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2020.04.14

Coronavirus, a survey on the first weekend after the declaration of the state of emergency: the effects of self-restraint

  • Category culture

Streetcapes without clothing stores, restaurants and entertainment and the difference in crowds

 

With the fear of the virus spreading globally, Tokyo entered a state of emergency on April 7, 2020. With the renewal of the request of self-restraint regarding outings, this was the first weekend after limitations were applied to sales as well. At Style Arena, we examined Tokyo’s cityscapes on the first weekend after the declaration, focusing on the five locations where we shoot most of our snaps.

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 12:03 Harajuku Station

Harajuku Station, with its newly opened government building. There is no sign of the young visitors’ cheerful voices and the recently opened @cosme store has all its lights off.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 12:08 Harajuku Takeshita Street

Takeshita Street is a popular photo spot among foreigners, especially middle and high school students. There are no store clerks calling out to potential customers, and our eye is caught by shutters and regulation lines instead. There is no line at drug stores and convenience stores that remained open.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 12:17 Laforet Harajuku

On regular weekends and holidays, even just crossing the street at the intersection before Laforet can be a massive undertaking. Usually hidden by the great influx of people, the white crosswalk lines are clearly visible and so is the street on the other side of the intersection.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 12:24 Harajuku Lawson

On weekends, the area around Lawson is always crowded. During this time of self-restraint, there are very few people passing by.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 12:30 Urahara street (before Eggs Things)

The measures also had a huge impact on this popular pancake shop, which always sees long lines on both weekdays and holidays.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 12:38 Harajuku Cat Street

Cat Street, one of the popular alleys of Harajuku, is almost deserted. It made us wonder whether we were really in Harajuku!

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 12:50 Omotesando Hills

Even at the entrance of Omotesando Hills, which usually hosts photo booths for various events, access is blocked by a chain. There air is heavy and it doesn’t really feel like a Saturday.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 13:03 Cat Street (For Shibuya)

In Cat Street, there’s usually no lack of people coming and going. Its famous takoyaki shop is also closed. It’s a bizarre sight we have never seen before.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 13:29 Shibuya Hachiko

Hachiko, which is always surrounded by people, looks somewhat lonely today.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 13:42 Shibuya station square

Fewer people than usual also walk in the Scramble Crossing in front of Shibuya Station, but still more than we expected. In particular, we have spotted young couples and groups of men and women, meaning that the effects of the request to refrain from outings are yet to be fully noticed.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 13:50 SHIBUYA109

SHIBUYA109 has decided to close. Even at Shibuya’s landmark, where all the latest trends are born, there is no sign of the young customers’ voices and the impact of coronavirus is glaring.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 14:08 Inside the Tokyu Toyoko Line train

Inside a moving train. With almost no passengers to be seen, it looks like a private car.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 14:17 Daikanyama Station

Daikanyama is a holiday outing spot. Cafes and roadside shops in front of the station are closed following the request for self-restraint.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 14:31 Daikanyama address

This is Daikanyama Address, a relaxing spot which usually hosts gleeful parents and children with their strollers. No children’s laughter rings through the air, and many shops have their lights turned off. However, we spotted a few couples having dates around the area. Where are they going exactly, if most shops are closed!?

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 15:20 Ginza

The ‘pedestrian paradise’, which is usually crowded with many people on weekends, has also been suspended. It doesn’t feel like Ginza at all, and the WAKO clock also looks a bit sad.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 15:35 Yurakucho Station

The square in front of the station, which often serves as an event space, is quiet, and there are no gatherings or media interviews taking place.

 

 

Photo:Toshiyuki Maegawa(@toshiyuki0710)

4/11(Sat) 15:53 Tokyo Station

One would never imagine that this deserted place is in fact the main station of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. After the Olympic games have been postponed, the countdown timer is in vain.

 

 

With the announcement of the state of emergency, we felt that the streets were less trafficked and, overall, the self-restraint mentality seems to have permeated throughout the city. However, more young people, families and friends than we expected are still roaming certain areas. Judging from their carefree looks, showing no awareness of the risk whatsoever, we had a feeling that they were enjoying the vacant streets – a result of the influence of coronavirus. Some of their thoughts are crystal clear: “this is none of my business”, “I’m not gonna get infected”: quite disappointing. After all, a request can’t be enforced… So this may be all we can do.

It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to enjoy the beautiful spring climate this year. Although we can't see any signs of it ending yet, we’re looking forward for this period to be over and to the return of a Tokyo that is hustling and bustling.

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