Plot twist — off to Japan!

Last spring I submitted a proposal to speak at a writers conference in Japan.

It seemed reasonable. I’m passionate about encouraging people to write memoir, and Japan offers countless sources of inspiration. (Hence, The Same Moon.) The goal of my talk? To help writers recognize their own stories and not take twenty years to finish writing them (ahem).

My proposal was accepted, and I said I’d present via Zoom.

Everyone knew Japan was closed, closed, closed to tourists. That was OK. I didn’t need to go. Besides I’m a champion masker and social distancer. I’d get back to Japan in person someday, but for now I would visit via armchair. Fine.

Then last week we heard the news: Japan was opening to general tourism Oct. 11. The conference begins Oct. 15.

“Wow,” I said to my husband. “I could have gone.”

“Yeah,” he said. “You’d better go.”

Wait, what?

Within hours — even before I was sure I wanted to go, even before the government of Japan updated its websites to the policy change — I had myself a ticket.

It’s been fifteen years since my last visit. Now, in little over two weeks, if all goes as planned, I will be in Japan.

I’ll share the experience here — #japanquicktrip2022 — if you want to follow along!

And here’s a link to the Japan Writers Conference. (I’m scheduled to present at 9 am — Japan Standard Time! — Oct. 16.)

Four geisha preparing to leave a gathering on the back streets of Tokyo
Detail from one of my favorite Japan photos — taken in 2007 in Tokyo
A group of students in black school uniforms, teachers in suits and a couple of deer stand for a photo in front of the famous orange torii gate at Miyajima.
Students at Miyajima, 2007

10 thoughts on “Plot twist — off to Japan!

  1. Wait what indeed! That’s so wonderful! And so is Jon for his reflexive, wise suggestion! (Love that he just knew, and knew you.) Can’t wait to hear more about how all this came about, and of course how it goes. Sending love, as always.

  2. Have a wonderful trip. Stay safe and take lots of pics to share—especially the changes,if any, you see. Hope all goes well. carolann

    1. Thank you, Carolann! One change I’ve already noticed … and this is more about traveling in general than being in Japan … is how few selfies I used to take. In my 2007 photo file, I have very few photos of myself. Now, my smartphone contains its share of selfies, some with others (like Leo 🙂 ) and some with just me. I’ll keep you posted … ❤

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