The past week has seen rolling blackouts. I am not sure why they are rolling. I don’t know how a blackout rolls, but that is what everyone has been saying they was doing. A blackout usually rolls for about three hours a day around this area. A couple of days had six hours (not all in one go though). On the weekend, the blackouts take a rest I assume. It must be because most businesses are closed and there is enough power.

Currently we are getting about a day or two of notice for the power outs, but it changes regularly. If you are interested to see which areas are out and when, check out Google’s excellent summary page. It gives you a feel for how big this really is (when you think Japan’s population is about 125 million people).

The electricity in the business heart of Tokyo is not affected. This is because (I assume) Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the biggest city in the world and so reliant on technology to run that it would be chaos if the power went out. This is fair i think, as it would cause much more trouble for the people in Tokyo, than it does for the people in the country.

I have been surprised by a number of things since the earthquake;

  1. How much we rely on electricity in our society. Thing fall apart really quickly without it.
  2. How easy it is to reduce the amount of energy we use. It is really as easy as just putting on an extra jumper. (Though the worst of winter is already behind me).
  3. I am sure there are other things that I have learned, but I can’t remember. I guess I have learnt them so well that they have now entered subconscious knowledge…

Even without the heaters on this past week, it has not been too cold. That is thanks mostly to the promise of spring. Some of the plum trees are starting to bloom, which would have been pretty, but was something I did not take much notice of. It did snow a few times though. It would have been really bad up north for those people who have no homes now and have to stay in school gyms. Those school gyms are really cold. It is ridiculous actually. We have assembly there and sometime students faint because of the cold. The snow must have been bad for those people in shelters.

Today the two power outs were canceled. We will have to see how it goes, but it seems to be getting better. I think because people are using less. I hope people can continue to save power, as they are saying the ‘situation’ might last until next winter (which would be cold).