butterfly image spliced with vending machine image

What day is it?

I hadn’t planned to visit Japan this fall … But when we learned the country would open its borders to regular tourists just days before the Japan Writers Conference, my husband encouraged me to shift gears. Wouldn’t it be better to present in person, rather than over Zoom?


A couple of weeks later, I stepped off an airplane in Tokyo. It had been fifteen years since my previous visit, twenty-six years since I’d called Japan home.

This is the first in a series of posts from my trip.

From bright colors to bright colors—Minneapolis to Tokyo!

Waiting for a bus, I sipped Kyoto-style chilled vending machine tea, with somebody’s cigarette smoke swirling about me and people passing by, including a woman wearing a blue sweater boldly emblazoned “DAFT.”

It felt strangely like … I was home.


three rows of butterflies in a mosaic decorating a wall
Wall of butterflies at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

three rows of brightly colored beverages in a Japanese vending machine
Vending machine at Haneda Airport, Tokyo

4 thoughts on “What day is it?

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