Saturday, December 30, 2017
Few destinations are as welcoming as Japan to the solo female traveler. It's safe, easy to get to, and easy to negotiate once you're there. Unlike Ethiopia, Japan won't force you to confront any great moral dilemmas. It's actually relaxing to be there...you can wander around at will and no one will bother you. That said, no one will really speak to you, either. You have to work for human contact in Japan, whereas in Ethiopia you have to work to avoid it. Time in Japan tends toward the solitary, but that doesn't necessarily equate with contemplative. In Kyoto, where my last trip to Japan ended, finding a space to ponder the aesthetics of the bamboo grove at Arashiyama, for instance, meant seeking out quiet corners away from the tourist traffic, and then being patient enough to wait for the rare moment when I had it all to myself.