So, I just got my first Japanese haircut. It doesn't look like anything wild or fantastic, but the experience was definitely worth the $24 that I paid for it.
Of course, I do not yet have any vocabulary for getting my haircut. I went to the barbershop by the station and saw that the sign had a "katto" for about $18. (Haircuts in Japan can range from 1,000 yen up. Some of them can get pretty ridiculously priced. I took 4,000 yen with me and was hoping that I would make it out with some money remaining.) So, I walked in and said, "katto." The guy was very nice. He took my coat and hung it up and checked my backpack. He showed me to the chair, I pointed at a picture of a medium-length cut, I refused the shave, and away we went (I probably should have asked for the shave, but I did not know how much everything was going to end up). He put multiple layers of coverings on me and started scissoring. The scissoring took a long time, but he was super-careful. He finished, confirmed the length, and got out the shaving cream brush (at which point I thought I would be getting the shave, whether I wanted it or not). The cream was for my neckline, behind my ears, and the sides. He got out the straight razor and fixed those up smartly. Then came the amazing part. He washed my hair. It was incredible. Hands down the best lather I have ever had in my life. Like a deep tissue massage for your skull. I was sitting there, trying not to smile, thinking, "however much this costs, he is certainly earning it." Then I leaned over the sink and there were a few more things applied to my head, followed by a drying and an actual massage. He started rubbing my head, then my shoulders, and then my biceps. At that point I was trying not to laugh outloud. Never have I had a haircut that has been such an experience. I bet the emperor gets two haircuts a day.