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Uneasy tourists shun Japan amid radiation fears

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Tourists should take advantage of other cities like Kyoto, Nara and Himeji.........that's where the " traditional " culture is anyway.

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I needed to go back this year myself, but I'm postponing my trip until the dust settles. Now just doesn't seem like a good time.

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Airliners need to take a short term hit on prices to lure back traveler interest. I would return to Tokyo in a heartbeat and got back only 10 days ago - the first of hopefully 4, not 3, visits this year ! :)

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agreed oberst. Kansai is the place to be in Japan

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Outbound flights from Japan are packed as foreigners and some Japanese flee

Really? My relative left Tokyo last weekend after a holiday(!) here, and a friend went to China for business last Monday. Both of them said Narita airport was empty and the flights were only 50% full. Those that panicked have already gone. NOW is the time to do sightseeing in Tokyo as there are fewer crowds. I do feel sorry for the businesses though. The mainland Chinese (who were freaking over nothing) were bringing in a lot of money.

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I was in Kansai over the weekend and there were heaps of tourists there

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I was in Kansai over the weekend and there were heaps of tourists there

Maybe not the best choice of words...

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125-year-old men’s clothing store

a specialist retailer

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Read a quote by a Japanese travel agent after 9/11 who said something to the effect that Japanese travelers were like minnows in a small pond. If you throw a pebble on one side they'll all scatter to the other end. In other words if they decide someplace isn't safe they'll react as a group in the same way.

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Yeah, I don't blame people for being cautious, considering everyone is being cautious here as well.

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"The mainland Chinese (who were freaking over nothing) were bringing in a lot of money.>

Other foreigners were freaking over something to create a mass exodus from Japan.

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paulinusa: Japanese travellers did just that regarding New Zealand and its recent earthquake in Christchurch.

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Okinawa. What about Okinawa? This would be a great time to visit Okinawa and give them a chance to boost their economy. They need all the help they can get. Come to Okinawa!

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I don't know if that was national or at European level, but in France, the travel agency organisation suspended touristic trips until the end of April, on official request. That means all the agencies had to cancel all the tours to anywhere in Japan and I'm afraid they also dropped all offers of booking individual trips, for flights and hotels. Then many countries tell their nationals to avoid the whole country, even if that never made sense at all for Southern Japan. They don't say until when...

Tourists don't have much choice as that would be complicated or very costly to organize their trips to, let's say in Okinawa or Shikoku, in such conditions. I really hope all those measures drop quickly. Would they cancel tours in Italy for any kind of problem in Scotland ?

After 9/11, that was different. The US refused to let foreigners visit by not issuing nor renewing visas, by asking a new type of passport, etc. My brother-in-law and European coworkers were unable to visit their company's head office in Minneapolis during 3 months and they had to do their meetings in Canada. Japan has not changed the conditions for visas or anything. Correct me if I am wrong on that point.

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Cos: Wasn't referring necessarily to Japanese travel to the US after 9/11 but Japanese worldwide travel in general.

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I saw pictures of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo with a total of 15 people there, all employees.

Tokyo must be a ghost town for foreigners.

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Tourists and the Pacific flotsam types are not likely to select Japan as a destination until it is abundantly clear they won't have to worry about nuclear contamination floating over Tokyo, the major port of entry. It looks like that security will not be palpable for many months to come. Foreign tourism to the exact areas devastated by the quake was never especially heavy, I believe, but the media images of decimated seaside towns and villages, plus those of the tsunami actually sweeping away entire settlements, are probably indelible in the eyes of foreigners who have seen these scenes on TV, and no one wants to take the risk of such a thing happening to them while they are on holiday - and Japan IS earthquake and tidal wave prone.

The attractive areas of Japan for those who still want to visit would probably be the traditional locales such as Kyoto and Nara and Kansai, as well as the less traveled areas of Kyushu and maybe even Okinawa, where there are some breath-taking beaches on some of the far-lying outer islands. Northernly, Shiretoko remains of appeal, one would imagine, to the people living in nearby Asian lands and particularly Southeast Asisa, where such scenery is not available.

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Mushroomcloud (how vivid a name!), I've had reason to be in The Imperial several times after the quake and I still had to wait in line to have a bite at their coffee shop, and their brasserie was also alive with patrons.

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