A few weeks ago I mentioned that this time last year we were in Japan. Three weeks ago no one knew Japan would be facing a disaster of historic proportions (hey psychics how did you miss this?*).
We couldn't be sadder for the Japanese people. We've travelled all over the world but our holiday to Japan was my favourite, or equal favourite, so far. The Japanese were superb. They have a generosity of spirit and hospitality we'd never encountered before. Time and again we met people that were friendly and helpful that seemed to belie the Japanese reputation for reserve and formality.
I've been shocked by the images coming out of Japan. It is truly heartbreaking.
There couldn't be a better prepared people to deal with such a catastrophe though. Hopefully Japanese stoicism in the face of this crisis will see them through. They must be being pushed to the limit though with an earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown and now possibly the eruption of the volcano Mt Shinoedake on Kyushu. All they need now is Gojira to rear his ugly head above Tokyo Bay to complete a horrifying week.
Our thoughts are with our Japanese friends and we send them our best wishes but sometimes a more tangible gift is more appropriate: Australian Red Cross Japan Disaster Appeal.
Japan in happier times. Michelle in front of Matsumoto Castle, Matsumoto. 9th March 2010.
*Seriously psychics. You missed the 5th biggest recorded earthquake in history, one of the deadliest tsunamis in history and multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns. All on one weekend.