Why Japan is an interesting country for solo travelling

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Japan is a complete package when it comes to tourism. There is glamour, glitz, nature, history, and colours everywhere. Being the most futuristic country, it is also known for it’s strong cultural background. And honestly, I don’t understand why Japan is still overlooked by many solo travellers. From cute karaoke bars, sushi kiosks to fluffy pet dogs, snazzy vending machines and more! Needless to say, it is an absolute must-visit destination for anime lovers. The country truly lives upto it’s expectations in tourism. Read to know why Japan is an interesting country for solo travelling.

1. Food paradise to people who live for ‘foodgasm’

First things first, Ramen noodles is more than just food. It is definitely an art. And oh, sushi too. Sorry, how can I NOT mention their artistic sandwiches, fluffy omelettes, pancakes… Ah, I’m going to add every damn thing on the menu! All of them are definitely slurp-worthy! Japan is the largest fish-consuming country in the world. Talk about all that protein! Also, maybe that is the reason why Japanese adults live longer than most people around the world!

Japanese cuisine is very popular in the world. The strange thing is that there are vegans (plant-based diet) who couldn’t get rid of the tasty seafood sushis from their diet plan yet! Sushi is definitely the most loved food by people of different nationalities around the world since it is light on your stomach and a lot healthier than fried food.

There are hundreds of cute little personalised sushi shops in Tokyo. If you are planning on a budget-friendly trip (not to forget that Japan tourism is quiet expensive) to Japan, do not forget to try on some sushis from Sushi Dai (Tsukiji) in Tokyo. But make sure to visit the place a few days before your trip back to your country, otherwise you’ll miss your flight for sure! There is a long queue of people who wait for about 2 hours to eat the best sushi for ¥3000. It is the real deal if you are already familiar with the expenses in Japan.

And hey, I have one more interesting fact! Don’t forget to slurp away while you’re eating noodles at a restaurant in Japan. It is extremely rude to NOT slurp away when the food is great. You may secretly offend the restaurant owner. Yeah, that’s right, loud slurping of ramen noodles is like an appreciation in Japan!

2. A land of art and unique beliefs

You gotta be kidding me if you have no clue about the following arts.

  • Haiku (world’s shortest poem that only has about 3 lines)
  • Anime/manga
  • Sumo
  • Karate (originally found in China and refined in Japan)
  • Origami (Japanese art of paper folding)

A solo travelling is even more fun when the destination has a background of unique arts and historical/age-old beliefs. I guess Japanese people have the most artistic minds. Anime is literally like a religion since there are more than 100 schools exclusively meant for voice-acting. The country also gives an immense recognition to martial arts. There are many annual gatherings that attracts global audience every year to celebrate each of it’s arts. Cosplay is the famous costume play in which people wear costumes or dress up as favourite characters from anime/manga.

Japanese people believe that black cats bring good luck when most countries consider them as bad luck. There are many other unique beliefs as well. For example, they mostly avoid the number 4 (shi) since it sounds like the word for ‘death’ in Japanese language. I have to mention about the penis festival that happens on April though. Nope, it is not a typo. The festival is called as Kanamara Matsuri and the motive is to celebrate the life on earth, sex and fertility, although there are different tales affiliated to it. There is a lot of booze, penis-shaped street foods during the festival. Um, sounds interesting… Oh well, Japan likes to do things little (or very?) differently from the rest of the world.

It provides a greatest opportunity for solo travellers to explore more about the performing arts. You can elevate your experience by participating in one of those cool festivals or annual gatherings. Japan is the right choice if you like doing non-touristy things in your tour. So please do some research before you book your flight tickets.

3. Best of both worlds – Technology & Culture

Japan is known for it’s amazing technology hands down! It is one of the largest automobile producers in the world. To begin with, there are many cool technologies. Clean restroom is something that most travellers talk about after returning home from Japan. For example, it has even got an invention to keep the toilet seats warm after every use. Likewise, there is a device that calculates the calorie on your food plate in a matter of a few seconds. I guess there is a modern solution for almost everything in Japan!

The entire nation is technologically upgraded in every nook and corner. There are vending machines for whacky things like porn magazines, underwear, umbrellas – you name it, Japan’s got it! If you’re a karaoke lover, you hit a jackpot because there is plenty of karaoke bars in Tokyo.

Japan is also aesthetically rich when it comes to culture and traditions. And that is why I think it is the best of both worlds! Even today Japanese girls wear the traditional clothes like kimono, yukata, jinbei to shrines and cultural festivals. There is another famous tradition called mamemaki in which parents put on ‘oni’ (devil) masks and scare the children. In return, the children will throw ‘mame’ (soy beans) at them to take care of themselves. This usually takes place on a holiday before spring in Japan. I’ll tell you another fun fact, having KFC (Kentucky fried chicken) on Christmas Eve is a famous tradition in the country!

If you are travelling to Japan and also happen to love it’s traditions, you can rent the different traditional clothes in major sightseeing places. There is nothing more awesome than walking the streets wearing Kimono! And plus, the Japanese love seeing tourists embracing their country’s traditions!

4. Well-Mannered with a different approach to life

Eating on-the-go is mostly not permitted in Japan to make the local authority’s life easier. Furthermore, it is not a surprise that Japanese people follow the rule religiously. They believe that eating on-the-go does not give you an opportunity to appreciate the food. Henceforth, keep yourself well-mannered during your temporary stay in Japan. Don’t worry, they are not going to jail you if you violate the rule by accident! There are enough sign boards all over the streets/places.

Most Japanese schools don’t hire janitors since the kids themselves clean the classrooms and other school spaces every day. So discipline in it’s simplest form starts from a very young age! In the contrary, most Japanese phones are made waterproof so the youth can use them in the shower. A perfect blend of discipline and fun. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

If you are someone who cries for animals dying in movies, you’re going to love the country even more. The survey says that adult diapers sell more than kids’ in Japan. It also technically means that Japanese people have more pets than children at home. The pet population in Japan is currently at 22 million whereas the children (under 15) population is only at 16.6 million. Can you believe that? It is common to spot fluffy pet dogs and cats around street corners. And this reason alone should be enough for the animal lovers to visit the country.

5. Safe destination for female solo travellers

Japan is probably the most polite country in the world. People always tend to help the tourists despite the language barrier. With it’s responsible society and culture, the country easily takes place in the table of safest destinations for female solo travellers. Many ATMs and vending machines around the street corners will always keep you under check. Also, there is only a couple of employees working in every convenience store because of low crime rates.

In Tokyo, it is easy to retrieve the misplaced personal belongings in train stations or parks with the help of local offices. It is also not uncommon if a complete stranger walks up to you to return your lost item! Surprisingly, it is believed that Japanese people have immense respect for other people’s persons and belongings. According to theft records, the least thing you can lose to theft in public is an umbrella. No kidding! So please make sure to hold onto your umbrella (including the fancy ones that you purchased from souvenir shops for your friends back home) real tight!

The clean roads are ideal for walking and cycling with no fear of getting lost. Forget about the language barrier when there is a friendly population and technology to help you get around the places. If you are an avid traveller (or solo traveller), it’s high time you include Japan in your bucket list. There is so much more to the country that what I’ve just mentioned in this blog. Trust me, it is all worth it!

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Swagachi

An introverted solo female traveller on an adventure around the world.

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