Copying this straight from the US Embassy email I just got:
U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to the following regions: Tokyo (Tokyo Capital Region), Yokohama (Kanagawa Prefecture), and the prefectures of Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Iwate, Miyagi, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Yamagata, and Yamanashi.
Areas of Japan outside these above regions of concern include: the islands of Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa, and the prefectures Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Ishikawa, Kyoto, Mie, Nara, Okayama, Osaka, Shiga, Shimane, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama, and Yamaguchi on the island of Honshu. Travelers to these prefectures should bear in mind that transit through Narita (Chiba) and Haneda (Tokyo) airports may be required.
This means many systems are go.
In the meantime, it's the last day of the official school year. The office smells strongly of bubblegum.. I think it must be cleaning products. I spend the morning booking Okinawa (dragging those participating Shiso-ites kicking and screaming into the world of planned Golden Week travel) while the tickets are still within our price range, because we've thrown around hypotheticals for at least a month, ohh, Korea? hmm.. Okinawa? The Philippines? Hmm.. But so-and-so has already been there. And someone doesn't have enough money and someone doesn't have enough vacation days, but it's important to me for us to make this trip together because it's the end of the JET year nearly, by then, but it's impossible for anyone to commit to or settle on anything. Fuck that! We're nearly out of time.
I try to look at websites about Kagoshima and fail. I will need to look at a guidebook instead. I consider ordering one on Amazon and decide to just borrow someone else's for this weekend.
I spend the morning in renraku form, playing little miss travel agent for myself and others, e-mailing and messaging in different people's various (idiotic.. no it's not her fault she can't access e-mail at work and uses facebook instead) messages. Lunch I sit and watch the sun on the river. It really is starting to feel like spring. After lunch I get back and have had enough of people who just don't listen.. and I don't mean 'people who just don't agree,' I mean who don't listen to things like facts. I tell them the time, the price. Then they ask again in another e-mail fifteen minutes later. Who can be bothered to scroll up, anyway? I have my fill of it and flee the bubblegum scented stuffy office for the flowerbeds because
I walk up that driveway every day and back down again in the afternoon to catch the bus, and there is one pansy bed among the many that is choked with weeds. The big powerful weeds wrap their coils (and roots, too) around the pitiful flowers, choking the life from them slowly...
So I grab my gloves (which VP gave to me some random day when he asked me to join him in his random job-doing around school) and go down to weeds who do not argue, and do not ask questions, and I rip them out and beat the roots against the rocks to loosen the dirt therein tangled. And the weeds resist, and the flowers do not thank me, still there's satisfaction in the sunshine of it, the dirt, and the warming wind. I think I found my new favorite spring-break-at-work sunny day pastime.
But of course, at some point I really will have to look into what I'm going to hope to do in Kagoshima this weekend. And I really shouldn't slack off on my Japanese studyin'. Maybe I'll do it on the train.