Shibuya Nonbei Yokocho: Coping with the COVID-19 situation
Aired: May. 28, 2020
“Nonbei Yokocho,” is an area where about 40 cozy eateries and watering holes line the streets, located a one-minute walk from the famous Shibuya crossing. This segment documents how the landscape has changed since the effects of the COVID-19 crisis hit the area, as well as the efforts of Nonbei Yokocho Publicist Mikuriya Koichiro to help sustain businesses through crowdfunding.
Drunk Alley has always been and still is one of the "happening" places in Tokyo. Perhaps it is the timeless feel and aura of the alley that even the social media-driven millennial generation find it cool. It was good to see that people who run their businesses at Nonbei Yokocho are hopeful for a better and cheerful future.
It is sad to see the bleak atmosphere of Nonbei Yokocho due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The global food and beverage industry are badly affected by the pandemic. Shop owners at Nonbei Yokocho initiated crowdfunding with a hope to create greater awareness about Nonbei Yokocho. I hope more people will patronize and support them after the pandemic. However, this pandemic has taught us the importance of face to face interaction.
The idea of keeping the spirit of Nonbei Yokocho alive is presented by bar owner Kimura Yosuke, through the “Online Yokocho.” This gives the people freedom to keep enjoying drinks with friends and patrons, and also prevents people from becoming lonely during the lockdown. This segment gives a good example on finding solutions for current issues and expresses the strong wish to return to a state of normality soon.