Chinese tour groups can often be seen following guides clutching red flags in Japanese shopping districts, but organized tours may be losing their allure as travelers set out to go it alone.

Chinese tourists are increasingly spurning group travel to stop and smell the roses, so to speak, rather than following the beaten path.

Wang Yuting, 27, a Beijing native on a four-day trip to Japan during China's National Day holiday, was traveling for the first time by himself. He earlier took part in two package tours. It is all about finding something exciting, he said.