Post Earthquake Check-In

I don’t have a whole lot that I want to say right now. I wasn’t really planning on ending my vacation this way, but like I’ve mentioned before, some things you have zero control over. Nevertheless, I wanted to check on some of my readers out there to see how you’re doing. If you’re living in Japan, tell me where you’re staying, and what’s your status: Is everything okay in your area? Any major concerns? Let’s talk about them. For those of you who are living outside of Japan, don’t feel barred from the discussion: what are your questions about the situation over here? Maybe in the process of discussing we can help one another. Please feel free to post in the comments section.


Donald Ash

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  • Hey Donald,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now. I found it while I was planning my trip to Japan. I was curious about Japanese convenience stores (for some reason) and found your YouTube video. XD

    I’m wondering, what’s Tokyo like right now? I’ve been reading, and talking to people in Japan, and seriously can’t decide whether I should go. I really need to go through all of my papers, and check on all the places that I am going to see if they’re opening, etc.

    As far as the train schedules, I hear that even if they’re running at 50% that they’re still more efficient than public transportation anywhere else in the world. That may be an exaggeration, but even if it has an ounce of truth, I’ll take it.

    I really hope that every single one of your readers are safe. It breaks my heart to think of how much people have lost. I don’t know if I would be able to deal with such devastation so close to home. This easily this could have happened 4 weeks later while I was there. I don’t know what I would have done, even if I was in Tokyo, where it was not hit so bad.

    Please take care,
    Long time reader, first time commenter. :)

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks, Alyse.

      Yes it’s extremely heartbreaking. I am doing okay and I hope that everybody is okay, too. Tokyo? I did go to Ginza the other day and aside from stores and things closing early to conserve power, everything seems okay…things are calm right now. However, I don’t know if coming right now is a good idea (I don’t even know how they’re handling flights to Narita). But I hope you when you do get to Japan, that all of this will be under control and you can enjoy it for the wonderful country/culture that it is.

      Thanks for reading & posting,


  • Ryan McGuinness

    How’s it going Donald? It’s crazy how much news coverage it’s getting over here. Although, I haven’t seen a good first hand account of it until yours. How far away was the Tsunami from Tsukuba? I really wish there were more ways I could help. I’ve donated my lunch money for the week and am having homemade food for lunch. It’s not much, but it’s all I can give.

    Hope its over now. Stay safe.


    • Donald Ash

      I’m still a tad worried, but all in all, I’m okay. It’s a media circus back in the U.S. I’m sure. I think the places where the tsunami hit the hardest are a ways away from me. Like Kamaishi city, is over 200 miles away. Looking at some of the footage is downright devastating:

      Anything you do to help, I’m sure, is much appreciated. I’ll be careful. It’s good to hear from you, man.


  • Rita X Stafford

    Hi Donald,

    Just viewed your video on YouTube. Thank you. Have some friends in Tsubuku; They live at 162 Hasaki. Their names are Takeo and Toshie Ohashi; Kaori Ohashi is their daughter– really talented artist; Yoshiko Nakamura is Toshie’s sister and a very cool lady. My connection to them is through the Ohashi’s daughter, Teruko, with whom I’ve lost contact, but continue to love. I teach ESL at Los Angeles City College and for about five years we hosted international students at our home in Los Angeles. We’ve since moved from L.A., but I still teach at City. If you have time and if there’s there’s any way that you can locate them, I would appreciate it. I know you would enjoy meeting Kaori. I want to help them if I can. Let me know something, anything if possible.

    Will peruse your blog. Like it a lot. Are you planning to come back to the states soon? Be well and thanks again. Rita

    PS. They know my husband, Freddie, who also wishes them well and is thinking of them, too.

    • Donald Ash

      If I have the chance, I will check on them. It’s not so easy right now, though, to be honest. But you should know that Tsukuba stayed relatively safe, people were more shaken up than anything. I hope your friends are okay.

      Thank you for your comments. I just got back from the U.S. on March 10th, so I don’t think I’m going back right now. I’ll try to find a way to be safe here in Japan.

      I appreciate you posting, Rita.

      • Rita X Stafford

        Donald, your blog is real. You are wonderful. Don’t forget me, if you have a chance to check on these folks. I obviously have no idea where they live relative to where you live and so on. I realize there’s a lot going on. Let me know how I can help, or if in any way this request causes you trouble. Sending you all positive + + powers to handle all that’s ahead.

  • Anthony

    Hi Don,

    Not sure if you remember me, but we met through Marissa nearly two years ago! Just discovered your blog and I wanted to say that it’s looking great. Glad to see that you are doing well during these difficult times. Shinjuku has come out of the quake relatively unscathed, so although life is mentally taxing, I feel pretty safe here. If you are in the area and need a helping hand, just let me know!


    • Donald Ash

      Hey Anthony,

      Of course I remember you! It’s not like I run into all that many African-Americans in Tsukuba. Thanks for the feedback, bro. I’m doing the best I can with my blog everyday, and I really enjoy writing it! I’ll say that Tsukuba is pretty similar, not a whole lot of visible damage, but water and food shortages have been a problem. For the most part, though, water services have been restored, food…um it’s not a terrible situation, it’s just not as convenient as it was before all of this started, and understandably so. Thank you for reaching out, man. Please keep in touch. Take care.

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