an empty street in Gion Kyoto

My Japanese COVID19 Experience – Kyoto

May 9, 2020

I was thinking a lot whether I should write this post or not, since the Corona Virus is not unique to Japan and it seems like everybody is going through a hard time, not only here but in many other countries too. Still, the change that Kyoto City has gone through in the last few weeks is staggering.

Therefore, in this post I wonโ€™t write about my frustrations, the way my life has changed, and my philosophical thoughts. Iโ€™m pretty sure youโ€™ve had enough of that ๐Ÿ˜‰. Instead, Iโ€™ll just give you a glimpse to the city I live in โ€“ Kyoto, and how it looks like these days.

a sign about COVID19
This sign was welcoming costumers coming to COSTCO.
a sign about COVID19
There was also an alcohol spray bottle for the usage of the costumers.
In the line to the registers there’s a mark on the floor indicating where you should stand. Keeping social distancing as much as possible.ย 
Starbucks in Kyoto
Although they’re not forced to by law, Starbucks has closed all of its stores.ย 
Starbucks Kyoto
Kennin ji
And many temples closed too, likeย Kennin-ji inย Gion.
closed temple COVID19 Kyoto
Gion COVID19
Gion never looked so empty in the Sakura season.
Gion Kyoto no tourists
Gion COVID19
Gion COVID19
Fushimi Inari 2020

Fushimi Inari has never been so empty.

empty Fushimi Inari
closed hotel Kyoto COVID19
Many hotels are closed for the first time as there are no overseas travelers nor domestic tourists.
closed hotel Kyoto COVID19
Yasaka street Kyoto
The iconic Yasaka Street is empty in the middle of the day. Usually you’d have to get there at 5AM to see it like this.
And so does all the beautiful streets leading to Kiyomizudera.

This Jinrikishaย (Rickshaw carrier) ย is waiting for the tourists that will probably not come. He told us that on a regular day there are 40 Jinrikishas working in that area, but today there are only 5 of them who are still hopeful.

mask shop Kyoto

Most of the stores are closed, and many ofย those that do openย sell masks (regardless of what this store usually sells).

mask shop Kyoto
masks distribution Japan COVID19
But if you’re patient enough – you might find some people giving away masks for free. We got some and it made us very happy!
face mask COVID19

In order to fight the Corona Virus, thereโ€™s a nationwide state of emergency in Japan until the 31st of May (as of May 9th). This means that schools are closed and so does some businesses.

I really donโ€™t know whatโ€™s going to happen, but I hope it will all be over soon.

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