It is now March 17 and I have officially fled Tokyo. On March 15th, I had all but made up my mind to leave Tokyo. With the recent events and the Fukushima nuclear plant problems, I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I was never truly worried about the radiation, but getting a lot of pressure from my friends and family put a great deal of stress on me. Thankfully my school decided that if a teacher wanted to run, they could. We have till April, at the moment, to leave work without penalty. The day of the 15th, I worked for 2 lessons but I couldn’t think straight at all. My mind was completely on the nuclear reactor and what would happen. I heard a lot of news that the chance of a Chernobyl was highly unlikely, but bad things could happen. I spent a lot of the night just preparing and cleaning up my place and took off the next morning. I also had to find accommodation in my destination.
On the 16th, I woke up a little late and took a morning Shinkansen to Kobe. I had to wait about 20 minutes for a train to be empty enough to get on with my dog. He’s only 10kg but with his “cage”, it was difficult to find space. He was also a bit noisy, crying because he wanted out. On the Shinkansen, he was okay too, for the most part, but he did whine a few times, loudly. We fed him treats to keep him quiet and thankfully he was fine for most of the trip. It’s tough to travel for over 3 hours inside a cage for a dog. While he usually just sleeps all day, it isn’t the same. New places are difficult for any pet. When we got to Kobe, things were like a different world. The sun was shining and people looked happy. The entire atmosphere was different. Trains were running normally and people seemed more annoyed with the earthquake news and Fukushima reactor more than anything. It really is a night and day difference. I had started to feel much better but things are changing here too. It is currently March 17th and word from Tokyo is that things aren’t better. Of all of my friends and co-workers in Tokyo, many have left. I’d say 10-40% of my friends have left Tokyo. It’s hard to keep track as once I left it’s hard to keep in contact. I am trying to keep in contact with those who are still there but it will only get tougher as people start to spread themselves around the world. Thankfully, Facebook has been one of the best ways to keep in touch with people. I have been able to see where people have gone and if they are safe or not. One thing that is true, EVERYONE is stressed by this situation. It’s difficult for anyone to leave their home on short notice. I can’t tell you how hard it was for me to make the decision, and how hard it is for me to stay away from home. Every day that I am away from my home I wonder when I’ll be able to go back. I don’t think the radiation is dangerous, but in the long term I don’t want to chance it. When things cool down, I’ll return to Tokyo for sure. Maybe not this week, but hopefully soon.
Note: Due to the current situation, I haven’t had a chance to proofread any of my posts. These are just my own personal ramblings. It is a very different divergence from my traditional blog. I feel it shows how unfocused I am in life at the moment. There are many distractions and I hope to return to my regular blog posts in the near future. I will continue to update this blog as often as I can but I will take a break when things finally settle down. Please excuse the poor quality for a little while. 🙂
March 17, 2011 is part of a series of posts following the earthquake in Japan. Please continue reading the following posts in this series:
- The Great 2011 (Higahi-Nihon) East Japan Earthquake
- March 14, 2011
- Kobe Refugee (Media Musings)
- Saving Power in Tokyo
- The New Normal (After the 2011 Great Higashi-Nihon Earthquake)
- 1 Year Later