I went out for the first time in Tokyo one cold November night. The air was filled with a spirit of festivity and the smell of sake, and the Yamanote train was especially crowded with businessmen well ahead of my friends and I in alcohol intake.
Early one Sunday morning, I took the first train on the Yamanote loop that embraces central Tokyo. The ride from the nightclub quarter of Shibuya to my home in Komagome normally took 20 minutes. However, on the train my thoughts drifted back to the previous night as I slid into deep uninterrupted sleep.