Moscow, beloved though it is, is not Russia, and Tokyo is not Japan, particularly at the era of near-complete globalization. Perhaps, it sounds contrived, but my idea of "real" Japan lies in smaller towns.
One of them is Dazaifu.
As with yesterday's impromptu visit to the coast of Fukuoka, today's stroll through Dazaifu's gardens and temples was a decision graciously made for me by a friend, and I'm glad it was this place that got chosen.
Normally, I briefly research what I visit, so this time around I was more than pleasantly surprised to be standing in a town not only quaint and surrounded by beautiful scenery, but also one with certain key buildings as old as the 8th century. Indeed, it was an international hub with foreign embassies even earlier.
To top that off, we really lucked out with the warm and sunny weather and all the plum trees already exploding into every blooming shade in the red part of the color spectrum, making the experience into a well-balanced mix of nature and culture.
Tomorrow promises to be a long journey back to Tokyo--where I should spend almost a week--with a daytime stopover in Osaka and Nara, if all goes as planned. In the meantime, I leave you with these mobile remnants of today.