Gap Years and Backpacking in Japan

Countries  »  Japan

A Story about Teaching English in Japan
What its really like to teach English as a foreign language in Japan
Flights to Japan
Our best flight deals to get to this mysterious country
Getting Around
What's the best way of getting around Japan?
A Guide to Japan
Read all about Japan and what to do there
Want to Talk about Japan?
Jump on the message boards and chat to your fellow gappers!
Travel in Japan

Gap Years in Japan

Japan is known as Nihon or Nippon (日本) in Japanese. A gap year in Japan is a unique way to spend your year abroad. The nation is well known for its crazy styles, beautiful temples and gardens. It's pretty much guaranteed that no two days in this vibrant country will be the same.  

The annual Sapporo Ice Festival is a huge draw – if you visit Japan in winter you should try and fit it in to your gap year schedule. Skiing is popular in Japan, as is hanging out in the gardens and whiling the night away in the crazy karaoke bars.

One of the best things about Japan is that you can pretty much see the technological future of the world in the the big cities like Tokyo, while the past is the present out in the country. Tumbledown wooden shacks can still be spotted next to glass fronted designer condominiums, you might discover a sliding wooden door which leads to a traditional chamber with tatami mats, and tea ceremony. All signs of Japan's rich and beautiful history.

Travel in Japan

Top sites to make sure you include in your Japan line up include Mount Fuji, Harajuku, Himejo Castle and Kiyomizu-dera. If you're in South East Asia for your gap year, make sure you pop over to Japan. You won't regret it. 

Around the World Tickets

Around the World Tickets

Flights

Flights

Advice

Travelling in Japan can be a bit like travelling in an alien world. The language barrier can be intimidating and the culture is hugely different, but honestly, that's the biggest part of why we love this crazy place. It's no wonder they produce the best digital cameras in the world in Japan; the whole country is incredibly photogenic and just amazingly beautiful. Here's our selection of advice on how to make the most of your time there.

Advice for Japan

Travelling in Honshu

Travelling in Honshu

A Complete Guide to Japan

A Complete Guide to Japan

Snow Festival

Snow Festival

Teaching in Japan

Teaching in Japan

View all our advice on Japan


Map of Japan


Japan Fact!

Japan Fact 1 Featured Image

Sumo is the national sport in Japan. Most Rikishi (professional Sumo wrestlers) weigh an average of 160 k, and up to 250 kg.

Japan Fact!

Japan experiences around 3 mild earthquakes every day, with an average of around 1,500 each year.