It is about 11am here in Ginza, Tokyo. The stores have been open for an hour, the weather is a pleasant 16C and sunny, and there are very few people here. The effects of the earthquake must be felt by the businesses here, largely selling high end brand items and other luxuries. That is not to say that there are not a few people walking around with a signature pale blue Tiffany & Co. bag or some specialty food from one of the many famous small shops here, but it is no where near the number of people you would to expect to see here on a normal day, never mind a beautiful weekend morning. People are just not thinking about luxury at a time like this. The same people who were hoarding toilet paper a few days ago are not too likely to be out here. For people like me who just came here to wait for someone and have coffee, the unusual quiet is actually quiet welcome but would be easier to appreciate if it were not happening for these reasons.
I guess part of me looks forward to the day when I will no longer have my choice of seats in this Starbucks because it will mean things are ok. Today, it feels kind of far away.