With Japan Closed To Tourists, Empty Buildings In Akihabara Are Increasing

Illustration for article titled With Japan Closed To Tourists, Empty Buildings In Akihabara Are Increasing
Screenshot: ONLY in JAPAN * GO@YouTube

With Tokyo still under state of emergency orders due to covid-19, and the country closed to tourists, businesses relying on visitors have been hit especially hard by the pandemic.

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As John Daub from the Only In Japan YouTube channel points out, “Akihabara is one of the places that has changed the most over the last year during the pandemic as a lot of these businesses geared towards tourists are gone.”

In a recent livestream, Daub walked through the district, which you can watch in full below.

Here is a selection of some of the empty buildings and shuttered shops that show just how Akihabara has been impacted economically by covid-19 and the tourist ban it caused. Note that many, but not all, of the shuttered businesses were previously reported on Kotaku (here and here, for example).

Illustration for article titled With Japan Closed To Tourists, Empty Buildings In Akihabara Are Increasing
Screenshot: ONLY in JAPAN * GO@YouTube
Illustration for article titled With Japan Closed To Tourists, Empty Buildings In Akihabara Are Increasing
Screenshot: ONLY in JAPAN * GO@YouTube
Illustration for article titled With Japan Closed To Tourists, Empty Buildings In Akihabara Are Increasing
Screenshot: ONLY in JAPAN * GO@YouTube
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Illustration for article titled With Japan Closed To Tourists, Empty Buildings In Akihabara Are Increasing
Screenshot: ONLY in JAPAN * GO@YouTube

People are still visiting Akihabara and supporting shops, but the lack of visitors is definitely noticeable and no doubt felt by retailers.

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You can watch the full stream below:

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

DISCUSSION

jesse13927
Jesse in Japan

On the one hand, it’s kind of sad how dependent Akihabara is on tourists. On the other hand, if you’ve been there, you can kind of understand why locals tend to avoid the place.