A month after the earthquake that devastated Japan's Northern coast, the Japanese were getting back to normal in Tokyo when we got there in mid-April.
We arrived just in time to see the last of the Sakura - the cherry blossom season - and the festivities associated with it. Spring and Autumn are the best seasons in Japan - dry and bright, before the heavy rains of Summer and the cold of Winter.
In the cherry blossom season, in early April, the Japanese make the most of the good weather and meet colleagues, friends and family for "hanami", or flower viewing. It's an excuse for a picnic, some drinking, and good cheer, all under the cherry blossoms.
We went to Shinjuku Gyoen park on our first day, and it was thronged with people enjoying themselves. After a month of tragedy and anxiety, they deserved to let their hair down. We were happy for them. We couldn't have wished for a better first day.