In the way of so much travel, Japan slowly dissolved into being. A Tokyo-to-Nagoya flight (Northwest Airlines, no less), that could have been any flight, anywhere. Airports at either end giving at least a few clues that we weren't in Kansas anymore. The airport train into Nagoya proper - clear differences everywhere now: warning signs were all emblazoned with too-cute cartoon animals, tired salarymen and high-voiced teenage girls in the press around us.
Finally in Nagoya itself, guarding luggage in a subterranean train station, Japan finally had a chance to go "pop" instead of "fizz" before my eyes. Rushton sent me running out to find a student. My first step out -- really out -- into a Japanese city. And I got to do it blessedly alone.
A grey night somewhere along in the weekend -- travel had robbed me of the exact date. Lights all around. Nowhere near as large and loud as Tokyo must be, but enough.
Neons and spotlights and jumbo screens lit the black overcast from below. And beneath that sky, I walked nameless and alone through the streets of Nagoya, a stock character in a William Gibson story for two or three short minutes. It felt fantastic.