Miracle Train Fact #1: The Oedo Line was extended through Tochomae Station and Shinjuku Station on December 19, 1997.
Saki Tocho examined the boy sitting across from him in the train car and pushed up his glasses in disdain. Bleached blonde hair, loose tie, shirt unbuttoned at the top, not even bothering with the standard Oedo Line jacket. Really, were there no rules to being part of the Miracle Train?
Shinjuku propped his hand up on his knee and started back at him. "So you're Tochomae Station, huh? I probably should have guessed. It figured that the municipal government station would be a boring uptight stick-in-the-mud. I bet all the people using you are boring old men in suits; why would any pretty young ladies want to go visit the government building?"
Tocho glared back at him. Why was he stuck on a train with this guy? He would have to have words with the conductor.
Miracle Train Fact #2: Shinjuku Gyoen, a large, sprawling park located a short distance away from Shinjuku Station, was formerly reserved for the royal family, and is now one of Tokyo's favorite places to enjoy the cherry blossom trees.
Shinjuku, it turned out, really liked drinking. He had sprawled out on a blanket under one of the blooming cherry trees, a couple of beer cans lying empty next to him. He waved to Tocho.
"Tocho! You're missing the Hanami festival! Take a seat!"
Tocho glared at him. "Shinjuku, we're supposed to be helping Miss Miyu solve her problem."
Shinjuku sighed. "Can't you do that on your own? She did get on at Tochomae Station. Just help her figure out that it's not really that hard to talk to strangers, and she'll be fine. Take her to Kabukicho to loosen her up."
"I am not taking her to Tokyo's red light district as a way of 'loosening her up'."
"Fine, do whatever you want." Shinjuku grabbed a third can of Kirin beer. "But you're on your own with this."
Tocho pushed his glasses up and headed back to the edge of the park where Miyu was waiting. He was going to hide Shinjuku's hair mousse when they got back to the subway train.
Miracle Train Fact #3: The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building was the tallest building in Tokyo from 1996 to 2006, when the Midtown Tower was completed in Roppongi.
Shinjuku came up from behind him and threw his arm over Tocho's shoulder. Tocho resolutely ignored him and kept staring out the window of the government building's observation deck over Tokyo's sprawling cityscape. You could really see everything in the city from 45 floors up.
"So does it bother you?" Shinjuku asked.
"Does what bother me?" Tocho said.
"Well, you're not the 'biggest' anymore. No matter what you do, you'll always be number two to Roppongi now."
Tocho turned his head ever so slightly to catch Roppongi's reflection on the glass. He sat next to Shiodome, pointing out buildings over in Shibuya Ward.
"I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh fine, fine," Shinjuku said. "But your forehead shows that at least other parts of you are still growing."
Tocho smacked him with the tourist pamphlet in his hand.
Miracle Train Fact #4: Japan's first Krispy Kreme Doughnuts shop, which opened in December 2006, is on Shinjuku Southern Terrace, just south of Shinjuku Station. Wait times for the store are often very long.
Tocho checked his watch and sighed for eighth time. "And why are we doing this again?"
"Because," Shinjuku said, unzipping his winter jacket just a bit, "Japan finally gets its first Krispy Kreme, and it's right next to my station! We need to visit this as soon as possible to make sure it’s a good place to take our passengers."
Tocho craned his neck to see the sign board around the huge line of people. "But the sign says we still have two and a half hours left to wait until we even get to the counter to order."
Shinjuku waved him off. "It was three and a half when we got in line, so clearly, we've made progress."
Tocho pushed his glasses up and sighed. They were going to be here a long, long time.
Miracle Train Fact #5: At 240 metres (790 ft) tall, the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building, located just south of Tochomae Station and Shinjuku Station, is the world's tallest clock tower.
Tocho and Shinjuku sat on a bench next to the Kinokuniya bookstore and watched the minutes tick by on the Docomo Tower's clock. They didn't say anything, didn't look at each other, but just sat as the other four stations entertained the young lady of the day.
"It'll be New Years soon," said Shinjuku. "Are you thinking of doing anything special for it?"
"Not really," Tocho said. "I was just going to spend it with all of you. I might watch a marathon of the new Oedo Cops show, or maybe the annual Red and White special."
"...would you like some company?"
Tocho turned to face him. "Are you offering?”
"Sure," Shinjuku said, still watching the clock tick by the time. "It's not like I have anything better to do."
"I'd like that," said Tocho. "Thank you."
"And we can project the shows on your enormous forehead."
Tocho smacked his arm, hard.