How To Enjoy Tokyo As A Solo Traveller | CoolJapan

An ideal destination for first-timers and repeaters alike, Japan’s capital Tokyo has it all whether you’re in it for the history, the pop culture, the selection of beauty products or all of the above. But given its many family-friendly itineraries and fun group activities found at almost the entire stretch of the city, it’s kind of hard to imagine planning a trip to Tokyo as a solo traveller. Still, we’re not saying it’s impossible. Ahead, we’re listing down ideas on how you can maximise your trip to Japan’s capital even when you’re going solo.

Save some time on queues at the city’s greatest observatory decks

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo’s amazing cityscape can be viewed atop many observatory decks all over the city. But since you’re not the only one with this activity in mind, the queue can be pretty tough. The advantage of going solo? One, some buildings can have a ‘skip the queue’ pass if you’re getting your ticket alone. Two, you can easily squeeze in the elevator should a bunch of groups in front of you prefer to go up the deck together. Our top picks would be the Tokyo Skytree in Asakusa, which provides a great platform for viewing no matter what time of day it is, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, which is free for admission and should the weather permit it, might allow you to see Mount Fuji in the horizon!

Enjoy the city lights ‘til the sun goes up


Tokyo’s nightlife is incredibly colourful, especially in areas like Shinjuku, Roppongi, and of course, the ever-busy Shibuya. You’d be surprised that almost every pub has a different style, vibe, and crowd, so you’ll definitely have your fill of both tasting new mixes and meeting new people at every location you find yourself in. If heavy drinking and partying is not your thing, you can still chill in izakayas (homier bars) that operate until dawn and see a glimpse of Tokyo night owls having some downtime during the wee hours of the day.

Eat ramen at a private booth

Probably Japan’s most popular ramen chain, a visit to the country is never complete without trying out Ichiran Ramen’s private booths. Introverts and solo travellers will truly enjoy their eating experience in this restaurant because they don't require any kind of interaction. You place and pay your order via a Vendo machine, get your ticket, head to the private booth section, and get served. You’ll also be given a chance to customise your order depending on how firm you want your noodles, how rich your soup base is, and more — all without the need to chat someone up. You can find its branches in Tokyo in Shibuya and Shinjuku. 

Stay in a capsule hotel

capsule hotels in tokyo

Accommodation is one of the things that usually take up a chunk of our budget when travelling. But one perk of travelling solo in Japan is getting to try their capsule hotels. Aside from being well-maintained, clean, and complete with a lot of safety precautions to keep your belongings safe, many people can also attest to their comfortability. In fact, some can even fit six-footers or more with allowance both sitting up and lying down, giving a nice comfy cocoon type nestling after a long day of exploring the city. The baths and showers are also well equipped with free toiletries and the common areas are perfect for quick snacks or just hanging out.

‘Rent’ a companion

Of course, we saved the best for last! If you're feeling a bit lonely during your solo travel, we say why not hire an ossan (middle-aged man) to keep you company? That’s right! Think of it as an upgraded tour-guide service where you can drink, dine, and even just chill and chat about life with a friendly local.

One girl who hired an ossan to get an honest opinion about her chances at an audition and another hired one to have someone to talk to about their mental health. Cool, right?

couple holding hands

If being a romantic is your thing, boyfriends- and girlfriends-for-hire are also available for you to spend a date with as you tour the city. Similar to ossans, think of them as upgraded tour guides who can make you feel extra pampered and spoiled as you explore the bustling streets of Tokyo.

On a final note, if safety is your concern, all rented companions ensure a 'no-funny-business' policy. You'd even be surprised how professional they are, without losing the charm and warmth that compel people to take their service in the first place. 

On track with your Tokyo itinerary? Make sure you also dress the part by checking out the latest fashion trend in Japan's capital