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Hitoritabi (Travel alone) to Tokyo


Contents


  1. When you arrive at Tokyo
2. Public transportation system in Tokyo

3. Exploring Tokyo

4. Safety in Tokyo as a Solo Traveler

5. Summary

Hitoritabi is Japannese word for travel alone. Hitori means only a person, tabi means travel. Let’s share some handy information on how to visit Tokyo by only yourself. Tokyo is a massive city with a population of over 13 million people and is the one of the most populated urban areas in the world. There is something to do for everyone in the city, especially solo travelers.

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When you arrive at Tokyo

When you fly into the city of Tokyo, you will arrive at one of two airports: Haneda Airport or Narita International Airport. While Narita handles most of Tokyo’s international flights, it is located about 60 kilometers (37 miles) outside of Tokyo; so if at all possible, see if your airline flies into Haneda Airport which is located only 14 kilometers (9 miles) outside of the city.

If you fly into Narita International Airport, you have several options for getting into the city of Tokyo, ranging from the costly Narita Express (N’EX) Train that will cost you upwards of 3,000 yen  one-way, to the much more affordable Keisei Bus which will cost you between 900 and 1,000  yen one-way.

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 Public transportation system in Tokyo

Reading about the different rail systems in Tokyo prior to traveling there looks so confusing but you will realize how easy it actually is to get around. One additional thing that made commuting easier were all of the signs in the train stations that were written in both Japanese and English. To go around, Using a small paper map that included both the metro and JR lines is helpful. Additionally, two things are helpful to navigate the city quite easily are the subway maps in each station along with Google Maps on the phone.

When you arrive to Tokyo, I recommend purchasing either the Suica Card or the PASMO card instead of buying individual train tickets every time you want to get on the train, which will save you time and money. Both cards do essentially the same thing; they are just issued by two different companies.

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Exploring Tokyo

There is so much to do and see in Tokyo.  One great thing to do in Tokyo is to go on a tour for getting to know the layout of city, learning the history or about a unique aspect of a destination, and getting to meet other travelers.

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Where to Sleep in Tokyo 

As a solo traveler visiting Tokyo, you may be wondering what your best options are for finding an affordable place to sleep in Tokyo. There are many great options for solo travelers from capsule hotels, to hostels, to homestays, and Couchsurfing.

The most inexpensive option for staying in Tokyo is Couchsurfing, however it is important to consider when you will be traveling to the city as it may be very difficult to secure a host during a peak travel season such as Golden Week or during the cherry blossom season. Keep in mind that Couchsurfing is not meant to be used as a free place to stay, but rather as a way to connect with locals/expats and share experiences and culture.

Homestays are similar to the Couchsurfing experience, however you have to pay for your stay. Homestays are meant to be cultural immersion experiences where you can fully learn about Japanese culture with a Japanese host family. There are a few different companies that provide Homestay experiences such as Homestay.com.

Another inexpensive accommodation option in Tokyo is staying in a hostel. You can look at ratings and prices for different hostels on HostelWorld.com (booking fee applies) or HostelBookers.com (no fee).

A capsule hotel is a unique accommodation option in Tokyo in which you sleep in a little box, called a capsule. Most capsule hotels cater to men only, but a quick Google search will pull up different options for places that have beds for women.

Safety in Tokyo as a Solo Traveler 

Tokyo is very safe city.  Statistically, there is very little crime in Japan, and most things that do happen are petty and non-violent.  Although the city is mostly safe, it is wise to take standard precautions like you would anywhere else in the world as crime does happen, although you are unlikely to be affected by it. Some areas where you probably should be on guard the most are in Roppongi, Kabuki-cho, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro.

You are more likely to get hit by a car than be a victim of crime in Tokyo as the Japanese drive on the left side of the road, so one thing that you should watch out for as a pedestrian are cars, bikes, and motorbikes.

Summary

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When you fly into the city of Tokyo, you will arrive at one of two airports: Haneda Airport or Narita International Airport.

Reading about the different rail systems in Tokyo prior to traveling there looks so confusing but you will realize how easy it actually is to get around.

There is so much to do and see in Tokyo.  One great thing to do in Tokyo is to go on a tour for getting to know the layout of city, learning the history or about a unique aspect of a destination, and getting to meet other travelers.

As a solo traveler visiting Tokyo, you may be wondering what your best options are for finding an affordable place to sleep in Tokyo.

Tokyo is a very safe city.

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