Traveling is one thing, but traveling solo is something that everyone should experience at least once in their life. Stepping outside of your comfort zone, trusting your instincts, and realizing you’re capable of way more than you thought is enlightening.
But once you’ve finally convinced yourself to take the leap and commit, the next big deciding factor is where do you go first?
This can be a major headache when you have the whole world to explore!
According to experts, Japan was named as the top solo travel destination for 2024, so your questions have been answered! In 2023, the country saw an increase in U.S. visitors and is only expected to continue on its growth trajectory.
In an effort to foster the relationship between the two countries, the Japan Tourism Board announced a “U.S.-Japan Tourism Year 2024” initiative in the hopes of promoting tourism and cultural exchanges between both.
Modern sky-scrapers, snow-capped Mount Fuji, breathtaking coastal towns, it’s no surprise Japan is a popular choice for 2024.
Both Tokyo and Osaka are trending for the New Year, with an increase in searches of over 200%.
With one of the most efficient transportation systems in the world, Tokyo makes for a great starting point for solo travelers to explore the country. History lovers will adore the ornate buildings and cherry blossom-lined streets of Osaka.
While these two gems are certainly popular amongst travelers, there’s also many other picturesque spots for solo travelers to explore around Japan.
A huge draw here is no doubt the safety ratings Japan receives each year. As one of the safest destinations in the world, it’s no surprise it attracts backpackers and solo venturers.
Most areas and cities are known for being quite safe, but like anywhere, it’s important to still remain alert during your travels!
If anything does happen, you’ll notice ‘Kobans’ dotted throughout neighborhoods – which are essentially ‘Police boxes’ used for contacting the local authorities as quickly as possible.
Another win for the country is their thriving travel and nomad community. Depending on where you’re staying, dorms can be found between $15-$30.
For us solo female travelers who aren’t quite as comfortable sharing accommodations with males, Tokyo has introduced the concept of ‘female-only hostels’ – which offer some peace of mind for many ladies out there.
These capsule hostels are clean, safe, affordable, and allow women to remain comfortable during their travels. They range between $20-40, which may seem pricier for a hostel, but if safety and being comfortable are priorities, then this is the option for you.
Of course, you’re bound to find a variety of unique experiences to try in Japan – it’s another country, after all, BUT what about unique experiences for solo travelers specifically?
Besides wandering the food markets on your own (which is an experience in and of itself) or cherry blossom hunting, there’s so many options. According to Flashpack, the top choices for solo travelers include having lunch with a sumo wrestler and meditating with monks in Kyoto.. Can you imagine?!
If hotels and hostels aren’t your cup of tea, then why not immerse yourself in Japanese tradition from the get-go?
If you want a taste of normal life, there are many companies that offer homestays to travelers. Most of them are targeted towards students, but if you do a little research, there are a few options for others.
With so much going and meeting new people, wanting a little relaxation is perfectly normal. A classic solo experience involves unwinding in one of Japan's many Hot Pools. Cultural, calming, and a good way to enjoy alone time or meet fellow travelers, these pools can be found around the country (the most visited being Kurokawa Onsen).
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.