Olympic guests have a view of Tokyo – from the bus
JAE C. HONG
As the bus rolls along a Tokyo highway, passengers take a fleeting glance at the Olympic rings floating on a barge in the bay. Colorful signs that dot the Kabukicho entertainment district parade in a blur. Tokyo Tower shines, if only briefly.
The pandemic-delayed 2020 Summer Olympics are days away from the start and thousands of athletes, officials and media descend on Tokyo in a state of emergency due to the increase in COVID cases. 19. For many visitors subject to strict protection protocols, the only way to get a glimpse of this unique capital is from a vehicle, taking sporting guests from the athlete’s village or hotel to the venue.
AP photographer Jae C. Hong has spent hours driving Olympic buses, trying to get a feel for Tokyo as the Games accelerate in a bubble.
For the Japanese, life goes on with little indication that a massive sporting event is about to begin. Streets of masked workers; a couple steals a private moment in a subway station, mask to mask; fishermen stand in their boats in a ditch; an elderly woman seeking relief from the heat walks with a small towel over her head; a police officer walks in cooling mists on patrol.
The view from the bus forces a separation from the subject, the bustle of the city is silenced by the closed windows. Yet over time, if you really look, a connection is woven with this sprawling metropolis which is a blend of modernity and tradition.