Best Places in Japan for Solo Female Travel

Japan, located in East Asia, is an extraordinarily beautiful island nation famed for its diverse blend of centuries-old traditions and cutting-edge technology. Known for its impressive cluster of skyscrapers in Tokyo, the ancient temples and geishas of Kyoto, the mesmerizing cherry blossoms in Hakone, and the delectable sushi and ramen, Japan offers a wealth of unrivaled experiences. The country is renowned for its impressive Shinkansen, or bullet trains, that deliver travelers across its four main islands while providing breathtaking scenic views. Japan also stands out for its respect for nature, which is reflected in its numerous stunning gardens and gorgeous Mount Fuji, a dormant volcano and the country's highest peak.
Tokyo

1, Tokyo

Located in the heart of Japan, Tokyo, the bustling capital of the island nation, is a city that perfectly amalgamates tradition and innovation. Known for its towering skyscrapers, such as the iconic Tokyo Skytree and the historic Tokyo Tower, the city also exudes a unique blend of contemporary style with deep-rooted cultural offerings like the Meiji Shinto Shrine and Senso-ji Temple. Tokyo is renowned for its bustling shopping districts such as Ginza and Harajuku, expansive parks like Ueno, the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, and its extraordinary culinary scene featuring noteworthy sushi eateries and the udon-serving Tokyo Station. The city's vibrant nightlife, from its neon-lit streets in Shibuya to the traditional Izakaya bars in Shinjuku, is an experience in itself. Furthermore, Tokyo is globally recognized as the home of the otaku culture, with districts like Akihabara flooded with anime, manga, and video game stores.

Furano

2, Furano

Furano, nestled in the heart of Hokkaido in northern Japan, is a highly captivating destination renowned for its picturesque landscapes year-round. Exceptionally famous for its vibrant lavender fields that burst into full bloom in summer, Furano offers a tranquil experience filled with the alluring scent of flowers. The town is also a renowned winter haven, drawing ski enthusiasts from around the globe to its pristine snowy slopes. Visitors can further immerse themselves in the local culture by experiencing Furano's charming local wineries, cheese factories, and delightful arts and crafts workshops. This scenic countryside town truly offers a spectrum of experiences against a backdrop of natural beauty, making it an exquisite Japanese gem well worth a visit.

Fujikawaguchiko

3, Fujikawaguchiko

Fujikawaguchiko is a charming resort town nestled in the northern foothills of the iconic Mount Fuji, Japan. Best known for its breathtakingly beautiful scenery, this town is surrounded by picturesque landscapes featured by a chain of pristine lakes, including Lake Kawaguchi, which forms part of Fuji Five Lakes. The town is also known for being the gateway to numerous hiking routes up to Mount Fuji and offers koyo (autumn leaves viewing) spots, a wealth of hot springs, and the Kawaguchiko Music Forest, a unique museum dedicated to automatic musical instruments. It's particularly mesmerizing during the sakura (cherry blossom) and koyo seasons when colours overflow, inducing a spectacle you wouldn't want to miss.

Nagoya

4, Nagoya

Nagoya, Japan’s fourth-largest city, is conveniently situated two hours away from Tokyo by bullet train on the Southeastern coast of Honshu. Known as the birthplace of Toyota, Nagoya is a modernized city with strong ties to the world of industry and commerce. But there's more than just factories in the city; the magnificent Nagoya Castle, filled with national treasures and important cultural properties, is a focal point of the city's rich historical heritage. Nagoya is also recognized for its unique local cuisine, featuring dishes such as Hitsumabushi (grilled eel on rice), and it is home to Atsuta Shrine, one of Shinto's most important shrines. Despite its industrial image, Nagoya offers a blend of cultural history and modern innovation, making it an engaging destination for travelers.

Kyoto

5, Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital, is nestled in a valley on the Honshu Island, surrounded by picturesque mountains and lush greenery. Known for its beautiful blend of tradition and modernity, Kyoto offers an enchanting array of cultural heritage sites, tranquil temples, and enthralling gardens. Visitors can explore the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine with its vermilion torii gates, the awe-inspiring Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion, and the atmospheric Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. The city is also renowned for its traditional tea ceremonies, sublime kaiseki cuisine, ancient festivals, geisha culture in Gion district, and exquisite artisan crafts. This fascinating city's rich history and enduring customs make it a must-visit destination for any travel enthusiast.

Osaka

6, Osaka

Osaka is a bustling city situated in the Kansai region of Japan's Honshu Island. Renowned for its modern architecture, nightlife, and street food, it's a must-visit destination for any avid traveler. The city's crowning jewel is the 16th-century Osaka Castle, an enchanting fusion of beautiful gardens and historical significance. Food aficionados will undoubtedly revel in Dotonbori, a street noted for its staggering variety of delightful culinary options, from Okonomiyaki (savory pancake) to Takoyaki (octopus dumplings). The city also hosts Universal Studios Japan, one of four Universal Parks in the world, making it an absolute wonderland for Hollywood buffs. Combining history, culture, food, and entertainment, Osaka is indisputably a Japanese city that has it all.

Wakkanai

7, Wakkanai

Situated at the northernmost tip of Japan's Hokkaido Island, Wakkanai holds the distinct recognition as the country's most northward city. It's an avenue for venturing out to Russia's Sakhalin Islands and the uninhabited Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park. Known for its seemingly untouched natural beauty, the city boasts picturesque landscapes featuring rugged coastlines, awe-inspiring wildlife, and rustic hot springs. Wakkanai is renowned for its historical treasures, such as the iconic Sakhalin-Karafuto Lighthouse and monuments paying tribute to the city's past. It's also an epicure's delight offering visitors a chance to indulge in the finest seafood, including Hokkaido's famed crabs and sea urchin, making a trip to this part of Japan a refreshing experience for travelers.

Rishiri

8, Rishiri

Rishiri is a serene and captivating island located in the Sea of Japan, at the north-western tip of Hokkaido, Japan's second largest island. Known chiefly for its natural richness and the dominating presence of Mount Rishiri, a picturesque dormant volcano that offers scenic hiking trails to adventure seekers, Rishiri is a gem that remains relatively unexplored by the typical tourist route. This slice of paradise also boasts healthy seaweed harvests, which attribute to its reputation for some of the finest seafood in the country. A wonderland for nature lovers and culinary explorers alike, Rishiri's abundant beauty is preserved in its diverse landscapes, comprising tranquil fishing villages, serene hot springs, expansive meadows, and flourishing flora, all under skies that, come winter, dance with the ethereal Northern Lights.

Rebun

9, Rebun

Rebun, located in the northernmost part of Japan, is a charming island and part of the Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park. Known for its spectacular hiking trails with panoramic views of cliffs and wildflowers, the island draws adventure and nature lovers from around the globe. Particularly attempting to those who love rare plants, Rebun houses frosty lady's slipper and rebun lady's slipper, two rare orchid species. While there, don't miss out on the unique seafood dishes, as the island is also renowned for its rich fishing culture. From the Cape Sukoton's breathtaking views, the annual June Flower Festival, to the mysterious Momoiwa Rock, Rebun Island is an unspoiled haven that promises a refreshingly unique travel experience seldom found elsewhere.

Rausu

10, Rausu

Nestled on the eastern coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula, in the Hokkaido Prefecture of Japan, Rausu is a hidden gem that offers a fascinating blend of nature and culture. This remote fishing town is particularly renowned for its awe-inspiring views of Kunashir Island, the southernmost of the Kuril Islands, monopolized by Russia but claimed by Japan. Sightseers are drawn to its rich and diverse marine life with opportunities to see whales, seals, dolphins, and a variety of sea birds on boat cruises. The town is also famous for its seafood products, particularly Rausu Kombu, a high-quality kelp used in traditional Japanese cooking. During winter, visitors can witness the drift ice phenomenon, making Rausu a captivating destination year-round.

Shari

11, Shari

Shari is a serene and picturesque town located in the northeastern part of Hokkaido, Japan. This tranquil town is best known for its proximity to the magnificent Shiretoko National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its beautiful unspoiled mountainous terrains, abundant wildlife, hot springs, and stunning waterfalls cascading directly into the Sea of Okhotsk, Shari captivates nature lovers worldwide. The town is also home to a spectacle of drift ice in the winter months, offering a truly unique sight that perfectly captures the essence of Hokkaido's rich natural beauty. As a gateway to Shiretoko's many natural attractions and its traditional Japanese charm, Shari indeed forms an exhilarating destination for any travel enthusiast.

Nakashibetsu

12, Nakashibetsu

Nakashibetsu is a quaint town located on the southeastern edge of Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan's main islands. Known for its picturesque landscapes, it's the gateway to the Shiretoko Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that's home to multiple species of wildlife, offering incredible opportunities for wildlife observation and nature-related activities. Nakashibetsu is also famous for its dairy farms producing top-quality products, local hot springs, or 'onsen', and the nearby Konsen Plateau, a visitor favorite for its stunning flower fields and serene environment. Another highlight is the Nakashibetsu Airport, known as the "gateway of eastern Hokkaido," providing easy access to multiple routes, facilitating visitors to explore the wonders of the region.

Abashiri

13, Abashiri

Abashiri is a beautifully scenic city located in the Okhotsk subprefecture in Hokkaido, Japan. Famed for its serene beauty, it is a popular destination renowned for the Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum, which offers insightful exhibits on the city's ice floes and cold climate. The city is also home to the one-of-a-kind Abashiri Prison Museum, reflecting Japan's history and culture of its penal system. Moreover, nature lovers would be drawn to Abashiri for its picturesque views, especially at Lake Notoro - known for its 'Coral Grass', its red coloured grass during autumn, and Lake Abashiri, a perfect spot for bird-watching. Furthermore, it's also reputed for its annual Drift Ice Festival, where visitors can enjoy a magical winter experience. With such diversity, a visit to Abashiri offers not only a cultural adventure but also a deep dive into the stunning natural ecology that defines this Northern Japanese gem.

Kitami

14, Kitami

Located in the northeastern part of Hokkaido Island, Kitami is a beautiful city in Japan known for its unique combination of natural allure and cultural heritage. The city is noted for its vibrant and infamous past as one of the world’s leading producers of mint during the 20th century. As a result, the intriguing Mint Memorial Museum is a popular attraction among many. Kitami also appeals to wildlife enthusiasts due to its close proximity to the onneto lake—a national treasure with breathtaking scenaries and hot springs — and the fortunate visitors might even get a sight of the elusive Ezo deer, a species endemic to Hokkaido. Moreover, the city's barbecue-style 'Yakiniku' is something that food lovers should definitely indulge in.

Betsukai

15, Betsukai

Betsukai is a picturesque town located in the northeastern region of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. Bordered by Nemuro and Nakashibetsu, this quiet gem is renowned as a rural paradise, featuring expansive dairy farms that have made it worthy of the title "Japan's No.1 Milk Town". Alongside its agriculture, Betsukai is home to the Notsuke Peninsula, a nature reserve known for its breathtaking landscape of sand spits, wetlands, and unique wildlife. Visitors can enjoy birdwatching, explore the surreal sceneries and marvel at the natural phenomenon of "floating ice" in winter. Betsukai offers a tranquil retreat into nature's splendor, making it a must-visit for those seeking a serene getaway in Japan.

Kushiro

16, Kushiro

Kushiro, located in the eastern part of Hokkaido, Japan, is a scenic and vibrant city that lands itself as a must-visit for travel enthusiasts. Famed for its mesmerizing natural bounty, Kushiro is known for the Kushiro Shitsugen National Park, home to the largest wetland and marsh habitat in Japan, where visitors can enjoy the captivating spectacle of endangered Japanese cranes. Besides the natural allure, Kushiro offers a remarkable culinary experience with its fresh and delectable seafood, particularly sushi and robata grilled fish. The Kushiro Fisherman's Wharf MOO, a bustling market teeming with fresh seafood shops and souvenir stores, captures the city's essence beautifully. Among cultural experiences, the Kushiro City Museum and the Kushiro Art Museum count as significant attractions. While not forgetting its spectacular sunsets at the Kushiro Harbor, it indeed provides a tranquil end to an adventurous day in the beautiful city.

Nayoro

17, Nayoro

Nayoro, a spectacular city tucked in the northern reaches of Hokkaido, Japan, is popularly known for its pristine, white winter landscapes. Nestled amidst tranquil mountains and pastures, the city is a magnet for ski enthusiasts and snow lovers from around the globe. Nayoro is famous for its Winter Festival, where colossal, intricately-designed snow sculptures steal the show. Besides, it is also renowned for its Piyashiri Ski Resort, offering exhilarating winter sports and recreational opportunities, and the Nayoro City Observatory, which provides stunning views of the starry sky, leveraging its position as one of the country's leading astronomical observation sites. When it comes to culinary delights, the city is recognized for its deliciously warming "Nayoro Ramen" – a culinary delight that makes the frigid winters more bearable. Nayoro is a hidden gem offering unique winter experiences in the very heart of Japan.

Monbetsu

18, Monbetsu

Located along the Sea of Okhotsk in northern Hokkaido, Japan, Monbetsu is a charming port city that is famous for its stunning natural beauty and unique tourist attractions like the Okhotsk Sea Ice Museum, where visitors can learn about the area's cold climate and see sculptures made from ice. The city is also renowned for its close proximity to the Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Festival, a remarkable crystalline ice gathering that attracts crowds from all over the country and beyond. Animal lovers flock to Monbetsu for a chance to visit the Monbetsu Seal Centre, home to adorable fur seals, and the opportunity for wildlife spotting on the Monbetsu Drift Ice Sightseeing & Icebreaker Ship Garinkogo II. The town's specialty, king crab, can be savored at various restaurants, making it a wonderful destination for seafood enthusiasts.

Shibetsu

19, Shibetsu

Shibetsu is an alluring and serene city located in the heart of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. This charming location is renowned for its captivating natural beauty and rich agricultural heritage. Shibetsu is particularly famous for its lush dairy farms and prolific racehorse breeding ranches, which draw in a myriad of tourists and equestrian enthusiasts annually. Meanwhile, the city's pristine Shiripuchiku Nature Park, brimming with stunning blooms throughout the year, offers tranquillity amid refreshing views. Offering a relaxing respite from the bustling city life, Shibetsu assures its visitors an experience brimming with natural splendor, agricultural marvels, and warm Japanese hospitality.

Asahikawa

20, Asahikawa

Located in the heartland of Hokkaido, Japan, Asahikawa is the second-largest city on the northernmost island known for its amazing sights and exceptional experiences. It's famous for the Asahiyama Zoo, one of the country’s best, offering an up-close look at a variety of animals including penguins, leopards, and polar bears. Asahikawa is also a haven for winter sports enthusiasts with numerous ski resorts that boast quality powder snow. In February, the city hosts the Asahikawa Winter Festival, featuring exquisite ice sculptures that captivate visitors. With its rich sake culture, delectable ramen, and a vast selection of shopping options, Asahikawa provides a perfect blend of urban and natural attractions for travelers.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the best places in Japan for solo female travellers?

The best places in Japan for solo female travellers are:

What is the ranking methodology?

The ranking is based on over 5000 reviews from verified female travelers. Five crucial rating factors are taken into account: overall experience, food, safety, affordability, and things to do.