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Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/14 02:55
Hi, I am a 14y/o highschool boy planning travel to Japan alone this autumn. My parents allowed me (as I am an excellent student & responsible child), they will only give me money and I have to do everything else by myself. Is the minimum age to travel alone 14, 15, 16 or even 17? I can read and speak basic Japanese.
by trvl_jpn_undrg (guest)  

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/14 07:59
I don't think there would be much of a problem getting in the country, but you would have a very hard time getting a hotel room or lodging by yourself as a 14 year old. If you had friends or relatives to stay with it would be OK.
by QFD (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/14 11:29
As a minor, you won't be able to get a hotel room by yourself in Japan. So while you may be able to travel to Tokyo, you won't be able to sleep.
by . . . . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/14 13:06
I think 14 might be the lower limit for a Junior Youth Hostel Membership. If you get an International YH membership card, you should be able to stay in the youth hostels. The "Junior" range varies per home country so you'd have to check into that. Some hostels also have their own age limits, so you'd have to check that also. IYH members would be the places that recognize the card. There are also a lot of private hostels that are not members who may follow hotel rules.
by Anaguma (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/14 15:39
I believe that even for airlines, this would need to be worked out in advance; see the following for example (just an arbitrary choice of airline):
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/special-needs/minors.html

And youfll have problem with accommodation for sure; youfd need to have your parents book hotels in advance, the one who reserves would be your parent(s) with your name as the staying guest, and youfll be well advised to have with you a letter of consent by your parents that they are allowing you to travel alone.
by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/14 16:42
even if you have a permission letter by your parents, how to distinguish, you have travel permission or you make a fraud document to run away from home ?

from the beginning of this story, it is highly unacceptable for me that your parents don't worry about possibility that you might have any troubles in Japan.
no one help you in Japan.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/14 16:56
You did not mention what country you are leaving from. Some countries like the UK, Mexico, and Philippines and perhaps some others have anti-child trafficking laws and don't allow minors to simply fly off alone. So it depends on the country. As for airlines, for many, if you are 12 years or older you fly as an adult - no unaccompanied minor - and need to pay full adult fare. It's the accommodations that can be a problem for you - some places require you to be at least 18, or have arrangements set up ahead of time.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/14 19:15
Just don't travel at the moment. We are currently in a global epidemic for the next few months and many airlines have cancelled most flights until June or July now (April 14th).

It might be theoretically possible to visit Japan as a 14 year old alone - but it's a bad idea as you will be severely limited in what you can do here. Specifically - when it comes to accommodation, signing legal documents, the list goes on.

So to put it simply - wait a couple of years or travel with someone over the age of 18.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/15 10:27
Dont worry about a hotel.
Just set up an ABNB account before you arrive.
by Stokley (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/15 13:31
It really depends where you are from. It may ring an alarm why you are traveling alone.
You may have a problem with accommodation. In the terms and conditions it sometimes (often) requires you to be 18 in order to check-in. Even if your parents book the hotel in advance and pay the hotel can refuse you because you are the person check in and you are not 18 (21) years due to legal requirements.

you may try to find group travels which arrange travels in Japan. You will be with an adult.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/4/15 13:39
You say you attend high school. Maybe your school or you can find a student exchange program for you.

I don't think it's impossible for you to travel alone, but it can be quite risky in many ways. It's best if you have some kind of a guarantor here in Japan, and the best way to grant that is a student exchange program (unless your parents have relatives or close friends in Japan). Once you've come to visit the guarantor, depending on the guarantor, you may be able to make day trips alone or even spend a few nights over.

And as mentioned, once you've reached the age of 18, even if you're still in high school, you will have as much freedom to travel as any other foreign adult.

I wonder if you're currently restricted to do a lot of things due to the covid 19 virus. If so, this is a great time to go into the internet, using both your English and Japanese skills, to search exchange programs. You can also "walk" through Google Map to find unique places to visit once your wish is granted.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/5/2 17:51
You will generally face 3 hurdles for this.
1) Airline Restrictions
2) Immigration restrictions
3) Hotel restrictions

Airline do restrict the age of passenger traveling alone, this varies with the airline policy.

I did my first solo Japan trip in Sept 2014 at the age of 16, at that time, Singapore airlines allowed for those above 16 to travel alone without any accompanying guardian or a letter of authorisation.

Immigration restrictions
This part is usually the easiest, immigration officer have a quick QnA session to determine why you come to Japan, etc... They might ask if you have enough cash and a return ticket home, especially if you are underage.

Hotel restrictions
Ah, this is tricky, certain hotel do not allow you to reside in their premise if you are under 18.
Luckily, I manage to secure my accomodation as the hotel policy allowed 16 and above to stay unaccompanied.

Hope this helps
by Ray (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can a underage teenager go to Tokyo alone? 2020/5/3 18:47
What about trying to do an exchange visit with one or two Japanese young adults?

The sort of those where you go and stay with a family in Japan who have a child of around your age, and that child also does a stay with you in your home country.

You could possibly combine that with some independent travelling - especially if you found a host family who would be willing to help you (with accommodation bookings, for instance). Or you could set up two exchange visits in different parts of the country so you get some variety (and could maybe fit in a short trip on your own when you travel between the two places).

It would be cheaper, possibly safer, and would give you a much better insight into Japanese life than just being a tourist.
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

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