the same time as the other hotel guests).
This being a Japanese tour, a group photo is also part of the itinerary, and once the trip is over, participants will receive their copy as part of a 24-page photo booklet with other snapshots of Inoue taken over the weekend.
The cost for single travelers, which includes round-trip transportation from Tokyo, hotel, and all group activities, is 46,800 yen. Friends travelling together and sharing a room meanwhile, will be charged 44,800 yen each (in the Japanese hospitality industry, it’s not uncommon for hotel guests to be charged by the person instead of by the room).
Applications can be made online here, and while Inoue isn’t known to be proficient in any language other than Japanese, fans can tell you that her voice is tremendously pleasing to the ears, regardless of whether or not you have the benefit of subtitles to tell you what she’s saying.
Source: Japan Walker Travel via Otakomu
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