“Holiday” was my answer to the customs officer at Narita airport. He looked like he was gonna thank me for visiting at a time like this. A few other Japanese I had met in my 6 days there were surprised I was there after the quake for a holiday, and not stuck in Tokyo because of the quake.
So there were more than 400 aftershocks stronger than 5.0 after 3/11. Definitely, I can attest to that. On my way in to Tokyo from the airport, the train had to stop briefly until the shaking stopped. At first I was wondering what took so long. Then I saw the base of the train’s doors shaking, moving back and forth almost kissing the platform.
Back in the hostel, I was super jetlagged (now this is funny, never jetlagged when I flew as far as the US, but yah, I had been flying since 1 am from Singapore to Shanghai to Tokyo, so … ) so I slept my first day in Tokyo away. But woke often enough to feel the earth shake.
The six days I was there, it shook any number of times, and I could fully understand why a Japanese would not think too much of them, it’s as normal as taking a meal or something. Even for a short-term visitor like me, I had already become rather numb to it.
So there was a big one when my friend and I lounged around at the Imperial Palace. And then these other big ones last Thursday, yesterday, today in the morning and once again in the afternoon. These are rather worrisome. Especially that they happen close to the ailing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which I am very sure cannot withstand another major shock either a quake or a tsunami. It would just fall apart and spew radiation fumes all over northeast Asia. Being in Shanghai that is so close, I’m worried, but only slightly.
Rather, I’m praying for my friends in Tokyo and around: Mike, Ryota, Takuro, Taichi, Tomoki, Katsuya, Mamoru, Dong Dong, I hope you will all be able to weather the worst of this disaster. God bless.