The term business trip says it all. Simply put, it is a trip you take to work., not "work it." Before arriving at Chitose airport outside of Sapporo, I wondered, "Do I check the business or the pleasure box?" I left a little check in the business square but began to contemplate, "What constitutes business? What defines pleasure. Are they mutually exclusive?"
Japan has always remained a mystery to me. Though it was the second time touching down in the island nation, I still felt as though I had never been there. I knew that this brief trip across the sea from Korea was not going to yield an understanding of Japanese history. It was not going to offer a glimpse into the modern Japanese psyche. It would simply be an opportunity to get some work done, take some photographs and glance over Sapporo.
After a day of meetings, I was eager to get into the bustle, devour some of Hokkaido's best soup curry and take a look around. It was nearly dark and my colleague Christy and I were both tired. But, I didn't lug the Canon gear across the Sea of Japan for not. Moments after my camera came out, Christy turned in.
Once alone, I decided to do what any other photographer would have done... For the next sixteen hours, I got click sick, doing all that I could to creep into that snap happy bliss that most photographers know all too well.. For most of the evening and into the morning, I limited myself to four square blocks, shooting anything and everything.
Leaving Japan, I had a feeling similar to when I arrived. A few blocks and the road to the airport won't cut it. Four square blocks is nothing. I still can't claim to have seen Japan. However, I am now certain that no business trip can be simply that.