• SHARE

Except for the occasional buzzing of cars passing by and the gentle chirping of birds, route 172 — the main road that runs through Tokigawa — was quiet on a recent Wednesday morning.

The alleys were mostly empty and the mom-and-pop stores still closed. An older lady pushed a stroller across the street. From behind the steering wheel, the small town in Tokyo’s neighboring Saitama Prefecture appeared like any other sleepy community dotting Japan’s rural landscape.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)