The unnatural leaps through times zones with long haul travel make it hard enough to readjust to normal life. Add a heady mix of vibrant memories, emotional farewells and wishful thinking of living a life of permanent vacations; you have an uncomfortable fusion making even the most routine of things a surreal experience. After a week of recalibration and a mountain of laundry life is starting to feel normal again and in a good way. The first pains of darker skies and chillier temperatures have subsided into anticipation of the brighter seasons just on the horizon and time to reflect on what was a wonderful trip.
Our final stop off en route home was undoubtedly the most vibrant and challenging. Aside from the sweltering heat and humidity Tokyo was a delight. Even the overwhelming scale and pace of the city had a knack of embracing you in a comforting way. Sure, much of the time I was dazed and confused with the language, the customs, the subway and which of the plethora of sights we should pack into our short stay but there was something deeply authentic about everything. It struck me that the Japanese take life seriously. They don’t fritter away time and embrace every experience in a logical yet adventurous way. Whilst totally hip and modern the backbone of tradition, respect and responsibility that pervades everything. Amongst the bright lights and fast pace there is calm and beauty that is captivating and humbling.
I have a long held curiosity about Japan since being hooked on the TV mini series Shogun based on the novel by James Clavell and intrigued by the portrayal of Japan in Lost in Translation and Babel. We vowed to return for a fuller exploration of Japan but want to equip ourselves with more Japanese than the phrases in the guidebook. I took very few pictures in Tokyo in part because I had to concentrate hard on where I was going and what I was doing but through my lens I kept seeing the multiple layers of Japanese culture I am keen to learn so much more about.