Japan surprised me in many ways. From the ease of traveling to the non-existent language barrier, I had such an amazing time on my trip there.
I also realized while I was there, that Japan makes a great country for travel solo! If it's your first solo travel trip or your hundredth definitely don't be afraid to go to Japan alone!
Here are my top reasons why you should head to Japan on your next solo travel tip....
The people are so helpful
I can't tell you how many times I had a slightly confused look on my face and a local asked me if I needed help. Fine, I will tell you. It happened a lot. The locals seemed more than willing to help a lost traveler and had no problem stopping to give you amazing directions. I even got help from a train conductor (while he was conducting the train!) when I was confused about the JR pass. Seriously, this country is so sweet.
Train system makes it easy to get around
I could go on and on about the amazing and efficient train system in Japan, but I'll try not to bore you. But the jist is that you can get around pretty inexpensively. It is normal to ride alone and no one will bother you. Plus the stations are extremely clean and safe.
English is easy to come by
This is true in the bigger cities, but I will say I had zero difficulties speaking English to people on my entire trip. Sometimes it may be more broken but the Japanese are extremely patient and helpful when it comes to communicating. The train stations also have English signage EVERYWHERE!
If you are heading to Tokyo and Kyoto, two of the top destinations in Japan, rest assured that speaking English to locals won't be a problem.
Locals are everywhere, follow their lead
Some of Japan, ok maybe most of it, is going to come as a culture shock. They eat differently, queue for everything, and have a very strict code of conduct in society. The great thing is that even in the most touristy areas there are locals everywhere. Simply look around and follow their lead, or ask for help!
No one judges you
Other countries sometimes hold disapproving looks or even accusations of being sinful if you are women traveling alone. Japan is pretty much the opposite. No one bats an eye if you are eating alone, traveling alone, or are women.
SAFE SAFE SAFE
Japan is so ridiculously safe. Crime is extremely low and sense of community is high. Everyone watches out for each others stuff and multiple times I saw women just leave their purse and go to the restroom if they were eating alone.
Of course, you shouldn't do anything stupid like get wasted and make friends or walk dark alleys alone among other things. There are also many options for female only accommodations if you want to take extra precautions.
Tourists are welcome
Some countries view tourists as a nuisance. I found Japan to be the exact opposite. Right off the plane, there are helpful guides everywhere! At booths, in front of ticket machines, and simply working for the country to help you along the way.
Read on: Full guide to Tokyo
Respect is a part of their culture
Bowing is extremely common and that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to respectfulness in Japan. I expected Japan to be crowded and disorderly, kind of like NYC, but even with the immense crowd's, everyone respects one another's space. There are queues everywhere even during rush hour subway times. Plus, the attire around Japan is always classy making you feel like you are walking around a movie set.
Food options at Every Budget
It doesn't matter if your trip is luxurious or on a serious budget, you will be fine in Japan. There is food everywhere that is delicious and fresh for any budget imaginable!
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
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