My trip in Japan has nearly come to an end and I can’t say that I didn’t fall in love with this beautiful country. Nevertheless, it hasn’t always been easy to travel in these past days, and I’ve even come to thinking, I should give it up and leave earlier. Somehow I managed to continue and I don’t regret it!
The country is marvellous and you’ll find anything you wish for: from beautiful sandy beaches in Okinawa, to a rain forest in southern Kyushu, the big city lights of Tokyo (& many many other big cities), astonishing landscape and montains, lakes and hot springs. It’s one of the countries I’ve been to, which has the largest variety of landscape and people.
I’ve decided to travel with a backpack and a bus pass simply because I’m travelling by myself and didn’t feel like getting segregated behind a fancy hotel room door. From my last trip in SE Asia I was expecting to get to know many other travellers, maybe also find a group of people to travel with. I had heard, that Japan was not like Thailand, you don’t have as many backpackers/ tourists and facilities. It’s been quite tough at times and I’ve found myself spending a whole week without really talking to any other traveller. Even in very big hostels there are mostly locals hanging out at the bar or japanese travelling around the country.
If you’re interested in travelling to Japan by yourself, think twice before booking and leaving. Are you confortable in travelling completely by yourself? Finding yourself in places where nobody really understands you (not even for simple things such as ordering a bowl of noodles in a restaurant) and you can’t speak with anybody (even some hostels had staff who couldn’t speak a word of english)? If you’re not ready to dive into the local culture, accepting the fact that the beauty of travelling a country such as Japan does not lie in excessive partying as in some places of SE Asia, but in immerging completely into a special culture. I’ve thought a lot about this in the last few days, and I do believe, that most places I’ve seen, wouldn’t have been half as beautiful packed with tourists. I’ve found myself alone in beautiful onsens (hot water springs), looking at the fantastic panorama around me and wondered, if I’d like that place to be packed with other travellers (definetly not!).
Japan is a beautiful place, but it’s not made for everybody. It’s hard to believe that soon I’ll be leaving. I’ve never met so many helpful, kind and joyful people as here. It might be one (out of the 27 countries I’ve been to) of the most difficult countries to travel, but at the same time this makes it more mysterious and adventurous.