Information Tracking

In the days right after the quake, information was vital, and accurate information was hard to come by, particularly in English. The collection below was an attempt to address the issue.

The most in-depth site I've found is here:


The Japan Meteorological Agency maps out the most recent earthquake info in English here.


NHK World News (

TELL: Tokyo English Life Line (

A solid list of links to news, power outage information, emergency service numbers, and volunteer works.


Minna de Wiki: Disaster Resources (

A wiki-list of places to go for food and shelter in the northern disaster zones, as well as some information useful for everybody. Designed specifically to help foreigners as well as Japanese people!

Earthquake Readiness

Nip0 Blog (

How to prepare, what to take with you when evacuating, emergency  message boards in Japan, etc.

Power Outages

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) has for the time being suspended planned power outages. However, they may return in the summer months as power demand increases again


The Kanto area has been divided into 5 groups, which have now been subdvided further into sub-groups. There are 5 outage time slots, and a different group is being assigned to each slot each day.

Outage Time
 6:20 - 10:00
 9:20 - 13:00
 12:20 - 16:00
15:20 - 19:00 
18:20 - 22:00

*The decision as to whether or not to shut down power is made shortly before the beginning of each time slot.

During peak consumption times, to reduce the load on the system, people are asked not to use washing machines, microwaves, and other high-consumption devices during this time.

Groupings by Prefecture:

To figure out which group or sub-group you're in, you'll have to go to the Japanese site. The groups have not changed from before, but the sub-groupings are new.


On the grouping pdf, you'll see something like this:

都県 市区郡 大字通称  グループ
City or Prefecture Ku (region) or Gun (county)




The file is long, so do a search and input the kanji for your region or address (e.g. chuo-ku = 中央区). Then identify your address and you'll figure out which group you are. If you live west of the 50 Hz/60 Hz divide in Yamanashi and Shizuoka, you should be unaffected (i.e. west of Fuji City).


If your keyboard doesn't allow Japanese input, an easy trick is to go to and type in your region or address. Copy & paste the kanji off any of the links into your search.

JR Lines

The train situation in Tokyo has been better, but aftershocks are still having some effects, and power restrictions still affect some lines. In the morning, several channels have a train ticker at the bottom of the screen.

Understanding TV Train Updates 
運休 unkyū Not running
運行 unkō Running
見合わせます miawasemasu


(i.e. run at a very limited rate)

If a line has been seriously affected, they'll also list the stations between which the trains are running. There are lots of these, and your best bet is to check your train line at Wikipedia. Wikipedia lists all the stations and the kanji.