Tourist guide

Special Project – Japan’s radiation levels readings

8 July 2013

This was suggested by Fu, and I thought it was a pretty good idea!

Many people still think that Japan is some kind of super irradiated country thanks to the media’s portrayal as well as all the scaremongers out there.

There are also “stories” of tourists being struck with radiation sickness after visiting Japan, which I wrote about here.

In fact, during the 3/11 earthquake, things are actual pretty normal in the parts of Japan unaffected by the tsunami, but somehow people have the impression that the ENTIRE COUNTRY is like badly-hit Fukushima.

I was far more stressed by friends and family hounding me for details of my safety, pleading with me to return, etc than the actual situation wtf.

This is the official Japan tourism website that talks about the radiation levels in Japan: JNTO website

Some stats taken from the website linked above:

City Dose of Radiation

Date of measurement Referring Website
Tokyo 0.045 July. 8, 2013
New York 0.094 May. 31, 2011 (*)
Paris 0.052 July. 4, 2013
Berlin 0.063-0.087 July. 8, 2013
London 0.088 Jan. 15, 2013
Singapore 0.060 July. 8, 2013
Hong Kong 0.080-0.140 July. 8, 2013 map/rmn_hourly_e.htm
Beijing ** 0.067 July. 7, 2013
Taipei 0.058 July. 8, 2013


As you can see, Tokyo is one of the countries with the lowest radiation measurements. But skeptics will say that Japanese government is covering up, etc etc.

“How can Japan’s radiation level be higher than my own country’s?! IMPOSSIBLE! Japanese govenrment must be lying! Blah blah blah.”

These people… shove the facts in their face but still, they will choose to blindly believe the misconceptions that have established themselves as truths in their minds.

I guess their world really might fall apart if they have to accept that the fact that the place they are living in is more contaminated than a country that has had a nuclear meltdown!

Anyway, what I am going to do is this:
I will periodically post up the current radiation level readings in the sidebar of the blog, using a geiger counter I bought (with my own money!)

Geiger counter brand: GQ Electronics
Model: GMC-300
Cost: USD 186 (including postage)

The measurement unit is CPM (counts per minute). According to GQ’s website:

The following CPM data is measured by GMC-300:

Source CPM reading
Background 20~40
Public park granite table 50~83
Uranium glass bead 238U 320
Uranium ore 238U 2905
Standard 5uCi radioactive source 26500


To start things off, here’s today’s!


This is an independent project, with no affiliation to Japanese Tourism Board (I wish!) or any other organization.

I have no reason to lie, because honestly, I really couldn’t care less if people don’t want visit Japan. In fact, it’s all the better for me if people don’t come!

The tourist places (some of which I frequent) will be less crowded! And don’t have all these annoying tourists that don’t know how to follow Japanese culture like keeping to the left when on the escalator, etc and in turn pissing me off.

But I hate that there are these ridiculous and ignorant scaremongers out there blabbing lies! Omg, idiots really make me so angry!!!

I also hate that my beloved Japan is being slandered and having such a bad rep, and I would also like more (nice) tourists to see the Japan that I so love.

So here’s my attempt on shedding some truth on the real situation on the radiation levels in Japan (or at least my area) at the moment.

If after all these you choose to think that Japan is overflowing and exploding with radiation everywhere, it’s really easy. Just don’t come to Japan. In fact, it’s a personal plea. PLEASE do not come to Japan.

We don’t want to contaminate that perfect, intelligent and rational brain of yours now, do we? :)

  • Veron Chew 10 July 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Haha it won’t stop me going Japan..I feel like going again next year..hehe

  • Rin R 10 July 2013 at 2:16 pm


  • Rai Tan 27 September 2013 at 10:54 am

    As much as i wanna believe that Japan is safe, and that i wanna go to Japan for a good vacation with my wife. Here’s somethings for you to think about. The number of non-internet cases of radiation poisoning you hear from your own family and friends, quoting from real life incidents that happen to people that they know and not from internet sources, personally i know 2 real life cases not my friends but relatives of my friends. 2ndly, the main thing that is of concerned isn’t direct radiation levels but radiation from contaminated food sources too. Think of this, contaminated water flowing directly into the seas. What you consume as food there are all affected, the water supplies, the fish, the livestock. And if you think the contamination should have cleared, please read up on the half life of radiation contamination, and check the readings in fukushima. If you think that it can be contained to Fukushima alone, you are either too naive or lying to yourself to make sure that you feel safe going to Japan. As much as i dont wanna throw a wet blanket over your trip, i do advise you to reconsider your trip plans. Stay safe guys.

    • Rin 30 September 2013 at 1:54 am

      Hi Rai,

      It’s really fine if you don’t believe Japan is safe. Just the same way it’s fine I think that these radiation poisoning cases are unlikely.

      You quoted 2 cases of tourists being afflicted with radiation positing (as always, it’s the friend’s relatives pattern). Yet out of ALL the people living in Japan that we know (and I assure you, it’s a far more sizeable sample than yours of 2), not a single one has been diagnosed with or shown symptoms of radiation poisoning. Including ourselves.

      Statistically speaking, what are the chances of that? It seems more likely to be a case of travel exhaustion combined with paranoia rather than actual radiation poisoning.

      As to your second point; I am under no illusion that the sea is not contaminated. If you remember though, all the oceans on earth are connected. Japan’s water could well become your country’s in a month, in a year, in 5 years, who knows?

      I am well-acquainted with the half-life of radioactive isotopes. I hope for your sake you are too, since that will be knowledge you need if that water makes its way to your side of the world.

      Lastly, we are not here on a “trip”. We are living here.

      Thank you for commenting anyway. It’s always interesting to see how people think.

  • Chris 9 October 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I’ve spent a month in Japan annually for the last 3 years, as my wife and I love Japan and it’s culture. But… we’re not delusional when it comes to the ongoing disaster that is slowly but surely poisoning the people of Japan’s eastern seaboard.

    I understand how you must feel, wanting to believe everything is ok, as I feel the same way. But you only need to spend a couple of hours educating yourself in regards to what’s really happening in Japan, the truth is undeniably obscene and very tragic for the people of Japan.

    Remember, man made radiation should not be compared to radiation found in nature, and radiation can’t be seen, tasted or felt. But it’s effects WILL be felt within the next 10-15yrs, and all of Tokyo is at present being poisoned. : (

    • Rin 12 October 2013 at 1:54 am

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for commenting.

      However, I’m sorry to say that most of it is actually irrelevant to my post.

      Most people reading this probably won’t care for long-term effects of living in Japan, since this post was written for tourists in mind (the “Tourist Guide” category is a big hint, as is the content in the post).

      Without discussing the accuracy or validity of most of the points you mentioned, one point that did indirectly contribute to my cause is that if anyone was to contract poisoning, it would be a slow, drawn-out process.

      Definitely not something that a tourist would be diagnosed with after spending a mere few days in Tokyo.