Konichiwa, Japan! Once again, history repeats itself!
Here’s the gist. In April of last year, with an envelope full of printed documents, I travelled to the South Korean embassy to apply for a visa. I was turned away because the embassy was not yet open to receiving applications (even though other South Korean embassies worldwide had reopened).
Disappointed, I returned home but I reapplied a few months later and got the visa to enable me to travel in the Fall Season. Well, the same thing happened with Japan. I went to the embassy in April and couldn’t apply due to an issue with my work permit. I sorted that out and reapplied in September for travel in November. It would seem as though Fall is my lucky season for East Asia travels 🙂
And what a fantastic time to go too. The weather is cool, the crowd is less(er) and the prices are generally more affordable than in the Sakura (spring) season. I cannot begin to express how wonderful this trip to Japan was! This is a destination Mark and I have been looking forward to visiting (I know I say that every time 🙂 but hey, I said I would say this now too!)
While Mark’s dream for a Japanese adventure is to explore destinations off-the-beaten-track, go on week-long hikes and basically “vagabond”, mine was to visit the popular cities, including Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka first. Since we cannot currently take month-long vacations, we decided that I could visit first, solo, and then we could take another trip together in the future.
This worked perfectly and I was able to enjoy my time in these cities. Making them my base destinations, I went on day trips to Nikko, Kamakura, Hakone (overnight trip), Nara, Hiroshima and Miyajima. I’ll dedicate the next few posts to writing about these places.
I’ll also share a trip and cost breakdown for this two-week trip to Japan on my Buy Me a Coffee page. You will need to be a supporter (for as little as $5) to access the article. While this was not a particularly budget trip, I will highlight ways to reduce costs if you plan to travel on a lesser budget than I did.
Getting a Visa to Japan as a Nigerian Citizen…
Applying for visas usually causes me a bit of anxiety and this one was no exception. When the lady at the embassy told me my documents were fine this time around, I nearly leapt for joy. But I would wait another ten working days before truly celebrating.
Booking Accommodations & Activities…
For accommodation, I stayed with my friend, Dee (Thanks, Girl!), in Tokyo and booked the rest of my stay in Japan via this site. I also used it for my visa application, opting for accommodation with free cancellation options – just in case my application was not approved.
I pre-booked two activities directly with the vendors before leaving Nairobi and enjoyed many free options during my trip and paid for other activities on the day of.
Travelling in Japan as a Black Solo Female Traveller
After travelling solo to a few other Asian countries in the last 2 years, including South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, I felt very confident to travel alone in Japan. It also helped that the country is often listed as one of the safest places to visit as a solo female traveller and I couldn’t agree more.
Travelling solo in Japan was easy, fun and safe! I enjoyed every moment of it and I am looking forward to revisiting with Mark.
Trip Planning Resources
Book your accommodation: Find accommodation options for any budget on Booking.com
Purchase Travel Insurance: I use SafetyWing for both my travel and visa application needs
I am excited to share more about Japan in the next few weeks. If there’s anything you’d love to know about visiting the country as a tourist, leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you!
I’d also love to hear about your experiences travelling in Japan if you have been there before. If you have visited some wonderful destinations off the beaten path, please share them with me as well!