How the megapolis looked with 99.9 percent fewer sightseers
Although the state of emergency has been lifted across Japan, the impact of COVID-19 is still immediately obvious at popular tourist spots across Tokyo and at the city’s major transport hubs.
They remain far quieter than normal, although this is hardly surprising. April’s tourist numbers were down 99.9 percent from a year earlier, from around 3 million to just 3,000. The number of people using the city’s transit network has also plummeted, with the central Yamanote Line recording a 60 percent drop in commuting passengers following the state of emergency.
Before COVID-19, I’d never thought of Tokyo as a quiet city but throughout the state of emergency I began to doubt myself. In normal times, its central zones are thronged with people — locals, commuters, day-trippers and tourists from around the world. Which is why it felt so strange seeing empty streets, the city’s most frequented places deserted apart from a few lonely stragglers.
This series, taken throughout April, attempts to capture the feeling of how Tokyo looked during the height of the state of emergency. The same city, but without its people.