Whether you can’t find a travel companion, or you just prefer your own company, solo travel is the ultimate liberating experience.
From the thrill of checking in alone, passport in hand, to making new friends and broadening your horizons, everyone should go it alone at least once.
Those new to the world of solo travel and looking for a starting point should cast their eyes towards the ultra safe and uber quirky land of the rising sun.
Lucky for you, inside Japan has put together a list of reasons why you should ad the destination to your solo bucket list.
Japan is one of the safest places to travel on the planet. Japanese people may appear to be on the shy side, but if travelling alone, you’ll find locals especially keen to go out of their way to help with directions and sightseeing recommendations.
Get Your Zen On
Solitude is a glorious thing and is often the best way to soak up Japanese culture. Contemplate Zen at one of Kyoto’s tranquil rock gardens, or hike in peace to the top of Mount Misen on Miyajima Island.
Cast yourself adrift in the crowds at Tokyo’s famous zebra crossroads or absorb Hiroshima’s tragic past at the Peace Museum. Whether in an onsen, or by the ocean, this is a country that invites reflection and introspection.
Table For One
Hate asking for a table for one? Eating out alone is common practice in Japan, and what’s more, it’s the norm. Dabble in street food, pull up a counter chair in an izayaka, eat at a sushi conveyor restaurant.
Or, at Ichiran, a chain of restaurants characterised by a series of ‘flavour concentration’ booths. Here, diners can savour a bowl of ramen noodles in complete solitude. The very concept rests on the ideology that one can arrive, eat, and leave without the need to interact with anyone.
The menu is purposefully simplistic, order at the touch of a button and food is presented without ceremony. Admittedly this might be a little extreme, especially if you’re hoping to immerse yourself in the culture and meet local people, but it’s always an option.
Find Romance – twice
In Japan they do Valentine’s Day differently – twice in fact. February 14th the girls are expected to buy chocolate for the men in their lives and ‘Giri-choco’ (translating as ‘obligation chocolates’) for their colleagues and friends too. This is almost expected by their male co-workers.
What about the men? A month later on March 14th, men are expected to buy gifts and chocolate on an extra day of love – White Day. White Day was created in Japan back in 1978 and is often a chance for the girls to make sure they get a good return on the gifts they presented back on Valentine’s Day. Commercial romance lives.