First signs of central Tokyo shutting down with the unprecedented closure of a youth hotspot. 

On Wednesday night, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike held a press conference where she informed the public that 41 new cases of coronavirus had been reported in the capital. This was the largest-ever spike seen in Tokyo, and the governor urged residents to avoid going out at night and asked them to “avoid non-essential outings by all means necessary this weekend.

Of course, as we all know, asking people to refrain from going out when stores, cinemas, and restaurants remain open as usual is likely to prove unsuccessful, especially when you’re trying to reach younger members of society who see weekends as a prime opportunity to shop and socialise with friends.

However, a surprise announcement has just been made by one of Tokyo’s most popular hangouts for young people, the iconic Shibuya 109 shopping complex, to help ensure Koike’s request doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

The above tweet reads:

“We’re entering a really tough and serious phase with the coronavirus.

Live events and shows by popular idols have been called off, and parents haven’t been able to see their children graduate on stage, so to make sure these sacrifices haven’t been in vain, Shibuya 109 is doing its part to help things settle down with the coronavirus by closing temporarily.

It’s tough, but let’s work together to prevent the virus from spreading.

As a shopping complex that’s popular with teens both in and outside of Tokyo, Shibuya 109 has tapped into the frustrations that many of their customers must be feeling right now, with a tweet acknowledging the recent cancelled events, and missed graduation ceremonies that occurred as a result of school closures.

However, the multi-storey complex wants their young customers to know that they’re not trying to rain on everyone’s parade by acting like the fun police, as the closure genuinely has the best interests of their customers in mind.

The official site reveals the closure will be in effect all weekend, from Saturday through to Sunday, with shorter trading hours on Friday and Monday seeing stores open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Some restaurants and stores may have slightly different trading hours when they’re open, but the doors to the entire complex, and the nearby Magnet building run by Shibuya 109, will be closed all weekend.

With Governor Koike previously saying that Tokyo could go into lockdown if the spread of the virus could not be contained, here’s hoping people young and old heed her requests to stay in this weekend and resist the temptation to enjoy hanami cherry blossom parties, as many did last week.

Source: Shibuya109 
Featured image: © SoraNews24
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