Friday, April 1, 2011

Carrying on as usual

Peter Here,

It's impossible to say that the effects of the earthquake and tsunami, and the following problems at Fukushima daiichi plant haven't been felt here - there are rolling blackouts and people are being a lot more cautious than usual, especially concerning aftershocks - but looking at the general view of the foreign media I'm getting the image that they're reporting the quality of life in Tokyo specifically far worse than it actually is.

The power cuts were advertised to be within 4 hour brackets, but the last few instances there have only been 1 hour cuts, and this week we have only seen one outage. Big bottles of water have been clean bought out in supermarkets because of the Iodine scare, but smaller bottles are still readily available, and vending machines are still stocked. Even the gas panic has settled down.

As the weather has been turning nicer as well, I've been exploring Tokyo more, and going back to favourite spots, such as Ikebukuro- there are plenty of signs of life here, even if the lights have been turned down to help save power.

I even went to the aquarium, and saw the scariest crab in the world, ever.

Omiya too is still alive and kicking, with plenty of people going out and providing the restaurants custom.

As for Karate training, some classes have been cancelled and/or rescheduled - this can't be helped. Also, the Kanto tournament and other events (including the Shiramizu Inter-Dojo championships and demonstrations) have been cancelled. My Shodan test has also been put back to the 10th of April.

However, these trials through adversity have shown to be character building- training on a Saturday class last month we were hit by a large aftershock / small quake in the middle of practice and had to halt. After the shocks had ceased, we practiced with even more energy and enthusiasm than before, working together to keep the spirits up. Excellent stuff, and proof that life is keeping going here as best we can.

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