Why you should go to Japan now
This post is in no way minimizing the radiations problem. I hope, however, that it will make you think about turning off your TV and checking various reliable sources ( = not medias wanting to use a story to make a profit), as well as using your brain. In the end, going to Japan is your own choice, but make sure you are not doing this without having done your researches.
2011 wasn’t, and still isn’t, a good year in the Land of the Rising Sun. From March 11th, shit is constantly happening, from numerous earthquakes always in the same region, to huge problems at the nuclear power plant of Fukushima, it just never stops.
It’s like the gods were angry at the east Tohoku region and decided to strike it with everything they could think of, including a huge tsunami.
As if that wasn’t enough, something else happened : fear.
How many times did I read, see or hear, that Japan was now a very dangerous place that tourists should avoid? I heard so many times that the whole country was full of radiations, it made me shake my head. Just look at a map of Japan ! Look at how tiny Fukushima is, and look at the area around it ! Japan is big. There is no way the entire country could have been touched by a level of radiations which is dangerous for human beings.
Due to all of these happenings, Japan was struck by an economic crisis as well. The country needs money to help its own people in the North, who are still stuck in shelters.
So, why should you visit Japan now ?
1) HELP THEM
Tourism is needed. It brings money, so even if you don’t go to the North to volunteer, just the fact that you bought a bottle of C.C Lemon at Narita airport is one more step forward to help.
2) Wonderful people
Kindness, honesty and respect, three words full of truth, used to talk about Japanese people, be it related to the disaster or just in their daily life.
To read about their amazing and touching reactions in the disaster areas, go here : http://ogyd-syh.livejournal.com/ the members are posting reports that will make you smile and admire these people. Some of the reports are open for members only, though.
3) Wonderful country, landscapes, food and culture
See the immensity of green from the window of the train as you cross the countryside, be in awe when a volcano erupts, be lazy on a white sand beach surrounded by coral reefs, laugh at the “Engrish” displayed everywhere, try to grab as much cute plushies as you can in a UFO catcher, feel the ambiance as you are alone in a temple at sunset, eat takoyaki until you can’t move anymore, go to karaoke to sing Hakuna Matata, enjoy the “all you can drink” option, dress as a geisha, see the newest and craziest robots… have fun !
4) Japan is SAFE
Not just in terms of daily security, but for what worries tourists now. If you are scared because of Fukushima, here is a tip : don’t go there. Avoid the region.
There are plenty of places worth a visit in the country ! Hokkaido, Yaeyama islands, Okinawa, Kyushu, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kansai alone are way too far from the nuclear disaster to have been hit in any way.
The Kanto region (Tokyo, mostly) is safe, too, but I understand why people would be worried.
Tohoku region ? Safe as well, though a part of it needs volunteers and can’t welcome tourists.
Actually, you just need to avoid a part of Fukushima prefecture, but if you really want to reassure your family or yourself, avoid the eastern part of Tohoku and Northern Kanto for now.
5) You would miss a chance to have a very good time
That doesn’t need any explanation.
To finish this post, I have to say that I hadn’t planned to go to Japan this year. I had intended to spend a whole month in China. After the disaster, I helped but I felt that I could do more, because Japan is my second home. I am sure some of you feel the same way about a particular country. Because of that, I decided to spend 9 days there again this year.
I will be going again, for a longer time, probably in 2012 and 2013.