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Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

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Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

I am planning to go to Japan next April specifically to Tokyo and Kyoto for 2-3 weeks, since it is my first time travelling there i had a couple of questions:

What are the best ways to get across the country in? What specific trains?

Are there any other cities that I have missed that are worth going to?

Also is it safe for a female solo traveller?

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1. Re: Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

Please research - http://www.japan-guide.com/ - the site has some suggested itineraries. Without knowing your interests - it's difficult for us to offer suggestions. Japan is very safe.

Train is the best mode of travel between Tokyo & Kyoto. The site I gave you has all of the details.

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2. Re: Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

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3. Re: Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

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4. Re: Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

As a woman, I found Japan very very safe. Always be careful but very safe

What made my travelling around Japan easier was using www.hyperdia.com and renting a wifi so I could log on anywhere/any time to check trains. Even though the japanese have made train travel almost idiot proof (english signs at the station/on the trains) i still used Hyperdia a lot to plan our bigger journeys

To get around, maybe a JR Pass. We used this for local JR trains and bullet trains. Note that the JR pass does not include private rail or subways

I would suggest a visit to Hiroshima and I wished we had time to visit the mountain regions (our next trip).

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5. Re: Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

Hi Sue,

I am a Male but I will try to give you as much insight as I can. I have been to Japan several times and have been with someone and also alone for a couple weeks.

What are the best ways to get across the country in? What specific trains? - If you are going to go back and forth from Tokyo to Kyoto - The Shinkansen (High speed bullet train is the best way to go in my opinion though flying can be just as cheap but less fun in my opinion).

You can buy a Japan Rail Pass - This will allow you to ride most all JR Trains with a few exceptions like the fastest Shinkansen. This is a huge value if you use it correctly. If you stay in Kyoto and Tokyo area it is not worth the price. If you add a trip like Hiroshima using Shinkansen then it pays for itself.

In Tokyo you will likely need to buy a Suica or Passmo card. These allow you to ride the metro system and pretty much all the trains in the area.

Use this website and it will help tell you what trains to ride as well as cost etc.

http://www.hyperdia.com/en/

Are there any other cities that I have missed that are worth going to? As someone else mentioned the cities depend on what you like but here are some I love

-

Tokyo Area

- Kamakura - Lots of Temples and Shines not far from Enoshima a wonderful sea side area.

- Kawagoe - Little Edo it is called. Nice historic town for a half day

- Yokohama - Short ride from Tokyo lots of great things all in one area, cool Chinatown too

- Nikko - A little harder to get to a tour makes sense here if you are not confident about language

Kyoto area

-Osaka - Osaka castle is great, good aquarium, the kitchen of Japan. Very close to Kyoto

-Nara - Also close to Kyoto, cool temples, the deer park in my opinion should not be missed

-Kobe Nice port city

Further out -

Himeji - Amazing castle though currently under repair, great garden next to castle

Okayama - Sensational garden

Kurashiki next to Okayama wonderful area called Bikan Jiku

Miyajima, near Hiroshima lovely island, amazing shines and Mountain views

I have not even listed half of the places. I tend to like to go to fewer places and spend more time getting to know them. So I have been many times to see all these places. It depends on what you like.

As far as safety most all of Japan is safe but as a lone woman you should still be aware of your environment late at night. Stay out of dark alleys and use common sense and you should be okay.

Be more careful in

Tokyo - Roppongi area some scams and drugged bar drinks.

Tokyo - Kabukicho - Is the redlight area of Tokyo home to many a Yakuza but they are less of a problem for you than some of those visiting the area.

Osaka - Kamagasaki area largest homeless area in Japan

Osaka - Shinsekai area. Best to avoid this area

Tokyo - Ueno park - Awesome in the day not so much at night.

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6. Re: Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

I am a woman who travelled solo to Japan in June. I found it to be a very safe place and I felt quite comfortable about walking around at night, going shopping and to restaurants. I'm planning to go back again.

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7. Re: Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

I have to agree with the above posts. I found the www.japan-guide.com and www.hyperdia.com sites very useful. The information was extensive and helped my trip planning greatly.

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8. Re: Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

Japan is the ideal place for solo female travellers. It's very safe compared to travelling in the rest of the world.

Tokyo is ideally set up for single people - you can happily go out & eat out on your own anywhere. Many single people leave their home-towns to live & work in there.

I lived there as a lone female for years and rarely had any issues, it is quite safe to walk around at night in the cities - indeed you will see lone school girls on trains & walking home late at night after attending cram school.

The only real nuisance you may encounter are drunk salarymen (late at night as they stumble to the train station to catch the last train home & a foreign women catches their eye. These men will rarely/almost never be aggressive, they will just be annoying. So just ignore them.)

Having said that;

Avoid going to Roppongi nightclub/bar area at night where men, including a lot of Americans & members of the US military still go to pick up women. The clubs are known for their criminal gang associations, hostess bars -where customers pay for female attention & street touts. Drink spiking & robberies have also occurred. It's a place the US Embassy advised their citizens not to visit not all that long ago. But some people cannot resist the lure of Roppongi.

In contrast, the upmarket Roppongi Hills, that sterile, monolithic commercial complex, is a world away from the seediness nearby. You'll have no problems here at night.

Kabukicho in Shinjuku is not the most pleasant place either as it's an area based on prostitution & exploitation of women and gangland crime. But unless you are planning on visiting the sex clubs, just walking through the area shouldn't really be a problem (unless the aforementioned affronts your sensibilities.)

As Kabukicho is in the heart of Shinjuku, many tourists make a bee-line straight to the flashy neon completely oblivious to what lays behind it all.

Street touts are completely banned in Shinjuku as of this month.

Get yourself a good guidebook (eg. Lonely Planet, Roughguide) and get a JR Pass & travel all over the country.

Edited: 13 September 2013, 04:33
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9. Re: Advice for a solo traveller going to Japan

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