A Gap Year in Japan

Why go backpacking in Japan?

A gap year in Japan is a unique way to spend your time abroad. The country is famed for its outlandish style, beautiful temples and gardens, and cutting edge technology. If you don’t want any two days to ever be the same, backpacking in Japan might just be for you.

Whether you’re there to sight see in fearlessly futuristic cities, teach English as a foreign language, go climbing up Mount Fuji, volunteer on a conservation project with native wildlife, or heading to a world class ski resort, the sheer dazzling variety of Japan means you’re never likely to be bored.

A lot is made of Japan being weird – it’s certainly culturally different to what many westerners are used to. Be respectful, drink it in, and enjoy.

Things to do in Japan

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Yamabushi 16-day tour of Japan

from £2500

16 days

Japan

Not your average tourist experience, this tour is specifically designed for the nature lovers out there. See a completely different...

Journalism Internship in Tokyo

from £3700

42 - 180 days

Japan

Get ahead in the competitive world of journalism by pursuing a leading internship in Tokyo, Japan’s futuristic capital. Launch your...

International Business Internship In Japan

from £1770

30 days

Japan

One of the most desired places in the world to work, Japan is an ideal destination to pursue an international...

Nippon 1-Month Tour of Japan

from £4520

30 days

Japan

From Tokyo's futuristic neon lights and Kyoto's ancient temples, to trekking through the forests of the mountain mystics and enjoying...

International Hospitality Internship In Japan

from £1770

30 days

Japan

Japan is a super popular Asia tourist destination, attracting more than 24 million international visitors in 2017.

Trans-Siberian Adventure

from £1099

30 days

China, Japan, Russia

Ever fancied doing the Trans-Siberian railway? Well, this is your chance. These flights are the perfect way to do that...

Backpacking Tour of Japan

from £1599

13 days

Japan

Join our 13 day adventure, starting from Tokyo, and find out why travelers love Japanl! This affordable tour is carefully...

International Arts Internship In Japan

from £1770

30 days

Japan

Japan is known across the world as being one of the hotspots and birthplaces for the most famous artists and...

Community Care in Japan

from £2500

180 days

Japan

We offer several caring placement opportunities for volunteers. These are dedicated to helping residents with physical and learning disabilities and...

Red Cross Medical Placements – Japan

from £2500

180 days

Japan

Our Medical volunteers in Japan usually work in busy Red Cross hospitals, getting to observe everything from nursing to brain...

Latest advice and inspiration for Japan

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The Cities

Chances are your time backpacking in Japan will kick off in Tokyo, which in many ways feels like a country unto itself. You might spend the day overloading your senses in Akihabara, otherwise known as Electric Town, immersing yourself in otaku culture before the sun sets and the neon lights spring up and you spend the night screaming your lungs out in a karaoke bar.

Or you might visit the stunning Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, or go fashion-hunting in Harajuku before kicking back in Yoyogi Park waiting for night to fall. Then get yourself over to Shinjuku for amazing food and lively bars. There’s waaay too much to do in Tokyo to mention it all here. Accommodation and transport isn’t the cheapest in the world, but it’s totally worth every yen.

Elsewhere there’s Kyoto, packed with thousands of temples, shrines, and imperial palaces, Sapporo, famous for the Ice Festival and skiing (in winter, of course), and Osaka’s amazing nightlife.

One of the best things about travel in 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.

The Scenery

Japan has some of the best mountains in the world, including the famous snowcapped Mount Fuji, the beautiful autumn colours of Mount Koya, and the cherry blossoms of Mount Yoshino. If epic scenery is your thing, Japan has you covered.

Head to the Pacific coast in the summer for scorching weather and stunning beaches, or Mount Zao in winter for skiing around the famous snow monsters, trees so festooned with snow they look like otherworldly creatures. If you fancy an active gap year, this is the place. You could also visit Jigokudani hot spring to relax in the company of bathing macaques.

The best way to experience the country is to find a good mix of cities and scenery. It’s basically impossible to get bored on a gap year in Japan.

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