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HIWADAKOUGEN, Gifu Pref. — I was inside my tent changing from damp clothes to dry when the whooshing thuds of a low-flying helicopter took the campsite by surprise. I thought little of it until the commotion started. News travels fast in a village of nylon walls. Clearly something was amiss.

Excited eyewitnesses described the stunt with glowing admiration. Tokyo’s Third Culture DJ Bryan Burton-Lewis played it down later as just some way-out doable idea, “pushing the limits,” he said.

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