Last Updated: Aug 2, 2023
Again & Again
As I write this, I am on a limited express train heading down from Nagoya to Toba for my 4th meal with the ama divers of Mie Prefecture. Due to escorting some family around (who were unable to visit for several years as a result of Japan’s stringent border policies during the pandemic), I’ve recently been revisiting a lot of my favorite haunts. While making the rounds, I’ve been thinking a lot about how just a single outing to sites like Nikko just won’t suffice.
Since I started creating content many years ago, I’ve been keeping a list of all of the places that I want to visit in Japan. As of today’s tally, the count now tops 5,000 locales. Try as I might, I simply cannot hack off the proverbial heads of the hydra fast enough to keep up with the pace that I discover new allures in Japan. As I’ve written before, I would need an endless number of lifetimes to be able to actually exhaust my bucket list once and for all.
Of course, as anyone who has visited Japan in spring for the cherry blossoms can likely attest, the country has a varied beauty that changes with the seasons. Thus, a mere single visit to a place like Kakunodate in Akita Prefecture will not suffice. To truly cross it off of the bucket list, one would need to at least visit during both springtime and autumn. Alas, there are a myriad of places like this in Japan meaning that any completionists are going to need to multiply the number of lifetimes required by at least four.
I am often asked by fans why I don’t ever want to branch out and feature other parts of the world. The truth is that I simply don’t have the time. Remember, I already don’t have enough years for even half of the places that I want to go in Japan. There is simply no way that I could even begin to think of going overseas when I have so many places that I want to visit — I mean just look at my spring adventures this year. I hit up a number of very niche places like the Senbonzakura of Torayama just for the cherry blossoms.
This brings us to the conundrum of today’s article. When visiting Japan, you’re often going to have to choose between going some place new and revisiting somewhere old for a seasonal happening. For example, the towns…