The Night Train to Izumo

It’s 10:20 at night and I’m on my back, in underpants and a tee shirt, watching commuters wait in line at Yokohama Station. Ordinarily, that should draw looks of horror, possibly the attention of the police, but not tonight.

Niigata, Japan: Rice, Sake, Snow

As the bullet train works its way north from Tokyo, the capital’s high rise gradually gives way to a suburban sprawl increasingly punctuated by rural pockets of green. Then mountain ranges emerge on the horizon, and, but for the occasional blurred towns, civilization begins to give way to vast swathes of farmland.