Travelling during Covid-19 pandemic
Lockdowns and quarantine
While most of the world are shutting down and people mostly stay outdoors, here in Japan is the opposite. Life is near normal to support the economy. There are no military orders and most people go to their jobs and children go to schools. Big events are cancelled. But life should not always be work and work. We have to relax and play as well and the most common hobby to enjoy and be happy during this pandemic is travelling.
Domestic travel boom
Japanese people are accustomed to travelling internationally. Japanese passport ranks no.1 of the world so those who are travelling for leisure could feel the boredom of just staying at home or at their local hometowns. Since Japan is closing their doors internationally, the government is encouraging the citizens to travel domestically through the “Go to Travel” campaign. It is a big help and in my experience this summer, my family headed to Nikko City in Tochigi to escape the summer heat. We are very mindful of the SOPs to prevent infection. Wear masks, avoid crowded places, wash hands frequently and bring our own food. This was the only safest option because the city`s attractions are scattered geographically and most people do not concentrate on one place. We took advantage of the city’s mild weather so most of all, we strolled and explore without worrying about heatstroke.
Nikko City is a popular destination for all seasons. It is located in Tochigi prefecture and it is a haven for nature lovers. It is an ideal destination for people who love the outdoors and is family-friendly. With an average temperature of 19-23C in summers, it is perfect for enjoying a ride at Chuzenji Lake and exploring the Toshugo Shinto Shrine as well. Adding to the list of attractions are Kegon Falls and the picturesque Shinkyu Bridge. At lunch, we had a picnic with our homemade obento in Senjougahara which is a totally very laidback outdoor space in Nikko.
We ended our trip by taking pictures at Nikko station and buying a souvenir in a not-so-crowded souvenir shop. We headed back home by car which is the safest way to reach our destination. Although commuting is convenient for some people, I prefer driving your own car in pandemic times. Less contact with people and safer as well. It was a fun and affordable trip. Our aim is to enjoy the outdoors or change the atmosphere to take a break from heartbreaking news of coronavirus cases and deaths. We may not able to travel overseas as we used to but exploring the nearby town or city attraction gives us happiness and relaxation in this crazy situation. People have had enough quarantines and avoiding contact with people. But once in a while, take a break, travel and explore while at the same time being mindful of the government’s order to avoid the spread of infections.