It rained in the last hour or so. The sweet dust smell of concrete rises off the pavement. Where rays of morning sunlight reach, steam weaves on the darkened road. It’s 5:45. The already humid air intensifies in the rain street bath. The silence is clean and complete, no echo of voices bouncing down the walls from apartments, no movement of construction vehicles in the nearby site yet. Just the gray city noise a distant hum, the sound of a city about to wake up and pulse through the day.
I stretch beginning with my arms, two counts of seven and down to the major leg muscles, again two counts of seven. My clothes cloy against my back and stomach by the end of the exercise. Checking the street for cars one last time, I press start on my watch and jog down my dead end lane toward the main streets of Nagoya.
The route takes me down two main roads, across a major cross walk and through some traffic lights, but with the exception of a few cars strolling along looking for breakfast and owners opening shop, the city leaves me alone. Until I get to the canal.