I've rarely felt more urbane than the last time I arrived in Tokyo. I had the foresight to bring my SUICA (Super Urban Intelligent Card), an RFID-based smartcard already loaded with yen left over from my last trip. Card in hand I swept through the gates of the JR transit line at Shinjuku station to the nearest automatic noodle restaurant, where I selected my meal from pictures on a vending machine positioned at the entrance. I touched my card to the machine and received a ticket that I handed to the staff at the desk, where the hot noodles…
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