Skip to content

Mar. 22 Update – Japan is ignoring social distancing during cherry blossom season.

Note: This was written on and around March 21 and 22. I was only able to upload on the 24th.

The warm weather or the blossoming flowers are great reasons to get out of the house. Put the two together and you have an enticing duo that can’t be ignored. The cherry blossom viewing, hanami, is centuries old tradition that can’t be broken even during virus pandemic. This is the first time I have witnessed this celebration and I am not sure what the typical size of crowds are. But I can confidently say, in this time where social distancing is the protocol, this is a high amount of traffic walking the parks and streets of Tokyo. Including myself. Is this a confident gamble or blissful ignorance by the people of Tokyo? We shall see.

Numbers are rising

This past week saw a spike in cases of COVID-19, and yet overall the numbers seem low compared to other countries. Countries that encountered the disease after Japan have already surpassed Japan’s numbers. Theory here is that Japan is still not testing has many people has it should. Some news outlets are reporting that the reason for the low infection numbers is that Japanese people are being careful and wearing masks. The cynic in me believes that Japan is purposely covering the numbers due to the Olympics. The country tourism has taken a huge hit already. Cancelling or delaying the games would further hurt the economics.

I left for back home

I left for home. Canadian government called on all travellers to come back in order to avoid possibly being trapped. And that’s what I did. Air Canada allowed people to change their plans without penalty in this current situation. I’ll be arrive back and plan on doing the 14 day self quarantine.

I will share more with you soon……

COVID-19 In Japan Mar. 18

A lot has happened in the world since my last post. The overall mood is quiet with majority of people being concerned while not freaking out.

Here in Japan, majority of people are still wearing masks, the ones that not wearing have probably ran out.
I still can’t find masks to buy.
I still can’t find hand sanitizer.
But at least toilet paper has been stocked up onto store’s shelves, not completely full but a better sign of the times.

Closures around country
All the things that closed down later February and early March are still
closed. But now hanami – flower viewing – has been added to the list.

Very little tourists
Streets in high tourist areas seem very empty at times. It seems that all but a few tourists have disappeared. Tourists are easily spotted including myself.

Hanami – Flower Viewing
Cherry blossoms season is here. The first buds have opened this week as temperatures have begun to rise. We have been seeing temperatures rise to 15°C /59°F in the afternoons.
The sakura – cherry blossoms, or lesser known, ume – plum tree, viewings celebrated in parks with food and drinks during the day or night. But this year looks like there wont be celebrations happening. But the locals will enjoy the flowers blooming as I see many coming to parks and shrines by themselves.