Remember when you used to venture fearlessly around continental Europe without running into every caustic Tom, Dick and Harry from Penn that a) you already slept with, b) you loathe and avoid like e. coli and c) have no business showing up in Europe and ruining your "kissing my way around the Mediterranean" pleasure cruise? It was once safe to assume that the scum and filth and cultural ignoramuses at home (ie, that sloth in your recitation that wears Oakley wraparounds indoors) didn't know that countries outside America existed, but times are a-changing. Europe is, to use a technical term, totally played out, and might we suggest that you give the cold shoulder to European cities rife with Penn abroad programs and STDs you can't pronounce in favor of looking Eastward.
Japan, also known as our personal Mecca, is the site of the most innovative fashion, architecture, interiors and product design on the market. In other words, the Land of the Rising Sun is eclipsing the rest of the world in aesthetics, and for those of us whose lifeblood is comprised of pretty things, our Yohji Yamamoto panties are all in a twist just thinking about it. So ditch your aspirations of writing that novel in the Paris, or any other bohemian wet dream, and set your sights on a more Modernist project: Go East, young man.