When I'd think of Japan, I'd picture cherry blossoms, Buddhist pagodas, geisha and what was probably the most delectable sushi on the planet. Likely because these were the images inscribed in my mind from history books and travel guides.
Fascinated for as long as I can remember by what I perceived to be Japanese culture, Tokyo and its neighboring cities remained somewhere at the bottom of my "travel wish-list," below jungles, rainforests and various Natural Wonders of the World.
That is, until my friend moved to Kawagoe to teach English last year and presented me with the opportunity to visit. Suddenly, I found Japan at the top of that list and a fairly expensive plane ticket in my hand (well, e-mail).
I'd initially planned to visit just after the New Year, but because I was partial to skipping through cherry blossoms over licking icicles, I decided to muster some patience and wait until the weather was warmer. I also recruited a travel companion and dear friend, for what would become our co-journey to "find some inner peace" amidst her chaotic new life as an attorney and my long hiatus from yoga practice.