On March 13, the “no mask” ban was lifted. The government issued a guideline stating that the wearing of masks should be left to individual judgment, and on March 13, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also went to work at the Prime Minister’s Office without wearing a mask. For the past three years, the wearing of masks has been recommended to control the spread of the new coronavirus. Although masks were bothersome at first, people gradually got used to them and they became a part of their daily routine. ……
On the 13th, the “no-mask ban day,” FRIDAY Digital conducted interviews at various locations in Tokyo to investigate people’s reactions. We observed reactions unique to each city.
14:00 Ikebukuro Station area
Masks were worn by 90% of the respondents.
The area around the east exit of Ikebukuro is known as “Little China,” with many people from China. Buildings around the station had double signs in both Japanese and Chinese with strict instructions to wear masks in elevators, and many people were still wearing masks, as the full ban on masks is far from being lifted.
Many people were still wearing masks. Women in headdresses, who were probably attending the graduation ceremony of a nearby university, were also wearing masks. The percentage of older people wearing masks seemed to be particularly high, and some men were seen wearing high-end masks with large filters.
16:30 Ginza, Mitsukoshimae
Mask-wearing rate was 70%.
Because of the rain on the 13th and the fact that it was a Monday, there were not many people on the street. While people enjoying window shopping were mostly wearing masks, about 80% of foreign tourists were without masks. Even the lion of Ginza Mitsukoshi, who should have been wearing a mask during the Corona epidemic, …… finally showed his brave bare face with no mask.
16:45 Shinagawa Station, Shinbashi
90% of the respondents wore masks.
Almost all of the retiring salarymen were wearing masks at the time when the rush hour to go home begins. It seems that masks are still required when riding the train. There were also a few foreign tourists at ……. Perhaps it was because they were in a train station, but about half of them were wearing masks.
17:00 Kabukicho, Shinjuku
60% of the respondents wore masks.
Kabukicho, Shinjuku at sunset. Even though it was early in the evening, the usual scene of touts at girls’ bars and other places lined up here and there. The women touts were all wearing no masks, perhaps to show their faces, and were talking to people on the street. The security guards lined up next to them were wearing masks.
17:30 Shinjuku Station East Exit, Shinjuku
Masks are worn 70% of the time.
In front of the East Exit of Shinjuku Station, many tourists are “waiting for cats” with their smartphones in hand, to see cats that appear at regular intervals on the well-known vision screen.
The percentage of Western tourists wearing masks is low. On the other hand, Japanese and Asian tourists wore masks almost 100% of the time.
19:00 Takeshita Street, Harajuku
80% of the people wear masks.
On a weekday night, Takeshita-dori is a little less crowded. In such a situation, there were many young people enjoying drinks and eating classic crepes, and there were even a few people who temporarily removed their masks.
19:30 Shibuya Miyashita Park
80% of the people were wearing masks.
Stickers encouraging people to enter restaurants on the first floor of Miyashita Park were still in place, encouraging people to wear masks. 13th night was suddenly cold, and few groups chose to sit outside. The stickers recommending “masked dinners” remained in place, but the …… drinkers and diners were still wearing no masks, and many of the people coming and going right next to them were wearing masks at a higher rate.
20:00 Shibuya Scramble Crossing
60% of the people were wearing masks.
Many young women wear colorful masks. At the scramble crossing, a group of people without masks, who appeared to be foreign tourists. Some groups were excitedly taking commemorative photos at the crosswalk every time the traffic light changed.
20:50 Budokan, Kudanshita
The percentage of people wearing masks was 10%.
The end of the live performance of the rock band “Deep Purple. The middle-aged rock fans leaving the Budokan one after another were wearing masks at a rate of almost 100%. Although it was mandatory to wear masks during the concert, the white masks that floated in the dark stood out quite prominently.
On the 13th, the “No-Mask Day,” about 80% of people in Tokyo were wearing masks.
The number of newly infected persons in Tokyo on that day was 313, down 22 from the same day the previous week. Although we still cannot be too careful, this number is significantly lower than the 40,406 people who were infected last July, when it was the largest.
Will the day be soon when everyone can laugh at the fact that they all wear no masks?
Photo / Reporting： Shinji Hamasaki and Takeo Shibata