Sitting at my dining room table quietly sipping yuzu cha – a traditional Korean tea made by mixing hot water with marmalade – it would seem like the world is calm. But, as we all know, this is the most chaotic period we have seen in a generation. As of today, there are over 1.4 million cases of coronavirus worldwide and 82,000 deaths. A third of the global population is in lockdown.
Here in Japan – just 24 hours ago – Prime Minister Abe officially declared a State of Emergency for Tokyo, as well as six other prefectures. Unfortunately, like every other country, we just have to wait and see how our numbers progress from here. But with shops and restaurants not being *forced* to close in Tokyo, it’s hard to imagine how the situation can substantially improve. I believe, further down the line, more stringent laws may be introduced if we can’t manage to flatten the curve. Saying that, our numbers are holding, and our official death count is relatively low at 81. So, truth be told, I really don’t know what to think about anything anymore.
Like I have said before, daily life continues in Tokyo. If I look outside my window now there are lots of people about and the sun is shining. This stands in stark contrast to the footage I watch every night from other countries around the world: cities filled with empty streets and scared faces. As a result, it’s both calming and unsettling to the see the same scenes I have become used to over the past eight years. But March in Tokyo is a beautiful month, and the blossoms continue to fall, despite the rising uncertainty. I hope these pics will give you a bit of a break from all that’s happening.
March saw the arrival of the cherry blossoms – Tokyo’s suburban streets filled with sakura trees.
Walking under a canopy of flowers…
I spotted this little guy. I had never seen a blossom quite like this before.
At this time of year, the streets are covered in petals. Generally speaking, if the petals fall outside your house, it is your responsibility to clean them up. That’s one of the main reasons Tokyo’s streets are so clean: residents take care of what is outside their house, not just inside.
A courier delivering mail in the Setagaya suburbs
We took a trip out to Kinuta Park which has hundreds of cherry blossom trees
Sun shining on the Nambu line train platform. On our way to…
Kami-shinjo, an old-school neighbourhood located in Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki. Never heard of it? Neither had I – that’s why going to random places is fun.
Old-school vibes in Kami-shinjo. I loved the weathered, yet colourful, signs of this area.
No garden? No problem.
A cheap sushi lunch, with miso soup and fried octopus (pretty much just calamari). This was about ¥1,700 (£12) altogether which was quite good.
Thai food! Unfortunately, Tokyo’s Thai restaurants are all pretty samey, though Mrs IKIMASHO’s pad thai was actually really good here. If you know of any really authentic places I’d love to hear your recommendations.
A temple looking pretty in the sun…
And the snow!
It snowed pretty heavily on 29 March which is very, very unusual for this time of year. In fact, it hardly ever snows in Tokyo at all.
It made everything look peaceful
Snowflakes and flowers
- The skies beginning to clear. Positive vibes to you all, wherever you are reading this from ❤
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