Some may shudder at the very thought of it, but more and more people are flinging off their duvets with glee and bounding into action-packed days that start when even larks are still lounging in their nests

The peaceful, wee small hours of the morning might appeal to those wistfully, romantically or energetically inclined, but they are also eyed by business types as a vacuum crying out to be cashed in on.

Accordingly, between May 21 and June 1, the central Tokyo district of Marunouchi was host to a major event promoting the benefits of rising early and making use of that time of day before the city's hum builds into a roar and its streets start heaving with people and vehicles.