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Japan: Is It Safe to Visit?

April 20, 2011

Where are these beautiful photos taken? Is this the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C.? No, it’s the 2011 Japanese spring bloom!


SITUATION IN TOKYO

Both Haneda & Narita airports are fully functional and operate normally. Trains and subways in Tokyo and Kanto Region are operating under near normal schedule and there is little inconvenience to get around within Tokyo metropolitan area.

Most touristic sights and attractions (Museums, Tokyo Tower, Zoo & Aquarium) have reopened and operate normally, although with energy saving measures which translate into slightly shortened operation hours or reduced lighting for some buildings, in normally “over lit” Tokyo!

Finally, radioactivity measurements by Japanese as well as international organizations show that the current level of radiation in Tokyo does not have any effect on human health and water has been deemed safe to consume.

SITUATION IN OTHER PARTS OF JAPAN & TRAVEL ADVICES

As mentioned in our earlier situation updates, except for the North-eastern part of Japan, most of the country has largely been spared by the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami. Although Japan has suffered an immense tragedy, the damaged area is really localized in the north-eastern part of the country, more than 250 km from Tokyo.

Therefore, in Hakone, Izu, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Kanazawa and the islands of Kyushu & Hokkaido, life continues as usual, with stores well stocked, gasoline largely available and all businesses fully functional.  In addition, except for the 30 km radius around Fukushima, all areas are considered safe in terms of radioactivity as well as all air travels.

International institutions consider travel to Japan as safe and have not issued any travel warning. For more information, please refer to following websites:

–     Statement from the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)

–     Map of Japan with major cities and damaged areas (JNTO)

–     Press Release from International Air Transport Association (IATA)

–     World Health Organization – travel advice for Japan (WHO)

 SITUATION AT FUKUSIMA DAIICHI NUCLEAR POWER PLANT AND IN NORTH-EAST JAPAN

Although the level of incident has been recently upgraded to 7 on the INES scale, this is more a retroactive upgrade, due to the release of water in the ocean, rather than an actual deterioration of the situation at the nuclear power plant of Fukushima Daiichi, which seems to have actually improved: the cooling of reactors is now under control. However, the amount of contaminated water in the plant forced the operator to release some of it into the sea, with unknown consequences to the marine environment. As a conclusion, while the situation remains locally serious, there is no threat to human health outside a 30 km radius around the plant.

A VIDEO MESSAGE FROM JAPAN: TESTIMONIALS

–     Interview of Travellers in Japan

–    Interview of Hotels & Ryokan

MAP OF JAPAN: DAMAGED AREAS & PLACES SAFE TO VISIT

 

© Japan National Tourism Office (JNTO)

 

 

CONCLUSION & FINAL MESSAGE

Now that the situation has improved and since many places in Japan are safe to visit, we look forward to resuming operations under more “normal” conditions. We look forward to any enquiries and fully remain at your disposal to give you more specific details.



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