Japan · Solo Travel Destinations · Uncategorized

Solo Travel: Japan

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Why Japan?

Because it’s beautiful, peaceful, memorable, iconic, distinctive, easy to get around, and perfect for a solo traveler! Check out my 10 Reasons to Visit Japan and start listing your travel preferences. Do you want the countryside? Consider Ise City. Prefer a world-class city experience? Definitely spend some time in Tokyo! Want old world charm? Kyoto is the place for you. Love castles? Check out the gorgeous castles in Nagoya, Osaka, Ueno, and more! Looking for a spiritual experience? Put Shingu Shrine on your list. Check out my Japan page for all the details!

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Shingu Shrine

Is it Safe?

Yes! Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. Be smart, don’t flash your cash, and know where your stuff is at all times, but also don’t worry! I never once felt threatened or scared for my safety, even that one time I got totally lost on my bike one night! Despite the language barrier, there was always someone around who could help me, no matter where I went.

How Can I Get There?

Japan has multiple international and domestic airports, including both Narita (NRT) and Haneda (HND) near Tokyo. Once you fly in, you can take their world-class train system absolutely anywhere!

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Mount Fuji from the plane!

Where to Stay?

I recommend staying as close to the city center as possible, whatever city or cities you choose to visit. Public transportation in Japan is truly exceptional, but the cities are also exceptionably walkable. Take advantage of that! Staying in or within walking distance of a city center always makes my travels less stressful and more fun. Staying farther out may save you some money, but remember to consider your time and the expense of traveling in and out of the city each day. Weigh those pros and cons, and let that guide your decision making!

How to Stay Occupied?

There is so much to do anywhere you go in Japan! Visit the shrines and temples, try the authentic Japanese foods, and enjoy the many museums and historic sites, most of which have all written materials in multiple languages, including English! Every city has unique things to do and see, so just ask a local, and they will tell you the most famous things to eat, see, and experience in their city. I never would have known about Nara’s famous Chagayu dish if I hadn’t asked a local what I should eat while exploring Nara!

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Chagayu lunch combo in Nara, Japan

How to Save Money?

I found Japan to be very affordable. Maybe that’s because everyone tried to tell me how expensive it is, so my expectations were inflated! Tokyo was definitely more expensive than the other places I visited, but overall, Japan was not too expensive for a solo traveler. Check out the local grocery store instead of eating out, get a JR Pass if you’re planning to visit multiple cities, and walk within the cities you visit!

Are you ready to make Japan your next (or first!) solo travel destination? You will be so happy with that decision!

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8 thoughts on “Solo Travel: Japan

  1. I’m so glad you wrote about this! I have been thinking about Japan for 4 years. I was unable to get away until just recently. I just planned a trip to Germany in May because my niece lives there and I don’t know if I should do 2 international trips in one year but this is on my list of really, really want to do.
    I have an older (in her 80’s) friend who lives in Kyoto. She told me to go on a guided trip because she is not in good health and could not take me around and I am not depending on her for lodging, but I wanted to go solo.
    I am also a cyclist and thought about going with a biking tour group.
    Was wondering about weather? I don’t mind cold weather (unless I would be biking) but didn’t want to go when the beautiful sights are not so beautiful, if that makes any sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s awesome! I definitely think you can do it yourself, especially since you have a friend who lives there to answer some questions and give you specifics, even if she can’t necessarily be guiding you. A biking group sounds like tons of fun, even if just for part of your trip, or for a meet up tour or two in a couple of cities to break up the solo feel and give you a little something different. I was there from the beginning of May to the end of July, and the part of Japan where I loved (Ise City in the Mie Prefecture) is on the same latitude as Tennessee, where I’m from originally. That time of year is their rainy season, so it was hot and humid, but I was used to that, and it usually rained some in the mornings, but not the rest of the day, so it didn’t slow me down! I think late summer/early fall would be a nice time to go if you are not heat tolerant, or if you don’t mind the cold, winter might be nice because there will probably be fewer people around. Japan gets all four seasons, so pick a season you like! As far as beauty, spring, summer, and fall will probably be prettiest! Let me know if I can be anymore help, and have tons of fun!

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      1. I was working 5 days a week almost the whole time I was there, so I wasn’t spending the whole tome traveling. I would say two weeks is a good amount of time to really see a lot of Japan, but if you can spend 3-4 weeks, that’s what I would choose! It does snow in Japan, but not everywhere. The northern tip of the northern-most Japanese island is about the same latitude as Maine, and Okinawa is about the same latitude as Hawaii, so it’s not going to snow there! The main island of Japan is about the length of California, so the north will definitely get snow in winter, and the south won’t. Hope that helps!

        Liked by 1 person

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