Updated May 25, 2021.
If you’re new around here, thre are two things you ought to know about me: I lived in Japan for three months in college, and it changed the trajectory of my life. Japan was my first solo trip ever, and my first time ever to cross an ocean. It will always hold a special place in my heart, and I can whole-heartedly recommend a trip to Japan for your solo trip, too! Here are all the details.
*Some of the links below are affiliate links with JR Pass in Japan. This means that when you book your JR Pass with my links, you’re getting the best deal available and supporting my small business at no additional cost to you!
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.
Read on: 5 Reasons to Travel Solo
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.
Safety first! How to Travel Safely
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! Definitely check out the JR Pass, which will give you the deepest discount on train travel imaginable. You can get your JR Pass for one, two, or three weeks, and they’re only available to foreign tourists!
Need to know: How to Survive Long-haul Flights
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!
Still not sure? Here’s Your Ultimate Guide to Accommodations
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!
Still hungry? What to Eat in 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, definitely get a JR Pass if you’re planning to visit multiple cities, and walk within the cities you visit!
Get more: Top 12 Experiences to Have in Japan
Are you ready to make Japan your next (or first!) solo travel destination? You will be so happy with that decision! Make sure to stop by my Solo Travel Page for all my tips, tricks, and ultimate guides!
And check out my Japan Page for all the details to help you plan your trip!
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