Tour Updates & Giving Back to Japan

March 17, 2011

Due to Tokyo’s current condition, we will not be able to conduct the Anime Insider Tour as planned, and so at this time the tour will be postponed. See how it effects our future tour line-up, and ways that YOU can give back to the country that has given us the anime, manga, and culture we love.

This year we were especially looking forward to our anime tour in March, but because of the current events we will be pushing the dates back to April.

Please know that we are NOT postponing the tour because Tokyo is in danger of radiation. While it is true that the radiation level in Tokyo has risen, the levels are too low to pose any harm. The radiation levels are just higher than our regular daily dosage, around the same as we would get from taking an international flight for being at a higher elevation. This is news as taken from the Japanese government and Nuclear Safety Officials. Why do we trust them? Unfortunately, because of WWII they have 50 years worth of radiation history to know how radiation travels, what is and what isn’t harmful, and what measures people need to take to stay safe. They have also disclosed the situation about the plants publicly and know very well that those at the plant are risking their lives to prevent radiation from spreading to the area. We trust what they are saying, but we leave it for you to decide what to believe.

Here is where we are getting our news information:
Yokoso News – an English broadcast from Japan (site also has the english broadcast link for NHK world)

And here are some articles that we would recommend:
The British Embassy’s Stand
What Would Happen in the Worst Case Scenario

For your reference:
Radiation measurement chart in Tokyo
Measurements of Radiation and dosage examples

People in Tokyo are still working, still going to school, and still living their lives as normal as possible.

Currently the US embassy also requested that citizens stay a safe 80km away from the power plant, and Tokyo is around 200km from Fukushima.

However, because the situation at the nuclear plant has not been stabilized, we do not want to conduct the tour with doubt and fearful expectation of what could happen. No matter how much proof we can give that the area is safe, we feel the overall emotional condition of Tokyo will prevent us from providing a quality tour experience.

Another main factor that we have to consider is that right now Tokyo is experiencing scheduled blackouts in order to conserve energy. This has significantly reduced public transportation and would be a huge obstacle for us to run the tour itinerary effectively.

At this time we are making plans to move the trip to late April (the US Embassy lifts the advisory against travel to Japan April 1st), in order to still enjoy the spring season of Japan. We understand that the new dates may not fit everyone’s schedule, but we will be offering an extended cancellation policy as well as the ability to switch tours if possible. The tour would essentially be the same, but without an anime convention (as ACE and TAF have already released cancellation statements for their events in late March).

Because we will be pushing back the March tour to April, our April tour, we are sad to say that the Sakura Spring tour will be cancelled for this year.

Nifty Thrifty Banner

For those still interested in going to Japan, the Anime Insider Tour will be open again to take sign ups.

Enough with the tour updates – Let’s discuss how we can make a difference!

For those who want to help, we would not encourage you to take a flight out to Japan and help in person. Right now they are having enough trouble getting supplies and professionals out to the area, and actually with the severe weather conditions, language barrier, and aftershock effects, so those not prepared would actually be more of a hindrance than a help. There are groups that you can sign up with that will be able to coordinate help to the area at a later time. Overall please carefully research the options that you’d like so that you can effectively help (and also so that you won’t get scammed)!

Here are some reliable ways you can contribute as a fan of Japanese culture:

Manga and Anime fans give back! – Join other fans to give back to the country that gave birth to our beloved hobbies.

Akadot Retail Cranes for Hope – If you already shop at Akadot, you can purchase Cranes for Hope. Also, 10% of DMP book purchases will be donated.

Other ways you can help:

Earthquake Relief Options (Huntington Post) – This article summarizes several options you can take to help.

Google Crisis Response – Google hosts 4 fast and reliable ways you can donate.

We continue to hope for Japan’s swift recovery in all affected areas. Tourism will definitely take a hit for now, even in the areas not effected by the quake, but we want to be there, showing everyone all the great things Japan has to offer, and continuing to support Japan’s economy when we can!

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