With a state of emergency in place in Tokyo due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Olympics host city hasn’t been as hospitable to the international press as it had hoped.

In a so-called Olympic bubble, separated from the city at large and prohibited from going too deep into the Olympic Village, the foreign press has had to cover what’s close to it — mainly, Japan’s ubiquitous konbini (convenience stores).

Like first-year foreign exchange students, they documented their findings on social media in formulaic, if slightly banal, photographs. Food and drink were splayed out on tables, or held aloft from the seats of a competition. If hints of the pandemic failed to materialize in other media, then it was through these konbini-related images that glimpses of reality parsed through: absurd and dystopian.