Japan Issues Earthquake Update

As Japan continues to react to, respond to and recover from the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck there last week, the New York headquarters of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has issued a travel advisory updating travelers about travel conditions in the country.

Released yesterday, the travel advisory points out that both Narita and Haneda airports have been reopened, but that public transportation in and around Tokyo remains unreliable due to periodic blackouts that are being imposed for power conservation, causing train delays and cancellations. Because many hotels and businesses in Tokyo are reportedly operating with shortened business hours, JNTO has recommended that travelers to Japan check with individual destinations and service providers before embarking on their trip.

Elsewhere in Japan, popular destinations such as Kyoto, Osaka, Sapporo, Kanazawa and Hiroshima remain unharmed, with tourism facilities and transportation service in those areas operating "as usual."

Most impacted by last week's earthquake was the Tohoku region of Japan, where there is "no recovery of public transportation systems and continuous aftershocks." Due to the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, JNTO said, "it is strongly advised to refrain from traveling" to that area of the country.

Reads the JNTO travel advisory, "While painstaking rescue and recovery efforts continue in severely struck Tohoku region, the capital city Tokyo has been recovering from a strong shock, and western Japan is unharmed."