Well, where to begin? Picking a mere 9 photos is a genuinely tricky task, because Japan delivered it all on this visit, truly. From global award-winning digital art installations to budget Michelin starred meals, via lifetime running achievements and official world records, fantastic human encounters, and even an early blossoming of the famed sakura: Tokyo and the Kansai region trio of Osaka-Kobe-Nara not so much knocked the ball out of the park, as landed it on Mars three years ahead of NASA’s planned schedule. Banzai!

The very best life experiences need no photographic evidence; they reside cosily in the revolving slide projector of our memory, available for internal reviewing, willingly prompted or otherwise. Sharing is caring, however, and I could not possibly dream of not letting my most esteemed readers starve of cultural stimulation on a warm spring Thursday morning. So without further ado, and following a selection process almost as complex as the Eurovision Song Contest final voting poll, these are my most memorable snaps of an incredible two weeks in Japan, in no particular order. Apart from the photo of the three medals, which, let’s face it, was always going to be first.

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