The comes a time when the balance of becoming familiar with a place shifts to starting to say goodbye. It’s a bit like the number ‘12’ on a clock face: the chosen point from which it is either a quarter past or quarter to the hour. Well, returning from our visit to Tokyo felt like passing the 12 on that clock face. We are no longer a quarter past arriving but are approaching a quarter to leaving the MI-Lab experience.

Sitting on the verandah this morning, eating breakfast, Sari (from Finland) remarked how we’ve almost experienced an entire season’s change here in Kawaguchiko. The snow is thawing on the lower slopes of Fuji, the blossoms are finishing and filling up the lakes and rivers with their confetti while bright green and red leaves replace them on the maple trees.

We have 7 days left of studio time so despite it being a Saturday, most of us spent the day in studio finishing up our last blocks. It’s great to see how much we have learnt and how much that was strange is now familiar to us. I couldn’t help noticing on my evening walk down to the lake that the neighbour’s dog no longer threatens to break his chain, barking at me. I still get a suspicious look but I am now, evidently, a more familiar thing these days.

Magic Lantern along Lake Kawaguchiko
Magic Lantern along Lake Kawaguchiko

Sunset over Lake Kawaguchiko
Sunset over Lake Kawaguchiko