Message From Tohoku Travel Service Inc. ＆ Yokohama Travel [ posted Apr 8, 2011, 10:00 AM ]
As you all know, an Earthquake of 9.0 Magnitude took place on March 11th 2011 in the Tohoku District of Northeastern Japan. We the staff members of Tohoku Travel Service Inc. & Yokohama Travel Inc. would like to express our heartfelt Sympathy & Aloha to the People of Japan in their recovery efforts in these challenging circumstances and hope for their success in these trying times.
Yokohama Travel Inc. Office did not suffer any serious damage and thank the people of Hawaii for their warm support and concern. They are doing fine despite a few shortages of some products in the stores. The electricity black outs have been cancelled by the Tokyo Electric Power Company and will instead institute a voluntary electricity conservation policy from July to September in a limited area around Tokyo. Most of the stores, restaurants and department stores have also resumed functioning normally.
The big issue among the Japanese People now is whether to refrain from any enjoyment. But, this would impact the Japanese Economy and all the businesses that are trying to recover from the disaster. Japan is a country of islands. It is also a country that encompasses a huge land area. The Yokohama Travel Staff are anxious for the people of Hawaii to show their “Aloha for Japan Spirit” in participating in the tours that Tohoku Travel is offering. These tours have been revised so as not to be near the Tohoku Region of Japan. Your participation in the tours offered will not only be a big help to Tohoku Travel & Yokohama Travel but also to all the hotels, restaurants and shops in the areas visited.
The areas of Nagoya and vicinity, Kansai Region including Osaka, Kyoto, Shikoku Island, Kyushu, Hokkaido, Yokohama, Tokyo, Japan Sea side, Chugoku Region (Hiroshima, Okayama), and Okinawa did not receive any impact from the disaster and there is no shortage, no electrical black outs and no radiation scare. It is safe to travel in these areas and every effort will be taken into consideration to ensure everyone’s safety.
None of us want to believe in the devastation caused by the huge Earthquake and Tsunami that hit the coastline of the Tohoku Area. The biggest support you can give the victims, their family and evacuees is to help Japan get back to their normal way of life by supporting their economy which impacts not only the people of the Tohoku Area but all of Japan. What the people of Japan needs the most now is something to boost their morale and “GAMBARE SPIRIT”.
Late March and early April is supposed to be the most beautiful season to visit Japan because this is when the Cherry Blossom is in bloom all over. We had to cancel our spring tours though since your safety is the most important thing. Right now the Tohoku Region including Fukushima Prefecture where the founder of Tohoku Travel came from is struggling to recover and get back to normal. The rest of Japan is also in a mood of restraint from any enjoyment. However what Japan needs most is the energy to get back to normality. Your participation in traveling to Japan and warm smile will be the biggest help to not only the people of Japan but also the Staff at Yokohama Travel who are anxiously waiting to welcome you to Japan.
QUOTE FROM KOSUKE KUJI BREWER OF “NAMBU BIJIN” A IWATE SAKE COMPANY
From April 2, three sake brewing companies in disaster-hit Iwate Prefecture began putting up videos on YouTube, in which they stated, "We would be more grateful if people outside of the disaster-hit areas had Hanami Parties as usual (than if they refrained from doing so)." As of April 8, the movies had about 420,000 views.
Kosuke Kuji, 38, a fifth-generation brewer at the Iwate sake "Nanbu Bijin," says that with a portion of sake breweries in the disaster-areas having been destroyed, producers are now starting to suffer even further from low product shipments. Spring is normally a period of high consumption for sake, but some breweries are selling only about 60 percent of what they did during this period last year, according to Kuji.
Kuji's company is one of the three behind the YouTube videos. "Although we have received some replies to our videos that “drinking alcohol is inappropriate now,” the vast majority of the replies have been supportive, so I'm happy," he says. "Sake has an ability to soothe people's hearts. I would like to ask people to give the disaster-hit areas support for the mid- to long-term by buying and enjoying Tohoku Products."