Dear Japan Travelers:
A strong earthquake hit the Northern part of Japan in the afternoon of March 11, triggering several meter high tsunami waves that caused destruction in areas along the Pacific coast of eastern Japan:
As of today (March 12th) Tokyo and surrounding areas are fine and all local trains are now up and running. Most of the images you see on TV are of the coastline in the northern area of Japan near the city of Sendai about 350Km north of Tokyo and are not representative of Japan as a whole.
Effects on air traffic:
All major airports re-opened within 24 hours of the earthquake, however, many international and domestic flights got cancelled. Only Sendai Airport, which was directly hit by the tsunami, can be expected to remain closed for some time to come.
Effect on your trips to Japan:
The effect on tourist activities (apart from short term transportation issues) is likely to be rather low. No major tourist spot seemed to have suffered major damage with the possible exception of Matsushima (Sendai), which was hit by both the earthquake and tsunami, however, no detailed damage reports are available. Central Sendai, did not suffer widespread major damage. There is currently no information on any other major tourist destination affected.
Overall, there is little reason to cancel travel plans for Japan unless you were planning to visit the coastal areas of the eastern Tohoku Region.
Japan March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami Update