With the governor of Tokyo requesting Tokyoites to stay home this weekend to help combat the spread of coronavirus, albeit only for the weekend, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe finally postponing the Olympic Games, it seems that Tokyo is finally reacting to the coronavirus pandemic.
With a growing number of workers being sent home to work remotely, we may see this self-quarantine phase lasting more than the weekend. So for those following directions, here are things to do while you hunker down at home for a fun weekend of social distancing.
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Catch up on some Netflix
What better time to catch up on what all of your co-workers are gabbing about and binge-watch Terrace House. For those who aren’t into reality television, we’ve compiled this list of television shows on Netflix you can watch while stuck inside. We’ve also been informed that the video-sharing service Niconico has been sharing one new Kyoto Animation property a day, and Japanese adult video company Soft on Demand (SOD) made 200 of their porn titles free on their website (though the site reportedly crashed on the first day).
Segueing nicely from Netflix (not softcore porn), for those using extra time at home to brush up on your Japanese we’ve compiled a list of Netflix shows that will help improve your listening skills. For those whose learning facilitation requires something more interactive, check out these more unusual ways to improve your Japanese. Whether you’re aiming for N2 or simply want to enrich your vocabulary, there are many apps out there to study kanji and Japanese grammar, from Duolingo (great if you just want to cover the basics) and Anki (if you’re ready for intermediate stuff and making your own flashcards). For those who are just starting their Japanese-language journey, the entire TW editorial team was happy to provide helpful advice.
Until coronavirus through a wrench into everything the Spring Festival in Tokyo was going to be one of the largest classical music festivals in Japan. Just as Beethoven didn’t let deafness stop him from composing masterpieces, the Spring Festival organizers didn’t let a worldwide pandemic stop listeners from enjoying the planned performances, live streaming some of the musicians as they played in empty auditoriums. Through March 29, you can still watch a recording of The Ninth Wave – Ode to Nature, a contemporary dance performed by Akira Tsujita accompanied by an ensemble performing music based on Beethoven’s work.
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It sucks being locked inside the house when there’s so much adventure to be had outdoors, but what if that adventure can be brought indoors? In response to the pandemic and with families in mind, global museums and aquariums have created virtual tours so you can enjoy a family day out without leaving your living room. Google offers a few virtual tours of the world’s museums and heritage sites. There are also tours of the Vatican Museum and the Louvre.
The British Museum has also created a virtual tour, and for a more child-friendly audience here are a few zoos that have set up webcams:
• Smithsonian National Zoo
• San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CA
• Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland
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PechaKucha – Online Presentations
On the theme of self-improvement from home, PechaKucha has taken its usual presentation style meetups and put them online. Follow the stories of different speakers, learn about urban farming, the correct way to wash your hands and more. By using the platforms creative mode one can create their own videos and online presentations, a great way to flex those creative muscles while stuck indoors.
For those with kids, an extended lockdown means restless children, especially for the youngest in the family. The ease of switching on Youtube or a video game and letting the young ones entertain themselves is tempting, but if this isolation period extends how does one ensure the kids won’t fall behind? Twinkl is an educational company that is offering up its library of over 600,000 educational resources for free for one month. Parents or educators simply need to visit here, and include the code JPNTWINKLHELPS in order to gain complete access to Twinkls online library.
For adults hoping to improve their business skills, Globis business school is offering free online courses for those who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Google has taken their street view application to another level by implementing a dog-walking element. Walk a cuddly Akita dog along snowy paths, up mountains and around a beautiful Japanese town. The Odate City Office’s Tourism Department sent three pups – Ako, Asuka and Puuko – out into the snow to show a dog’s eye view of the Akita Prefecture town. For those wanting to play with these adorable pups check them out right here and drag the yellow man to Roken Shrine to start your doggy adventures.
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