I’m going to Japan in two months and this country has got me pretty excited.
But Japan was really, really random even by my standards. I was trying to figure out where to go next and since I was planning to go in July, I started thinking of countries that started with a “J” and well, the first name that came to mind was Japan (sorry Jamaica and Jordan!) and I decided to go there. But when I started reading up on this country, I realised this random choosing hadn’t been a bad choice at all.
Since it has never been extensively colonised, Japan has managed to keep many of its traditions intact. Things that are quite common and regular there are often quite opposed to what we are used to. And that is what makes this remarkable country so exciting.
Here are eleven things that have been excited about Japan.
1. Bullet trains: I have been on super-fast trains in Europe. But when a train is called “bullet train”, I want to get on that one!
2. Hiroshima: I don’t know if it happens to you, but when I think of Japan, the first thing that comes to my mind is Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I would like to go Hiroshima and make an ineffective effort to imagine how it must have been on August 6, 1945.
3. Sumo: When it’s China, you think Kung Fu and it’s Sumo in Japan. It will be exciting to see a match live!
4. Geisha: My research tells me that if I am in Kyoto and the geisha dances are on, I must must must see a performance.
5. Butoh: It’s a pretty unusual form of dance and I’d really like to catch a performance while I’m there.
6. Mt Aso: The pictures of the lake in the crater of Japan’s largest active volcano took my breath away.
7. Onsen: A bunch of random naked people soaking in a hot pool. I wonder if I’m going to chicken out at the last moment. But this is quite the regular thing to do in Japan and apparently, super relaxing.
8. Sushi: I’ve had sushi on three different continents. It’s time I tried it at the land of its origin.
9. Puffer Fish: Knowing my adventurous eating habits, my friends and parents have made me promise that I WILL NOT try eating this fish, which is banned in Europe. I’ll probably not. But, I would like to see some brave souls trying out this dangerously poisonous delicacy. In case you are not aware, puffer fish has some very poisonous parts and if not cooked properly, it could kill you.
10. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove: I would sure like to find out if the grove is as magical as they claim it to be!
11. Okhinawa: I love the seas and Okhinawa offers white sand beaches, snorkelling opportunities and so much more.