Beginning in the morning and continuing throughout the day was my dogged pursuit of the perfect photograph of falling cherry blossoms. The season is ending, the trees are losing their flowers and every gust of wind brings drifting flecks of pink. I imagine it would affirm my skill as a photographer to capture the blossoms as a backdrop to the crowds everywhere, but the prize somehow eludes me.
Going through security at Narita made the comparisons with home as stark as they get. I began the ritual familiar to air travelers everywhere. Take off the shoes, take out the lap top, it’s time to be led like cattle through the gate. Except this time a uniformed guard offered me leather slippers to lessen the indignity.