There are some things I have never done in Japan. If you're thinking things like go to an onsen and allow the locals to oogle my pasty naked gaijin body or climb Mount Fuji, you'd be right, but that's not actually the sort of thing I'm talking about. While there are a good many tourist activities I've never bothered to do (and a good many activities that I have done and a good many things I've done that some folks never do), I'm talking about the type of thing I used to do back home all the time but haven't done in 18 years in Japan.
Sometimes the reason I don't do some of these things is that it's too expensive. It can sometimes be because of communication problems. And sometimes it's because there is a qualitative difference in the experience compared to back home such that I decide it's not worthwhile. Generally though, it's a combination of all of these things. A good example of all three of these reasons coming into play would be driving a car. An example of the expense reason would be to buy a new DVD at a brick and mortar establishment. There are a lot of perfectly mundane things I've never done here which I routinely and thoughtlessly did back home which I ceased doing as part of my normal routine.
Another perhaps less expected example would be going to a beauty salon for a hair cut. Lest you think I have hair trailing on the ground after 18 years of unshorn glory, let me assure you that my hair has been cut, but not by the expert hands of a trained and experienced stylist. My husband trims my hair about once every 6-8 months. I make it easy for him by requiring only that he cut across the bottom in a straight line when it's wet and combed neatly. Sometimes this works okay, but sometimes I think it'd be good if a dotted line were included as he accidentally cuts it at an angle. However, since I have wavy hair, it's not the sort of thing which can be detected and the important thing is the split ends are gone.
Initially, I didn't go to beauty salons for my hair cuts because I couldn't communicate what I wanted. Now, though I'm pretty sure I could stop them from giving me a crew cut, I have limited faith in the ability of Japanese cutters to handle my hair properly. Japanese hair is different in texture and thickness than most western hair and tends to lay differently. In fact, this is something which is reflected in the advertising that you see in English language magazine advertisements in Japan. Some salons will specifically state that they know how to handle western hair so you can trust their ability to give you a cut.
All that being said, I've known plenty of foreign folks who were satisfied with the cuts they've gotten and I'm pretty sure I would as well if I were interested in giving it a try. Men in particular appear to get a lavish treatment when they go to certain barbers here. My husband doesn't go to one (I cut his hair), but male friends and acquaintances tell me that they get their ears cleaned and necks shaved as part of the experience.
Apparently, I'm missing more than just a professional cut in my avoidance of beauty salons as part of the service offered is "happy". However, I think I'll be happier keeping my money and having my husband do the job.