Cherry blossoms, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo.

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Japan: a land of contrasts

By far the phrase I used most often was “Arigata gozaimasu”: I appreciate it.

I stare out at Mount Fuji: bright, clear, stately, basking in the morning sunshine. Cherry blossoms frame my view alongside the stunning Chureito Pagoda in the foreground. My timing was implausibly fortuitous. The previous day ...

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