This is probably horrible to admit, but I never really got why Japan refers to itself as the land of the rising sun. I mean, theoretically I get that as the easternmost island nation on the edge of the Pacific, there are lovely sun rises and sunsets, but to go as far as designing your national flag to denote a rising sun? Hmmmm.

Well, today’s morning was a that “a-ha!” moment. I turned the corner from the hotel onto the rice paddy road at 6am. The sun was just visible and bright red! Sitting over the rice paddy with a freakin’ crane thrown in just for emphasis. Although I’ve been strict with myself about taking pics while running, I just had to stop. Unfortunately, the camera phone didn’t do the scene justice. The white spec on the left is the crane. The rising sun is on the right. Really, you have to believe me, it was so much more awesome in person.

I first came to Japan 25 years ago, and stayed for 4 years. I hope it’s just a testament to being here in my early 20s that I never saw (or paid attention to?) scenes like this before. Maybe because I was actually heading home from rousing nights of karaoke and beer instead of heading out for morning runs.

Not that I’ve given up either beer or karaoke. With age comes priorities–early nights (even with karaoke and beer) makes for easier early morning runs and beautiful sunrises. Eureka!



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