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Five insights into what Japanese people of all walks of life are doing to sate their need for travel and recreation amid the pandemic:

  • American cars have historically struggled in Japan, but Jeep looks to be on the up, particularly among young buyers looking to escape urban viral hell. “I like outdoor activities and I was looking for a car that has high horsepower and can carry a lot of baggage,” one 24-year-old buyer tells Bloomberg, adding that there aren’t many cars in Japan that look that cool towing a boat.
  • Speaking of boats: If you take my advice, there’s nothing so nice as messing about on the river, someone once sang, and in the age of COVID-19, it seems many Japanese people would agree. Sales of fishing gear and used boats are rising, and 2020 saw an increase in the number of people getting boating licenses, reports Alex K.T. Martin.
Yuki Muraoka, a fishing aficionado, swears there are more anglers than ever frequenting Tokyo's fishing spots amid the pandemic. | SHINTARO OGURA
Yuki Muraoka, a fishing aficionado, swears there are more anglers than ever frequenting Tokyo’s fishing spots amid the pandemic. | SHINTARO OGURA
  • Although visitors from overseas and outside the prefecture have dropped due to COVID-19, ski resorts in Hokkaido are seeing a fair number of local skiers this season, with some seeing an increase in such guests compared with the average year as locals take advantage of the less crowded slopes.
  • Wealthy people in Japan are turning to private jets in greater numbers as they seek to eschew crowded airports amid the ongoing pandemic, Bloomberg reports. And with a round trip from Tokyo to New York on a jet with 13 seats costing a mere ¥39 million (with added flight shame), why not?
  • Coming back down to Earth, the theme of this year’s delayed New Year Poetry Reading Ceremony was the kanji character jitsu, which can mean “fruit.” Japan’s imperial couple expressed their hope for the end of the pandemic in fruit-tinged poems recited on their behalf Friday at the event at the Imperial Palace. Next year’s theme is “window,” so take a look through one right now, get inspired and get composing!

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