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Where do you begin when trying to explain just how much you adore Japan? With a confession of course.

I was hesitant to journey to the Land of the Rising Sun. One by one (or two by two), friends and familial travellers would return from Japan with stories of passion and adventure. They would ski down slopes unlike anything they’d braved before, wander the neon streets of Tokyo in a euphoric daze, fall for Kyoto’s refined history or gorge on everything delicious among the culinary streets of Osaka. However, because everyone was so besotted with their Japanese travels, my desire to visit steadily decreased – for it all sounded too good to be true.

It wasn’t until a contributor (the lovely lass behind our cover image) shared her images of the sakura  that I began to question my hesitation. It wasn’t the blossoms’ pastel hues or transient symbolism that got to me – it was the sense of tranquility the photographs invoked. How could the country I believed to be the busiest in the world make me feel this calm? Was everybody actually on to something? I gave in, curiosity combating my foolishness. Japan would get an issue.

I have so much respect and admiration for the Lodestars Anthology contributors – insanely talented individuals in complete control of the words they summon, pictures they paint and scenes they photograph. With each submission they made me love Japan all the more; producing watercolours depicting the drama of Hokkaido, documenting the art projects flourishing in rural locations, photographing the spirituality of the country’s wilder corners, describing a cuisine unlike anything else and capturing a country defined by contrasts. Their work made my wanderlust grow.

So, when finally travelling around the Japanese archipelago what did I think of that initial reluctance? As I hiked over the Kii Mountains, dived in tropical Okinawa and rode a horse through November snow (the first in 54 years) I discovered that when it comes to Japan, it’s wise to believe the hype.

Link to buy magazine: https://lodestarsanthology.co.uk/store/

Instagram @lodestarsanthology

link to go with cover photographer mentioned: https://www.instagram.com/cestmaria/?hl=en

Lodestars Anthology will be publishing their first book with New Heroes and Pioneers later in 2017. Watch this space for more information.

Written by

A Yorkshireman living in London. Matt can often be found exploring his city (and beyond). He takes inspiration from different environments to develop his writing and creative work.

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