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Being a teenager traveling alone in Japan

I plan on going to Japan when I'm 19 and I'm not sure if I'd be able to check into hotels. Is it a good idea to travel there at a young age?
13 years ago, January 3rd 2008 No: 1 Msg: #24985  
Next February (2009) I plan on going to Japan, I wish to go to Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto. One of the problems is that I will only be 19 at the time, I also plan on going with my guy-friend who is also the same age.

So problem one: I know that the legal age in Japan is 20, I am wondering if that also counts for people checking into hotels. I really would not like to stay in a hostel.

Problem two: I will be traveling with a guy who is my age. We have been friends since we were super little. Would this also pose a problem.

If any of these do cause a problem is there a way that I can get around it. Like stay in a different room at the hotel or something of the sort?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Montrealgal Reply to this

13 years ago, January 3rd 2008 No: 2 Msg: #24987  
N Posts: 17
Consider doing it when your older. I'm guessing your about to go off to university...I think you'll have a better experience doing a foreign exchange program. That way you can stay longer, and have a better experience.

Although i wanted to travel at your age, I'm glad i didn't. I think most people grow hugely in maturity between the age of 18-23 and I think that will make you a better traveler. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 3rd 2008 No: 3 Msg: #24991  
N Posts: 6
I'm going travelling around Asia and South America alone and I'm only 18. Personally, I don't think that age should matter as travelling can help you mature, although of course, if the legal age in Japan is 20 this could of course cause problems. I don't know the answer myself. I think your best bet is to go to a student/gap year travel shop - STA travel (if you know of it) and ask them in there. They will be able to tell you all you want to know and more. Also, I would guess that staying in a hotel would mean that you would not have to worry about sharing a room with your friend, but I could be wrong.

Just out of curiosity, why do you not want to stay in a hostel?

xxx Reply to this

13 years ago, January 3rd 2008 No: 4 Msg: #24992  
I am taking a semester off from school to work, save money and travel a bit. The foreign exchange program does seem like a good idea. I've never personally been in a hostel but the idea makes me feel a little uncomfortable, I don't know why. I need my privacy, so that idea of sharing a room with strangers, even if my friend is there isn't something I'm too keen on. I do agree though, that traveling does help you mature, though. ^^ Reply to this

13 years ago, January 3rd 2008 No: 5 Msg: #24995  
N Posts: 6
I've just been looking around on the internet myself for places to stay in places like Delhi and Bangkok and guesthouses seem the way to go as they are nicer than guesthouses and cheaper than 'hotels'. See what you mean about hostels though I guess. Sorry I can't help about the age thing though.

xxx Reply to this

13 years ago, January 3rd 2008 No: 6 Msg: #24999  
I agree - your age shouldn’t matter when it comes to traveling. Please, go to Japan and have a fabulous time! I’ve spent extensive time in each city you listed and will say that they all have a lot to offer and the people are extremely friendly and respectable. As with any city on the planet, there can be unsafe areas, but just be aware of your surroundings and make good choices and you’ll be fine. Regarding checking into hotels, my suggestion is to find the hotel you want to stay at in each city and call them ahead of time to see if being 19 will pose a problem. My guess is that as long as you have a credit card in your name you should be fine. Definitely check out STA Travel or other youth travel agencies. They offer tons of free advice. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 3rd 2008 No: 7 Msg: #25006  
Hi Tamara

You can get private rooms in hostels and I'm guessing that they will be more affordable to you than hotels as accomodation in Japan can be pretty expensive. I can recommend K's Hostel for being really clean and friendly and can't imagine that you would have any problems if you stayed there. They have branches in both Kyoto and Tokyo and get booked up really far in advance so worth booking ahead. For a more traditional Japanese experience you could try a Ryokan which is a Japanese Guesthouse. You might find the following article from The Guardian (UK newspaper) useful for suggestions on cheap accomodation options in Tokyo.

I had heard that being an unmarried couple in Japan could cause problems (on the room sharing front) but although I am married, I haven't changed my surname and don't wear a wedding ring so effectively no one would know and we didn't have any issues with getting a shared room.

I can't think of any issues you would experience being 19 rather than 20. They even sell beer in vending machines outside schools so I don't think they are too hung up on age for most things...

Japan is an amazing place, I hope you enjoy your time there.
Happy travels
Vikki Reply to this

13 years ago, January 4th 2008 No: 8 Msg: #25016  
when i was 18 i travelled to russia, china, south korea, vietnam and cambodia and loved it, at age 20 i went to Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kaszakhstan and Russia and Belerus.
I don't think your age will effect how much fun you have in Japan and having a buddy with you can be great aswell. You'll have someone to talk to about everything you see and do! Reply to this

13 years ago, February 17th 2008 No: 9 Msg: #27710  
Hi, does anyone here know the legal age for purchasing your own airline ticket without any parental consent? Thanks!

I'm a 17 year old living in Singapore and I've always wanted to travel around the world. Googled around and I happened stumble upon this site. Pretty cool I'd say (: Reply to this

13 years ago, February 17th 2008 No: 10 Msg: #27723  
B Posts: 11.5K
Hi Tamara,

There's a saying here regarding the love hotels (where the people taking your money don't actually see you); "Old enough to pay, old enough to play." Bit different from your situation maybe, but you get the point.

Definitely a credit card in your name would help, especially if you are wanting to book accomodation ahead of arrival. I doubt the age thing would be an issue. Reply to this

13 years ago, February 17th 2008 No: 11 Msg: #27724  
B Posts: 11.5K
Hi Wu (msg #9)

Welcome to TravelBlog.

Are you referring to purchasing of airline tickets in/for travel around Japan? Purchasing I'm not sure about, but I'm pretty sure that if under the age of 18 at the time of travel you'll need a guardian to sign some paperwork at checkin because you'd be an unaccompanied minor (ticket will probably cost you more).

I would wait until you're 18, or 20 if you're planning on coming to Japan and smoking/drinking.

Hope that helps.
Reply to this

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