Home Travel One More Reason I Want To Go To Japan This Fall

One More Reason I Want To Go To Japan This Fall

by joeheg

I still haven’t canceled our flights to Japan in November. Even now that American Airlines has made it easier for me to do so. No amount of side-eye from Sharon will keep me from leaving this trip on the books as long as I can [Note from Sharon: SIGH]. Mainly because I want to wait to cancel it until it’s close to the time I’ll be able to re-book the same trip for 2021.

I don’t want to admit it will be another year before I get to visit one of our favorite Japanese attractions. I’ll also have another year to hopefully see our favorite live Disney themepark show (because I can’t resist any chance I get to share a link to this show.)

Even if we’d be willing to travel this fall, there’s no guarantee that Japan would be willing to let Americans in. Their initial re-opening plans only include nations in the area who have coronavirus under control.

I just saw another reason that I’d want to visit Japan more than anywhere in the United States. Because despite their government not issuing any mandatory mask orders, almost everyone is wearing one anyway. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.

I’ve been watching the YouTube channel Tokyo Explorer, where they post videos if walking through the streets of Japan. While this might usually be a chance to see an unknown area, I’m going through multiple videos and noticing that almost everyone they walk past is masked up, and wearing the mask correctly.

There are many reasons for this. Japanese people have been wearing face masks when they are sick for a long time. Not to protect themselves but to keep others from getting ill. So when a pandemic hits, it’s no big deal for them to put on a mask regardless of if they think they’re sick or not.

Japan also has a huge cultural difference from the United States, where personal sacrifice for the public good is seen as an honorable act. In America, the rights of the individual are deemed to be the most important over everything else. Even if that means your right to not wear a mask puts others at risk of getting sick.

That might be a reason the chart of cases from the two nations looks like this.

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 10.54.28 PM

And as you can see in the videos, Japan’s economy is open. People are out and about. Maybe things aren’t as busy as before, but when people go out, they’re obeying the non-mandated-guideline about wearing masks.

Tokyo Disneyland Resort is also re-opening on July 1st. The rules are notably different from those in the parks in Orlando:

  • Guests will be required to wear masks at all times inside the parks, except when dining. However, in order to prevent heat stroke, during the summer season when the temperature and humidity are high, if guests are outdoors with adequate distance from other people, masks may be removed.
  • Please take your used mask home.
  • Please be considerate of others when coughing or sneezing.

How can they do this? Because they know people will keep their mask on when they’re supposed to and only remove it if they’re sufficiently distanced from any other guests.

Final thoughts

There are many things people want in a vacation destination right now. We’d typically be visiting the Texas Hill Country right now, but the Governor of Texas just had to shut down the tubing companies because people weren’t following distancing guidelines while floating on the river. No Texas visits for us this year.

Instead, we’ve been looking for a social distancing compliant location, even if everyone else is looking for the same thing. I guess what we’re actually looking for is a place to go where everyone else cares as much about staying safe as we do. Japan seems to be a place where they’re doing that but they don’t want people from the USA to visit.

I guess this is a long way to say, “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

3 comments

Bob M June 29, 2020 - 5:48 pm

As a long term resident of Japan, I can confirm that your opinion on mask wearing in Japan is correct. People here have worn masks when they are sick, or worried about getting sick or hay fever. But usually only 10~50% wore masks on any typical day. Since Covid-19 broke, mask usage increased to 99%+ in public.
I am just back from weekends in Tokyo and Kyoto this month. While Kyoto 3 weeks back was almost devoid of tourists, Tokyo last weekend was bustling with millions of people moving out and about, but with masks.
The other reason for Covid-19 being under control here is that Japan has always been fastidious about cleanliness and hygiene – not just as the leader in Asia but arguably the world.
Finally, the Japanese do not regard this pandemic as a hoax. It’s very real and will keep you guys from being welcomed into countries that are capable of resisting your tourism income. Sorry!

Reply
Jacob June 30, 2020 - 2:04 am

I am booked for a trip to Japan in September that sadly I will have to cancel. I’ve been hanging on like you, but the writing is clearly on the wall. There is no way I will be able to go. 🙁 All your points about Japan are correct, which just infuriates me about how many people are in the US. It makes me want to leave this country. There is so much unreasonable behavior that it is bringing the country down, regardless of who the president of the US is.

Reply
Eliza Brown July 1, 2020 - 9:21 pm

I booked trip to Japan in November and I have not canceled it yet. I will wait a little longer, cause I really want to go there !

Reply

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