VFX and Animation in Tokyo

Ref: 10003662


First and second year Visual Effects students enrolled on the following modules: TECH1004 Image Capture and Processing; TECH2600 Tracking, Rig Removal and Compositing; and ANIM1802 Critical Studies 1 are eligible to participate in this opportunity. The maximum number of places on this opportunity is 30 and the minimum the trip will go ahead with is 20. DMU staff will be accompanying the group.

DMU students are only eligible to receive one academic-led trip bursary per year. Please check our eligibility criteria for further details.


Tokyo is often considered to be the bleeding edge of the visual effects industry. The city is rich in culture, tradition and is the recognisable home to genres such as Anime, Manga, fandom and subculture. The proposed visit to Tokyo will allow students to engage with some of the most important media, VFX and animation centres in South East Asia – if not, in the world. Educational visits are likely to include the Sony Museum, Panasonic Technology Centre, NHK Broadcasting Museum, Sony Explora Centre, Fuji Television, the Miraikan Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, the Nikon Archive, Tokyo Anime Museum, and the Studio Ghibli Museum (students must book in advance).

The Miraikan, for example is currently home to the world-famous Asimo robot, though also houses one of the few full-immersive 3D cinemas in the world. Here, students can see award winning visual effects films on a full 180 degree screen in 3D.

Students are also encouraged to book early and visit the Studio Ghibli Museum which pays homage to the work of Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Totoro, etc.), where they can indulge in a fantasy world of props and architecture dedicated to the work of this studio. Similarly, the Tokyo Anime Centre also houses some of the most important cultural artefacts of Japanese contemporary animation.

In relation to important technological archives, students can explore the Sony Museum, Panasonic Centre, and the NHK Broadcasting Museum, all of which play a significant role in ensuring that the history of modern technology is secured, and which cast an important nod towards future/developing media tech.

Cultural activities

Alongside the academic itinerary, students will also have plenty of time to unwind and embrace Japanese culture. There will be optional visits to local landmarks and film locations such as Shibuya Crossing (see Baraka and Lost in Translation), and the Godzilla Tour, as well as time to explore the infamous Anime and Manga stores of districts such as Akihabara electric avenue.

There will also be opportunities to visit some of the many sacred shrines and temples offered in Tokyo. Sensoji Temple in of Asakusa for example, is one of Tokyo’s oldest temples, founded in 628. Sensoji is not only one of Tokyo’s grandest-looking temples, with its big, bold red gate, imposing temple buildings, and five-story pagoda – but it is also one of the most buzzing temples in the metropolis. More than just a temple, Sensoji is a neighbourhood in its own right, preserving the feel of old Tokyo. Here, students can explore a range of markets and eateries, and fully embrace local historical culture by dressing in period costume and taking a rickshaw ride.

Travel and accommodation

  • Travel – Students are required to independently book their travel.
  • Accommodation – The faculty will book accommodation for this opportunity, and students will be expected to pay the full amount following confirmation of their place.

Contact details

Visa information

If you have a British Citizen or British National (Overseas) or EU passport, you can enter Japan as a visitor for up to 90 days without a visa. You may need to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket. Students of other nationalities should check the entry requirements on the Japanese Embassy website.

Further information will be provided to all accepted students who require a visa, regarding the type of visa required and how to apply for it, at the pre-departure session. If you have any specific questions about this please email dmuglobal@dmu.ac.uk for advice. If a visa is required, you are responsible for applying for one and ensuring that you do so with sufficient time to receive the visa prior to departure. Please be aware that immigration decisions are made by individual embassies.

Key Information

  • Departure date: Thursday 21 May 2020
  • Return date: Friday 29 May 2020
  • Estimated cost of flights and accommodation: £1000
  • Students will also be required to pay for: UK and in-country transfers (£50), entry fees (£20), cultural activities, food & drink and visa (if applicable)
  • DMU Global bursary: £400
  • Deadline for application: Monday 17 February 2020 9am