Japan trip in doubt; choices & plans

Everyone knows by now of the great tragedy in Japan, with first the earthquake, then the tsunami, then the nuclear reactor problems, the aftershocks, and now the prediction that there’s a 70% chance another big  quake will hit any day now.

I can’t really just write about fashion when this is going on.

Also, those who’ve followed the blog or my twitter will know that I am now overseas, and am due to fly into Tokyo this Thursday. This now looks to be in doubt.

On the one hand it would be incredibly foolhardy to fly into a danger zone, especially as so many people are scrambling to get out. Yes, not only are flights unavailable or rescheduled; train services to the airports have been disrupted/cancelled too. What if the worst happened, and Tokyo was badly hit, and I THEN tried to leave?

On the other hand, what if it DOESN’T happen, and Tokyo resumes to normal, notwithstanding the HUGE amount of work to be done in the hard hit prefectures? What if Japan Fashion Week goes ahead, and the various gigs I wanted to see, and clubs like Tokyo Decadance (already put off by one week) and Midnight Mess? What if the power outages cease and public transport goes back to normal, and trucks resume shipping food to shops, and stores resume normal opening hours?    EDIT: we now know that Japan Fashion Week has been cancelled, and certain other things postponed.

There’s no way of telling right now; that’s the thing.

I am in Seoul, Korea, from where I fly home again on March 30th according to my ticket. As currently booked, I have a flight into Handea on the 17th, and a flight back to Seoul on the 30th with a 7 hour stopover (I was going to stay at the airport transit hotel during that time)

As it stands, I will stay here for now, and see what Thursday brings. Even so, if no quake has hit, do I go ahead? Or do I resign myself now to missing that flight, and looking into my accommodation options here? Or to flying elsewhere, like Taiwan, checking out what flights go from Incheon?

I may just stay a week here, and if nothing more happens in Tokyo, get myself a flight there to stay for one week only. (Eep, so many clothes I brought to wear to clubs & fashion events, that may just be dead weight in my suitcase now!) My hotel here has said I can stay on – and though my single room is booked from Thurs, I can be upgraded to a bigger room that’s available, for no extra cost. Ah, the joys of travel…sometimes it’s by the seat of your pants.

EDIT: As of March 17th, I am still in Seoul Korea, and have cancelled my flight that was to have taken me to Tokyo today. I am looking into flying into Osaka, to at least get to Japan without going near the danger zones. However, I need to be sure I can get the flight from Osaka back to Seoul for my final flight home on the 30th, and also see if Korean air will allow the substitute flight, or whether I need to pay myself. KA said to call tomorrow. Then more decisions…

Anyway, dear friends, this was a bit of a self-indulgent post perhaps, but one that I needed to commit to” paper” to clear my thoughts a little bit.

Tokyo Dandy has a good page of links for current info on the situation (including NHK) and places to donate.
La Carmina has also been providing good info from the gothic and alternative people in Tokyo – see the La Carmina blog.

I will resume posting properly in the next few days…there are great things to share about Seoul, and the Hongdae area in which I’m staying. I even made it to DGBD and caught a live band last night. And this afternoon I will discover Dongdaemun. Meanwhile, we all await news as to whether yet another large quake has occurred, following the point 4 quake earlier.

Those who pray, pray. Those who don’t, *fingers crossed* and *positive thoughts*.

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Comments

  1. I just read on Tokyo Fashion’s facebook post that Fashion Week has been canceled. I would be really hesitant to go there right now. There are just too many variables, and even the places not suffering catastrophic damage are not running normally.

    I hope you can stay safe. I know it must be disappointing but make sure to think things through.

    • I cancelled my accom for Thurs through Monday, leaving the Tues 22nd to 30th open. I may well go if no big quakes happen this weekend. Korea really ISN’T a substitute, and I don’t want to stay here 2 weeks. The western media and social media tend to exaggerate and get hysterical. I have quite a few friends who stayed in Tokyo, who are fine apart from the continuing aftershocks, and frankly I feel a bit of a mug cancelling, but so many others have warned me. Anyways, time will tell…but yeah, for now I’m playing it safe :)

  2. I hope you will play it safe and not go to Tokyo! The risks are too great for the possible reward…just reading your post it felt extremely unbalanced. And this is coming from someone who also very much prioritizes fashion! Be practical, be logical, be safe – stay away this month until things are better understood.

  3. Yeah, I just head from a friend that they canceled Japan Fashion Week, which is a bummer but not unexpected. I think you should divert plans elsewhere, not so much because I fear for your individual safety (though that can’t go without consideration) but because every possible resource is needed for the people who are already there. I’m watching Kjeld Duits’ Facebook page. Things look pretty dire as far as supply shortages, relief teams not being able to get around due to the sheer level of devastation, etc. I’d say it’s pretty foolish for anyone new to head in there unless they can be a direct help with relief efforts.

    • Yeah, I’m looking at Osaka now…although I may well stay in Seoul if need be. Mind you, I have friends who’ve elected to stay, and others who’ve just travelled there, and life in Tokyo itself is going on, notwithstanding the panic buying etc. Remember, the affected areas are not inner Tokyo itself.

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  1. [...] Here’s my blog account from last March about the Japan earthquake & my crumbling travel plans. [...]

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