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Crowding of Japan's leisure spots draws concern

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No surprise, no real and enforceable punishment including heavy fines and imprisonment, no adherence to social distancing and stay at home orders. And contrary to what some folks out there would have you believe, this is hardly an unique Japanese only phenomenon of ignoring/challenging authority.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Japan is a country where the word ‘inconvenience’ isn’t accepted in daily life. Customer is god, no matter what the situation.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

How is hiking alone in nature going to “spread the virus”, especially if you drove their by car or motorbike.

Let’s at least remain sensible here.

3 ( +24 / -21 )

These Japanese never follow rules, Tamagawa river near futako tamagawa station was crowded like zombies last week Sunday... I still wonder why western media always portrays Japanese people as law abiding citizen ...

9 ( +17 / -8 )

How is hiking alone in nature going to “spread the virus”, especially if you drove their by car or motorbike.

Let’s at least remain sensible here.

let’s be sensible here , with this Japanese over populated small island you can’t enjoy nature hiking alone !!! If you have climbed mt fuji you would have known !! Have to wait more than one hour to go to the top due to human traffic

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

it really makes me scratch my head when people still insist on going out despite the pandemic. Does going out and having fun outweigh the risks of contracting the virus and possibly spreading to other people, possibly to your loved ones? I've been itching to go outside since mid-March but have never ventured more than 100 meters from my house to buy essentials because of the risks involved. We can all go out, have fun and party until we collapse from it after this pandemic is all over, but for now just stay safe

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Why no quick and easy PCR tests in Japan?

Every pharmacy should be selling them and let people take responsibility for their own actions and health!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

the reason that activities like hiking, fishing, surfing etc are frowned upon is due to the unnecessary strain they might put on our rescue services. Let’s remain sensible.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Burning BushToday  06:55 am JST

How is hiking alone in nature going to “spread the virus”, especially if you drove their by car or motorbike.

Let’s at least remain sensible here.

Can’t believe it, I’m actually agreeing with Burning BushToday.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

My girlfriend's friend is a flight attendant and she said people are still flying...

Whole families are flying to Okinawa because both parents have been told to stay home because of the coronavirus! It's crazy how some people think.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

No surprise, no real and enforceable punishment including heavy fines and imprisonment, no adherence to social distancing and stay at home orders.

This puts to rest the ridiculous notion that all Japanese are polite and courteous.

And contrary to what some folks out there would have you believe, this is hardly an unique Japanese only phenomenon of ignoring/challenging authority.

I’m confused. Previously, you’ve failed on “some folks” for thinking that Japanese people mindlessly follow authority. Now, you’re railing on people for thinking that Japanese people ignore or challenge authority.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

How is hiking alone in nature going to “spread the virus”, especially if you drove their by car or motorbike.

Did you bother to read the article? It clearly states people are engaging in these activities with numerous other people, not alone.

Let’s at least remain sensible here.

Being sensible is not intentionally misrepresenting a news article.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

 It clearly states people are engaging in these activities with numerous other people, not alone.

And if those are the same 4 people you're supposed to stay locked at home with why not spend it outside in the fresh away, whilst maintaining reasonable social distance from strangers.

I'm allowed to sit next to my kids on the couch and watch Netflix together.

But it's unsafe for me to go hiking with my kids because we're not 2 meters apart when walking.

Give... me... a... break!

1 ( +12 / -11 )

And if those are the same 4 people you're supposed to stay locked at home with why not spend it outside in the fresh away, whilst maintaining reasonable social distance from strangers.

That would be okay, but it’s clearly not what the article stated is happening. You’ve decided to change the fact-pattern to fit your narrative. Do you not realize the rest of us can also read the article?

I'm allowed to sit next to my kids on the couch and watch Netflix together.

But it's unsafe for me to go hiking with my kids because we're not 2 meters apart when walking.

Good thing nobody is making this claim or you might have a point.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Why do the media focus on a few crowded spots, always crowded anyway. Most of spots are rather empty.

Outdoors hiking or sports is not a factor for virus spreading, there is always movement, wind and the virus disperse quickly.

is there any cluster related to outdoor activities ????

I did a cycling race at the end of March, we were 50 in the bunch together and it was not any problem.

And going to another prefecture is not prohibited, it is not a crime, so why reporting it.

Accusation like that is just a coward attitude.

I must myself go to another prefecture for work, but this is allowed, so why not for personal purposes

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I was down at Enoshima three times in the last week. Sunday was wacky. I walked the bridge for cars and bikes rather than the walking bridge. Beach had lots of kids and families. Surfers were sparse considering the spaciousness of the beach itself. Normally there would be a thousand out there not 100.

One very popular restaurant down towards the Sailing pavilion was open and two next to it but not crowded. On the island itself most places closed. Lots of motorcycles as well.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Took the train there and back as well. 3 to 7 people per car. I counted.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Those joint statements urging people to refrain from whatever usually have a powerful effect. I'm sure we'll see a big change this weekend. Yeah.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Given that surfing sells itself as a lifestyle sport for laid back people, I find it funny that its participants can't give it up for five minutes during a national crisis.

As for exercise, what you can do depends on the population density where you live. If it is high, whatever parks, hiking trails, riversides you have will likely get crowded, and that will limit how long you should do your thing there. In inaka, you can pretty much do what you want and not encounter a single person, so it would be ridiculous to hold it to the same standard. There are negatives to living in inaka, but it wins on this one.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Legislation is so 1960s in Japan. The weak point of the government is fully exposed. All businesses are based on the lack of economic legislation where consumers drive the economy but no rainy day fund. Insurance is probably just as bad where there’s ridiculous premiums for very low risk liable cases and no enforcement of public health and safety.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

GW is gonna be a nightmare...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I just came to Kyoto for sightseeing. Train was empty, Kyoto station was empty, subway was empty, streets are empty, combini was empty, riverside was mostly a few dog walkers. Museums are closed I think. Not sure about the central walking streets as it is too early, but it feels like a ghost town.

i think you can’t catch the virus from surfing. Only radiation sickness.

i think people are doing a responsible job.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Seems to me more people are out during the day...People everywhere, not just food stores

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Goodlucktoyou because you are mixing up and empty Kyoto with a crowded beach.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good luck to them if they need to get tested... go to the back of the line.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As long as surfers don't paddle too close to one another then they won't infect each other.

Surfers at most breaks naturally tend to paddle and sit apart a few meters from each other (mainly aside from Shonan and a few other crowded spots) .

In the water you'd rather be a few feet away so as to be able to more easily catch your own wave.

In the countryside where there are fewer surfers, infection isn't a problem due to ample distancing so they don't need to have authorities shut down these beaches.

The people in the parking lots need to be careful though since they tend to talk to one another much more closely.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Causes concerns? Make it illegal and fine them! The interim inconvenience will pale in significance to the potential mass outbreak infecting hundreds of thousands of Japanese.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

"the city issued a joint statement on Wednesday along with other entities such as a local chamber of commerce, urging people to refrain from sightseeing"

Well, that urge, and even emergency declaration demanding they think about it, has been in place for some time, and yet, lo and behold, the law-abiding and motenasu people are still out and about without a care in the world. I absolutely love the feigned surprise, though. I wish some of these people would do this overseas, like in Malaysia, and see what happens when you disobey actual orders. Better yet, I wish the government would get serious and realize that until they issue stay-at-home ORDERS (not suggestions), and ones that are punishable by MASSIVE fines (not 1000 yen) and/or jail time, Japan is going to be dealing with Corona virus long after the rates of other countries have gone down, and it will be shunned as a place of visit, and it's people not allowed overseas (or trade, to an extent). But, TIJ, so they won't.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@Burning Bush

How is hiking alone in nature going to “spread the virus”, especially if you drove their by car or motorbike.

Let’s at least remain sensible here.

And if those are the same 4 people you're supposed to stay locked at home with why not spend it outside in the fresh away, whilst maintaining reasonable social distance from strangers.

I'm allowed to sit next to my kids on the couch and watch Netflix together.

But it's unsafe for me to go hiking with my kids because we're not 2 meters apart when walking.

Give... me... a... break!

It's not so much about you spreading the virus when going for a hike in the nature (although spreading the virus is also a factor, if you visit gas stations, restaurants, cafes etc. on your way to the nature spot), but it's more about you taking the conscious risk of getting into an accident and thus causing a strain on the limited and pressured medical services in rural areas, in times like these. People will always think "I'll be fine, nothing will happen to me", but accidents are always, always, surprise guests. You never expect them, do you. You never know, when and how they will happen, but they do. It's not necessarily about you, but it may be about, say, an unexpected drunk driver that you encounter on your way to the refreshing nature spot.

From the article: "We can't have people getting involved in accidents in the mountains when the health service is in danger of collapsing because of the coronavirus," said Takashi Kawashima, a top official of the Japan Workers' Alpine Federation."

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Smith: As you well know, Unless new laws are introduced and passed in the Diet then a forced legal lockdown here is not possible under the current constitution. In central Tokyo it really is actually pretty deserted as so many buildings are ownd by the large corporates , so most restaurants/bars have been compelled to close by their landlords in any case. It is time for the parks and beaches to be cordoned off for sure, but the smaller restaurants etc really have no choice to operate without financial help from the Government. Without the option to furlough staff and gain rent/mortagage holidays then they simply will not close. You don't seem to have answer for this. At some point there will have to be a trade off between the economy and the infection rate. Fell free to thumb me down but this IS the real world.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I've said it before here, and I'll say it again - the outdoor weekend activities are a complete red herring. If most people are still going to work (and on Monday JT reported that over 60% still are) then people enjoying themselves outside at the weekend is more or less irrelevant.

I suspect a lot of those out at the weekend have reached the same conclusion - they are required to go to work, so are already being exposed, so there is no point in punishing yourself at the weekend.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@ADK99

I've said it before here, and I'll say it again - the outdoor weekend activities are a complete red herring. If most people are still going to work (and on Monday JT reported that over 60% still are) then people enjoying themselves outside at the weekend is more or less irrelevant.

I suspect a lot of those out at the weekend have reached the same conclusion - they are required to go to work, so are already being exposed, so there is no point in punishing yourself at the weekend.

"We can't have people getting involved in accidents in the mountains when the health service is in danger of collapsing because of the coronavirus," said Takashi Kawashima, a top official of the Japan Workers' Alpine Federation."*

Think a bit further. It's not just about the virus, being exposed to it, or spreading it, but it's about you possibly getting into an accident while out and about.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@commanteer: Well - I for one read AND watch British News - I make a point of watching Sky News every morning at 6AM - so evening news from the UK. The thing is - its NOT the point in Japan. Yes- I agree with you, the social distancing is a big problem - But how do you legally enforce here when it CAN'T be legally enforced. Most people here still seem to think there is a magic wand that can be waved

In any case, I agree with Mike above re sensible outdoor pursuits. However, I do agree that more needs to be done here in downtown supermarkets etc / packed beaches where there are clearly too many people packed together.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you were not at Shonan last Sunday then your commenting is hearsay. Please do not stir the pot.

There were lots of families together not intermingling with people they do not know...the norm for Japanese and in one point five kilometer of water there were 78 surfers. Not dangerous.

For the non-local surfers, they were put in much more harms way when they went to commute last Monday during rush hour.

Sorry, but I will continue to hit the beach and surf, and my buddies and I keep far apart doing ourselves and others safe, even though I think I had the virus already after Taiwan in January.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Eating lunch in a mom/pop sobaya in Kyoto. Many choices of small shops. Maybe 50% are open. Life is quiet here it seems. I hear no alcohol sales after 7pm in izakaya, so we will eat dinner at home.

Shame, it is nice to come to a big city. I want to support small businesses.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds like Central Tokyo - Very, very quiet but small, independent restaurants open with just a few customers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm allowed to sit next to my kids on the couch and watch Netflix together.

But it's unsafe for me to go hiking with my kids because we're not 2 meters apart when walking.

why is it so hard for people to understand, you stay home with your family your in your own quarantine zone, the chance of you and your family getting the virus is very slim. you take your family out to where other people are congregating you don't know who might have the virus, only takes one idiot to cough in your families direction. You go home one of your kids is now infected and before you know it your whole family is infected.

Its called quarantine for a reason, if your going on a hike where you know there will be little to no people that's fine, but purposefully going busy areas where there are many people is just plain moronic.

I went to cherry blossom with my family only 2 weeks ago by my car in a rural area, why, because I knew it was rarely visited by people during the week, we stayed for an hr and only saw 1 other couple on the opposite bank of the river 40m away, my families quarantine wasn't broken in any way. So unless you can take your family outside and guarantee they wont be close to anybody, stay home. No taking a train plane or bus is a fail.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Let’s at least remain sensible here.

Even though your comment was sensible, articles like this are out here as bait for the doom and gloomers. Hence they respond with, well, doom and gloom.

I mean, hiking is now socially damaging? LOL!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

TheResident: "Smith: As you well know, Unless new laws are introduced and passed in the Diet then a forced legal lockdown here is not possible under the current constitution."

Yup, and I know that even Japanese scientists are now saying how stupid it is to ask people to cut down on social activity but still get on a crowded train. You can keep talking about how the virus will magically avoid crowds in situation B, but not in A, until the cows come home but until the everything is strictly locked down your prayers and the prayers of the government for this to magically disappear or at least cooperate will not manifest, amigo. Japan will never get out of this as long as people like yourself go on claiming the most important thing is the environment, regardless of how many people die.

"But how do you legally enforce here when it CAN'T be legally enforced"

Simple. You change the law under the state of emergency and give the government power to do it. They seem to have no trouble doing that when they rammed through certain legislations in the past, and I bet if there's a major earthquake, war breaks out, or some other disaster there are emergency measures that can be taken to force evacuations or what have you. Is it ideal? no, but I'm telling you, until there's a lockdown -- which has worked in nations like Germany and New Zealand, among others, Japan will be dealing with this for at least until a vaccine comes into play, and the economy will be destroyed long before. If Abe decides on May 5th to reopen on May 6th it's actually not going to make a big difference here because they never truly closed. Pachinko parlours have more power than the PM, as to Izakaya owners, evidently. The 2021 Olympics are already toast given the indecision of people here. Hope you guys accept that.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Unfortunately, it’s inherent in most East Asian countries that legislation is an afterthought. To be fair legal measures were originally from the West and began in English so there are bigger issues introducing them into non-English speaking nations. It’s easy for Singapore with a much smaller population to implement laws that won’t have big ramifications compared to larger populated countries like Japan. As the economy has been based on economic fundamentals over many decades it’s near impossible for the government to deal with a radical change that is required here and now.

Anyway, someone prepare the charter flights please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I keep hearing stay home from the people who report what they saw.....when they went out. Too many people were out, so you should stay home.

Everyone claims there was no one else close by when they went out, but then report about all the crowds they saw. Its quite confusing.

Same as the choreographed dancing videos of nurses and doctors wearing PPE. from the supposedly overwhelmed hospitals that have a shortage of PPE.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Forget leisure spots, just the supermarket these days is like hell on earth. Entire generations of families now shop together daily. My supermarket closes early which just forces triple the number of people into few hours. There is no such thing as an offpeak hour now.

People get mad at me for buying carts full at a time when I go. Im not hoarding, I just dont want to have to go through that every day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"But how do you legally enforce here when it CAN'T be legally enforced"

Simple.

Yeah, because changing the constitution is a walk in the park right?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some of the logic in the comments and the govts thinking is completely floored, example Dont go out driving or hiking or surfing or anything, as although you are in your bubble you may have an accident, Ok so that can happen any time any where right !

So make sure you Stay home, and you end up getting drunk because you are so bored and nothing else to do, fall down the stairs break your leg at home drunk , now that is acceptable because you were obeying the strongly recomended suggestion of staying home in your bubble ......

Illogical & nonsensical , as currently there is only something like 231 people in critical condition from the virus so please tell me how is the health system unable to cope?

A car crash here, a hiker with a broken leg there, etc too much burden on the already crippled health system, you have to be kidding !

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If you do venture to a park for recreation half the damn place is closed off with plastic tape anyway, which only means now that those who do go to get some exercise and open air get crowded into half the space they normally would have. Their is just no logic or actual thought from anyone at any level of govt local or central in this country.

The open spaces are more crowded now than they ever were, complete stupidity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@smith: It really isn't that simple to change the Constitution - You really don't get that. You also don't get that at some point , not just here but elsewhere too the economy is completely going to not just be damaged long term but you will end up with MASS unemployment, Hyperinflation, Soup Kitchens - its potentially worse that the 1930's albeit in a different way. A Vaccine isn't anywhere close and even it could be tested and proved successful in the next 6-12 months, any production would be limited to key workers for at LEAST a further year - probably longer. There are many people that cannot even receive a live vaccine.

Yds - there are some countries that have handled it well, but really big picture we can narrow that down to Taiwan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. - possibly Germany and Denmark. The demographics of those that are dying by an overwhelming percentage are those over 60 (and actually older), and yes its true with underlying health conditions, especially Hypertension and Diabetes - those weakened from Cancer Treatment, and anybody who is taking drugs for autoimmune diseases. The exceptions are of course being highlighted, that is the job of the press after all and they are totally correct to report it.

This is NOT going away and its been coming for years, we've gone 100 years since such a major health crisis and its an absolute tragedy - BUT at some point the economy has to start again before its too late and sadly that is going to cost more life. Maybe me, Maybe you - certainly somebody we know.

You can bleat all you want about a complete lockdown - but that defintion is so different from country to country - by law, by cultural differences, by the form of Government they have. Its won't be just Japan that is dealing with this for a long time but all countries. People WILL rebel against it eventually, they already are in the US as you well know being so well informed, but thats generally religious fruitcakes.

Quite simply - this cannot be extended here even as it is much beyond June. The economy and fabric of society simply won't accept it. I'd really like to know where you see the trade off here, knowing full well that the constitution won't be changed and this is going to be it as far as restrictions go.

I've said for weeks now - you have been vociferous about this and I really question why you didn't leave when you had the chance ? I know people that did and I don't think any less of them for doing so. But for someone who is SO anti-Japan it really begs the question which you just fail to answer.

All the time you were sneaking around parks and McDonalds taking photos trying to shame people could surely have been spent packing your bags and getting a flight out. Now you're stuck - as we all are , unable to return if we leave.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Order online and pickup at the curb

No need to go inside if ya can avoid it

Don't bring the whole family

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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