We arrived in Tokyo and the blossoms were just coming out. It is really an amazing event. To the Japanese these cherry blossoms symbolize transience as well as usher in a new yearly cycle.
There wasn't too much obvious damage caused by the earthquake here in Tokyo. As a major metropolitan area, Tokyo seemed to be doing business as usual. The mood though seemed a bit somber which is to be expected given the recent events.
When we came off the plane we started to notice how many people were wearing masks over their nose and mouth. We thought this had something to do with the threat of radiation, but this wasn't the case. Many Japanese are strongly allergic to Cryptomeria (Cedar) tree pollen, so they wear masks.
One of our amazing experiences while in Tokyo has been staying at the International House. This hotel is affiliated with the Japanese fellowship that Jane was awarded. Historically, the "I" House has developed a rich forum of international exchange and partnership with the United States. The garden which the rooms look onto is contemplative and is reminiscent of another time; one that sponsors introspection and study.