Who’s willing to visit Northern Honshū (Tōhoku)?

I don’t know – for me Japan is an awfully long flight from Florida. I did love Tokyo though, and I liked Osaka. It would certainly be nice to say that I had seen some of the rest of Japan.

Lonely Planet has released a fully updated Northern Honshū (Tōhoku) chapter from its forthcoming Japan guidebook (September 2013) as a free download on lonelyplanet.com. In November 2012, Lonely Planet author Rebecca Milner researched and wrote about the region affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and now Lonely Planet is offering the new chapter for free to encourage tourism to the area.

“Getting updated content to travelers as soon as possible is essential,” says Lonely Planet’s Associate Publisher Emily Wolman. “It’ll be a huge boon for the affected communities as well, who can certainly use the tourism dollars as they rebuild.”

Rebecca Milner has also written an article about Tōhoku, confirming it’s very much open for travel. She says that few areas frequented by travelers were even damaged by the tsunami and what was far more damaging than the earthquake was the sudden absence of tourists. She gives practical tips, including what public transportation lines are still interrupted and information on how to volunteer there.

For travelers looking to volunteer on their travels, either to Japan or other destinations, Lonely Planet is offering Volunteer: A Traveller’s Guide to Making a Difference Around the World as a free ebook in the iBookstore until December 31st, 2012 and as a free PDF download on lonelyplanet.com. The book is a comprehensive resource to those looking to volunteer abroad with chapters on how to choose a volunteer experience, what to expect when you are there, and how to extend your experience once you return home. It also includes a directory of organizations around the world that take volunteers. A fully-updated, new edition of the book will be available in the spring of 2013.

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