Sandpanther (sandpanther) wrote,

View From The Ground

Just got back from Japan. Short description of the affect in Tokyo and Kyoto from the recent disasters: next to none. In Kyoto there were the standard "ganbare Nihon" signs and collection boxes for disaster relief, but otherwise the only other affect is that there were distinctly fewer tourists. If one didn't know to look for signs of the recent disasters one would miss it completely, particularly if they're not fluent in Japanese.

Tokyo's a bit of a different story, due to the power crunch. First timers to Tokyo will notice nothing particular, though people who have been there before will notice differences everywhere that give a background feeling of endurance. Many escalators are shut down, Lights in all vending machines are off though the vending machines do still work. So much of the neon is turned off that going through Shibuya, Shinjuku and Akihabara at night was kind of creepy. There's just dark outside the train windows, with periodic lit streets. It's not unsafe, it's just so different from the usual from the norm that it stands out. Temperatures were decidedly warm when I was there, but not at summer heat level yet. Power consumption was between 70% - 90%. Either people will put up with melting all summer, or rolling blackouts will come back.

Oh, and Tokyo Tower is still listing slightly. The initial earthquake damage has been fixed, but if you look at it, it's obviously not fully straight yet.

Bottom line: Go to Japan. From a tourist perspective it's perfectly fine. And the folks there would appreciate the support.

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