I have been a late-night person most of my life. But these days, I sometimes wake up at 5 o’clock.

When I was in Kyoto, I lived in an east-facing apartment. I could see both the sunrise and the sunset from the same windows. At that time, watching the sunrise was a common event. I was often jerked awake by the cacophony of birds and insects that lived in the bamboo forest in front of my house. So sleeping in the morning was valuable.

But now I live in a west-facing apartment. And I enjoy the glow of many beautiful sunsets. Also the countryside has less light than the city like Kyoto. So especially during winter time, I hurry home before sunset. Because after sunset it is very dark around my house. And I started to miss the sunrise.

One day unintentionally I woke up at 5 o’clock which was a little before sunrise. From west-facing windows, it is ambiguously dark like the evening. But when I go out from my apartment and face the east, there is a beautiful sunrise glow. It is a totally different view from west-facing windows. And I clearly saw the different kind of beauty than the sunset. That was something that I needed to see.

That is why I sometimes wake up at 5 o’clock now. Such a little change makes a big difference in your life, too.