Hakuba has not been affected with any damage from the earthquake, tsunami or increased radiation. We are 300 km away from the power plant as the crow flys and the weather patterns travel predominantly the opposite direction. We are 30 km from the Japan sea with 3000 meter high mountains between us. I just wanted to clear that up as we are getting lots of messages asking us if everything is ok here. The worst that will happen in Hakuba is the economic downturn as it is a town that is very reliant on it’s tourism. Summer time actually brings in more tourists, the majority of them being Japanese who come here to hike and enjoy the mountain environment. Temperatures are pleasant with some humidity and certainly much milder than the city areas. The problem is that the Japanese do not like to show they are having a good time when there fellow country folk are suffering. I can understand this however I am hoping the National Golden Week holidays which start at the end of April this year will be the start of the psychological recovery that all of Japan needs.
The current advice is not to travel to Ibaraki, Tochigi, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, including the 80 kilometre exclusion zone, unless your presence there is essential, due to limitations on essential services, infrastructure damage, and ongoing concern about the status of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The other 42 prefectures of Japan are fine to visit and explore.