Flash forward to Shibuya Station, a major transfer point between various subway and commuter train lines in central Tokyo. It’s the closest thing to a human beehive you’ll ever see. Thousands of people stream through the perplexing warren of corridors, tunnels and concourses. There is no bear-left or bear-right rule for walking: You look straight ahead of you, pay attention and take responsibility for not bumping into anyone. It’s an admirable approach.
The trains themselves are relatively quiet and impeccably clean. Japanese etiquette forbids eating or talking loudly on the subway. Cellphone-free areas and women-only cars add to the general air of calm and order.