Zoey and I spent three months traveling Japan. After three months, we decided to travel to South Korea to find a job and make some money to keep traveling. Both Japan and South Korea give U.S and U.K citizens a 90 day visa free stay, which basically means you can stay in the country for 90 days without having to apply and pay for a visa. We decided to take advantage of the visa waiver program and travel to as many countries that allow us to stay for long periods of time without having to go through the lengthy process of visa applications. After spending one year living in Australia, Japan was our first stop.
Japan is expensive but it is safe enough to do couchsurfing and hitchhiking:
We arrived in Osaka June 12th and managed to travel the beautiful country of Japan for a total of 3 months solely relying on other people’s kindness. Both Zoey and I have traveled on a budget in the past, but never like this. Japan happens to be a very expensive country and we knew we had to stay within a very strict budget so that’s when we decided to take on a different approach while traveling Japan. We decided to try couchsurfing and hitchhiking. Both of us have done short distance hitch hiking in the past, but neither one of us had ever done couch surfing. Yes, we were a bit scared at first, but Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, so we thought, what better place to start!? We couchsurfed and hitchhiked throughout 14 different cities and 5 different regions of Japan. We managed to couchsurf with 20 different hosts, and we hitch hiked about 37 times. It was quite the adventure, to say the least.
Japanese people will be the kindest and most polite people you will ever meet:
Japan has a level of manners beyond anything we have ever experienced. I am pretty sure the most common words in their vocabulary are “thank you,” “please,” “sorry,” “excuse me,” and “welcome,” I think that says a lot about their culture. They are extremely clean, sometimes even a little OCD. Oh, and they take the word “convenient” to a whole other level. Convenience is what the country lives for. For example, a 711 in Japan has everything from free wifi to a sitting area where you can eat while you charge your iPhone. You can buy umbrellas, chargers, socks, sushi, coffee, beer, and even a porno mag if you’d like. Japanese convenience stores have it all, Japan is simply the best:
Japan is undoubtably the best country we have traveled to. The reason we can say that with confidence is because we have stories and friendships to back us up. The number of beautiful and kind people that we met in this country is unbelievable. We were welcomed us into the country with kindness and they made us feel at home immediately. It is the easiest country to travel, whether you are hitchhiking or taking the train. Japan does everything to perfection; in Japan, it’s not about quantity, it’s definitely about quality. We lived on a poor persons budget, but with the fancy 711 meals, the nice homes we stayed at, and the cool rides we rode in, it felt like we had an unlimited budget. Japan spoiled us; Japan ruined us.
Fastforward 90 days to September 10th. We arrived in Seoul, South Korea. It is different, very different.