A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Earthquake Aftermath – Information for Tsukuba Residents

I haven’t posted to TsukuBlog in a long time, but I thought this was a good time to break my (unintended — just too busy) spell of silence. Since it can be very hard to find information in English about what is happening in the aftermath of a crisis in Japan, I thought it would be a good idea to try to use TsukuBlog as a way of disseminating information to our English-speaking residents. I will try to provide links to official sources so you can check to make sure the information is reliable.

I have made a new website specifically for disseminating information to Tsukuba residents. Please use this website from now on: Tsukuba News. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 20:17)


  • Haneda: According to the Haneda Airport website, the terminal buildings are safe. Please contact airlines for flight details. The trains to the airport are running, but check the websites of the train companies to confirm. The free shuttle bus between the terminals is running. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 17:35)
  • Narita: According to the Narita Airport website, the terminal buildings are safe. Please contact airlines for flight details. The Cityliner express train from Ueno to Narita is not running. Other trains are running, but check the websites of the train companies to confirm.(Updated March 13, 2011 at 17:30)


  • The highway buses from Tokyo to Tsukuba are not running yet because the highway is still closed. (This information is from a phone call to Kantetsu, one of the companies that runs the buses.) (Updated March 13, 2011 at 14:43)
  • TsukuBus is running as normal, but it is making some detours around roads that have cracks in them. This information is from a phone call to Tsukuba City Hall. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 15:21)

City Hall

  • Midori left a comment below to say that Azuma Public Hall will be closed tomorrow because of a collapsed wall. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 17:20)


  • TAIRA (our local mailing list) seems to be down. I have sent an email to Tadashi, the list manager, about it. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 14:47)

Country-based Information (for citizens of countries other than Japan)


  • According to the Japan Meteorological Agency website, the magnitude of the Sendai Earthquake was 9.0. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 14:47)
  • According to the NHK News website, the chances of an aftershock of magnitude 7 or more happening within the next three days is more than 70%. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 16:22)


  • As far as I know, electricity has been restored to households in Tsukuba. If that is not true for you, please let me know in the comments and I will try to find out what the situation is by checking the Tokyo Electric Company website.
  • I have heard that there will be rolling blackouts throughout eastern Japan, but I have not been able to find any official sources to back up this information. If you can confirm this with an official source, please let us know in the comments. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 15:57)
  • According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry website, we should try our best to conserve electricity. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 17:15)
  • According to the Tokyo Electric Power Company English website, power shortages should be expected. Everyone is encouraged to avoid using unnecessary lighting and electrical equipment. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 17:18)
  • The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry just announced (on NHK) that the possibility of rolling blackouts is very high. They will likely last for three hours each and will continue for two to three weeks. Tokyo Electric Power Company will issue a press release with more information at 6:30pm today. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 17:48)
  • The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry just announced (on NHK) that rolling blackouts will likely start tomorrow morning. They will likely continue for two to three weeks. Tokyo Electric Power Company will issue a press release with more information at 8:00pm today. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 17:48)


  • Gas stations are extremely crowded, so it is hard to get gas. People are saying we may run out. This is unconfirmed as I am not sure how to check this, so please treat the information about gas supplies as a rumour for now. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 14:34)
  • According to the Eneos website, because of the fire at the plant in Sendai and because of problems with delivering gas, there may be gas shortages in some areas. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 15:31)

Groceries and Shopping

  • People are buying up things in the stores. There are shortages. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 14:45)
  • According to Joanne who drove past it this morning, LaLa Garden is closed. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 16:27)


  • According to the Japan Highway website, the Joban highway between Misato Junction (south of Tsukuba, in Saitama) and Iwaki Nakoso (north of Tsukuba, in Fukushima) is closed. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 15:17)
  • According to the Japan Highway website, the Ken-oh highway between Tsukuba Chuo (in Tsukuba) and Inashiki (in south Ibaraki — on the way to Narita airport) is closed. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 15:17)

Nuclear Plant


  • Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support, a coalition of three highly reputable animal rescue groups (HEART-Tokushima, Animal Garden Niigata and Japan Cat Network) are working to rescue, care for and support animals in crisis due to the earthquake and tsunami (Updated March 13, 2011 at 17:45)


  • Now checking. If you have information about restaurants that are open, please let me know in the comments.


  • According to the Tsukuba Express website, only 50 to 60% of the trains are running and every train is a local (stopping at every station). (Updated March 13, 2011 at 14:31)
  • According to the news on Fuji TV, the Joban railway line is closed between Toride (Ibaraki Prefecture, to the south of Tsukuba) and Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture, to the north of Tsukuba). (Updated March 13, 2011 at 14:40)
  • According to the Tsukuba Express website, Tsukuba Express trains will be running as usual tomorrow. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 18:39)


  • According to Jon Heese’s blog, many households in Tsukuba are currently without water. Please see his blog for ideas about what to do if you are without water. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 14:20)
  • There is a problem with the water supply from Kasumigaura. You can get drinking water from Ninomiya Park, Matsushiro Park, Amakubo, and Takezono Higashi Koen, and the old city hall buildings in Yatabe and Toyosato. Also, you can get water for other purposes (not drinking) from Tsukuba City Hall. People with well water are not affected. This information is from a call to the Tsukuba City Hall Water Department. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 15:18)
  • Stephane added a comment below to say that there is no more water being distributed at Ninomiya Park. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 15:54)
  • Coreen added a comment below to say that there is drinking and non-drinking water at a local fire station. There is no limit but the flow is slowing down. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 17:29)
  • See Avi’s comment below. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 18:06)

If there is anything else you want to know about, please leave a comment and we will check into it.


  • Eboni Staton says:

    The part of the University located in Amakubo has power and internet but no water. People are asked to go to the parks nearby to get water. Matsumi-koen and the one near Bulldog have City officials distributing water.

  • Stephane says:

    There is no water anymore at ninomiya parc.

  • Coreen Takasu says:

    For those interested, press releases from TEPCO in English regarding nuclear power plant: http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html

  • Shaney says:

    Thanks, Stephane. I have added that information to the Water section.

  • Deborah says:

    Thanks Shaney. I just got water at Amakubo Koen. I don’t know how much longer they will have it. They said they will not be there tomorrow. They also said in the Amakubo area water will run today from 6-10 and then be shut off again. Please save water at this time in pans, bathtub, etc.

  • Ralph says:

    At the moment what we need to be informed about is the nuclear radation threat to all of us. No body is telling us clearly as to what precautions tobe taken in the event of a leak from these reactors from fukushima. Any info you could give us please, thanx

  • hiya says:

    thank u

  • Ann says:

    Thank you so much Shaney. I’m in England but Neil is in Tsukuba. It is so reassuring to have info from someone on the ground.
    Love to you all. I hope to be back on Wednesday. Does anyone know if flights from Europe are arriving at Narita.

    • Shaney says:

      Hi Ann,

      I added a section about airports. They seem to be running basically as usual. Please contact your airline for details.

  • Neil W says:

    Thanks for the information Shaney we really appreciate the news in English, especially about the nuclear problems. Please keep the site updated as much as you can.

  • midori says:

    The Azuma Public hall will be closed tomorrow because of a collapsed wall

  • Coreen Takasu says:

    We just got water from our local fire station. They had drinking and non-drinking water. So far no limit but it’s well water and he said the flow is slowing down.

  • Avi Landau says:

    I have just come back from the water distribution point next to the gym at the former Sakura City Office. There were long lines and the sun was setting fast.
    I spoke with the city official there, and according to him, the water pumps will be turned on between 6 and 10pm tonight. However, you might not be able to get much out of your faucet (tap) if everyone is trying to fill their tub at once.

    ( remember that water has always been a problem in this area. It wasnt until economically viable pumps were developed to bring water up from Lake Kasumigaura, that this area ( where Tsukuba City now lies) that this area could be developed on a large scale)

    Today water was being distributed ( from small tanker trunks) at various locations from 10 am to 6 pm. Tomorrow they will probably be at the same places at the same times.

    Amakubo Park
    Takezonon Higashi Park
    Hanabatake Kinrin Koen Park
    Matsushiro Park
    Ninomiya Park

    Also some park, like the playground at the former Sakura City Office have water fountains which use well water.

    As I have written in my post,
    the best place for water is at one of Tsukuba`s natural springs.

    If you need help finding one

    cal me at
    090 4 221 4194


  • […] Avi’s comment below. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 18:06) This entry was posted in water. Bookmark the […]

  • […] See Avi’s comment. (Updated March 13, 2011 at […]

  • Prima Cabina says:

    Several information resources:

    Japan earthquake how to protect yourself (Information in 18 languages)

    Official Tweet of Tsukuba City
    The most up-to-date and helpful information about water supply, power outage, transportation, etc. (Japanese)

    English translation by volunteers

    Chinese translation by volunteers

    NHK provides its entertainment contents for free on youtube (Japanese) (For bored kids!)

    The official site of Univetsity of Tsukuba (English)

  • […] Midori left a comment to say that Azuma Public Hall will be closed tomorrow because of a collapsed wall. (Updated March 13, 2011 at 17:20) This entry was posted in city hall. Bookmark the permalink. ← Shopping Updates Pet Updates → LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  • Andrea K says:

    The times that the electricity will be off tomorrow in Tsukuba are:
    6:20 – 10:00am (Group 1)
    4:50pm – 8:30pm (Group 1)

    12:20pm – 4:00pm (Group 3)

    Tsukuba City falls into Group 1 and Group 3, depending on the part of Tsukuba. (Which parts are which are not given.)

    This information has just come directly from the Tokyo Electricity Company website at 9pm on Sunday night.

  • Andrea K says:

    Well, the PDF that showed the power cut schedule has just disappeared from their website :(

    Don’t know what that means, but right now Channel 10 on the TV is reading out exactly the same list. (9:17pm)

  • Andrea K says:

    By the way, if you live in Tsuchiura, it is in Group 1 or Group 5 for the electricity cuts.

    Please see group 1 in the previous post.
    Group 5
    3:20pm – 7pm

  • Lutin says:

    Bonjour à toutes et à tous,

    Je travaille pour la société Mitsubishi carbide (en France) et j’aimerai connaître la situation auprès d’une de nos usine à Tsukuba.
    Merci d’avance

  • lutin says:

    Hello everydody,

    I’m working at Mitsubishi carbide (in France), and would like to know the situation in one of our manufacture located at Tsukuba.

    Thanks in advance

    Best regards

    • Shaney says:

      Hello Lutin,

      This page says that there was no major damage to Mitsubisi Materials branches, but that because of power failures, structural damage to buildings, and loss of water services, some of the branches are closed. The Tsukuba branch is one that is closed.


      • lutin says:

        Dear Shaney,

        many thanks for your reply and informations, but concerning the link, sorry but it is in Japanese words I can’t understand

        Best regards

  • Avi Landau says:

    It started just like clockwork- first as a sputter, then a trickle. After about 30 minutes or so it was a full blown stream, and hot! I hope you all enjoyed it while it lasted- and saved up some (water) for tomorrow.
    It is now past ten so the pumps have been turned off.

    Again, if anyone is in special need of water, I recommend the spring waters which can be found at various locations around Tsukuba- tastier than the emergency water supply, AND there is no time limit or restriction on how much you can take.
    I have an appointment to take some people to the spring in my neighborhood. If anyone else is interested, just let me know.

  • Avi Landau says:

    Expect power failures in Tsukuba tomorrow. Depending on where you live, the juice might be turned off either between

    06:20~10:00, 12:20~16:00,or 16:50~20:30, so dont be surprised if power goes out at your place between one of these time periods.

  • Prima Cabina says:


    Several Helpful Information:

    Japan earthquake how to protect yourself (Information in 18 languages):

    Tsukuba City’s Official Twitter (Japanese):
    The most up-to-date, reliable and helpful information, such as water supply, power outage, transportation, etc.
    And its twilog:

    The above city’s official twitter’s English, Chinese, Korean translation site:

  • Prima Cabina says:

    To Univ of Tsukuba students, The univ’s official site has been updating also in English

    The University of Tsukuba official site has been updating also in English:

  • Avi Landau says:

    Ive just found out that Tsukuba`s power will be out from between 12:20 to 4:00 pm tomorrow ( Monday)

  • Prima Cabina says:

    Tsukuba city wants the official twitter @tsukubais’s translators! Volunteers who can translate Japanese to English, Chinese, Korean are wanted. You don’t need to work at the city office, you can email translated tweet to the city HQ.
    mailto: tsukubais.fr@gmail.com

  • Mamoru Shimizu says:

    Erectric cut in Tsukuba city (Information picked up from Tokyo erectric company home page (2011.3.14)

    *There are around 190 area divided in Tskuba, mostly depend upon areas like Tkezono or Namiki.
    *Most area grouped 1, but several area 1and 3 ,very few 1and 5(there are 5 groups).
    *Depending upon groups suply time will be different as mentioned before by Mr.Avi Landau.
    *Written below area has belongs 3, 1and 3 ,1and 5, 1and 3 and 5,because of supply system.
    *I wrote Japanese in Chinese letter so please ask your Japanese friends how to pronouce(.some area in alphbet written in rigght side)

    area name alphabet
    上広岡 1and 3 kamihirokoa
    大角豆 1and 3 sasage
    下広岡 1and 3 shimohirooka
    並木 1and 3 namiki
    春日 1and 3 kasuga
    刈間 1and 3 karima
    高野台 1and 3 kouyadai
    二の宮 1and 3 ninomiya
    西高野 1and 3 nishitakano
    花畑 1and 3
    小田 1and 5
    小和田 1and 5
    北条 1and 3
    山木 1and 3
    天豊喜 1and 3
    池向 1and 3
    稲荷川 3
    稲荷原 1and 3
    大船戸 1and 3
    小茎 1and 3
    九万坪 1and 3
    自由丘 1and 3
    城山 3
    高崎 1and 3
    高見原 1and 3
    中山 1and 3
    西大井 1and 3
    宝陽台 3
    牧園 1and 3
    明神 3
    森の里 1and 3

    *in the case belonging two cases they do not show detail which part of the area belongs to which group
    *they say there will be changing of groups, check it in certain time interval, this is the first time for the company dealing with this kind of operation,please understand stuation.

  • Mamoru Shimizu says:

    Electric power stop
    *No 1 group will not have electric power stop today (NHK news about anouncement of Tokyo Elec. Power Company).
    *We are better anticipate confusion of Informations!
    *Power stop affect not only house use,but also transportation,water suply of buildings, trafic signals etc.
    *We are better not to go far from our homes during several days.
    Water supply
    *In the residential area especially in old town area there are many houses those have wells(working by Elec.power), try to contact near local residents to know where those wells are and ask them whether they can provide water. (Question:Are there wells? :Ido wa arimasuka?)

  • Andrea K says:

    Monday morning.

    Group 1 electricity stoppage from 6:20am was “canceled” but the situation is being checked.

    It might suddenly go off during the alloted time if Tokyo Elect. Co. needs to do so.

  • Andrea K says:

    Almost all of Tsukuba (especially around the center area) is in Group 1.

    You can find a PDF on the TEPCO website:




  • Avi Landau says:

    While the convenience stores are till surprisingly out of food ( most of the supplies apparently come from the north) several restaurants are OPEN.
    For finer dining, CAMELIA, on the second floor of the Okura Hotel is serving customers.

    For fast food ( fun for the whole family) MOSBURGER, between Seibu and Lala Garden ( on The Tsuchiura Gakuen Line) is open and not even very crowded. A few ramen shops nearby are open too, as well as the family restaurant Gusto, which is on the corner of Nishi-Odori and the Tsuchiura Gakuen Line

  • Avi Landau says:

    For those who want to do something to help, at the Tsukuba City Office you can register as a volunteer at the SAIGAI BORANTIA UKETSUKE (災害ボランティア受付). They are helping clean up HINANSHO ( shelters), assisting the elderly, and helping people get water.
    Unfortunately, it is difficult to get involved in helping out where people need it most- in Miyagi.That area is all but closed off.

    Please try to lend a hand to anyone who might need your assitance here in Tsukuba.

  • Avi Landau says:

    There have been worries expressed about the situation at the Tokai Mura nuclear Power plant which is MUCH nearer to Tsukuba than those in Fukushima.
    Here is a site monitoring radiation in the vicinity of that plant. As you can see, there is no problem as of now.