News from Japan – Week 45

We start with the Olympics, a topic that is not very likely to leave us alone any time soon, considering the massive amounts of money already invested in it, not only by the Japanese government but also by many different companies. People who had already purchased tickets for the postponed 2020 games in Japan are slated to get full refunds. If you’ve purchased your tickets overseas, however, you are going to need to get in touch with your reseller on whether or not a refund is available. The Japanese Government has repeatedly stated that the Olympics are going to be held in 2021 no matter what but given the volatile situation that we find ourselves in recently, I still believe that nothing is set in stone.

USA Today

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2020/10/30/tokyo-olympics-to-give-refunds-to-ticket-buyers-in-japan/114542264/

Although Halloween was last week, I still thought I’d include an interesting article about one of Americas most successful exports. In recent years, Shibuya has become a famous location for Halloween celebrations. Authorities have not been too happy with this development, due to rampant public drunkenness and vandalism, which is otherwise quite rare in Japan. But this year more than ever, they wanted people to stay well away from Shibuya on Halloween due to obvious reasons. Instead of going there in-person, the tourism bureau offered people the opportunity to attend a virtual Shibuya Halloween experience, as the following video explains. This article is obviously written a week later, so I’m going to spoil it by telling you that the plan did not succeed, and people still gathered and celebrated in Shibuya on the 31. October. 

CNN Travel

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/travel/2020/10/30/shibuya-crosswalk-tokyo-japan-virtual-halloween-orig-mm.cnn

Kimetsu no Yaiba, or “Demon Slayer”, as it is being called by western media, has been taking the nation by storm. Wherever you go, you can hear the Theme song blaring, so much so that I am sick of hearing it, which hasn’t happened since the release of Kimi no na wa. In addition to the series being very successful on Netflix, there is now a movie which is setting record after record at the box office. As I am fond of saying, I do not watch a lot of anime, but even I started watching the series to see what all the fuss is about. Maybe I’ll report back on that in the future. 

Variety

https://variety.com/2020/film/asia/animation-demon-slayer-powers-to-new-records-at-the-japanese-box-office-1234821268/

Finally, we have an article on how railway companies are struggling due to people dropping their wireless earbuds. If you’ve ever ridden the train in Japan, you will know that people here are quite prone to dropping stuff. While I’ve never witnessed someone dropping their Airpods, I see people dropping their phones almost daily on the train or around the train station. If you drop something on the train tracks in Japan, you are supposed to inform station staff who will then use a specific tool, something that looks a bit like tweezers on a long stick, to retrieve your belongings. Climbing down and retrieving the item yourself is considered dangerous (for good reason) and you might not even be able to climb down due to the walls that more and more train stations are putting up to prevent this kind of thing among others. Retrieving your umbrella or smartphone is one thing but retrieving something as small as a wireless earbud has proven to be a challenge for staff. Completely anecdotal, but I feel like train delays due to dropped items on the track have been increasing recently, so maybe this is one reason to explain that. 

JapanTimes

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/11/04/national/dropped-earphones-trains/?fbclid=IwAR0Cv3fnsd_eGzzdILdX5ACdvriaCKWFGv2iCSLsBBK9xETjQLbLjxiocng

And there you have it, that’s it for this week. I could get used to 4-Work Day weeks (there was a public holiday on Tuesday), but alas, next week will be a normal 5-Work Days again. I hope everyone reading this (and everyone not reading this as well, of course. I don’t discriminate :D) has a nice weekend. Stay safe out there!

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