Ghost of Tsushima is filled with exploration locations, and each of them — Bamboo Strikes, Haikus, Hot Springs, Inari Shrines (Fox Dens), Lighthouses, Pillars of Honor, and Shinto Shrines — empowers Jin and his abilities.
You’ll need to visit several of each to grow your Legend and save Tsushima from the Mongol. Here’s what each of the seven exploration locations (which you can track in the game’s Collections > Exploration menu) does in Ghost of Tsushima.
Bamboo Strikes appear inside or just on the outskirts of towns and villages. Bamboo Strikes increase your Resolve, which lets you heal more and use more abilities, so you should do them whenever you find them.
To complete a Bamboo Strike, you need to hit the PlayStation buttons in the correct order very quickly. The buttons will appear from left to right on the bamboo and disappear as soon as you start pressing.
Memorize the order, and then hit the buttons as fast as you can. You can repeat this process until you get it right.
Haikus appear in scenic areas, like on a hill or on top of a mountain. Writing a Haiku awards you with a new headband — and you can read your Haiku whenever you look at the headband in the menu.
Writing a Haiku in Ghost of Tsushima is much easier than real life. When you sit down, look around the environment to select different passages. After you select three, Jin will read the Haiku aloud, and you can move on.
Hot Springs appear in secluded, peaceful areas. Bathing in a Hot Spring increases your maximum health, and lets you in on what Jin is thinking (you also get to see his butt).
There is no minigame when you bathe in a Hot Spring. When you find one on the map, walk up to it and interact with it. Once Jin is in the water, the game will ask you to reflect on a part of Jin’s life, and he’ll monologue a bit before it’s time to move on.
Inari Shrines (Fox Dens)
Inari Shrines usually appear in the woods, and are actually two locations: the primary location with the Fox Den, and the secondary location where it shows you the shrine. Completing Inari Shrines increases your ability to hold more Charms, and eventually gives you powerful Charms to slot into your new sockets.
When you stumble upon a Fox Den, the fox will pop out and wait for you. Follow the fox and it will eventually lead you to the Inari Shrine, which you can then honor (and then pet the fox for being very good, don’t forget!) If you stumble upon a shrine before meeting the fox, you can still honor it and skip the first step.
You’ll find Lighthouses around the shores of Tsushima, usually on high cliffs or overlooking the sea below. Climbing and lighting them increases your Legend.
There are only a handful of Lighthouses in Tsushima, and lighting them doesn’t get you much. But they’re easy to find and activate. Just walk through the front door, climb up the ladder until you reach the top, and light the Lighthouse.
Pillars of Honor
Pillars of Honor are usually in secluded areas, like small islands, cliffs, or vast fields. Interacting with them gives you more Sword Kits, which let you customize the look of your blades’ sheathes.
Like Haikus, Pillars of Honor are purely cosmetic. Just walk up to one, interact with it, and claim your new style.
Shinto Shrines are one of the most involved locations you’ll find. Typically found on mountains or cliffs, they offer powerful Charms and Wax Wood, a rare crafting material that Bowyers use to upgrade Jin’s bow.
You cannot traverse the normal path to (some) Shinto Shrines, so you’ll need to use your Grappling Hook (keep progressing in the main story if you don’t have it) to climb around the cliffs. When you get to the top, interact with the shrine to claim your rewards.