Andon Ryokan

Official Blog

Official Blog

fine organic tea

2011.04.25

I’m very interested in organic products and Yuka gave me a fine organic herbal tea bag the other day.

I’ve just tried to drink it now. It’s lemon and ginger fravored and I put some honey into it. I loved it! It’s really tasty and fresh which can’t be made artificially. Thanks,Yuka : )

Ryoko

Comments (0)

Tokyo Today (22nd April) by Mr.Williams

2011.04.24

This note gives our answers to questions from guests about how things are now in Tokyo, over a month after the quake.

For those wanting more detail, please contact us, and we will do our best to provide any further information you might require. At the bottom of this sheet there are links to the websites we have referred to in drawing up these answers, and you might also want to look at these.

1 Is Tokyo safe

Yes, it is completely safe to come to Tokyo. This is what the Japanese government have said, and foreign governments agree.

 In the words of an official from the UK’s Department of Health speaking to the UK’s ambassador in Tokyo:

 “Just to reassure everybody that Sir John Beddington, the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser’s advice, which is absolutely what we all agree with, is that in the Tokyo region the potential risk, and it was only a potential risk, has now really disappeared.”

 Or in the words of a United States government circular setting out that family members of US officials and military personnel who left Tokyo after March 11 should now return:

“… the assessment of experts from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, and the unanimous opinion of U.S. scientific experts on the ground in Japan [is] that the health and safety risks to areas outside of the 50-mile radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are very low. These assessments are consistent with practices that would be taken in the United States in such a situation.”

Note that they are not simply talking about a 2 week visit to Tokyo – they are saying Tokyo is safe to live for months or years on end.

 2 Is there dangerous radiation in Tokyo?

 No, there is not.

There is perfectly safe low-level background radiation in every location in every country in the world. Tokyo is no different. The background radiation level in Tokyo is barely above the level in New York and London, and is lower than the levels in Hong Kong and in Cornwall, in the SW of England. The level of radiation in Tokyo is within normal limits and is completely safe.

3 Is the water safe to drink?

Yes, absolutely.

 You may have read on the news that there was one day (March 23) in Tokyo when there was an advisory in relation to water. But it is important to realise that:

  • The advisory lasted only one day (nearly a month ago), and was cancelled the next day
  • There is absolutely no expectation that that there will be an advisory in the future
  • The advisory was based on very strict guidelines. It applied on the assumption that a baby would be drinking the tap water every day for 2 months, and was measured against a low threshold. If there has been a similar level of radiation in the water in the United Kingdom, no advisory would have been issued.

In the words of the UK’s scientific adviser:

“we do not expect any issue of radioactive iodine in the drinking water.  The Japanese are monitoring it, if there is radioactive material in the drinking water they will detect and announce it, I don’t think this is an area of concern at the moment in Tokyo and areas a substantial distance outside the 80km zone.”

4 Is the food safe to eat?

Yes, absolutely.

As in explained in FAQ 7 – “What is the current situation in Fukushima?” – there have been radiation leaks from the plant, and there are areas of contamination. But that does not mean that dangerous food is or will be on sale in Tokyo. This is because:

  • The Japanese government have put in place a stringent checking system to make sure that no food from a contaminated area is sold
  • The “safe” levels used by the Japanese government are conservative by international standards
  • The safe levels set by the standard as set by reference to residents who live in Tokyo and how eat food here, day in, day out. As a visitor, you simply could not cause yourself harm even if you tried.

5 Is daily life back to normal?

We are happy to say that daily life in Tokyo is now back to its normal, vibrant self.

In the immediate aftermath of the quake, there were real disruptions in Tokyo – there were planned power outages, shop and restaurants were shutting early, trains times were restricted and distribution difficulties meant some shops were not as full as usual.

However, these disruptions are now over. The planned power outages have finished (though some signs etc remain off as part of voluntary energy conservation). Shops are restaurants are opening usual hours. Trains are running in accordance with the restored full timetable. The shelves in shops are as full as usual. Tokyo is back to its vibrant best.

6 What about aftershocks?

There have been aftershocks from the quake. However:

  • As would be expected, these tremors have been decreasing in size and frequency
  • As aftershocks have been occurring away from Tokyo, Tokyo (unlike places in North East Japan nearer the epicentre of March 11 earthquake) has not experienced any significant aftershocks since March 11. We should explain what we mean by this. Many people are familiar with the idea of the “magnitude” of an earthquake, but this only tells you how much energy was released by the quake, and so is principally of interest to scientists. What actually matters much more to people on the ground is how much the ground shakes. This is measured by “intensity”. On Japanese scale of intensity (the “shindo” scale), intensity 3 is defined as: “Dishes in a cupboard rattle occasionally. Electric wires swing slightly” and intensity 4 is defined as: “Hanging objects swing considerably and dishes in a cupboard rattle. Unstable ornaments fall occasionally. Electric wires swing considerably. People walking on a street and some people driving automobiles notice the tremor.” Neither an intensity 3 or 4 shake causes property damage. Obviously, the further from the epicentre of a quake, the lower the intensity of the shaking, and in Ueno, we have not felt a single aftershock exceeding intensity 3 (“dishes in a cupboard rattle occasionally. Electric wires swing slightly”) since the day of the earthquake on March 11. Looking at Tokyo prefecture as a whole, since March 11 there has not be a single aftershock of intensity exceeding 4, and only two occasions (one felt in a few places in the West of the prefecture, the other felt in a few places principally in the East) has an intensity 4 shake been felt, neither of which caused any damage. The aftershocks mentioned in the papers have been felt far more strongly in the North East of Japan than here.
  • In one of the few positive things that can be taken from the day, March 11 showed that Tokyo could take quite a severe shake (intensity upper 5 in parts of Tokyo – much, much stronger than anything since) essentially unharmed.

7 What happened at Fukushima, and what is the situation today?

The tsunami caused by the earthquake on March 11 swamped the plant and disabled its cooling system. The US Government described the situation on March 16 in stark terms:

“we saw significant ongoing releases of radioactivity, the loss of effective means to cool the reactor cores and spent fuel, the absence of outside power or fresh water supply for emergency management, and considerable uncertainty about the condition of the site.”

That was March 16, over a month ago. The outlook today is much better:

  • In the words of the US Government, there has been a dramatic improvement since March 16:

“The situation at the plant is dramatically different today than it was on March 16 …  Today, while the situation remains serious, and there is still a possibility of unanticipated developments, cooling efforts are ongoing and successful, power, water supply, and back-up services have been partially or fully restored, and planning has begun to control radioactive contamination and mitigate future dangers.  Our coordination with the Japanese is regular and productive, and we have a greatly increased capacity to measure and analyze risks.

  • Looking forwards, (again in the words of the US Government) further disruption from the plant is not expected, and even if contrary to expectation it did occur, it would be highly unlikely to affect people 50 miles from the plant (and Tokyo is nearly three times that distance):

“Based on the much reduced rate of heat generation in the reactor fuel after one month of cooling and the corresponding decay of short-lived radioactive isotopes, even in the event of an unexpected disruption at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, harmful exposures to people beyond the 50 mile evacuation zone are highly unlikely, and there would be a significant amount of time to best assess any steps that might have to be taken.”

  • Whilst radiation has escaped (and may continue to escape in limited quantities for some time), it is important to keep this in perspective. The UK government advisers characterised this as follows (these are the words of two separate advisers put together):

“In terms of the land contamination from the releases of radioactivity that has already happened, we predict, both from modelling we’ve done, and from what we know from other contamination incidents, that it’s likely to be patchy. It’s probably going to be contained within 30, 50, 60, 80 kilometres of the plant, but there may be areas where because it rained at the time when the plume was going over where there are quite high concentrations of radioactivity on the agricultural land.

The good news is that it’s quite easy to characterise these contaminated areas and I’m sure that the Japanese will put legislation in place to make sure that food from those areas doesn’t get into the food chain. We’re still in relatively early days and the best thing to do, which is what the Japanese authorities have done, is to put a sort of wide 360 degree control on, and then move inwards on the basis of real measurements and what you can actually find in food.

In terms of the sea, the Pacific Ocean is large but again there could be hot spots related to the way that the discharges have gone into the sea and the way they move round the marine environment, but fortunately the type of radiation that we’re talking about is easily detectable and there are already limits on what is allowed within food.

In terms of the radioactive brine or seawater that is actually being released into the ocean, they do seem very large volumes, but in fact in the context of the Pacific Ocean they are completely miniscule. So there is almost certainly a local area, but in a practical situation it is enormously unlikely that there would be significant contamination a substantial distance away. Basically, albeit the volumes sound really quite large in terms of what might fill a truck or a house, the Pacific Ocean is so enormous there won’t be anything.”

8 What does the fact that Fukushima has been assessed as a Level 7 Accident mean?

In practical terms, very little. What matters in the assessment on the situation as in explained in FAQ 7 – “What is the current situation in Fukushima?”.

The US advice that Tokyo is safe to live in, and the analysis in FAQ 7 – “What is the current situation in Fukushima?” above: 

“takes into consideration … the classification of the severity of the situation at Fukushima Daiichi as a Level 7 event by the Government of Japan”

Or in the words of the Australian Government, who also advise the travel to Tokyo is safe, the reassessment was “a technical adjustment”:

“On 12 April 2011, the Japanese Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency reassessed the accident severity level for the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant from 5 to 7 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. ARPANSA [the Australian Governmental Nuclear Authority] has no information that indicates that this is based on any new deterioration at the plant or any new, more serious release of radiation from the plant. ARPANSA assesses that the risk in Tokyo remains the same – the radiological risk to human health is of low concern. The decision to raise the accident severity level has been made as a technical adjustment based on an assessment of the cumulative release of radioactivity from the plant. Radioactive releases from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant only have significant effects in the vicinity of the plant, which is covered by the exclusion zone currently in effect.”

9 What will happen next a Fukushima?

It has recently been announced that the immediate work on Fukushima will take up to 6 to 9 months, and the long-term clean up can take many years.

However, the important point is that this work, and the possibility of on-going radiation releases has been factored into the advice above. Whilst no one can predict the future with any certainty, to experts of the US, UK and Australian government are not expecting anything to happen that could affect the health of Tokyo residents, and more importantly, are advising that living in (not simply travelling to) Tokyo is safe.

NOTES

1 Is Tokyo safe?

United States:  http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/p/tp-20110415-01.html (and see alsohttp://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5437.html)

United Kingdom: http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=581967082 (and see also:http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=580563082)

2 Is the radiation in Tokyo?

Bloomberg News: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-01/hong-kong-radiation-exceeds-tokyo-even-after-japan-crisis.html

3 Is the water safe to drink?

This issue was discussed in some detail on two calls between the UK’s chief scientific officer and the UK’s ambassador in Tokyo:

http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=572797982

http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=581967082

There is also a Frequently Asked Questions on the website of the UK embassy in Japan (http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=569114782) where this advice is “to follow the Japanese government’s advice on drinking water”. As stated in the main answer, the Japanese government’s advice is that the drinking water is safe.

4 Is the food safe to eat?

The food issue was discussed in some detail in the latest call between the UK’s chief scientific officer and the UK’s ambassador in Tokyo:

http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=581967082

There is also a Frequently Asked Questions on the website of the UK embassy in Japan (http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=569114782). The again advises people to follow Japanese advise, and emphasises that Japanese limits are in many cases more stringent than in the UK and EU.

For those who like seeing pictures of Japanese politicians and beauracrats eating fruits and vegetables to reassure voters, there is this article from the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/please-eat-the-vegetables-japan-tells-radiation-wary-nation/2011/04/15/AFkOfmkD_story.html?fb_ref=NetworkNews

5 Is daily life back to normal?

The power company (TEPCO) announcement is here:

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html

6 What about aftershocks?

For an explanation of the difference between “magnitude” and “intensity”, and an explanation of the Japanese “shindo” system of measuring intensity, see this Wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Meteorological_Agency_seismic_intensity_scale

The Japanese metrological office keeps statistics about aftershocks, large and small, from the March 11 earthquake occurring throughout in Japan on this website:

http://www.seisvol.kishou.go.jp/eq/shindo_db/db_map/indexemg.html

There UK’s government’s assessment of the situation is here (http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=581967082) and is as follows:

“In terms of the seismic activity, what happens after a major earthquake like that, you do get, of course, aftershocks, but the size of those aftershocks tends to decay in a fairly well predicted manner.  There will be variations around that.  There’s no expectation from the geologists that there will be anything like the level of earthquake that you had initially, and any aftershocks will be decaying gradually with time. It is not possible really to say whether in fact there will be another large earthquake some time.”

7 What is the current situation at Fukushima?

The US assessment was taken from here:

http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5437.html

The UK assessment from here:

http://ukinjapan.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=581967082

8 What does the fact that Fukushima has been assessed as a Level 7 Accident mean?

The quote from the US assessment came from the link referred to in 7 above. The Australian Government advice and assessment from their governmental nuclear agency is here:

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/japan

9 What will happen next a Fukushima?

The clean-up schedule has been reported, eg here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/18/japan-reactors-risks-idUSL3E7FI0C720110418?pageNumber=1

Comments (0)

a la campagne

2011.04.23

I went to Kitasenjyu and had dinner at “a la campagne”. Ryoko recommended it for me : )

北千住のマルイにある”ア・ラ・カンパーニュ”で食事をしました。りょうこさんにお勧めしていただきました:)

I ordered spaggeti, a big cake and cafe au lait. I was really full when I finished but delicious and I loved this place. It was on Saterday so there were many people. Each cake is really big, I think  it’s one of reason that it’s quite popular!

スパゲティー、ケーキ、カフェオレを頂きました、食べ終わった後はお腹がいっぱいでしたがとても美味しくこのお店がとっても気に入りました。土曜日でしたので沢山の人で賑わっていました。ボリュームもありここのケーキはかなり人気があるみたいですよ!!

Yuka

Comments (0)

Yokohama

2011.04.22

Yokohama is one of my favorit cities around Tokyo.
I visited Yamashita park in the gloaming. It was soo beautiful that the color of sky shaded into a night view of Minatomirai area!

 

After that, I took a walk around a China town and had dinner there. I enjoyed the feeling of traveling abroad,,!

Ryoko

Comments (0)

Movie

2011.04.21

I saw a movie  “The tourist”. Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp are staring in it. They are my favorite actar and actress and it has filmed in France and Italy where are beautiful country so I really wanted to see it since when it has released. The title also atracted me.

I haven’t seen a film at a theatre for a long time so it was good and usually it’s 1800yen per a person, it’s very expensive compare to other countries but wednesday is a special day for women, I could get a ticket for 1000yen then I got a strawberry caramel pop corn and a cop of coffee.

I really enjoyed the story very much!! but i can’t tell the story  : )

Yuka

Comments (0)

Recent Posts

View All

Monthly Archive

Online Reservation Specials

Online Reservation Specials

Stay Plan Search

Check-in
Number of Days
Nights
Adult
Number of Rooms
Rooms
 
Display Stay Plans
Display Room Types
Display the list by price

For Reservations / Inquiries (81-3)3873-8611 Email Us
  • Stay Plans
  • Official Blog
  • Guest Book
  • Breakfast
  • Events
  • Local Area & Sightseeing
  • Okami Blog
  • FAQs
  • Email Newsletter