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.”
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.)