Solo traveling is the best way to explore a new country, its culture, and people. For most women, it is both daring and rewarding. “But you are so brave!” “And why do you do it?” is the response you get even if you are a 35-year-old, European woman, according to Rosita Boland.
The answer is the reward: knowing about a new country, culture and its people is an enlightening experience. Watching Olympics along with solo traveling could be a cherry on the top of a Sundae.
Imagine watching the games and enjoying the plethora of activities and adventure while exploring a new country!
Concerned about safety? Well, not to worry this time. Japan is the ninth safest country in the world and Tokyo was ranked as the safest city in 2017. The tourists do not face pick-pocketing, and snatching of handbags or mobile phones.
For solo-women travelers, Japan is quite a convenient destination. The cinemas offer discounted rates on woman’s seats. Even some hotels offer free spa services or beauty products to their women clients.
That being said, my advice to the solo-woman traveler is to stay alert and use common sense to stay safe, as anywhere else in the world.
Book as soon as you can
The Olympics will be held from July 4-August 9, 2020. So what is the ideal time to book your hotel? Make sure that you book in advance, quite ahead of the time. June Kawahara, the foreign press coordinator for Sankei Shimbun points out, “In some cases, this should be over a year in advance, as some of the games are going to be held in Tokyo suburbs, where unfortunately there are not enough hotels.”
One of the reasons for this recommendation is the fact that Tokyo is notorious for having all the hotels booked up months in advance. Also, the Japanese Government now requires Airbnb owners to have their property rented for at least 180 days a year for retaining their license. The amendment can result in more shortage of residence during the Olympic Games. So our recommendation is to book at least 6 to 8 months ahead of the time.
Use Google Fi Phone/Service
Communication is unarguably the most important part of planning a solo trip. My recommendation is to use Google Fi. If you are using Google Fi, you get free international texting and data. With extremely low calling rates and easy to use set up, you can start using Google Fi, the moment you land in Tokyo.
Location is the KING
Your best bet is to try to find a hotel/accommodation close to the Olympics Stadium. Some of the preferred locations for staying in Tokyo are Ginza, Yaesu, and Kyobashi. The travelers can get clean, safe and even luxurious accommodation there. Also, you can prefer to choose an accommodation which is according to your preferences.
Some of the most common types of accommodation available are Ryokan, (traditional Japanese style accommodation) Minshuku, (Japanese style bed and breakfast lodgings) Western-style hotels, and Pensions. (family-run Western-style accommodations)According to the Japan Guide the prices of the one-night accommodation range from 2,000 yen per person to 50,000 yen per person. You can choose accommodation after considering your boarding preferences and budget.
The city has a well-developed system of public transportation which makes the commute to the stadium hassle-free. For a first time visitor, understanding the intricate transportation system can be overwhelming. However, the two most helpful resources are Google Maps and Hyperdia. Hyperdia is the best route finder website that allows you to look up the route between two stations. You can also look up the options of riding buses, renting a car or taxi to commute.
Tokyo offers a range of cuisine for travelers from all over the globe. You can try traditional Japanese food, or maybe stick to the Western global food chains (most of which have outlets in Tokyo) The good news for woman travelers is that Tokyo offers discounted rates for women in bars and restaurants (Check out ladies menu)
Festivals, Music, and Party
Besides watching sports, you want to make your trip to Japan even more enjoyable and valuable. The good news is, that there is no shortage of stuff to enjoy.
If you have a taste for outdoor activities, traditional matsuri (festival) that lightens up the summers has a lot to offer.
Are you a music fan? We got you covered here. This summer, these musical events are going to rock and beat the heat with their amazing performances.
- Rock in Japan (Aug. 3-4 & 10-12)
- Rising Sun Rock Festival in Ezo (Aug. 16-17)
- S2O Japan(July 13-14)
- Music Circus (Aug. 24-25)
- Rural(Sept. 20-23)
- Tokyo Jazz(Aug. 30-Sept. 1)
Don’t sleep on the tickets. These events sell out faster than you think.
If you are a die-hard art-lover, Japan offers a treat in the form of Setouchi Triennale (summer session July 19-Aug. 25. During this time, several temporary art exhibits are organized besides permanent exhibits in various art museums all around the Seto Inland Sea.
Want to enjoy movies? The best event is outdoor too! Book your ticket for Stardust Theatre in Haramura (July 26-Aug. 18) and enjoy a season of screenings at a nature reserve.
Remember: “Summer’s what you make it,” sang Yo La Tengo. Japan has a lot to offer to make the best out of your solo travel. Plan wise, spend careful and have fun unbounded.
Let me know in the comments what you plan to do during your trip to Tokyo in the summers of 2020.