Traveling Alone in Japan: Sample Itinerary

I recently returned from an eye-opening few weeks traveling solo through Japan. I’d read about the merits of traveling alone, and wow, was it something! To help those planning on traveling alone in the future, I thought I’d write up a sample itinerary to really encapsulate my amazing experience. Enjoy, and happy travels!

4:30 am: Wake up with a start, unaware of what time or day it is, where you are, and how long you’ve been sleeping. Figure at least two of these things out before trying to go back to sleep.

6:15 am: Give up on trying to sleep. In your attempt to gather your toiletries quietly so as not to disturb your dorm mates, knock over three heavy objects.

6:30 am: Realize you forgot to bring shampoo halfway through your shower. Wrap your useless scarf of a towel around you and flop back to your room to search for it in the dark.

7:30 am: Makeup on and ready to face the day, you head out! It’s hot outside, but you don’t mind! To the train station!

7:32 am: Start to sweat.

8:00 am: At your destination, find a nearby coffee shop to have breakfast and reflect upon the day to come. Sip your cup of coffee and start to journal. Notice you feel just a tiny bit lightheaded. Spend three hours googling what could be wrong with you.

11:45 am: Spend five minutes in a museum you feel obligated to go to before getting claustrophobic in the intense crowds and deciding to hang out in the gift shop instead, because it’s basically a cliff notes of the actual museum.

12:00 pm: Walk around the neighborhood aimlessly. Try to find interesting things to snapchat so it looks like you’re having an exciting time.

12:30 pm: Get sushi from a suspiciously fluorescent shop, but feel good about your choice because you’re trying new things and living in the present instead of using the internet to find food.

12:40 pm: Find a way to spit your nigiri into your napkin without anyone seeing.

2:00 pm: Get back to your dorm to change. Fall asleep reading other people’s Facebook posts.

3:00 pm: Dream that your ex-boyfriend is dating that one girl from your high school you were always jealous of.

6:30 pm: Wake up suddenly when one of your dorm mates walks into the room. In your confusion, try to act like you weren’t sleeping — in fact, you were reading something very interesting on your computer. Squint at the screen and mumble words to yourself.

6:35 pm: Check to see that your ex-boyfriend and high school friend are, in fact, not dating.

8:00 pm: Make a plan to go out to a cool bar downtown! But first, stop for one drink at your hostel’s bar so you can be social and meet your fellow travelers.

2:00 am: A voice in your head tells you to decline another shot, but you ignore it because you’ve turned over a new leaf and you’re going to live in the moment.

4:00 am: Tell everyone you just met how much they mean to you!!

6:00 am: Wake up in your hostel, wondering how you got back, what day it is, and if you tried to text anyone last night. Figure out at least two of these things before swallowing an Advil and thinking about all the cool things you should be doing.

6:35 am: Google “how to travel alone”.