While in Japan on our working holiday Emma and I have been travelling around on the cheap. This means couch surfing, calling in favours from friends (thanks Ant!) and one of the biggest savings made by hitchhiking. Trains and buses in Japan are quite expensive and if you are not able to get a rail pass ( JR Pass) you can be facing hefty travel costs if you want to properly explore. Another big bonus about hitchhiking is you get to meet some really interesting characters and make some great friends. So if you want to travel for free and explore Japan on a tight budget then we put this this video together to give you guys some tips to get you started on your adventure!

Useful Kanji:

  • North: 北 “Kita”
  • South: 南 “Minami”
  • East: 東 “Higashi”
  • West: 西 “Nishi”
  • Can speak Japanese: 日本語できます “Nihongo dekimasu”

Origami lotus tutorial.

Road tips:

  • Straight road with distant view of traffic.
  • Clear pull in areas ideally before and after where you are standing.
  • Near service stations is a plus.
  • If you can get on to a highway “SA” service area or large “PA” parking area you will have a good chance of getting a ride fast by standing outside the shop.
  • Do not hitchhike from a major city, hop on a cheap train to get out. People in cities are too busy and too wary to pick you up and pull in areas are severely restricted. There is also too much local traffic (not leaving the city) and too many people on the streets for you to stand out.
  • Check out http://wikitravel.org/en/Hitchhiking_in_Japan for more.

TOP TIP: An internet enabled phone will be a huge help when navigating. Punch in your destination to help your driver and track your location as you travel. Also great to check your drivers destination if they are not going exactly where you want. If you have a 4G phone, check out B Mobile’s sim from Amazon.co.jp to avoid contracts and struggling in Japanese phone stores!

If you plan on travelling with some nice camera gear, check out my tips on what to pack.

Drop a message on twitter or youtube if you have any questions. Good luck and safe hitching! 😀


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