The one thing that was striking to me about Japan was the stark contrast between its vibrancy and tranquility. Somewhere between the crowded subways and the hidden gardens in parks and temples, a balance is struck. I’m sure it’s not a surprise to anyone who has ever visited Japan to acknowledge its remarkable sense of cleanliness and order. That same sentiment resonates throughout Japanese culture, a certain kind of beautiful obsession.
I wasn’t sure if it was the newness of the city or I was just in awe in the presence of something marvelous. I was more attentive than usual on my first walk through Tokyo. The rain had started to trickle down early that afternoon. The grass fields, some gold, some green, presented in their truest colors. Moistened tree barks casted a sweet and refreshing aroma in the air, and the ground laid content in the harmony of its inhabitants.
A few plum blossoms decided to bloom along the way. It’s still a little early in the year but I was lucky to see them out. They were bright and cheerful with their delicate petals budding on top of the bare branches, simple and elegant like the first snow. I felt calm, a calmness that was steady and strong. I wanted to be a part of the trees, the grass, the blossoms, the ground. I wanted to be centered like them. I wanted to share that peacefulness in symmetry.