What’s it like to be traveling in Japan right now?

According to one person it was kind of like one or more movie scenes:

I was on a train to Narita when it hit. I was in the middle of nowhere, had to scale out of the train and walk 2,000 yds to the next station. The train was shaking for over 30 minutes, thats how long the initial quake and aftershocks lasted. There were also aftershocks even last night and ealry this morning. We had no trains, busses, taxi’s, hotels, etc. We ended up wandering around the streets, we even offered a restaurant owner cash to let us sleep there. We were all set to sleep in a stairway at the train terminal, and here I am with 3 gold cards and $300 in cash. It was meaningless. As luck would have it a good samaritan stepped in and let us crash on his floor for the night. Then today I spent all day just changing trains and waiting in terminals to get to Narita airport (about 7 hours), only very few trains were running and it was only in certain areas. I am now waiting for my flight back to the US. The airlines wanted to put me on a flight on Tuesday! Can you imagine you are supposed to be home on Friday, and they want to you stay until Tuesday, and in many cases with no hotel. There are people just crashing on the streets.

The whole scene is like something from Book of Eli or The Stand. Local Tokyo people had to walk home or sleep in their offices. Most people I know walked 3-4 hours home. Those who took taxis (if they could because they were pathetically scarce) took even longer, about 10 hours on average. This is because of the traffic, everyone was trying to evacuate so it was like the beginning scene of the movie 2012. I actually saw a line of 150 people (I had plenty of time to count) waiting for over 5 hours for a taxi, and 2 came during that time.

It kind of reminds me of the bribes in Peru except in this case having money didn’t seem to do much good. Still it must be better to have money in your pocket so you can try to find a room or restaurant or floor or something.

Filed Under: Vacation experiences

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