Japan is a country known for its culture, delicious food, technological wizardry, and its stunning landscapes (we are talking about you, Mt. Fuji).
For a solo female traveller, Japan checks all the boxes one looks for before embarking on a solo trip. Safe? Check. Easy to meet other travellers? Check. Easy to navigate between cities by public transport? Check. Exciting things to do? Of course!
Here is the ULTIMATE guide for solo female travellers visiting Japan, as recommended by Savannah from The Globval Humanitarian.
Is Japan suitable for solo female travellers?
Japan is an excellent choice for solo female travel as it is one of the safest countries in the world. Keep an eye on your purse and use common sense as you would in your home country. Another reason Japan is great for solo female travellers? No catcalling. Not once in my month-long stay in Japan was I catcalled or made to feel unsafe by men. You can also dress and express yourself freely.
The people I interacted with while in Japan were friendly, polite, and welcoming. Another perk for female travellers? Women only accommodations and transportation.
When is the best time to go to Japan?
If you are planning a trip to Japan, you are probably wondering what time of year is best to visit. Japan is one of those destinations you could visit any time of year. However, I prefer Spring or Fall when the temperature is pleasant and without humidity. Mt Fuji also looks beautiful in the Springtime when the surrounding flowers are in full bloom. Visiting in the winter? You’ll be right on time for ski season!
Note: One thing to note about travelling to Japan in the Spring is “Golden Week”. Golden week is made up of four national holidays which fall in the same 7-day span. Many Japanese folks will be travelling during this week, and accommodations are typically booked well in advance. The dates change every year, so do a quick Google before you book your trip to ensure you are not going to be stranded on the streets of Tokyo when you arrive.
These are the best cities to visit in Japan
Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are three cities worth visiting for a first-time trip to Japan. Each city offers something unique for every traveller’s taste.
Tokyo – Tokyo is the capital of Japan. It is likely the city you will be flying in and out of. It is also one of the most interesting cities you will ever visit. From restaurants without servers to hedgehog cafes, amazing food, and uniquely themed shops, Tokyo has it all.
Kyoto – Step out of the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and visit the charming city of Kyoto. With stunning architecture, historic temples, and beautiful bamboo forests, Kyoto is a peaceful getaway.
Osaka – Osaka is a major hub. International flights do fly to and from Osaka. Osaka is known for its food, sumo wrestling matches, Universal Studios, and its shopping. There are many activities for kids in Osaka.
READ MORE JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDES FROM WANDERLUSTERS
The 5 best solo traveller experiences in Japan
- Sleep In a Capsule Hostel
Sleeping in a capsule in Tokyo was a great way to relax and unwind. The pods are bigger than you would imagine however if you easily feel claustrophobic, this is not for you. There are many capsule hostels in and around Tokyo. They range from $30.00-$50.00 per night. I recommend staying one or two nights. Note, once you are in the room with the pods you are not allowed to talk. Women and men are on separate floors. There is typically a large lounge area where you can talk and meet other travellers outside of the quiet rooms. The whole experience feels futuristic from the light switches inside the pods to the music options and more. You will not be disappointed!
- Visit a hedgehog café
Check out Harry Hedgehog Café in Tokyo and get up close and personal with the cutest hedgehogs. The cages were cleaned regularly, gloves are worn, and visits are made brief so as to allow the animals to have a life outside of being held 24/7.
- Marvel at the Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama in Kyoto
You haven’t seen Kyoto if you haven’t seen the magical bamboo forests. Stand mesmerized by their presence as you wander through paths of mighty tall bamboo.
- Check out Tokyo Disney
Who says you can’t visit a theme park solo? If you are in Tokyo, why not visit Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea? I chose DisneySea! Click here to read more about the two parks.
- Take a hike around Mt. Fuji
You can experience Mt.Fuji from a selection of viewpoints. I chose to see Mt. Fuji from two points: Lake Kawaguchiko and from the Chureito Pagoda. This offered two completely different perspectives. Mt. Fuji can be accessed by direct bus from Tokyo quite easily.
Helpful Japan travel tips
- Use Skyscanner to look for cheap flights
- Remember to take your shoes off before entering anyone’s home
- Wear comfortable shoes – you will do a lot of walking!
- If you need an ATM, you can find them at 7-11’s or at the post office
- Get a Japan Rail Pass before you leave (7, 14, or 21 day passes are available)
- Consider visiting in the Spring or Fall
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