Seventy-year-old Yoshitomo Hara now lives in a housing facility, but he is well-versed in strategies to deal with sleeping rough in Tokyo during winter.

"If you have ¥100 or ¥200, McDonald's stays open until about 3 a.m.," Hara says in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district in late December. "When that closes, you go to the station. The shutters open about 4 a.m.

"The basement shopping arcade is warm, so you go there," he says. "You spread out your cardboard and try to cover your face. You'll find dozens of people sleeping there. In summer, you can sleep in a park. In the afternoon, you can go to a shop such as Yamada Denki where they have seats. You can rest there."