Why Japan is One of the Favorite Travel Destinations for Millennials
For a relatively small country, Japan is packed with cultural experiences to suit every age group, but it has developed a particularly strong appeal to the millennial generation. There are plenty of reasons why travelers ages 21-35, flock to this cultural wonderland, and it’s about much more than the fresh sashimi.
Autonomy & Attentive Service Can Go Hand in Hand
Millennials may not be as entitled as other generations have been led to believe, but a feeling of importance goes a long way, and nothing delivers quite like the social customs and service in Japan. The staff in almost every establishment will go above and beyond to make you feel like a valued customer. You don’t have to worry too much about going alone, either - as a rule, Japanese people tend to keep to themselves, which means you can do what you want (within reason) without judgment or questioning. What’s more, the streets of Japan are considered fairly safe, especially as the nation has some of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Technology is Huge in Japan
You might think your shiny new phone is impressive, but a trip to Japan will open your mind to a whole other world of high-tech developments. There’s a reason why so many of the world’s animated videos and games are produced in Japan, and why companies like Canon, Fujitsu, Panasonic, and Nintendo call the country home. This focus on tech developments has also allowed students to achieve some of the best academic results in the world. If nothing else, unique every-day experiences like singing toilets and capsule hotels are bound to make your journey more memorable.
You Can’t Go Wrong w/ Traditional Japanese Food
It’s no secret that Japan has become a hub for intricately prepared cuisine, and it goes far beyond raw fish. According to a study, 21.8% of Americans associate Tokyo with food, and for good reason - you’ll find a wide variety of local specialties from okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) to yakitori (chicken skewers) and noodle dishes to satisfy the fussiest eater. Some of the best food experiences can be found in small, local restaurants, often specializing in one type of food, so expect the unexpected. Even the convenience stores offer a surprising range of traditional food options for amazingly low prices, and it’s well worth making a late-night trip to stock up on discounted meals for the next day.
There’s a Store for Every Budget
Tokyo is the undisputed shopping hub of Japan, and here you’ll find everything from traditional Japanese sweets to kimonos. If you’ve got money to spend, try the Ginza district, a wealthy area filled with high-end boutiques, but if you’d rather stick to the cheaper options, head to one of the regular markets held in Kochi and Yoyogi Park.
Transportation Options are Among the Best in the World
For those who rely on public transport to get around, Japan has an extensive train network which can take you just about anywhere in the country. As long as you’re brave enough to squash yourself into a packed carriage along with hundreds of locals, the train will allow you to cut down long travel times and save plenty of yen in the process. Then, when you’re ready to explore a different city, the bullet train can take you from Hokkaido to Kyushu for the equivalent of a few hundred US dollars, and if you’re planning on traveling on the bullet train a few times, invest in a JR rail pass to save some precious yen.
There are Plenty of Photo Opportunities for Your Instagram
Japan has a rich cultural history, much of which has been captured in their temples, shrines, castles, and art galleries, and what millennial could resist taking a few artistic shots for social media? Some of the most popular photo spots include Kinkakuji, Kyoto’s widely-recognized golden temple, Itsukushima shrine in Hiroshima, and the iconic Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, but there’s plenty more to discover off the beaten tracks. Natural wonders are plentiful in Japan, and depending on when you visit, you can find anything from snow-capped mountains to colorful coral reefs.
With so much to offer, it’s no wonder millennials are flocking to the land of the rising sun. Wherever your interests lie, Japan has something to satisfy, and you can have a great experience without the expense, if you know where to look.