Now that I have less than a month left on this island, I feel this constant, nagging urge to dig out my Lonely Planet guide book and get to work crossing off all of the touristy “must sees” of Japan.
Just yesterday I was actually contemplating if I should visit Tokyo Tower or Tsukiji Fish Market sometime next week. But then I was like, wait a mintue. Why would you want to visit a tackier, uglier version and blatent rip-off of the Eiffel Tower? And since when is waking up before dawn to watch some smelly fish being sold in front of a horde of snap-happy tourists an idea of a ‘good time’ to you? Luckily, I came to my senses. And here’s my Top Five list.
5. Attend a Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony.
4. Enjoy a ridiculously over-priced 1,800 yen cocktail at the New York Bar in the Park Hyatt Hotel (where “Lost in Translation” was filmed, a favorite film of mine!).
3. Visit the Butler Cafe.
It’s a Maid Cafe for women! Good looking (?) foreign men in tuxes’s call you ‘madam’ and ‘princess’ and lavish you with attention. While ordering around my own ‘man-servant’ has never been a particular life goal of mine, I think the cafe sounds like fun! A real ‘only in Japan’ experience, no?
2. Go to the Kanamara Matsuri (Festival of the Steel Phallus, or “Penis Festival!”)
None of my Japanese friends believe me when I tell them, but the Penis Festival is actually a real, Japanese festival and not some gay porn convention. Like with any good festival, there’s going to be drinking and dancing in the streets and…giant penis shrines, seasaws and penis-shaped snacks and deserts.
1. Go to Kyoto!
I have a four day weekend coming up next week and I plan on couch-surfing in Kyoto. I’ve already arranged to meet up for dinner with a few people there as well. I’m super excited. I went there once in high school, but I’ve been wanting to visit again as an adult. Somehow I think I’ll appreciate all of those temples a little bit more now than I did at 15.
There are a few things that didn’t make it on my list because unfortunately I just don’t have the time or the money. Okinawa was one, the Yuki Matsuri was another. And I really wanted to take that overnight ferry ride to Miyakejima to swim with the dolphins. But I guess I’ll just have to come back to do those things, now won’t I?
Know of anything else that should be added to my list?