Have you ever felt that some of your introverted tendencies are holding you back from traveling abroad? If that’s you, then maybe you should consider a trip to introvert-friendly Japan!
There are a bunch of reasons to visit Japan. A rich culture, an illustrious history, and cutting-edge technology – It has it all.
What you might not know is that Japan is a great place for introverts to visit. Here’s a list of reasons why introverts love Japan:
Whether it’s someone approaching you on the street, or a colleague trying to start some small talk – Having to deal with unexpected and unwanted conversations can be pretty tiresome. That goes double for us introverts.
In Japan however, provided you familiarize yourself with some common Japanese customs and manners, you’ll mostly be left to your own devices.
Japanese people try as much as possible to live their daily lives without inconveniencing others. People respect each other’s boundaries, and don’t try to force things unnecessarily.
What this means is that, provided you are polite and don’t cause problems, you won’t have to deal with other people very often at all. For introverts, this is a price well worth paying for a quiet life.
If there’s anything introverts love, it’s alone time. And how better to spend your time in Japan than enjoying some cultural pastimes?
Most traditional hobbies in Japan can be enjoyed alone, or with others. Activities such as ikebana (flower arranging), calligraphy and playing traditional musical instruments can all be done from the comfort of your own home. These traditional hobbies tend to be very relaxing, and are great ways to wind down after a busy day.
Japan puts an introverted twist on many other hobbies too. For instance, if you like to read, then why not try going to a manga café? Unlike a normal library, manga cafés give you the option to rent your own private ‘booth’ to relax in.
These small booths tend to consist of a computer and a reclining chair, with a sliding door. After browsing the selection of books and manga available, you can take your findings back to your private booth to enjoy in your own space.
Japan is world famous for its karaoke, but did you know it can be also done alone, making it an introvert’s paradise! You can head to a standard karaoke spot and get a room to yourself, or head to special solo karaoke shops where they have individual booths designed for one person.
It’s a very popular hobby among all ages, and a great way to spend an hour without an audience.
Exploring a foreign city can be an incredible experience, but it can be quite an exhausting one too. Whether it’s the crowds of tourists or having to deal with strangers all day – most introverts will want some time to themselves at some point. Whilst in some countries that might inevitably mean returning to your hotel room, things are different in Japan.
An important part of Japan’s rich culture are the shrines and temples dotted all across the country, which also happen to make great spots to catch your breath and enjoy some alone time.
They make great locations to absorb the local culture whilst avoiding the crowds. You may be joined by a few others, but these sites are often quite large, leaving you plenty of space to relax by yourself.
If you prefer to relax in a greener environment, then you might enjoy getting away to a botanical garden or park instead. Japanese people love their natural spaces, so you’ll find many green areas, even in large cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Whilst some of the more popular locations can get crowded during weekends, head there during work hours and you’re sure to get some alone time.
For many introverted travelers, eating out alone can be a daunting task. With communal dining being such a popular concept in many countries around the world, a lone foreigner going out to eat can catch quite a bit of attention. Thankfully however, that isn’t the case in Japan.
In Japan it’s quite common for businessmen and women to have dinner by themselves on their way from home from work. As a result, most restaurants will have a lot of smaller tables and bar seats, so that customers can dine by themselves comfortably. Whether you’re after sushi, ramen, or curry, you can get just about anything by yourself.
An added bonus is that the bar seats in many restaurants overlook the kitchen area, where you can see the chefs at work cooking. Not only do you get to eat by yourself, but you get free entertainment too!
When traveling on a budget, many introverts can find themselves debating whether or not to stay in a hostel. Sharing a room with a group of strangers, in what is often a less than quality location, is no one’s idea of fun. Luckily, Japan happens to have the perfect alternative for introverts – Capsule hotels.
These hotels are famous for their small sleeping booths, but they’re so much more than that. They come with locker spaces to keep your things, impressive bathroom facilities (toiletries included!), and the booths themselves often have TV, Wi-Fi and a small lockbox inside.
For those of you who are worried about dealing with other guests, most capsule hotels have rules in place to ensure that sleeping areas are kept quiet. Ultimately, this leads to people keeping to themselves in their own booths.
Reception is also a painless process – It’s as simple as choosing your style of booth, paying for it and being given a keycard for your room. And to top it all off, capsule hotels are extremely cheap! Coming in at as little as $20 a night, they’re an absolute steal.
By the way, if you are learning Japanese, you can use our free web application to record your Japanese phrases and vocabulary lists.