Chureito Pagoda, Yamanashi, Chūbu – Japan

The view of legendary Mt. Fuji from Chureito Pagoda isn’t just any beautiful vista to be admired. It’s so iconic, that it’s what comes immediately to mind for millions of people when they think of Japan in any context. In fact, if you’re visiting Japan specifically to see Mt. Fuji, you really can’t call your visit complete until you’ve stood in that spot and experienced that view in person. It’s a positively lifechanging experience to say the least.

This particular image was captured during a late morning visit to the site during the spring. It was cherry blossom season, perhaps the most important time of year for Japan. The Japanese revere the cherry blossom, not only for its heady scent and delicate beauty, but for the way it reminds them to stop and enjoy beauty when and where they find it. Some of life’s most profound beauties are also disturbingly fleeting. Like cherry blossoms, no two beautiful moments are exactly alike. You’ll never get the same chance to experience any given one, so make time to appreciate it and drink it in when you can. Those are the moments that give life meaning and make it worth living.

Save for a lone cherry tree blossoming down below with all its might, the cherry blossoms themselves are absent from this scene. However, their presence was very strongly felt regardless. Their scent was in the air, carried on the spring winds and filling my lungs. The magic spell they seem to cast simply by existing vibrated through the landscape as I gazed out at the snow-capped peak of Mt. Fuji ahead of me. Life always has a way of feeling pregnant with possibility in the spring… but not quite like this. Not the way it does in Japan with the scent of cherry blossoms in your lungs and the grounded majesty of Mt. Fuji in your sights.


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