Dear Dazai,

There’s a sense of serenity that comes from being at an onsen, bathing in the water, as if the monstrous temperature burns any of the stress from your body. Too hot. Too acidic. Too hard to focus on anything other than those sensations.

I can hear the birds singing. The trees are verdant green, almost luminous, and I could forget all my worries here.

It might also be the tea.

My days here are filled with water, added to, natural, hot, cold and falling from the sky. Clinging to my skin in the air.

Japan has a sense of serenity to it that I can’t find anywhere else. Not that I’ve tried. I’d be so disappointed if I couldn’t find it that it isn’t worth trying.

So I tell myself.

Maybe it’s a sense of purpose to everything here, a ritual for tasks that we have long forgotten. Where the small act of making a cup of tea has a ceremony to it, one that’s cherished and treasured as part of the cultural landscape.

We have had little to no sun.

Til next time.