Today is a national holiday in Japan. It’s Taiiku no Hi to be exact, or Sports Day, which is usually in mid-October, but it was understandably brought forward this year in order to celebrate the first competitive day of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Or at least what would have been the first competitive day of the Olympics.
Instead, it’ll just be another day — a day similar to so many of late. Like the one below in touristy Asakusa last weekend. A spot where up until recently it would have been packed beyond belief, and beyond even that the week before the Olympics. But these days it’s almost like the ghost of the Games haunts what now feels like a sightseeing ghost town.
The last few years, I was always wishing that Asakusa would stop being so crowded. Be careful what you wish for.
Crazy there’s so few people. Locals don’t frequent Sensoji Temple or is it because of “the situation.”
@Linda Yes. I mostly found it way too busy in recent years, but when most of those people are gone, you quickly realise it just isn’t the same without them…
@MM I know eh? They do, but not in the same numbers as tourists. Then add the current situation into the mix (especially as Tokyo’s Covid-19 cases are on the rise gain), and you end up with the scenario in the photo.
So many details in this shot! 🙂 I’m not sure there’ll even be an Olympics next year…….
Definitely a lot to take in.
Yeah, there’s certainly no guarantee it’ll go ahead. Not that it’ll make any difference of course, but public sentiment is also currently against the Games being held at all now. There again, that could quickly change if things somehow improve a lot, or a vaccine is produced. But we shall see.
What a view! In normal times, I’d marvel how wonderfully uncrowded Asakusa is. But, alas, these are not normal times in which we live… 🙁
Yeah, it’s quite spectacular from up there. It was the first time to stand there completely alone too. Usually a battle to get anywhere near the best vantage spot, let alone have the whole thing to yourself.
No, they most certainly aren’t. Once the novelty of how quiet it is quickly wears off, you just as quickly realise it’s simply not the same anymore. Yes crowds can be a pain, but without people places like this are really quite dull…
You have fed my addiction again Lee. Whenever I visit Tokyo with someone who is new to the country, I always take them here then on to Ueno Park so that I can feed my inner tourist. Of course, on a normal day I am frantically making sure that the newbie is not separated from me as I would never find them again.
Glad to hear it. I’m the same. As touristy as they are, I have a soft spot for both places, particularly Ueno. In the colder months when the light is low, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than Ameyokocho. But yeah, it was always very to easy to lose someone. Now you couldn’t even if you tried!
It certainly makes you think looking at this wonderfully crisp photograph of Sensō-ji and surrounding area.
I had a look through my photos and I have a few from that exact same spot at easter in 2015. It was early morning, around 10am, and it was raining, and yet still there were around 30 people per green roofed section of the Nakamise shopping street, wheras your photograph has just one or two in lovely weather and around midday judging by the shadows.
It suprises me there is so little difference in the buildings. Those red painted ones in the centre were beige, and the Olymic adver was an Asahi one, but otherwise almost identical.
And the Hanayashiki amusement park in the background. I wonder if it’s even open now.
Makes me look forward even more to our next visit, and next taste of fresh, warm melonpan 🙂
Thanks. It’s quite a view eh? And quite a change in regards the number of people. It was around lunch time when I took the photo, which on a normal weekend you wouldn’t even be able to see the paving stones of Nakamise, let alone make out individuals.
Good to know other things haven’t changed. And I’m happy to report that the amusement park was still open. The Japan Racing building is still closed though, so the little bars and streets nearby are lacking their usual interesting mix of visitors.
I’m sure the melonpan will taste all the more sweet when you do get to eat it again!
Rohan Gillett says
Very nice shot! I’ve taken this one myself numerous times before.
I’ll be honest (hopefully no one minds) … I’m in the anti-Olympics group. Japan just has so many problems that need addressing and I can’t see any big benefit coming from the event. The nuclear reactors in Fukushima still need a lot of work; as do some areas of Chiba (from last year’s typhoon); the economy has been ill for years and, I think I could write a lot more. As far as I’m concerned the government has put pride before commonsense. So much money is needed in so many different areas. I really hope it gets cancelled.
Cheers. Great spot, isn’t it?
I was the same when Tokyo was bidding for it. Felt there were so many more important things to pay for. Fukushima and those still affected in particular. Chiba like you mentioned, and the recent floods also prove that with a changing climate, a lot more money is going to be needed going forward.
Once it was announced I was simply resigned to the idea. For better or worse. With the cancellation though it’s clear that it is going to cost even more in the end, but then if it isn’t held, there’ll be no way to recoup at least some of the money…
What a huge mess eh? And all for a vanity project…
This is a great shot. It makes me remember of the insanely detailed Katsuhiro Otomo’s work.
Thank you very much! It was nice to be able to get all that detail in. Stands out more too instead of the huge crowds that usually end up being the main focus.