I have recently been asked a question regarding travel to Tokyo. The reader who had sent me an email asking my thoughts on radiation and food safety in the Tokyo area. After reading this question it took me a minute to really collect me thoughts on how I do feel about the radiation and food safety in the Tokyo area. I have not made any videos about this topic to date nor have I really taken the time to talk about it in any form of media but seeing as how I received the question via email I figure now is as good a time as any.
When it comes to radiation in Tokyo I quite honestly have absolutely no concern whatsoever. I realize that this may not be the interesting answer that some of you were hoping for but it is my answer regardless. In fact I have absolutely no concern for radiation or food safety in the area of Tokyo. To be completely honest and terribly boring that is really all that there is to say. Why do I not have concern? Well, why are you (some of you at least) not concerned about the amount of radiation which you receive going through a full body scanner like the ones now used in the US or the amount of radiation you then receive going up in a plane and flying cross country and/or across the ocean. I really think that it all comes down to asking yourself the right questions.
If there is a harmful amount of radiation in Tokyo (and I am not saying that there is) it would not be enough to kill you on the spot because there are thousands still living, working and visiting the city daily so it's a matter of what long term risks you might encounter. Maybe there is a chance you could get cancer. . . . . ok. There is always a chance that you can get cancer. Cell phones, tattoo ink, fried foods, microwaves, motorcycles, car engines, preservatives, smoking, breathing in polluted city air and plastic bottles (just to name a few) are all some of the things that can also cause cancer and we are consumed by these things each and ever day not to mention the things that could kill us on the spot like car accidents. The question then becomes where you are willing to draw the line. Are you willing to possibly not experience something amazing because there is a little off chance that it could end badly? For me the answer is no. I am not willing to not do something because of the off chance that in the lottery of what we call life I might just pull a card which could give me negative health risks. The same goes for food and food safety. I know what foods to avoid just in case and I know what foods I am going to enjoy. I also know that there is as much higher risk of me getting sick from food that is not cooked properly than there is from me eating something that happened to be irradiated. Again it comes down to what risks you are willing to take.
My real concern while I am in Tokyo. . . . earthquakes. I know that there have been a great deal of earthquakes still happening in the central to northern part of Japan and this causes some concern for me. I want to make sure that not only am I safe but so is my mother who is not used to the feel of the ground shaking under her feet. I have taken real life preparations for this installing various applications which detect earthquakes on my phone as well as having a plan for what to do in the event that there is an earthquake and tsunami during the time that we are in Tokyo. Again does the fact that there are still earthquakes concern me, yes but will it change my plans to travel to Tokyo, no.
Ultimately you only live once and you can choose to sit in the house or you can go and see the world.