Cherry Blossom in Tokyo during COVID-19 Pandemic

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Cherry Blossom in Tokyo during COVID-19 Pandemic

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When I landed in Japan on end of March, I was taken back at the cherry blossom blooming completely. After moving to U.S. in Freshman year, I have never thought I would see cherry blossoms again in Japan because the season is in the middle of the school year. Even though it was in the middle of the pandemic, I noticed that there were so many people out in the river seeing cherry blossom without taking proper social distancing rules. I think this was because the Japanese government did not close down famous parks and rivers until the number of COVID-19 patients got out of control. A little before I landed, there was a 3-day weekend, and my mom had told me that there was immense amount of people outside to see the cherry blossom even though we were in a pandemic and the government actually insisted on going out because it is an
holiday. After the number of COVID-19 patient increased drastically, the government insisted on people to stay home. However, unlike other countries, Japanese government cannot enforce people to stay home, but rather just say “please stay home”. The residents and citizens will not be punished because the rules are not enforced. For me, I stayed home and watched cherry blossom from the deck, and just enjoyed it from my house to be safe. Even though the government insisted on staying home, I noticed a lot of people still going out to see the cherry blossom because it is there culture and a seasonal event called “Hanami”. On the news, there were constantly reports saying that the patient went to the famous cherry blossom parks, and yet we still see people there because they think it was ok unless they are “somewhat” careful. Honestly, I was very frustrated and the issue because it was not like the cherry blossom was going to be gone after this year, and felt it was very irresponsible for others.

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This item was submitted on September 16, 2020 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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