Tokyo

Discussion in 'Asia' started by WilliamQ, Jul 28, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    The family had planned a December trip to Tokyo (8 nights). We are bringing our two kids, 5 and 7 for this. Everything is booked, including tickets but my wife is having second thoughts due to potential health issues as we have young kids.

    Is there any legitimate concerns that I should suck it up and cancel the trip (6 nights at Sheraton Grande, Disney Hotel and 2 nights at Hilton Narita Airport) as well as Delta air tickets. If there is no known concerns, can anyone help suggest what I can do to allay her fears? My sis-in-law ever since hearing the plans had started sending articles my wife's way which triggered the reactive worrying.
     
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  2. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Your first and biggest problem is your wife paying any attention to any relative ( who I bet even money has never been to Japan, never travels very much and possibly never even been out of the country:rolleyes:) Call your sister-law and tell her to shut-up and mind her own business:)

    What heath concerns does she have? As far as food and overall cleanliness and overall visitor safety Japan probably is probably the safest country in the world.
    So is the concern nuclear meltdown? Mount Fiji erupting?, a typhoon/sunami ? a war with China? or the plane crashing?
    And if not Japan where else in the world could/could you travel to where you would be completely 100% safe from any uncontrollable event?

    How about just staying at home? earthquake, flood, tornado, forest fire, hurricane?

    People who never travel also seem to be doing a tremendous amount of rationalization mainly to justify their own fears/concerns.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  3. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Which particular health issues are worrying her?

    Long airplane rides, with their extra radiation exposure, likely high bacterial and viral exposure from the crowded environment, risk of DVT, and notoriously bad food? Very real concerns, though most folks here seem to have decided they're worthwhile risks. :)

    Being in a big city, with dirty streets, air pollution, and traffic? Again, very real concern, but not particularly different from every other big city of the world. I've not seen many city sidewalks I'd want to serve dinner on, but walking on them seems sane enough.

    Being in Disneyland Tokyo, where you might get an infection (how many other kids have been hugging Mickey today?) or be caught in a burning treehouse? Seems no more dangerous than going to Disneyland in Anaheim.

    Or is it something else Tokyo specific? Quite seriously, it's a relatively clean city, and the culture seems to place a high value on safety and sanitation. How many other places have you been where, if you're sick, the social expectation is that you will wear a surgical mask to avoid expectorating on others? The US State Department's Japan fact sheet has some more data, including links to info on the radiation around Fukushima, which is likely of no concern since Fukushima is not on your itinerary.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Can you be more specific about the health issues that she is concerned about? Other than Singapore, which is obsessively "clean", I do not know any country in N and SE Asia that is more health-conscious than Japan. Are the concerns related to the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor in 2011 that leaked considerable radiation in the environment after being hit by a quake and the resulting tsunami? If so then this official info might be very helpful
    I was in Osaka and Tokyo last May and did not notice anything out of the ordinary, like people wearing air filters on their faces as they did in the region during the SAR outbreak...
     
  5. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    From the OP's post, I would surmise it is probably due to the concern on radiation due to the Fukushima nuclear reactor.

    I would suggest if that is the case, that first you may want to acknowledge her concern (that may help put her on a less defensive mood and more open to hearing your thoughts), then show her some facts and reports on the level of radiation in Tokyo. My family was there last June and everyone was living and going about their daily lives normally
     
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  6. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    I survived my recent 9 day visit to Japan and thought Tokyo was awesome :eek:

    would also concur with the majority of the comments above
     
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  7. gaijin62

    gaijin62 Gold Member

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    I moved from California to Tokyo about 10 years ago. In that time I have had maybe 10 colds.
    My move coincided with the SARS epidemic in the East Asia region. Because of Japanese cleanliness and national health care, SARS was almost non-existent here.

    Japan is a very hygiene conscious nation. People generally wear medical masks to prevent exposure to pollens to help with allergies, but also wear the masks when they are ill to help prevent spreading their viruses.

    Japan also has mandatory medical insurance, when people get sick they are likely to visit a doctor and have it treated.

    Hope you are able to enjoy your visit here.
     
  8. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Okay... how much you wanna bet.. Hahaha..

    I know where you are coming from but (unfortunately) my sister-in-law do travel for both work and pleasure...
    She averages 2 leisure trips and 1 work trip a year.
    Her (potential radiation) concern (and hence my wife) was towards the two young ones.
    Me and my wife in fact had in fact visited Tokyo last year in November for a 3 nights trip and we "know" its fine for adults...
    I liked it a lot and convinced that we should pay a longer visit as a whole family this year.
     
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  9. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Unless there is a known outbreak like previous SARs and current MERs, "contagious" diseases in the airplane and Disneyland is actually not on our list of concerns. We were initially more "concern" of the temperature being too cold for the children.
     
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  10. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    I agree. I and my wife was there last year too but then this surfaced and my sister-in-law passed it along our way.

    upload_2014-7-29_14-16-22.png
     
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  11. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    I have been doing that from the first conversation of Hong Kong or Tokyo, then Tokyo, then flights and hotel selections... Everything was fine then bam...

    I know. Been there for 3 days last year and it was way too short a getaway.
     
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  12. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    "Japan also has mandatory medical insurance, when people get sick they are likely to visit a doctor and have it treated."
    Does that mean Japanese have no out of pocket expenses when getting medical treatments and they have no reason to avoid the doctors?
    Mind if you share more of this?

    Thanks!
     
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  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    An "essay" by a paranoid quack of a "doctor" is no substitute for official scientific info. I bet you that so-called "doctor" does not believe in climate science either. Anyway, at the bottom of the official info from the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), which I had linked to, there was this: "You can confirm the international comparison of radiation level here." Translation: JNTO was saying, "Do not take our word for it. Corroborate it for yourself and here is a starting point."

    It is easy to scare oneself by reading whatever is published online uncritically...
     
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  14. gaijin62

    gaijin62 Gold Member

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    There is an out of pocket expense but usually fairly minimal. So for example:

    When I lived in America I had a heart attack, which made medical insurance a bit expensive and since it was a preexisting condition many providers would not cover it.

    In Japan I have the choice of private insurance or public option (annual payments based on my salary). I am covered by public plan.

    When I visited the doctor, I had 1000 yen (about US$10) out of pocket payment. I also saw a cardiologist and had complete cardiac exam and my payment was 5000 yen. I am not sure exactly how it all works, but I believe costs are regulated by the government, but if you need treatment you are not turned away.

    One thing I have kind of joked about is that around where I live there are more doctors than 7/11s
     
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  15. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    We've been to Japan twice in the last year and the only thing glowing so far would be my reviews of the country and it's people.
     
  16. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

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    Love Japan and would in no way hesitate going for another visit! :)
     
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  17. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    likewise, visited last year and would be great if i get a chance to visit it with family within the next couple of years, beautiful country,
     
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  18. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    If you read Mita's report or interviews, he recommends moving away or spending a month or two out of the city for residents. Since you're not moving to Tokyo and you're not a resident, but a tourist, it hardly seems a concern.

    FWIW, if your sister is paranoid about radiation exposure, flying in planes is a bad idea.
     
  19. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    I would think the same re: tourists. A short term stay is not going to be an issue IMHO. But then I have a 'what me, worry?' view on life these days :)

    (Posted from my milepoint enabled iPhone)
     
  20. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Well, it seems that my SIL is not letting up.
    I did the next thing I could do.
    Wrote to the Embassy in Japan.
    They replied very generically which is not what I hoped for but I quickly highlighted to my wife that they did not advise us from travelling there.
    As representatives of our government, they would have done that if it was not safe.

    We stopped discussing about the trip in my SIL's presence but I am not sure is the messaging and calls had stopped.
    Keeping my fingers crossed.
     
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  21. konoyaro

    konoyaro Silver Member

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  22. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Nothing wrong with letting relatives dictate your choices on vacation based on medical quackery, eh?
     
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  23. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    That is the key: Before I plan a trip or leave the US for any destination overseas, I check religiously the US State Department fact sheet for that destination. Here's the webpage and the fact sheet on Japan. Bookmark the page and check the "Before You Go" tab for warnings about places that you may want to avoid. If there is anything AT ALL to worry about, the state department would issue a warning. That web is the overseas travelers' best friend. Maybe you should direct your SIL to it...
     
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  24. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    So personal travel decisions are being based upon a website "operated and founded by an AIDS denialist" that has been called "one of the most wretched hives of scum and quackery on the Internet". Is this a joke?
     
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  25. sheikkila02

    sheikkila02 Silver Member

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