Sherman Oaks, California
Would it be ok to travel Japan by myself? Does anyone have any experience with this? Anything I should know? I want to have a fun and safe trip.
I've spent several months travelling around Japan by myself, and on a budget! The country is incredibly safe, and people are generally very friendly to foreigners. Your trip will go much smoother if you learn some basic conversational Japanese.
There are youth hostiles all over the country that go for about $30/night for a shared room. It is a great way to make friends! The "capsule hotels" are also a fun experience. Normal hotels are generally $80-$200 and much more in Tokyo.
I didn't have to pay for hotels that often because I would make friends and get invited to stay with people.
Transportation is quite expensive, so the Japan Rail Pass is the only way to go! But you have to buy it here in the United States before you leave. With the Rail Pass you can go anywhere you want, whenever you want, and as long as its on JR, it's free! So with the pass you can take casual day trips that would otherwise cost several hundred dollars.
I always buy my tickets with IACE. They have round-trip specials from Los Angeles to Tokyo for as little as $600. They also sell the rail pass.
If there's a special aspect of Japan that you're really interested in let me know, as I may have experience.
I did it during 3 months. That was awesome.
You can take a tent and sleep in it while in the countryside/mountains/forests. When you are in cities, book a bed in a youth hostel (around $20-25 per night, even in Tokyo). Many people will tell you it's ok to sleep in a tent even in cities but I found it quite awkward.
You can buy water/soda almost everywhere, even in the most remote location. So you can usually be fine with just packing 1-2L when you leave cities to go hiking.
Japanese are great people. They always try to be helpful.
Just make sure to avoid the rainy season and enjoy.
I'm a woman alone planning this trip also. It seems to be one of the safest countries in the world so I'm taking my chance. Just be streetwise and you'll be okay.