#1 9-2-2017 6:48 AM

Hunter_alexander
Craig
Erie, Pennsylvania
Couch Potato
Posts: 3

Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

Greeting all. So haven't had a real vacation in 12 years. Been to Malta Italy Greece Ireland Slovenia and Iceland and a bunch of other places. Trying to get back to traveling again. From the northeastern US.

I have never been to Asia and really want to start with Japan.

Things I would love to do is hike Fuji at night to be at the peak at sunrise. Hiroshima, Tokyo, some smaller villages and onsens. Would love to travel with some locals, see the non touristy locations, some night life. Not sure what else yet so throw me your ideas or thoughts.

I'm a very chill fun loving respectful guy so open to all ideas.

Haven't fully decided on dates yet.

 

#2 9-2-2017 7:01 AM

milestx
Miles
Austin, Texas
Sightseer
Posts: 85

Re: Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

Tokyo is a huge city. You might enjoy riding the Sonic the Hedgehog go-karts in the city, remembering that cars in Japan drive on the left side of the road.

I found Kyoto to be much more enjoyable. The size is less, the subway system was understandable, and the city was never bombed in WW2 so the historic sites are really historic.

 

#3 9-2-2017 7:08 AM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IIIAward: Critic IVAward: Writer IIAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: AmbassadorAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IIIAward: Vox Populi IIIAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Nomad
Posts: 963

Re: Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

There are so much things to do in Tokyo than go karts smile.

You can easily spend in Tokyo for 2-3 days without getting bored and maybe take a day trip to Nikko or stay the night, Nikko is not very touristy and worth a visit while in Tokyo.

I don't think you drive in Japan do you? Tokyo has excellent subway for crisscrossing in the city.

Last edited by shavy (9-3-2017 4:06 AM)

 

#4 9-2-2017 8:06 AM

Hunter_alexander
Craig
Erie, Pennsylvania
Couch Potato
Posts: 3

Re: Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

Hi and thanks. Plans now are probably 2-3 weeks. Probably closer to 2.

I know I want to start in Tokyo for a day or two, see the nightlife, not sure what all in Tokyo there is to see. I would love to hike up Fuji (I know there is only a very limited time frame to do that). Would love to visit a traditional tea house with geisha but from what I understand foreigners are generally forbidden from these unless personally invited by someone local. Not positive that is correct though.

From there I want to visit Hiroshima and then start out going into the smaller areas, small fishing villages, traditional ryokan and onsen.

I'm a very respectful traveler who would love to meet locals and see the things most don't know about.

 

#5 9-3-2017 4:00 AM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IIIAward: Critic IVAward: Writer IIAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: AmbassadorAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IIIAward: Vox Populi IIIAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Nomad
Posts: 963

Re: Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

Nightlife in Tokyo, you can go in different places : Roppongi, Shinjuku and Shibuya - I been to Shibuya you'll find different clubs that offer multiple music styles.

Tokyo has beautiful architecture with impressive temples so much to see in so little time. To give some ideas these are worthwhile: Imperial Palace Grounds, Sensoji Temple,  Meji Shrine. And going upto Metropolitan government building- you'll see Tokyo from the observatory deck, is free to go up. Another option is a cruise to Odaiba, sailing across the Sumida River

Mt Fuji takes more than two hours from Tokyo. There are four routes to get to the top: Kawaguchi, Subashiri, Gotemba and Fujinomiya. The most popular route is the Kawaguchi, followed by the Fujinomiya.

Nightwalk in Mt Fuji, is popular so you can see the sunrise at the summit in the morning and you have a better chance for more beautiful view

I have no experience with tea houses in Japan, I can't help you with that.

On you way to Hiroshima you have Kyoto and would be worth to stop there and going to Nara. Nara is also well stocked with many world heritage sites.

Oh well, from Hiroshima you'll find a lot of small villages, you'll have plenty of time.

If you made it to Fukuoka, you can cross by ferry to Busan, South Korea

Last edited by shavy (9-3-2017 4:02 AM)

 

#6 9-3-2017 4:48 AM

kvom
Kirk
Cumming, Georgia
Award: Photographer IAward: Writer IAward: Vox Populi IV
Explorer
Posts: 3301

Re: Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

I am heading for Japan in early October for a solo 3-week stay.  I will be doing the newbie route Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka-Hiroshima and back.  I found a tremendous amount of good info on reddit.com in the JapanTravel sub.  I've also gotten several guidebooks from the library.

My interests are different from yours, so no shopping or nightlife.  Aside from museums and temples, my main interest is sampling as much authentic Japanese food as possible.  I'll do a few hikes such as Mt. Takao or on Miyajima.

Planning to buy the 3-week JR pass and rent a pocket wifi before leaving, and will stay in airbnbs primarily.  I expect to spent the first 5 days or so in Tokyo.  Then after reaching Hiroshima I'll decide how many days to spend in Tokyo again at the end of the trip.  Day trips from Tokyo I have in mind are Nikko and Kamakura.  Under consideration are Hakone and Nara.

 

#7 9-3-2017 6:33 AM

Hunter_alexander
Craig
Erie, Pennsylvania
Couch Potato
Posts: 3

Re: Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

I don't plan on shopping. Nightlife yes. Lol

Shavy thanks. I have a couple of those places in Tokyo already listed as wants and yes Kyoto and Nara. Just need to narrow things down to definitely and would likes.

 

#8 9-3-2017 7:28 PM

Lotus28
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Writer IIAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: Bedbug IAward: Vox Populi IVAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Explorer
Posts: 1972

Re: Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

Hello welcome to Japan. People already made some good advice on travel tips but I would post some of my 2cents here.

- Typical Japanese people don't really go to clubs so I bet what you will find is something similar to what you have at home. Guests depend on which clubs to go. Some attracts real music geeks and some are just for foreign expats, English teachers and those who wants to meet foreigners to practice English etc.
I personally think nightlife in Kyoto is quite quirky. There's a club whose name is METRO in Jingu Marutamachi, whose hall used to be a real metro station. They have very quirky events too.

- Go karts in city (Maricar) has a lawsuit with Nintendo at the moment for infringement of copyrights. Their business may be ceased... If you want to do that, go early.

- There are several areas great for bar hopping. My recommendation is Noge area in Yokohama (close to Sakuragicho) and Arakicho near Yotsuya Sanchome station near Shinjuku. Most bars and izakayas charge cover charge (300-500yen/person) but there are lots of bars that doesn't charge such ones in Yokohama and many guests are just hopping from bar to bar after a couple of drinks. It's fun. Arakicho is a bit more high-end but it's the booming area recently.

- Seeing Maiko (Geisha) dance at teahouses is extremely difficult if you don't know anyone who is a frequent guests at such places. It's not because you're a foreigner. I know nobody either so it's almost impossible for me too even I'm a Japanese. And it costs a lot.
A cafe called "Gion Kissa Rinken" has a monthly maiko dance stage event so check out their schedules on facebook. Their charge is 5000yen/guest inclusive of two drinks.

- If you're a craft beer lover, it's booming in these 5 years and there are many interesting microbreweries. In Tokyo, there are many brewpubs, and there're some good ones in rural areas in Japan. My favorites are Libushi in Nozawa Onsen, Nagano and Kyoto Brewing. Kyoto brewing has a small taproom near Toji temple.

- Climbing season of Mt. Fuji is from 1/Jul to mid September. Please climb during the season if you're doing sunrise hike. Mt. Fuji climb during off-season may require the equivalent skill and gear to the ones you need for winter Himalayas and even skilled people with enough preparation climb during daytime.
And note that there will be massive traffic jam to the summit before the sunrise if you climb during the season and there will be no sight of sunrise from Fujinomiya, Subashiri and Gotemba trails if you can't make it on time. From Yoshida/Kawaguchiko Trail, you can see sunrise even before you reach to the summit.
If you join the tour from/to Tokyo with a guide, they will make you reach to the top before the sunrise even using the secret trails for bulldozers. Willer travel has tours with English speaking guides.

- IMHO, there're many other beautiful trails in Japan. Huge crowd discourages me to climb Mt. Fuji again. Depending on seasons I have different recommendations. Feel free to ask if you're interested in other mountains.

- Speaking of onsens, I would recommend not to stick to "outdoor bath" as there are lots of great onsens in historic architectures. My favorites are as follows;
     - Namari Onsen (Iwate)
     - Kashi Onsen (Fukushima)
     - Nozawa Onsen (Nagano) -> You can enjoy 12 local traditional bathhouses maintained by locals for free if you're staying in the village.
     - Shibu Onsen (Nagano) -> Similar style to Nozawa. There's a taproom of Shigakogen beer, which is one of the most popular microbreweries.
     - Shima Onsen (Gunma) -> An old bathhouse named Sekizenkan is really beautiful
 
If you have any further questions, feel free to post here, I would be happy to help.

Last edited by Lotus28 (9-3-2017 7:31 PM)

 

#9 9-3-2017 7:51 PM

Lotus28
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Writer IIAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: Bedbug IAward: Vox Populi IVAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Explorer
Posts: 1972

Re: Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

Kirk, btw, speaking of airbnb, I'd recommend you to be careful.

Law for vacation rentals was approved but not enacted yet. The date is not clear but is supposed to be enacted sometime in early 2018.
Some areas in Japan such as Ota-ward in Tokyo or Osaka city approved vacation rentals by their state law but they require hosts to register themselves at city offices but there're no means to check if they're registered or not.
And airbnb clearly state that it's hosts responsibility to follow laws and regulations (and it's not airbnb's obligation). Even if vacation rentals are approved by municipal/national laws but some hosts are subletting apartments/condos against the rental agreement between your hosts and owners. And many condos has community rules and there may be rules to against vacation rentals. You will never know if your hosts are following such rules.

The people I know here who had been a host on airbnb with tons of good review got kicked out of the entity due to breach of community rules and agreement with landlord and they had to cancel their booking with their guests last minutes. The guests they had at the moment had to stay for a night at their living room and needed to find another room on the following day.

In most cases it should be fine but I am worried that I have heard similar stories from different friends locally. So please be careful.

 

#10 9-3-2017 11:18 PM

Sept922
Award: Community LeaderAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Vox Populi IVAward: Spambuster I
Explorer
Posts: 1673

Re: Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

My two cents on night life/clubs. Typical Japanese may not go to clubs but the ones that do go by the thousands and not just for for foreigners or speaking English. There are tons of great Japanese DJs with local followings and clubs in Shibuya (for example) fill up with hundreds of Japanese music lovers and sometimes maybe 40-50 expats among ten times the amount of Japanese. So for people not in the know then it is hard to say. Much respect to Lotus she knows her town, but admittedly is not a clubber. I have direct connections to several DJs still playing in clubs in Tokyo.  When a top House Dj shows up at club Air for example, there are still 90 percent Japanese in the club. For EDM fan of the more mainstream of the underground..Japan Ultra takes place this month from the 16-18...120,000 plus expected over that weekend!

If you are interested in serious nightlife, Womb in Shibuya is still popular, Unit in Daikanyama, Sound Museum Vision in Shibuya, and if you are not into the more electronic sounds like me, Harlem is still a hip hop mecca. There are tons of bars and other cheap drink clubs or pick up bars if that is your thing. Hit me up if you want a few decent articles to describe Tokyo nightlife in particular. You must go out if you want to experience Tokyo to the fullest in my book!!! I have made lifelong friends from the nightlife!

Last edited by Sept922 (9-3-2017 11:19 PM)

 

#11 9-5-2017 5:07 AM

prakriti
Dehradun, India
Couch Potato
Posts: 1

Re: Solo travel to Japan next year.. New here planning it out.

i have never been to Japan but i watch it regularly on nhkworld a Japan based channel which keeps broadcasting Japan tourist destinations. Kyoto definitely seems to be one of the top places to visit.

 
This post has had no activity for 90 days and has been closed to new replies.

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2008 PunBB