Put aside for a moment the headlines, the videos and all the discussions on the Net about the natural disaster in Japan. Current events are transitory. What has us all a'flutter today will be a note in a history book tomorrow. Today I want to think about the Japan I remember. Some things, like great cities and their citizens, endure.
Right now they are getting ready for one of the most beautiful seasons of the year: the Sakura or Cherry-blossom time. Not only can you see acres of gorgeous blooming cherry trees, there are also outdoor parties and picnics everywhere (some fairly sedate and some quite wild) which makes it the perfect moment to walk through the city, along the canals, and through the parks.
If you do go to Tokyo (and I strongly urge you to go at least once in your life) think about a getting a copy of Sumiko Enbutsu's book, Tokyo: Exploring the City of the Shogun. She proposes a number of walking tours though different historic parts of the city, all of which are wonderful. I personally love best the walks through traditional Japanese neighborhoods - the small gardens are heartbreakingly beautiful.