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Pre-Leaving Japan "must do/see" list?

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Hi All,

I plan to leave Japan next year. I have some other travels I have to do, and whilst Japan has been great, I don't see it as a place I could stay long term. The leave has already been set into motion (actually was going to be earlier but there were complications).

However, between now and then, I want to make sure I've seen and done everything, so I won't be able to say "ah man I wish I'd done/seen that while I was there!".

I've already been to Japan multiple times prior on holidays. So the touristy stuff is all done. I've been to every major city except one (which I'll be ticking off soon). I've done all the typical Japanese activities (except one: falling asleep drunk on concrete outside on a Sunday morning -- but I have no wish to try!). I've gotten a motorbike and been to a bunch of places, but kind of over it as it just feels lonely now. None of my friends have bikes so no crew (unless I join bosozoku lol), and Japanese girls aren't keen on riding on back for long, at least that I've found versus other countries. Might get a cheap mountable camcorder though so I can record a trip and look back at it one day.

So what else would y'all recommend I do before I go? I've only got one idea so far -- visit Shikoku. Feels kind of sad in a way -- Japan used to be amazing to me, but now it's same old same old and robotic and too ordered lol, but then again travel does that too you -- eventually there's no excitement and wonder left to uncover.
 

mdchachi

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Did you climb Mt FUJI?

Did you go Scuba diving in Okinawa?

Did you go to a konyoku onsen?
 
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Fuji - Yes
Scuba in Okinawa - No, interesting idea, added to list
konyoku onsen - Also interesting, have been to onsens but not a natural or outdoor one
 

mdchachi

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Fuji - Yes
Scuba in Okinawa - No, interesting idea, added to list
konyoku onsen - Also interesting, have been to onsens but not a natural or outdoor one
If you like outdoors and hiking, there a ton of trails & mountains to check out. There are "100 Famous Japanese Mountains" to climb.

Definitely should try an outdoor onsen (rotemburo). Especially in the snow. One of my favorite things. (Like those famous snow monkeys). There are also many such places you can hike to (combining the previous activity with this one).

If you're a diver you can also dive many other interesting places including Izu which you can do in a day trip from Tokyo.

Definitely should do the camcorder on the bike thing. I always regretted I didn't do that. My commute through Tokyo was like a video game. Of course it was a lot harder in my day. My camcorder used hi8mm tapes -- much bigger than a GoPro or smart phone.

And if you want to see more sights, I'm sure there are many things off the beaten trail you haven't seen yet. Like the Tottori sand dunes, Beppu or Lafcadio Hearn's house in Matsue.
And a plethora of festivals such as those fertility ones or nebuta matsuri.
Fireworks too. You likely won't have the opportunity to see such great displays elsewhere.
Other events... sumo. Baseball. Harajuku.

Anyway it sounds like by the time you leave you will truly be able to say "been there done that."
 
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