I had an unexpected window between freelance projects and made the spur-of-the-moment decision to book a ticket to Japan to visit my sister, just a week before I was due to fly.
A controlled chaos seems to permeate every facet of Japanese life, from the cramped rush hour crush to the dizzying pachinko arcades - though it's a madness which is governed by a dedication to politeness and order. Splashes of bright colours and alien characters compete for your attention in a country of visual excess, though in some way they simultaneously co-exist in total harmony.
In contrast to this chaos, Arashiyama in the outskirts of Kyoto is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. At dusk, a soft-pink light illuminates the bamboo forest, with mountains peacefully dominating the horizon and the never-ending wooden bridge traversing the Katsura river.
The magic that inspired the animated Studio Ghibli films is certainly palpable in Tokyo, and as soon as I left I found myself wondering about all the weird and wonderful things which are still waiting for me to discover them.