Convenient way to travel in Japan in 2020.

Who would’ve thought that this year all our travel plans would be postponed or even cancelled due to a worldwide pandemic?

I personally prepared my travel to Japan months in advance, long before Covid 19. Getting the Visa ready, quitting my job and apartment and saving up money. My original plan was to travel through Japan fairly at the beginning as well as South Korea and other countries close by, before I settle, but obviously that turned out to be fairly difficult when I arrived in February. Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to complain, because my time here has been a blast, thanks to all the kind people I met so far.

But I would lie if I’d say that staying at home didn’t affect me, it did even though I was surrounded by great people. After a while we came up with a plan to leave Tokyo for one night. Getting into nature and just being in a different setting. We were coming up with a plan that ensured us to have not more contact with people besides the usual amount (f.e. shopping). 

To avoid public transport we decided to rent a car so it would just be us and no one else, unlike public transport. The car rental for two days with insurance was 9000 Yen, which is fairly cheap compared to the prices in Europe. But keep in mind that you have to pay motorway tolls, which are fairly expensive here in Japan, about 3000 Yen per 100 km. If you don’t know someone with a Japanese driver’ liscense you can also ask a friend with an international one.

As a place to stay we decided to go for an AirBnB apartment with self-check in and out, to avoid receptions. 

For one night in a big modern, well located apartment with a private Onsen, we paid 20’000 Yen in total. You can definitely get more affordable locations, we just wanted to treat ourselves to something special. 

During our road trip we had some amazing sights and stopped in the middle of nowhere breathing fresh mountain air. We saw beautiful landscapes, which looked like from a painting as well as wild monkeys around the roads, since they have barely been used in a while. I personally love mountains and wildlife so my heart was pounding so fast and I was really excited. So excited that some of us decided to jump into a mountain river. It was freezing cold, but an experience we won’t forget so quickly. Especially since I got bitten by a water leech for the first time in my life. Please be careful when you are out in nature, Japan has tropical weather which is perfect for leeches, they don’t only have leeches in water but also in the forest. Watch out and inform yourself before going to these kinds of places. We have learnt our lesson the hard way.

After a long drive and a few stops here and there, we decided to hold a barbecue on the terrace of our AirBnB place. We had delicious food, a few drinks and just a good time, just for one night not worrying about the current situation going on at the moment.

It felt good and I can only recommend it, then during these tough times we have to take care of our mental health as well.

2020 has taught us to appreciate things like moving around freely, meeting our loved ones whenever we want and also that in times of needs we stick together and work towards the same goal.

That’s why I hope to help a few of you to still enjoy your stay in Japan and not feel trapped. There are ways to travel and since the state of emergency has been lifted it’s going to be easier week by week.