Updated: We're Safe

Trip Start Mar 08, 2011
1
12
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Trip End Jun 11, 2011


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Flag of China  ,
Friday, March 11, 2011

Thanks for all the concern after the recent news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We're still in Hong Kong safe and sound. Unfortunately we're not sure about our plans to fly to Tokyo tomorrow so we're working on that. Stay tuned.

Update Saturday March 12: After a long evening/night in our hostel room with partial internet we decided to change our itinerary and plans and not visit Japan this trip. We were originally scheduled to fly to Tokyo through Shanghai on Saturday (this) morning, very early.  We are really disappointed as we were so looking forward to visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima but felt it was better to not risk any aftershocks and to let Tokyo and the rest of the country recover before we visit. We also saw that the US State Department issued a memo for all US non-essential travel to Japan to cease until April 1. That really sealed the deal for us.  We need to be in Shanghai on Sunday the 20th to start our tour so we had just a week in between. Looking at flights there weren't many other options of places we could go that made sense. Even our top choice, the Philippines, is under severe tsunami warnings. In the end, we’re familiar with Hong Kong and have some friends here so we decided to stay here until Thursday of this coming week and fly to Shanghai earlier than Sunday the 20th to have a few days on our own.  We owe a huge thanks to Sarah and Valerie at Air Treks travel for helping us navigate the flight situation. I’m really glad we booked our original flights with them so they could be our advocate – we really struggled getting through to the airlines and getting help. Air Treks was great and cancelled/rebooked our flights and will continue to follow up with the airlines to see what kinds of refunds we can get. We had also booked 3 hotels through agoda.com and we were refunded 80% of those costs which was good. Our other expense was that we had previously purchased Japan Rail Passes to use the train system once we got there. These passes were pretty expensive so we’ll call the office who issued them on Monday for help – the fine print does indicate we’re eligible for some sort of refund.  In all, we’re very disappointed that we won’t get to experience Japan on this trip but are very lucky that we weren’t nearby and that we’re safe. We really appreciate all the good thoughts and messages from all our friends and family, thank you.
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Comments

Jessica on

I'm glad you guys are okay. I thought of you immediately this morning when I heard news of the earthquake. Be safe!

Missy on

I am so glad that you are ok--immediately thought of you two. Love this blog!

Erin on

So glad to hear you guys are safe, we thought about you when we heard the news this morning. We miss you in Bloomington, although you guys are having a lot more fun!

Debbie Beaver on

Ok, ignore my text. I was really worried about you guys....Safe travels!

Ian on

Stay safe....glad you hadn't made it to Japan yet.

Kathy Ryan on

I talked to Kyoko and her family to send contact information to you but it's probably best you don't go. The airport is back up but they said the trains are still impossible and now there are rolling black outs because to power issues. It will give you someplace to go later.....

Jamey Glynn on

So glad you and Dave are safe.

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