Heading to Japan next month, haven't been this excited for a trip since the '05 British Open in St. Andrews to kick it with the gentile from the R&A. Which was awesome.
From the outside what makes Japan fascinating is that is seems like this giant exposed ant farm of humanity. All the various cultures that make up Japanese culture, new, old and just odd are out in the open. For instance, can't wait to catch these guys featured in the recent-ish Peter and Bjorn video who perform in Yoyogi Park.
What I'm most excited to see in this country which often represents the future of technology and consumerism is what's happening outside those areas. Street culture in Japan seems to be so real, as there it is, on the street. Not living within a blog or coordinated by some web tool sponsored by a brand and Google Adwords. Same with retail. I expect amazing sensory experiences, big and small, with incredible service, spontaneity and delight.
Really fascinates me that in a country that has it all techologywise, their real world cultures are so active and on display 24hrs a day in real world physicality. Presumably if you dissect it all the technology world drives the physical world, and vice versa, perpetually driving the one another to a higher state.
Then again, with the announcement on Friday of a 20% drop in real GDP over Q1, we might just be lucky if the lights are still on.