I’ve lived alone in Japan for almost five years now. I shop by myself, I go to events by myself and I travel by myself. I have a lot of friends but a lot are like me, people who live alone and/or enjoy their own company. Oftentimes, I get together with a few of them, and we do stuff together. But on most days, I like to do things by myself.
While reading this post on What Japan Thinks, I realized I’ve done a lot of the things on there by myself. I’ve actually gone to take in a night view, mountain climbed, gone on a bus tour, gone cherry blossom viewing and enjoyed an eat-all-you-can buffet all by my lonesome. I did not feel lonely at any time, however. In fact, since I’m always preoccupied with taking photos and reading about the places on my guidebook or checking the maps of the places, I hardly notice that I am alone.
Most of my friends who enjoy Hitorigurashi (一人暮らし, living alone) like me, have told me about how liberating it is to see a movie by themselves, or how they’ve traveled to places like Kyoto or Hiroshima, discovering things alone. Worrying about other people is like a national past time here in Japan. You can’t go to a restaurant you really want to go to, unless you’re sure the person you’re with would also like to go to that restaurant, or you can’t go in a store you just suddenly noticed because they might feel like it’s a bother, etc, etc, etc. So going alone is sometimes more comfortable and a little bit more fun.
With the spring months rolling in, there are dozens of things you can go out and enjoy! Check out some of my future posts about flower parks, events, festivals and activities like hiking and cycling.