State of Emergency
Reportedly, the Japanese government has decided that Tokyo will enter into the fourth State of Emergency (SOE) from Monday, 12 July. I, the founder of Story of Sake, Ltd, experienced the real lockdown in France in 2020, and the SOE is nowhere near the lockdown in terms of the life restriction. However, still, this is a huge deal for sake industry and travel industry.
For sake industry, the SOE causes good local sake to be less consumed, because people do not go out for drink. I do understand the importance of "stay home" from the viewpoints of COVID prevention and protection, but a number of restaurants/izakaya/bar that have been forced to close keeps increasing. Consequently, a lot of sake breweries are suffering from decreased turnover.
For travel industry, SOE is a big thing as it puts pressure on people not to move around. So many travel agencies and hotels have closed their business to date. Again, we cannot spread COVID by travelling, but it is not sure which would be safer: getting on a crowded commuting train in Tokyo or spending time in nature in Yamagata.
It would be great if you could consider not only healthcare workers but also those people who are suffered by the political decisions around the SOE. The conclusion is, please come to Yamagata when you feel like to help them and to enjoy - we are prepared with sufficient protective measures.