In the lead up to TCAF I was itching to travel. Despite the fact I’d been in Tokyo in October/November 2010, the bug had bit and I wanted to get away from it all for a few weeks. Air Canada was having a last-minute sale on Japan, where I could’ve gone for the first three weeks of may for like $1100, which is a great price if you’re flying Air Canada, and not bad for everyone else.
I didn’t end up going because I realized I might’ve totally fucked TCAF up if I took off for three weeks just a month before the Festival, and then I ended up missing out on the devestating Tohoku Earthquake.
It’s funny, ever since the earthquake my resolve about going back, my interest in returning to a country that has been beset by tragedy and is undergoing some pretty heavy psychological scarring at the moment with radiation fears and continued earthquakes, it hasn’t shaken. I’ve been wondering when the next time I could sneak away…pretty much non-stop. No time in May with TCAF and Anime North, no time in June with the move (ugggggh). I kinda refuse to go in July, August, and September because I’m not built for 40+ degree weather (celcius). And October was looking a little busy.
As soon as the tickets went back on sale (1200!), I booked for the first two weeks of November. I’m very excited.
Unexpectedly though, my booking made travelling back real, and reading the news feeds out of Japan right now hit me pretty hard this weekend. Particularly these posts by Danny Choo, detailing the massive devastation and loss of life in Tohoku.
I’ve heard from many friends and writers that while Japan is not yet back to ‘normal’, a ‘new normal’ has taken its place, and people are doing okay… except for the tourism industry, that is. I’ve heard reports from friends that ‘people’ aren’t travelling to Japan at the moment, and within Japan people are staying home a lot and not visiting bars and restaurants, worsening an economic recession that has gripped the country for the past few years.
I’m glad I’m going back, I’m glad that whatever few bucks I can contribute to the economy and to charity will make an impact, and I hope that somehow I can inspires folks like you reading this to do the same.
To that end, I’m going to work very hard to get the rest of my Japan photos up online from my previous trips (I think there are hundreds no one has seen yet), and I’ll try to keep you up to date on my trip planning here on the blog as I get things ready.
Thanks for reading,