Justin and I had been planning to spend next week's spring break holiday skiing in Sapporo, Hokkaido, where we went from Korea and had a glorious time. In light of recent events, however, it seems most prudent not to go up north. Sapporo was not affected by the earthquake and tsunami, and it also is not within prevailing wind patterns for any potential radiation. I can see it being possible, however, for Hokkaido to be hard to get back from if something goes wrong in central Japan.
We decided it was just plain reasonable to go south instead of north, and this afternoon we bailed on our ski tickets (fortunately not that expensive, not that money is the priority in these situations) and replaced them with a last-minute week in Taiwan. So we will be out of Japan from the 19th to the 26th, hopefully enough time for this whole nuclear situation to get sorted. It's a disappointment not to ski, but we have wanted to see Taiwan, so we're not at shortchanged in our alternative. And let's face it, considering what Japan is going through, the fact that our biggest problem is "Ski holiday or Taiwan vacation?" is sort of embarrassing.
I want to reiterate that Fukuoka is just about the safest city in Japan at this point. In fact, people are coming here from other places, including Tokyo. We see that at the school because relocating expat families with kids may end up with us. Our head of school has been in coordination with international schools up north, and we are prepared to enroll up to 100 extra students should they come. This is at the same time that we've lost a few families, not generally because the families have chosen to leave, but because their companies have pulled them (insert your own joke about retreating French here). So everybody is on the move in Japan.
EVA Airlines, which we're flying to Taiwan, has cancelled flights to Tokyo, Sendai, and actually to Sapporo (our original ski destination) so we're hoping all goes smoothly to get us there. Thanks for keeping us and Japan in your thoughts, and don't be worried if we go incommunicado for a while.