Hostels in Japan: Everything you need to know

hostel bedroom

When it comes to finding accommodation, Japan is actually one of the most expensive countries in the world. While you may try to avoid steep prices by booking through a travel site rather than directly through a hotel, many of the best deals can only be found on Japanese websites—meaning that you would have to read Japanese to access them! More traditional accommodation such as ryokans are great, but they are both expensive and often even less likely to accommodate English speakers. Even Airbnb, although certainly convenient for the solo traveler, is far from the cheapest alternative. For travelers visiting Japan on a budget, youth hostels may actually be the best option. Here’s what to know about hostels in Japan to make the best of your trip.
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What to see in Kyoto: From Arashiyama to Kiyomizudera

places to visit in kyoto

Kyoto, Japan’s former capital, has long been the center of traditional Japanese culture. At the same time, it is a modern and vibrant major city. Kyoto is packed with attractions, and is the quintessential marriage of old and new, tradition and innovation. There are thousands of shrines and temples in Kyoto, seemingly on every street corner and tucked into every alley. Don’t miss the charms of Kyoto’s old streets, traditional crafts, and historic temples mixed with modern design and city conveniences. [Read more…]

Traveling to Japan Alone: Savvy Tourist Tips for Solo Women

woman traveler

At its best, traveling solo allows you to have complete freedom with your schedule, the chance to be spontaneous, and the opportunity to meet other travelers that you might not have interacted with had you been with a group. It is also an opportunity to do some soul-searching and discover what travel style suits you. If you are a woman who is thinking of traveling to Japan alone, take heart: It is one of the best places to do all of the above! Here are a few pieces of advice when planning your solo trip to Japan. [Read more…]

Fukuoka to Osaka: Where to Stay and What to do in Osaka

Osaka Castle

Osaka has long been one of the major cities in Japan, and the gateway of trade and culture for centuries. As a result, people from this area are regarded to be fast-talking and straight-shooting. This is in complete opposition to those from Tokyo, who tend to be more reserved (they both even stand on different sides of the elevator)!

Rooted in rich history, as well as being launched into modernity by their close connection with trade, Osaka is bright in culture, history, and especially delicious Kansai food! [Read more…]

Best Japanese Apps for Studying

kanji connect 1

Smartphones and their apps can be a source of extreme distraction and procrastination, and are usually the go-to activity when a dull moment arises. But those moments on your commute, lunch break,  or just waiting around can be used to brush up on your Japanese!

Language learning apps are great for squeezing in some study-time on the go; you can study anywhere and anytime, without any heavy textbooks. Get ready to add these apps along with the ones for daily use in Japan, because they will prove to be indispensable in the quest for fluency.

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The 9 Best Japanese Apps for Surviving Japan

GuruNavi app

For many people, a smartphone is an integral part of their daily life and a constant companion while traveling. It is one of the most convenient and useful tools for living and traveling in Japan and replaces the need for items like an (expensive) electronic dictionary or paper train schedules; and while they won’t help you become fluent in Japanese, they can certainly help make your daily life easier. The apps listed here are all available in English on the U.S. market. Also, while I’m an iPhone user, I tried to provide an Android alternative to the Apple apps where possible. [Read more…]