Doing the (w)right thing…Japan travel, April 2011

In exactly two weeks from today my husband and 13-year-old daughter have tickets to fly to Tokyo, Japan.  They have been planning this trip since last summer.  The itinerary includes 3 days in Tokyo (Hotel is paid for already) then south to Kyoto and Hiroshima, with another 3 day window for travel back to Tokyo or perhaps elsewhere.

We have not yet changed the airline tickets or cancelled any reservations.  Our feelings are very mixed, we are not overly worried yet about the danger of radiation exposure. The feeling seems to be that there is a lot of panic out there, stats I read yesterday stated that the levels being seen now in Tokyo are above normal but not too high.  I get more exposure in my biannual mammograms, they would have to be exposed continuously for over 3 months for there to be any kind of health risk.

This would not be the first time our family has travelled, no matter how coincidentally, after a major disaster.  NYC and Hawaii after 9/11, Phuket after the Tsunami there, Bangkok during the 2004 coup.  In this case we are concerned about what is culturally appropriate. Is it the proper thing to do?  Will my husband and daughter’s presence be appreciated during this national time of mourning?  It would be terrible to travel there and then feel like they are unwanted visitors. 

The few people we know who live in Japan are not in Tokyo and their lives seem to be continuing on as normal–as normal as they can with 4 after shocks a day.  In many ways we feel like it would be a show of support to continue with the trip, no matter how small they would be spending our dollars locally and directly.

We (I) would love to hear other opinions, perhaps from folks closer to the event than we are here in the PNW, and I’ll keep you all updated as 3/31 gets closer.



About elisethroughthelookingglass

A currently unemployed stay at home mom with the long time dream of writing my own novel. Not the 'Great American Novel', just a fun read. Since I am now the parent of teenagers I have been relegated to the back burner and am tired of waiting for my favorite authors to get their books out. Wish me luck on my trip through the looking glass.
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2 Responses to Doing the (w)right thing…Japan travel, April 2011

  1. Hard to say.

    I was scheduled to travel through Christchurch in mid April, and decided maybe it wasn’t the best time after the earthquake; I figured people from the city might not be overly welcome to me trying to see the sights int he area while they re-build their city.

    Having said that, you are NOT going to any of the cities strongly affected by the earthquake or tsunami. Tokyo right now is taking precautions just in case there is a nuclear meltdown; I strongly hope that the crisis will be adverted, in which case the busy metropolis will be back to normal.

    I have friends down in Kyoto, and life is going on as usual there. I’d keep my eyes on the news in the next few days, and hope for the best, before you make any changes!

    • I think we’ll give it another week….but your comments mirror my own thoughts. They have no plans to head north–why would they want to add to that insanity?
      Believe it or not I lost my luggage in the Christchurch earthquake!! I wasn’t actually there but had loaned it to a close friend and it is now sitting in the smaller hotel in downtown christchurch that the larger concrete monstrosity is leaning on!! Luckily my friends got out fine and made it home within a few days.
      On a differfent note; my other daughter and I are headed to Paris and London–which have been under an orange terror alert since October…it’s a risk but one I am willing to take.
      Thanks for your comment.

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