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Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

Toronto, Canada
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Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

Hi, I'm a solo female (21) planning on travelling to Japan, and was wondering if anyone knew of any tour groups or companies that catered to solo travellers, particularly the younger crowd? I'm worried about companies that cater to all age groups because it seems like typically these seem to be full of older travellers (50+)?

I'd personally rather not go on a tour, and would rather go solo/ stay at hostels, etc, but as this is my first solo trip, my parents are very hesitant about allowing me to go at all, and have basically said, tour group or no trip.

So, does anyone have any experience with tours to Japan? So far the only tour group I've come across that seems to have a younger age group (25-35) is G adventures? Does anyone have experience with that tour company?

Thanks!

Destination Expert
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1. Re: Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

I don't know any tour groups for Japan, but it's certainly a good option for a 1st solo trip (not really solo trip with a group).

Japan is very safe for any kind of travellers, it's a good choice, it's a fascinating country.

London, England
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2. Re: Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

Japan is a great place to travel and far easier (and less expensive) than you might expect.

Have a look at Inside Japan

http://www.insidejapantours.com/

They have tours, self-guided adventures and tailored trips.

My first trip to Japan was a customised self guided adventure garden tour (I stretched it to 3 !/2 weeks, dropped one destination and added a couple more). My last trip and one coming up this summer were "tailored", that is, I gave them a list of place, asked for their suggestions and they sorted out the travel, accommodation and experiences (sumo wrestling, I have always wanted to see a match)

I haven't been on their tours so I don't know the ages, but I have met a number of the people who work for the company and guide the tours and they all seem to be in their late 20s/early 30s.

If any of their tours appeal to you, you can send them an email asking about the ages on their tours. I have found the agency to be wonderfully helpful, efficient and good value.

A few years ago I went to the Galapagos Islands with what was then called Gap Adventures. I had a wonderful time, despite being generally opposed to tours. (I don't like crowds and I don't like being organised by someone else)

The average age on the tour was probably early 30s, but that may be because Galapagos trips are more expensive than most places.

However, even on that trip there was a 20 year old.

The previous name referred to Gap Years taken by English students as a year off between secondary school and university, so I suspect they still have a lot of tours full of 18-30 year olds.

Edited: 02 June 2012, 00:12
Australia
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3. Re: Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

I'm in the same age bracket as you, am a female and recently spent a few months travelling around Japan solo. I highly recommend it. I've been on a tour or two in my time and really haven't enjoyed them. I think they only tend to work if you really don't want to organise your itinerary and are willing to let someone else control how much time you spend in certain places, what you see and what you do. Japan is probably one of the best countries in the world to travel solo as it is safe, easy to get around, modern and developed.

Hostels are also a great way to meet other solo travellers/people your age. Many hostels have women only rooms which will put you and your parents at ease.

York
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4. Re: Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

I'm in exactly the same boat! I'm planning on travelling to Japan next summer, and again, my parents are worried by me travelling on my own! I've been looking at InsideJapan tours as well. Its a bit scary, because I will be on my own for a lot of the time (but will be staying in some Hostels, etc) but InsideJapan seem to be quite good because you can always contact them when you are out there, and they really do organise a lot for you so you know what you are doing.

Good luck!

London, England
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5. Re: Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

I thought the Inside Japan self-guided adventures were a great place to start a first trip to Japan. What they don't say on their website is that you can mess about with the proposed itinerary.

You can also simply give them a list of places that attract you, your interests, length of trip and budget and they will produce a proposed itinerary for a tailored trip that you can then tweak until it is exactly what you want.

IJ then makes your reservations, sorts out your transport and books any experiences you particularly want. I really, really loved my first Sumo Match this summer and for the young and fit, a few days hiking on the thousand year old Kumana Kodo Shinto pilgrimage trail is a very special experience.

Whichever way you go, you will be given a 24/7 mobile phone number of someone in Japan who speaks both English and Japanese.

This solves the "what if you break your arm and have to go to a Japanese hospital" concern that all parents have.

For those with worried parents, you can point out that Japan is one of the safest countries in the world to travel in. It is a place where treating other people with consideration is a very important cultural value and the crime rate is incredibly low. You could walk down the street in almost any Japanese town or city (Tokyo may be the exception as it is a huge international city) with your wallet hanging out of your back pocket and the only person who would touch it would be the person chasing after you when it dropped to the pavement.

You will eat delicious food with no idea what you are eating and they have flavours of Hagen Daaz ice cream that other countries can only dream about.

Learn a few words of Japanese for politeness (all guidebooks have a vocabulary list in the back) but know that Japan is one of the loveliest and safest place to stretch your solo wings.

(But know it still isn't safe for a solo traveller to get legless in local bars anywhere in the world)

León
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6. Re: Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

I'm travelling as well to Japan by myself between the 19th July until 17th August. Let me know if you want to travel with me, I'm Spanish and 28. I've been almost everywhere but Japan is very thrilling as most people can't speak English... By the way, Toronto is my favorite city in the world!!!

Auckland Central...
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7. Re: Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

Hi

did you manage to find something?

I'm going in a few weeks and am in the same boat as you were!

Thanks

Delphi,Greece
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8. Re: Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

Leagle, you often mention this company, sounds great but out of pure curiosity, what kind of budget we are talking about ? For example most experienced backpackers on a DIY trip look on a minimum of 60 euro/day in Europe, sleeping in hostels, self cater, minimum sight-seen and moving around, and closer to 80 euro making this a bit more comfortable. Often some cheap-ish tours might come around 100+ euro/day for similar things.

What is an estimate budget in Japan?

Hong Kong, China
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9. Re: Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

I think you have to go solo( no tours). More convenient and flexible. Try to convince your parents. Japan is extremely safe for young girls

NY, NY
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10. Re: Solo female to Japan - tours for younger people?

I'm not sure if you went to Japan already, but I'm a mid-30 yr old professional female and heading to Tokyo Oct 13, 2013 for 9 days. If anyone is interseted in joining me as I am going solo and looking for a travel buddy, pls let me know! I'll be heading to the kyoto area for 3 days within this period too. you can message me at greengirlnyc@gmail.com