My girlfriend and I just returned from a long-planned vacation in Japan. We had purchased tickets about a month before the tsunami hit. Media reports were dismal, and some governments were advising their citizens to avoid travelling to Japan due to the threat of aftershocks and radiation. It sounded like the entire country was at risk of imminent disaster! We decided to go anyway, but to avoid Sendai. It was great! There was none of what the media led us to believe. We arrived on Sunday May 22; everything was running normally, and the transportation systems were like clockwork, exactly on schedule. We travelled to Tokyo, took in Ginza, saw the famous Hachiko(faithful dog) statue, and did some shopping. We had Shinkansen(high-speed train) passes, and used them to go to Yokohama, Mishima(very pretty, ecological city), Shimoda and Lake Yamanaka. The Izu Peninsula is very natural, with a rocky coastline. There were no crowds; I could easily have been on an isolated island, for all I knew. Yamanakako was much the same, with fantastic views of Mount Fuji. The last four days of our trip were spent in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. What a contrast in weather! Warm and sunny in the city, but when we took a bus into Daisetsuzan National Park, it was cool due to the elevation. We took a cable car 1600 metres up to Mount Asahi, and hiked another 500 metres up to where there was sulphuric gas spewing from the face. The snow was 30 cm thick up there! Great experience. In short, Japan is more than fine. Go, shop, eat, drink, meet friends, and just enjoy. Never believe the negativity which is so quickly propagated by the uninformed.