Post Reply Anyone here ever travel to Japan alone? Opinions, thoughts?
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35 / M / Staten Island, NY...
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Posted 4/21/15 , edited 4/21/15
Anyone here ever travel to Japan alone? I went back in 2012 with my sis, and traveled around Japan for 11 days.

Fast forward 3 years, and I went through hell and back, and I really feel as if I am beyond what I can handle. Since then, I lost two grandparents, my uncle, who was my age and one of the only people I hung out with since 2001, I lost an old high school friend to cancer, and my younger brother died. My career took an ugly turn in 2013, and it was a year long painful saga, which I recently got back on my feet last summer from. In addition, I am working 5-6 days a week and some weeks up to 70 hours a week. I am beyond burned out.

I took off the end of next month for two weeks, and I am really debating about traveling to Japan. Yes, I have two friends there, but they work. It would be nice to travel with someone, but none of my friends or family are remotely interested or have the money for that airfare. I don't have enough to pay for my airfare and someone else's airfare.

Has anyone here traveled to Japan alone? I have a friend in Kyoto, and an acquaintance in Kobe. I would fly into Tokyo, spend a few days there, then move south to Kyoto, and day trip to Nara and Osaka while in Kyoto. I would venture to Kobe to meet up, however I can't really find anything there I want to see.

Other thing holding me back is family. After so many family losses, getting a lot of "oh please don't go, we lost so many people and don't want to lose you too if anything happens."

Ideas?
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Posted 4/21/15
You should just go, live your life. I wish I could go to Japan. < My short two cents.
Sogno- 
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Posted 4/21/15
i'll go with you
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Kanada
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Posted 4/21/15 , edited 4/21/15
You have a lot of people passing away before you. Is that normal? (I'm just not sure if you're telling to truth or not.)
Also, if you're going to travel to Japan individually, you better know your way around Tokyo & Kyoto. You can get lost really easily at places where it's really crowded, specially Tokyo. Ohh yee, don't forget to bring enough money to last you the whole trip. You're not with your family so that whenever you're short on money they can pay it for you. You've got to really think about spending too. (*old lady voice*) you whipper snapper, in my days-
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35 / M / Staten Island, NY...
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Posted 4/21/15

Kaeru69 wrote:

You have a lot of people passing away before you. Is that normal? (I'm just not sure if you're telling to truth or not.)
Also, if you're going to travel to Japan individually, you better know your way around Tokyo & Kyoto. You can get lost really easily at places where it's really crowded, specially Tokyo. Ohh yee, don't forget to bring enough money to last you the whole trip. You're not with your family so that whenever you're short on money they can pay it for you. You've got to really think about spending too. (*old lady voice*) you whipper snapper, in my days-


I been to both Tokyo and Kyoto before. I have a friend who lives in Kyoto, so I am not really worried about Kyoto. I remember my way around quite well in Kyoto. Tokyo, I am sticking to the Yamanote Line, which is the easiest line to travel. Narita -> Shinagawa via N'EX. Shinagawa -> Yamanote Line. Definitely would get the 14 day rail pass.
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46 / M / Bay Area, CA, USA
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Posted 4/21/15
Looks like you've a lot on your shoulders. I hardly know your situation in full, and I certainly won't presume to tell you to go or not go-- that's really up to you as you know you and your family situation best. I'll only say that I've been to Japan as a tourist alone twice, each time for nearly two weeks, and in my opinion it's not too hard. That includes "usual" tourist spots, and wandering off the beaten path to lesser known sites. Solo travel is my preferred mode, frankly (also done England, France, and Israel alone)-- though being married with kids now, that won't be happening for me anymore, most likely. You can go wherever you wish, stay as long or as short as you like, sleep in until whenever, blow $300 (or more) on souvenirs without anyone giving you the look etc...

Anyway, knowing Japanese language will obviously be helpful, and the more you know the better, but even with zero knowledge, it's not like you'll be completely dead in the water or anything. In places like Tokyo, Kyoto, and such, a lot of signs (e.g. roads, train stations, bus stations) will have Romanization. The big cities handle plenty of tourists. Lots of sites will have brochures in multiple languages, including English. I figure if you can handle the public transportation system in New York City, you'll adapt readily enough to Tokyo, and by extension the regional and national train lines to go to Kobe or whatever as well. A guidebook (e.g. Lonely Planet, Fodor's, etc.) can put some research right at your fingertips as well, and city maps aren't too hard to find.

Incidentally, I'll mention my favorite travel company, Asia Transpacific Journeys (ATJ). They specialize in custom tours, and they'll even take single individuals as clients (unlike most other custom tour companies who typically need a small group before they do custom itineraries). Depending on your budget, they'll do as much or as little as you're willing to pay for, and they can arrange itineraries, buy tickets, book hotels and so on. One can even get a private guide if you're willing to pay the price. For myself, I had them just book hotels and train tickets, as well as the airport transfers based upon how many days I wanted to spend at such and such a place. They were very helpful for special requests too-- second row seats at a Kabuki performance, and A-class box seats at the sumo Aki Basho, for example.
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23 / M
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Posted 4/21/15
Going to japan ... for 1:30 hour ... bloody layover time should be longer.

At least i win the bet that i made with my sister 3 years on who will arrive at japan first lol.
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28 / M / Seattle
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Posted 4/21/15
I wen't alone a few years ago, granted it was to meet up with my girlfriend at the time but before that I hung around Tokyo and Yokohama for a bit. It was alright, didn't become great till she and I met up and drank a shit ton of chu-hi's, lol.

A trip to another country is USUALLY funner with friends or a girl/boy friend. That's just my opinion though.
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28 / M / Pennsylvania
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Posted 4/21/15
I may be going to Tokyo for an entire month, staying with a host family. I've never done anything like this, and I'm terrified. I'm not sure I will go through with it. I have bad anxiety, and recently, I went to an anime convention and felt overwhelmed by depression, loneliness, and fear. I think that if I can't even go to a city on my own without spiking my fear, how can I live with another family in another country for a month? This is a very difficult problem.
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Posted 4/21/15 , edited 4/21/15
Went back in 2013 and going back next march/April again, but this time Solo. in my humble opinion its a super friendly country and everyone was always willing to try and help out even in the smaller towns like Yufuin (granted its a bit of a tourist town). Even if you do not know a lot of people you can always use the Volunteer Guide Lists if you are willing to cover their expenses during the day. Instead of using a site like "Tours by Locals" which can cost an arm and a leg (347$ Canadian an our original guide did not even show up and sent an replacement with a guide book), at least he helped us get around that first day and get comfortable with the transit system so in the end it was not a total waste of money.


http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/travel/guide/list_volunteerGuides.php

Any ways, I would take the trip. if you got the money, do not let any one hold you back you will only regret it at a later date.



P.S I looking for some suggestions on some ideas that our out side of the normal travel books/sites pm me with any suggestions for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kobe, Hemiji and Nara.
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The 2D World
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Posted 4/21/15
Now i myself have never gone to Japan at all let alone alone, but my brother has. In college he went to japan and apparently loved it. He had a blog which name escapes me right now but he didn't update it often. He said his host family was really nice and they teared up a bit when he left. Apparently he also saved up for the time and splurged quite a bit. He even got me a golden gameboy and a takoyaki machine
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35 / M / Staten Island, NY...
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Posted 4/25/15 , edited 4/25/15
Debating. I might go with my brother, but would have to help him out on his part of the trip. Basically, $Texas.
Friend in Kyoto is busy with work around the time I am planning on going, which gives us a day or day and a half at most to hang out.
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Posted 5/11/15
im going to japan this year
it was a 2 year plan with 4 friends
they all bailed
im going alone
im meeting up with a few japanese friends that will show me around

ill be going to tokyo>nagoya>kyoto>kobe>nara>osaka>back to tokyo

even if i had no japanese friends to show me around. id still go. because i wanted to go since i was a kid.
i had opportunities to go but i didnt want to go alone. now i dont care anymore.

there are many things to see and experience in this world. and when you live in a first world country you have that privilege to do so (most of the time)
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