It would appear I’m not on the train after all. We got to the train station and found the train had been delayed indefinitely because of the tsunami warning after yesterday’s big earthquake in Chile. We had a choice between waiting around, possibly for several hours, for the train to finally be given the all clear to leave, or rebook my ticket on the next overnight train to Osaka. It was pretty cold in the station, so it didn’t take Kazuko long to strongly advise me to rebook the ticket. I am now leaving on Tuesday. The good news is that the dress rehearsal went very well and I appear to have left nothing unpacked.

Tsunami, as we all know, is a Japanese word and you certainly couldn’t accuse the authorities of being blasé in the face of potential disaster. The TV has interrupted broadcasting to bring us continuous coverage of the tsunami, including a map of the nation with potential tsunami targets flashing (most of the coastline, apparently) and updates of wave sizes at different locations. It would appear that the coastal population of Japan has been successfully evacuated and judging by the TV coverage of the evacuation centres, that population consists almost entirely of elderly women. It looks as if they’ve given them all a free cup of tea, too.I can’t imagine the tsunami will be big enough to wreak much havoc on Japan but I do find the authorities approach infinitely preferable to letting me get on a train that goes through an underwater tunnel while there is a tsunami roaming the Pacific.

So the upshot is that thanks to a very strong earthquake in Chile, Kazuko is now stuck with me for an extra couple of days. She seems to be bearing up well, though.

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