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Some Thoughts on Kyoto Right Now

Written on March 31, 2011

If you have planned your long-awaited, trip-of-a-lifetime visit to Kyoto, please consider some things.
Kyoto and its environs, ten or so hours by car from the Fukushima disaster, are apparently a very safe distance from the nuclear reactors and the poisons being released.

I’m bringing this up as I’ve just been there and I felt very safe, even during the well-deserved hysteria surrounding what is arguably the worst natural and man-made disaster in human memory.It would be such a shame if you are planning to go to the Kansai region, home to Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Osaka, etc., and decide not to go based on these current events.

Kansai remains stable–keep checking the news, however–and the magic, beauty, grace and historical power of Kyoto is something that will enrich your mind and imagination for the duration of your life.And the Japanese, who are famous for their hospitality, now more than ever will welcome you wholeheartedly.  You can imagine that tourism is down in Japan, and your travel in Japan’s western region will be greatly appreciated by the residents of Kansai.

The presence of tourists at this time of year–it’s cherry blossom time–will not only help with the coffers of merchants, but, maybe more importantly,  it will also convey a sense of normalcy, a well-needed balm for everyone’s mind right now.  Of course, do keep checking news reports to see if there are any bans of food products or to see if there are some drastic turn-of-events that will effect Kyoto, although this is highly unlikely-to-impossible.

And for yet another view on the toxins being released from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, have a listen to David Brenner, Director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, here. His take on things may ease your mind a bit, and provide some well-needed facts on this topic right now.

I just felt I had to say this.  If you are planning your dream trip to Kyoto, or if you’re longing to return,  go.



Comments closed

  1. Comment by Kathryn:

    Thank you for reminding readers about the other parts of Japan. We plan on visiting next year for an extended period to introduce our daughter to their beautiful culture.

    March 31, 2011 @ 6:55 am

  2. Comment by Angela:

    Hi, as a resident of Tokyo I whole heartedly agree, please come to the Kansai region, even Tokyo where I live, don’t listen to the hype and media reportage, so much of it is bull. Visit the beautiful Sakura (cherry blossom) it is a beautiful spectacle. In Tokyo right now the blossoms are starting to bloom it is a real sign of hope for Japan. Do what you can to support and help in any way that you can, putting coins in a collection can, goods in collection points, but why not come to Japan and enjoy it’s beauty and help to support the economy, that way you get so see what you are doing to help, that’s what’s going to be needed in the long run. The Japanese are dignified, wonderful people, will never ask for help, but really need it. Help in whatever way that you can, but help these people.

    Thank you
    Angela x

    March 31, 2011 @ 8:39 am

  3. Comment by Stephen:

    Dear Angela,

    Thank you for your words of encouragement and so deftly portraying an aspect of the Japanese people.

    Very much appreciated.

    March 31, 2011 @ 8:46 am

  4. Comment by Peter:

    I couldn’t agree more. Certainly keep apprised of the situation in the Northeast of the country but if you are planning a trip, stick to it. I’ve been to Japan several times and my visits to the Kansai region will stay with me forever. Whether it’s a trip to Amanohashidate for beautiful scenery or a visit to Nara for the cultural aspect of your trip, it’s something you will never forget. Or just stay in Kyoto. With literally thousands of shrines and temples not to mention the amazing restaurants, you are assured of a great time. Don’t even get me started on the hot springs in Wakayama. One needs to unwind after visiting all of the cultural sites.

    March 31, 2011 @ 9:10 am

  5. Comment by Catherine:

    Last year, I was in Tokyo and Kyoto for sakura!! It was wonderfull!! It stays in m’y heart! If I could, I’ll come again! Perhaps next year, in november, Kyoto is such a beauty!!

    April 1, 2011 @ 5:31 am

  6. Comment by ali:

    Well said, thank you.

    April 1, 2011 @ 5:46 am