National

COVID-19: The only story

Compared to many other countries, Japan managed to keep the global coronavirus outbreak relatively in check. However, it still sunk its teeth into every aspect of our lives. In this photo gallery, we look at signs of the 新たな日常 (aratana nichijō), or “new normal.”

Deserted landmarks, packed hospitals: Sensoji temple in Asakusa is one of the most popular tourist spots in Tokyo. Due to the impact of the pandemic, however, tourism from abroad dropped 99.9% leaving once-crowded locations empty. | OSCAR BOYD
Deserted landmarks, packed hospitals: Sensoji temple in Asakusa is one of the most popular tourist spots in Tokyo. Due to the impact of the pandemic, however, tourism from abroad dropped 99.9% leaving once-crowded locations empty. | OSCAR BOYD

Commuters walk through Shinagawa Station in Tokyo on March 2. | REUTERS
Commuters walk through Shinagawa Station in Tokyo on March 2. | REUTERS

An enrollment ceremony for new students is held at the playground of Senju Sakura elementary school in Tokyo on April 6 amid concerns over the new coronavirus. Such a ceremony is usually held indoors in Japan. | KYODO
An enrollment ceremony for new students is held at the playground of Senju Sakura elementary school in Tokyo on April 6 amid concerns over the new coronavirus. Such a ceremony is usually held indoors in Japan. | KYODO

As the virus spread, hospital staff were stretched to the limit. Medical staff treat a patient infected with the novel coronavirus in an intensive care unit at St. Marianna University School of Medicine Hospital in Kawasaki on April 23. | KYODO
As the virus spread, hospital staff were stretched to the limit. Medical staff treat a patient infected with the novel coronavirus in an intensive care unit at St. Marianna University School of Medicine Hospital in Kawasaki on April 23. | KYODO

Medical workers watch the Blue Impulse aerobatic team of the Air Self-Defense Force as they fly over a hospital to salute the medical workers at the front line of the fight against COVID-19 in Tokyo on May 29. | REUTERS
Medical workers watch the Blue Impulse aerobatic team of the Air Self-Defense Force as they fly over a hospital to salute the medical workers at the front line of the fight against COVID-19 in Tokyo on May 29. | REUTERS

The Tokyo office of IT company GMO Internet Group is virtually empty as teleworking spreads in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in February. | KYODO
The Tokyo office of IT company GMO Internet Group is virtually empty as teleworking spreads in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in February. | KYODO

A street in Kyoto is empty of tourists on April 18. | KYODO
A street in Kyoto is empty of tourists on April 18. | KYODO

Tokyo's Marunouchi business and commercial district is deserted on June 24, with many companies closed due to coronavirus pandemic worries. | KYODO
Tokyo’s Marunouchi business and commercial district is deserted on June 24, with many companies closed due to coronavirus pandemic worries. | KYODO

Chiaki Michibayashi joins an online drinking session from her home in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, on April 8, the day after a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo, Chiba and five other prefectures in Japan over COVID-19. | KYODO
Chiaki Michibayashi joins an online drinking session from her home in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, on April 8, the day after a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo, Chiba and five other prefectures in Japan over COVID-19. | KYODO

A notably casualty of the pandemic was the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After being taken down in August for maintenance, an illuminated display at the waterfront of Odaiba Marine Park was lit up once again on Dec. 1, symbolizing the hope that the event will take place next year. | REUTERS
A notably casualty of the pandemic was the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After being taken down in August for maintenance, an illuminated display at the waterfront of Odaiba Marine Park was lit up once again on Dec. 1, symbolizing the hope that the event will take place next year. | REUTERS

Yashiro Haga works in the kitchen of his empty ramen shop following the COVID-19 outbreak in Tokyo on Dec. 10. | REUTERS
Yashiro Haga works in the kitchen of his empty ramen shop following the COVID-19 outbreak in Tokyo on Dec. 10. | REUTERS

A geisha wears a protective face mask to pose for a photograph before performing at a party at luxury Japanese restaurant Asada during the COVID-19 outbreak in Tokyo on June 23. | REUTERS
A geisha wears a protective face mask to pose for a photograph before performing at a party at luxury Japanese restaurant Asada during the COVID-19 outbreak in Tokyo on June 23. | REUTERS

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)