Tokyo is a big place. The population of greater Tokyo is about 40 million. The population of Scotland is 5 million. San Francisco is less than a million.
I am here spending 14 days of self isolation in a tiny apartment. The Prime Minister, Suga san, announced a state of emergency yesterday. Essentially he says stay at home.
I don’t really understand this but apparently the Japanese Government cannot force citizens to do anything. They can only recommend. Well, I am recommended to stay at home except for food shopping, medical emergency, and recreation. I am recommended not to use to use public transport, metro, taxis, buses.
Anyway, where I am is in the middle of a maze of frankly ugly back streets.
Notwithstanding, I go for treks to exercise myself. The first is to the Sumida Hokusai Museum, which is close to my place. The weather is perfect, blue, crisp. Great walk during which I discover a shabby shop lurking under a railway viaduct that has excellent fish and wine. Can I go into the Museum? Inside is Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.” This is one of the best known graphics in the world.
I get lost walking home. I spend 20 minutes walking around my building without recognizing it. The Museum is only 10 minutes away.
Today I head off for Asakusa. This is about 25 minutes walk away. Will I ever find my way home?
Asakusa is wonderful. I go to the public toilet. I cannot remember being so happy.
There are lots of people. Stay at home? Maybe they are all, like me, claiming the exercise loophole.
Here is a film.
There are many beautiful young women wearing kimonos. Maybe it is a Saturday tradition to come to Asakusa to be photographed.
Amazingly I found my way home.
At home, I strip off and throw all my clothes in the washing machine. I scrupulously remove all coins, guns, knives etc from my trousers. These trousers are new and have a special pocket to house the Iphone. I forgot about this and remove it not. I put the phone through a 90 minute wash, which killed it.
Do not try to call me.