Tokyo is in lockdown. Except it isn’t. But it might be. Or it won’t.
No-one knows what’s going on.
Mayor Koike strongly urged residents to stay at home over the weekend, in response to a sudden increase in the rate of COVID-19 cases being discovered in the capital.
The advice was taken seriously, and hanami was eschewed, the official recommendation to remain indoors aided by a sudden blast of unseasonably cold air, and a snow dump on Sunday morning, leaving the suburbs quietly styled in pink, white and grey.
I went for a walk round the block, I confess, but I don’t think I got within ten metres of anyone else I saw out taking in the scenes, so don’t scold me.
And this week, the snow has melted, and there is still no lockdown, even as cases climb. Many choose to remain indoors, while others don’t.
Ms. Koike has advised against frequenting nightlife establishments.
I wasn’t anyway, but someone must have been, and I still see the touts and the girls outside the mirrored doorways and soft lights of the hostess bars, although not so many customers now, and fewer passers-by.
And the blossom is still on the trees, held in place by the unexpected cold. But it has to fall, green must show, and I check the numbers, ticking up.