As the bus rumbles down a Tokyo highway, passengers glimpse the Olympic rings floating on a barge in the bay. Colorful shop signs dotting the Kabukicho entertainment district pass blurredly. The Tokyo Tower lights up, if only briefly.
The 2020 Summer Olympics, delayed by a pandemic, are only days away from the start and thousands of athletes, officials and the media are rushing into a Tokyo in a state of emergency due to the rising COVID-19 cases. For many visitors under strict protection protocols, the only way to catch a glimpse of this unique capital is to take the sporty guests from the sports village or hotel to the venue in a vehicle.
AP photographer Jae C. Hong spent hours driving Olympic buses to get a feel for Tokyo as the Games bubble up.
For the Japanese, life goes on without a huge sporting event starting. Streets of masked workers; a couple steal a private moment at a subway station, mask to mask; Fishermen stand in their boats in a moat; an elderly woman who wants to recover from the heat is walking with a small towel on her head; A police officer walks under cooling mist sprays during a patrol.
The view from the bus forces a separation from the topic, the hustle and bustle of the city is silenced by the closed windows. But over time, if you look closely, you will find a connection to this vast metropolis, which is a mixture of modernity and tradition.
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