A mixed start to Golden Week 2020

There has been an eerie start to Golden Week this year in what is usually one of the busiest times of the year for travel.

Coronavirus fears left Japan’s normally jam-packed bullet trains and expressways deserted on the first day of Golden Week on Saturday as the pace of infections showed little sign of slowing.

JR Tokyo Station is empty on Saturday morning despite the start of the Golden Week holidays. | KYODO

Many of the Shinkansen (Bullet Trains) leaving Tokyo Station Saturday were over 90 percent empty according to the Railway companies that operate them.

On the other hand, while most people stayed at home, Pachinko Parlours in Osaka Prefecture seemed to be relatively busy after six companies defied orders to close while the emergency declaration was in place.  Over 200 punters could be seen outside one of them on Sunday morning queuing up without practicing social distancing.

大阪のパチンコ店に数百人の行列 休業要請、店名公表後もなお4店舗が ...

Over 200 people line up outside one of Osaka’s Pachinko gambling parlours. ANN.

Osaka has been the second hardest hit area by the Coronavirus behind Tokyo so many citizens have been expressing their anger on social media. The problem is, under Japanese Law, the Government cannot order businesses to close – they can only urge them to do the right thing.

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