An invitation came to take the train to Kamakura to walk in the September sun and visit the local temples. Yoshi, a stranger soon-to-be friend, led us to the Hokoku-ji bamboo temple, to stroll through the bamboo forest and to sip macha in the tea house. The Buddhist monk pruned the tree exactingly aloft the Zen garden, as I watched on, as if in a Japanese dream.
Soba noodles, served cold on a hot burning day inside a dark wooden hut. Cupfuls of Mugicha over tales of sushi mastery, ambitions and London. Tentative ideas and never-too-sure plans drifting from the other side of the lunch. Creme brûlée ice cream accompanied strolls to wash money and make a wish by a koi guarded cave.
To Yokohama for moon viewing in Sankeien garden. A full moon rising through the clouds, to the sound of classical instruments and show tunes carried across the dark lawn to rest on our ears familiar. Visions of the moon rabbit making mochi confirmed by the kindness of strangers. Sleeping cats as we devoured obento beneath the ginko trees.
Japan was there in that day, fully and at its best.