Updated 2016

Why you should add Japan to your Indie/RTW trip

  • Japan offers a traveler from the west both the familiar and the unique.
    • It is a country who basks in its modernity.
    • Its railways zip you around at practically the speed of light.
    • Its people, especially those of the younger generations, are steeped in western popular culture.
  • It is a country that does not seem the least bit unusual until you dig a little deeper.
    • What you find are bustling cities with more people than your eyes can process.
    • You find toilets that require an advanced degree to operate.
    • You’ll see vending machines that sell soft drinks alongside underwear.
    • You’ll experience tastes, sights and sounds that can only be found in Japan.

Read: 6 Secrets for Diving Deep Into Japanese Culture.

Indie travel tips for Japan

  • Come with an open mind to food and your taste buds will thank you – some of the most amazing (and unusual) food in world is served in Japan.
  • When looking for places to eat, check out university cafeterias (called shokudou) for cheap eats, family-run izakaya for to rub elbows with local Japanese, and jovial izakaya for barbecue and drinks with the locals.
  • Save some money in this expensive country by Couchsurfing – you’ll find plenty of very hospitable hosts.
  • Japan has extremely low crime rates, so it’s one country where it’s relatively safe to hitchhike (always exercise caution of course).
  • Make sure you experience one of Japan’s famous hot springs baths.

Read: 10 Reasons the World Would be a Better Place if Japan Ruled the World.


Most travel to Japan begins and ends with a flight to Tokyo. Our handy search engine is the best place to start pricing flights and other destinations throughout Japan.

Read: 11 Ways to Save Big on a Trip to Japan.


Once you arrive in the country your accommodation options are nearly unlimited. You might have heard that Japan is an expensive country. It certainly is. You can minimize the pain by looking for the best rates on hostels in Japan. They are a great way to save money in Japan and are reliable clean and quiet.

Read: Discover an Unexpected Side to Japan in Okinawa.

Photo credits: tsuda