Embracing hanami and the transience of cherry blossom in Japan

Taking my first tentative steps alone through Tokyo one balmy April evening two years ago, I felt overcome with feelings of bewilderment and awe — but not for the reasons you might suppose. There was no culture shock, Lost In Translation style. Instead I was reeling simply from the surprise of finding myself suddenly and abruptly in Japan. If you’d told me two weeks prior that I would be flying ten hours across the world this dream of a city in a country I never thought I’d be fortunate enough to visit, I would have laughed in your face. Nevertheless,…

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