I lived in Tokyo for a year or so some time ago. A lot of that brings back fond memories and rings quite true from what I can remember.
One interesting fact about the police who man the small police booths that they talk about in the article is that they all must know how to prepare a meal called Katsudon. Which is a crumbed pork and rice dish with egg and onion. From what I was told it was so they could feed anyone that they detained. I never had to experience their hospitality while I was there, so I cannot confirm it 100%
I do have two interesting anecdotes that relate to that article though. My bike was stolen the one and only time that I left it unlocked because I had forgotten the key. I was not so fortunate as to get it back though
. I was under the impression that, contrary to what the article was implying, that bike theft was not uncommon. Like the man in the story, people seemed to take the opportunity of easing their walk home when it presented itself quite commonly.....again, I could be wrong.
After losing my bike to a theif, I often rode one loaned to me by one of the guys I lived with. It had a light on it that happened to be busted on a ride home once and I was pulled over by the very polite policeman who I think freaked out a bit when he saw me. I was 17 at the time and 6"4' and of course a foreigner.....I think he let me off with a warning and was happy to see the back of me
. My language skills were quite good, but didn't stretch to understanding startled policemen...hehe
Nice to reminisce.