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Bitemarks's avatar

Is Tokyo safe to travel to for 10 days?

Asked by Bitemarks (53points) June 8th, 2011

My girlfriend and I booked a trip to Asia well before the earthquake. We are going to China, Thailand and then Japan, with the only Japanese stop being Tokyo for the final 10 days. The radiation levels naturally have me concerned and I want to know just how safe it is. I’ve done a bunch of research and as far as I can tell the background radiation levels are normal and safe. I’ve also come across other sources speculating that there is a lot we don’t know and it isn’t safe at all. It’s hard to find sources I can trust though.

Does anyone know of any trustworthy sources putting out accurate information about the current state in Tokyo? Also, if anyone is familiar with radiation on any level, would you be able to tell me if staying for 10 days poses a serious risk? As far as I can tell, it doesn`t, but I don`t want to put myself at risk.

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17 Answers

marinelife's avatar

As long as you stay in Tokyo, you should be fine:

“But the radiation situation in Japan’s financial heart, Tokyo, is better than Hong Kong, and hardly higher than New York or London, according to Bloomberg.

According to the most recent data, here’s how the cities match up:

* UK annual average – 0.251 microsieverts/hour
* Hong Kong – 0.14 microsieverts/hour
* Tokyo – 0.109 microsieverts/hour
* New York – 0.095 microsieverts/hour
* London – 0.08 microsieverts”


Bitemarks's avatar

Thank you, Marinelife, it definitely helps to see more data that corresponds with most of what I’ve been seeing. I’ve heard that radiation from a nuclear explosion contains more contaminants that just your average radiation though, which in turn would pose more risk. I’m no expert on the subject, however, so I was hoping maybe someone could clear that up.

marinelife's avatar

@Bitemarks It is more than 200 miles to the nuclear plant. The dangers od contamination come from the measurable radiation in the air. Also, from food sources. Just be careful where and what you eat.

mattbrowne's avatar

The likelihood of a cyclone carrying radioactive particles to Tokyo during the 10 days you are there is very small. But it’s not zero.

Bitemarks's avatar

Are there ways to protect ourselves against such contaminants? I’m feeling apprehensive about this part of the trip.

Zaku's avatar

Lead underwear and skullcap.

Bitemarks's avatar

@obvek Thank you, this is very reassuring. I’m still contemplating ending the trip after Thailand to avoid the risk all together but it’s good to know that it’s recognized as being fairly safe.

mazingerz88's avatar

My friend is in Tokyo right now for a three week working trip. His mother who is Japanese would meet him there to see relatives. He is an American nuclear engineer who is working with the Japanese and monitoring the situation as well. I’ll see if he would respond to an email asking him what’s up but in the meantime, I think it’s worth doing that trip for Tokyo is quite the destination trip after all. My friend did not stop his mother from going and I’m pretty sure he loves his mom, so…lol. : )

Bitemarks's avatar

@mazingerz88 Thank you so much! I would very much appreciate having input from your friend. It would do a great deal to calm the nerves of both my girlfriend and I to hear from an expert. Thanks again!

mazingerz88's avatar

@Bitemarks Ok just sent him an email. No guarantee he will respond soon though. : )

Bitemarks's avatar

@mazingerz88 Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. It’s no problem, I don’t leave until July 15th anyway. Also, thanks to everyone else who has contributed so far. It can be tough to weed through the fear mongering and overall BS from other sources to come to an unbiased answer. I realize it’s still unpredictable but every bit of info helps.

Rarebear's avatar

Don’t worry about it. Have a nice trip.

trickface's avatar

What a shame it would be cut short the trip because of slight radiation, I would be much more bravado and say ‘Hey, it’s Tokyo and there are no warnings on tourism there, let’s go but avoid the east coast of Japan’. You are probably just being sensible and cautious but this still strikes me as overly suspicious and scared.

That’s just me, enjoy Tokyo! It could be a long long time before you get the chance to go back!

Bitemarks's avatar

@trickface I know, it’s a tough call. If it were as easy as just postponing the trip then it wouldn’t be such a difficult decision. We are most likely going to go, we just want as much information as possible before hand.

Coloma's avatar

I wouldn’t be overly concerned, besides, even if there is some modest risk, the odds of it effecting you might not show up for another 30–40 years.

At that point who knows, was it the 10 days in Tokyo that gave your brain cancer, or your cell phone, electrical lines, your microwave or one too many lungfuls of bus exhaust?


MellisaTurner's avatar

Hi, Millions of people still live in Tokyo and are fine and there are still hundreds of tourists in Tokyo, even after the tsunami incident. It is a great place to be, and the bullet train to mt fuji would only take about 2 hours. Hope that helped

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