Typhoon Hagibis updates

With Hagibis bearing down on Tokyo, I’m sure everyone knows by now that the England-France and Italy-NZ matches are off, with the decision on Japan-Scotland to be called on Sunday morning.

I’m not getting into the debate here about cancellations vs rescheduling etc; plenty of time for that later. Here I just wanted to try and pool info for people on the transportation & safety side.

Safety first: seriously, take this seriously. I’ve experienced many typhoons while living in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and to be honest they often pass through without too much impact, especially if you’re a good distance from the centre of the storm – it pisses rain for a day or 2 and gets windy, but it doesn’t seem that bad. However, having also experienced a couple of direct hits by large storms on the city I was in (once in Osaka and once in Taipei), I have to stress that you absolutely do not want to be outdoors in those conditions, at all. I saw a huge road sign ripped down in Taipei and launched across the road – imagine a large spinning sheet of metal slicing through the air at you on a 170mph wind. I’ve got some pics here of damage to the forest in Kyoto after last year’s biggest storm (I wasn’t here for that one, but visited shortly after) – huge trees simply snapped like twigs. Again, you simply can’t be outside in a storm like that, and they really are warning this is going to be a big one (e.g. see here, it’s in Japanese but basically they’re saying this could be the worst since a 1958 typhoon that killed 1200 people).

In short, a direct hit from a massive typhoon is absolute carnage and by all accounts this is probably going to be a direct hit on Tokyo by one of the biggest typhoons on record. You absolutely must realise that you are going to be stuck in Tokyo for the storm’s duration and you should plan on being stuck indoors. If you’re staying in an Airbnb, stock up on enough food to get you through to Sunday afternoon. Even if you’re in a hotel with a restaurant, so are a lot of other people so still stock up on snacks. And make sure all your electronics are fully charged just in case. Hopefully the storm will lose a little intensity as it approaches land, but be ready for the worst case scenario.

Transportation: at time of writing on Friday lunchtime, it looks like trains in the Tokyo/Yokohama area will not be running from 9am Saturday through to lunchtime Sunday.

Bullet trains won’t be running between Tokyo & Osaka on Saturday, while there will just be a few early morning trains each way between Tokyo & Nagoya. Update: actually looks like there won’t be any bullet trains from Tokyo at all, with only limited early morning service between Nagoya & Osaka and Osaka & Fukuoka as per here. If you’re heading to Kamaishi on Saturday I’m told (via Reddit) the last train north is 11am.

All flights out of Tokyo on Saturday are cancelled by the look of things.

I’ll try to update this post if any of the above changes.

You can check the storm’s progress here

Transportation updates here and bullet train announcement here & here

Stay safe everyone

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