Why Japan ? Why alone?
Today I’d like to talk about why should we go to Japan and be there by ourselves?
I have visited Japan for 3 times, for 3 consecutive years, and in 2 months is going to be my 4th visit.
- ‘Visa’, for Thai people, I can enter Japan with 15 days of a free visa. No need to pay extra money for that. I, a student, who don’t have a good statement to provide for the visa, or want to bother my parents to sponsor my trip, so Japan is the best choice.
- There are not only ‘Tokyo, Osaka, Nara, Kobe or Kyoto’ in Japan! There are actually 47 prefectures there. If you have been to all those famous cities, then try new ones. For my latest trip in Shikoku, which consists of 4 prefectures, I only visited half of it. I will definitely go back there someday.
- Try remote areas. When you visit a place where not many people have been to, you can easily get new different experiences or stories to tell. For sure, the place is not crowded. In Shikoku, I did not hear a single Thai word, or I could say I saw only few foreign travelers.
- The environment is so gooood! People are very kind and helpful. The accommodation is cheap (in remote areas). In Matsuyama, I chose to stay in a dorm style hostel with 16 beds in order to meet new friends, but it turned out to be only myself there in a big room!
- ‘Safety’. Japan is one of the safest and friendly countries for a solo-traveler. Most of Japanese people are respectful and seriously abide by the rules. The proof is that they do not cross the street if it’s a red light even though there is no car at all.
- Servicers are full of service minds, but you need to pay the price as well.
- The unique style of houses. Be there cruising around is one of the greatest joy for me. When I have no plan, I’d just like to walk through the city and enjoy the Japanese atmosphere.
Why alone? Well… this is not a must because sometimes it could get really lonely. Anyway, it’s not that bad
- You can go wherever you want to go. You don’t have to care about other people, just your lifestyle.
- If you don’t want to go, just don’t. I know, we all have that moment after traveling for days, you may get tired, and just wanna lie down in bed until 12! (Maybe it’s only me ><)
- You can wake up at anytime you want. It can be extremely early to catch the first train (in case you want to), or you can wake up at lunch time. It’s all up to you. As I mentioned before, to be in Japan is good enough for me, it’s not that I have to see as much as I can. Slowly but happy!
- The plan can always be changed. I once planned it out for a month to visit some particular places, but easily changed when someone (I met during the trip) else’s plan is much more interesting. Last time in Takamatsu that I planned for 2 nights was changed to 4 nights because I fell in love with that city, so I can’t leave. The reason that I moved was that the hostel was fully booked.
- You will always meet new friends if you stay in a hostel. For those who travel alone like myself, the hostel is where I aim to find new friends. We are all lonely, so let’s be open minded. I was once advised by a friend, Pauline, she told me that she has been traveling around the world for almost a year, and it’s only a few days that she was by herself. Her tip to me is that ‘ Try to talk to strangers. After you know them, they are no longer strangers anymore. A lot of friends I made while traveling is now still my friends in life.
- It’s okay if you get lost. There is no pressure at all when you are alone. No one is going to be upset if he knows that you lead the wrong way. Trains in Japan could be very confusing. It’s not completely your fault when you get in a wrong one 😛 just try till you get it right. It took me longer than a day to understand the train in each city.
- You don’t have to worry whether or not your friend is happy. Sometimes being with someone you care about, so you try to please him by putting him first for everything. Eventually, it is you who are not happy.