How does the song go again? “I’ll send you the sunset I love the most when I’m in Tokyo?” Catching the sunset from the streets of Tokyo is hard; look up and you see a skyline of metal, glass and steel; keep looking up and you bump into someone hurrying along Tokyo’s busy bustling streets.
No, not the sunset but I’ll send you the sunrise.
I caught my first glimpse of Tokyo standing on the observation deck of Haneda International Airport, coat wrapped tight around me, hair wild and frazzled from a night on the airport couch. The grayish blue tint of the sky had begun to fade and the orange glow of the sun was slowly seeping up from beneath the horizon. A testament to how I’m never awake early enough to watch the sunrise, I mistook the rosy halo above the clouds for the sun, snapped a few photos and turned to leave. Just as I was about to step back into the warmth of the lobby, something made me pause and turn back. And then I saw it.
The sunrise. My first sunrise, alone, in a foreign land. I cannot possibly describe how surreal that feeling was, to watch the sun lift its head from behind the clouds, to feel its warmth on my cheeks, to see the morning sky glazed over in streaks of orange and watermelon pink. I wanted to laugh out loud, to leap and dance; so great was the heart bursting joy I felt.
I spent four mornings in Tokyo but this first morning will always be the one I love the most.