TOKYO, 12 Oct - Shops and restaurants were boarded up, public announcements on the streets were advising people to stay indoors and tourists were wishing they had packed the Monopoly as they kicked around the hotel waiting for Typhoon Hagibis to arrive on Saturday evening.
Even that daily seething mass of humanity, the Shibuya Crossing, was home to only a few foolhardy souls.
In short, and however much faith you had in your umbrella, there was no going out into the storm.
Josh Morgerman pays no heed to such perils. Host of TV show Hurricane Man, the American travels the world chasing down tropical cyclones, waiting until they make landfall and entering the eye of the storm to record the atmospheric pressure and generally document the experience.
Morgerman dashed over to Japan to poke Hagibis squarely in the eye. On Saturday evening he was waiting in the path of the storm in the port of Shimoda, on the tip of the Izu peninsula south of the capital, where he was chronicling the typhoon’s arrival via Twitter at @icyclone.
You won’t catch any of the Japan team joining Morgerman on his quest. Forced to wade through half a metre of water to get onto the Prince Chichibu Stadium pitch on Saturday morning, most of the Brave Blossoms stepped gingerly into the flood, although one or two found alternative ways to cross the river.
Luke Thompson was the first to try to walk the plank while James Moore somehow talked Jiwon Koo into giving him a piggyback through the briny.
Captain Michael Leitch was having none of it, jogging through the waves like Godzilla on a beach holiday before putting his team through their paces across the sodden turf in a repeat of the 1975 water polo test between New Zealand and Scotland.
Springboks weather the storm
Some teams may have cancelled their training sessions on Saturday, but not the Springboks, who were out in the rain and wind of Kobe to keep themselves match-fit during the lengthy gap between their last pool match against Canada last Tuesday and their quarter-final on Sunday, 20 October.
Inside-centre Damian de Allende, who hails from Cape Town, felt quite at home.
“Yes, it actually does (remind him of Cape Town), with the wind a bit. It’s been lekker (good), said De Allende, below right.
“We prepared to train at the indoor facility, but we couldn’t get there.
“So, it was a bit unexpected to train outside, but it’s always nice to get into the rain a bit and actually test your skills and the intensity in weather like this.
“Who knows – you might up playing in a match like this in the playoffs.”
Fathers can express their love in myriad ways: building a treehouse, playing rugby in the yard or taking their sons on camping trips.
Danie van der Merwe’s own fatherly gesture came courtesy of strong shot of peroxide.
The father of Canada’s all-time top try-scorer, DTH van der Merwe, has dyed his hair platinum blond to mirror the brilliant thatch his son is sporting at RWC 2019.
The star winger first tried the look ahead of RWC 2011, which came as a shock to his family, but when he went back to blond for Japan, his father and younger brother Peter followed in his footsteps – although not all family members were fully aware of the long-term repercussions.
"I made an appointment at the hairdresser and they did it. Now I’m going to go back. Apparently this is going to last longer than I thought," said dad Danie, who works as a physician on Vancouver Island.
"Everyone in town and in the hospital is going to wonder about it and I’m going to say it’s the stress of the World Cup that made me go totally blond.
"I don’t mind the white part because I’m old, but I’m going to cut off the yellow."
Shiz-story repeating itself
Much has been said about what gracious hosts the Japanese have been. But as well as learning the visitors’ anthems, adopting travelling teams and welcoming rugby tourists up and down the country, it appears they also know how to have a laugh at their guests' expense.
The Irish have been enjoying the craic in Fukuoka all week and they were out in force indulging in some pre-match refreshments at the fan zone on Saturday lunchtime, ahead of their evening game with Samoa.
And what should be showing on the giant screen for their viewing pleasure? A re-run of Japan's stunning win over the Irish in Shizuoka earlier in the tournament.
A win for Samoa over Ireland on Saturday night would have put Japan into the quarter-finals before their meeting with Scotland, so it's perhaps not surprising that this group of Japanese fans put in an extra special effort in performing the Samoan anthem The Banner of Freedom.
Stat of the day
Four years ago at RWC 2015, Japan and Scotland were the last two teams whose fate had not been decided on 10 October, 2015, the day Scotland met Samoa in Pool B. Scotland won and opened up an insurmountable six-point lead over the Brave Blossoms to qualify for the quarter-finals. Japan thereby became the only team in RWC history to not survive the pool phase despite three victories in it.