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Journaway Japan, Japan
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The ultimate destination for Gen-Z travellers

Travel bookings to this area have increased by 1300% since 2019 😱

Published by
Sean Rooney·15/11/2023

Research from American Express Travel has found that Japan has sky-rocketed in popularity as a tourist destination for both Gen-Z and Millenials. But why? Here's my two cents on it...


Japan is, of course, home to Tokyo - an intricate blend of modern skyscrapers and bright lights, juxtaposed with ancient temples and historical buildings, bags of culture and some of the best food you could imagine. The attraction for visitors is obvious. At first glimpse, many people think that Japan is expensive to visit. Don't get us wrong, the flights can be a pretty penny, but there are plenty of ways to save pennies whilst you're there, which is why Japan is now so accessible to younger generations.

Japan has lots to offer. It's full of natural attractions and quaint villages that are often overlooked. I would highly recommend a visit to Nagano. Here you can visit The Jigokudani monkey park, and stay in a nearby ryokan, like I did. Entrance to the park was £2.50 (500 Yen) each.

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn that features tatami-matted rooms and communal hot baths. Ryokans can be relatively cheap to stay in, with prices starting from £30 a night. If you want access to the hot baths or facilities, this will cost extra, but it is usually only a few quid and definitely worth it!

You might even fancy going all out, and renting a Yukata (traditional robe) to wear whilst in the ryokan - it was actually surprisingly comfy, even the socks!

Japan is also full of fascinating historical sites. A visit to Hiroshima is something I would recommend to anyone going to Japan. The Peace Memorial Museum is incredible, but be warned, you will cry. Entry to the museum is just 200 Yen (£1). Nearby you can also find the Genbaku Dome, the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945.

With the best rail system in the world, and the JR Pass, its super easy to get around different parts of Japan. This is a must for travelling around Japan, and allows you to see a lot more of this wonderful country. It is worth noting, however, that prices for the JR pass have recently risen by as much as 70%.

A cheaper alternative to consider is Hokuriku Arch Pass instead. It's only £130 for 7 days and is great for those looking to explore between Tokyo and Osaka. This line also passes through Nagano, meaning you can hop off here, and catch a train to the monkey park!

Food of all varieties is easy to come by in Japan. And there's something for all budgets, from fine dining to grab 'n' go noodles at the 7/11. With more than five million vending machines in Japan (which is about one vending machine for every 23 people), and the popularity of grab 'n' go meals, easily accessible, cheap food is everywhere. An average meal at a restaurant costs around 1,000 - 3,000 Yen (£5-£15), making it very affordable - and there's always the option to splurge in cities like Tokyo, with plenty of fine dining restaurants to explore.

To me, Japan is the ultimate melting pot of niche interests and fascinating culture. This, and the fact that it can be done on a budget, is what draws in so many Gen-Z and Millenials, and why visitor numbers are continuously rising. Japan has recently introduced some overtourism countermeasures, but that doesn't mean they don't want tourists. The Japanese government are actively encouraging visitors to visit more rural, lesser-travelled areas - and I would fully recommend it!

Additional Information

We might be Pirates, but we’re an honest bunch. We check all our deals when we review them to make sure everything is available. Here’s the catch: with deals this hot, things change quickly: flight prices fluctuate, hotel rooms sell out, currencies yo-yo. Mainly, demand for the best deals means the lowest prices don’t last long. But, if you’ve missed out this time, don’t worry: we’re working on more great offers.


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