Pretty quiet day today. I spent much of it traveling from Hiroshima to Tokyo. I actually had the worst rail connection I’ve had in Japan – 40 minute wait for a Shinkansen that would get me to Shin-Osaka for a transfer to Tokyo. Still, that’s not the end of the world I suppose.
I’m safely ensconced in Tokyo again. I thought I’d be more nervous coming up here but in the end, it’s just Tokyo – I just felt like I’ve felt every time I’ve come here. I’m staying in the heart of the action this time – Akihabara. And based on one night, things seem pretty much normal here. The big stores seem to all be staying open till their normal times, though I suppose some of the smaller ones might have closed early. Maybe a few less TVs blaring at Animate or Toranoana, but they certainly had the soundtracks on the sound systems. Again, the only real change I see so far is less foreigners on the streets – certainly noticeable here, as Tokyo is normally full of us. The locals are packing the restaurants till late and getting on with their lives.
One quick note about my hotel, one of a chain called the Dormy Inn. They have something of a perfect storm of perks. Rooftop onsen. Free laundry. Free ramen at 2130. And the rest area upstairs has free massage chairs and manga. Sitting in a massage chair reading Adachi in Japanese, drinking ice-cold milk after a long soak, is not a bad way to spend an evening.
EDIT: My evening just got a lot more interesting. There was an aftershock up North – about 60 KM offshore and 100 K from Fukushima. I knew it was a decent quake far off rather than a small one here, even though the shaking (I’m on the 9th floor) was pretty mild, because it lasted almost a minute. I was about to drop off to sleep, but now I have lots of energy for some reason…
These have been happening since 3/11 so no one here is too shocked. They’ve had several of this magnitude. As of now they’re saying it is an aftershock, all the plants appear to be OK and no injuries or serious damage have been reported. Let’s hope that turns out to be the case.