Love at first sight
For me, the hook was visual. When I was first discovering Japan I found myself falling in love with the ubiquitous “Zen aesthetic” that pops up in Google image results, tumblr searches, JAL adverts. It was the emptiness that got me: whether it was that of a stone garden, like the one at Ryoan-ji in northwest Kyoto, or the kind implied within objects like a tea bowl or ink painting, from the very beginning I was in love with what wasn’t there.
The stone garden at Ryoan-ji (Source)